Phase ONE: Getting Your Brain Onboard and Physiology in Alignment
Phase one of beating binge eating is all about working with your body instead of against it. Up until this point, if you’re still struggling with your body and food, you could be thinking things like:
- If I just had enough will power I could do this.
- Why can other people stick to a diet or way of eating and I can’t…what’s wrong with me?
- I eat because of stress, anxiety, loneliness, overwhelm (or other feelings) and can’t stop using food to numb out or for comfort.
- Maybe there’s a deeper emotional thing going on that I don’t know about and I need to “fix” myself to “fix” this…
I’ve thought all those things and many others when I was struggling with my body and food and they’re completely normal because that is what we learn from the diet industry and eating disorder recovery culture.
The truth is though, if you’re in a cycle that’s on repeat, what you’re doing to break the cycle may be exactly what’s stopping you to fail.
How To Stop Binge Eating: Phase One, Part One
In last weeks blog post I shared all about Sarah’s story. In this video I break down what you can learn from her journey, why certain things worked and certain things didn’t, and the foundation of food freedom forever so you can end your struggle with your body and food for good!
If you don’t do what I share in this video no “emotional coping mechanism”, no diet, no plan, no meeting with a psychologist…nutritionist…personal trainer etc, no “tool”…nothing will work to beat binge and emotional eating.
Your physiology and innate survival mechanisms will always win out, and that’s why your “will power” doesn’t work in these moments.
It’s not you that’s broken…the way you’ve tried to stop binge eating is driving you to think about food all the time, driving you to eat, and driving you crazy.
Watch the video below to learn how to break the cycle today!
How To Stop Binge Eating: Phase One, Part Two
After that video you should really understand the importance of making sure your survival mechanisms aren’t activated and that you can’t stop binge eating while they are. Any attempt will be overshadowed by the brain patterns and survival mechanisms at play.
Speaking of brain patterns, reprogramming those is part two of this process. We have to make sure the survival mechanism are quieted first because when the survival mechanism in your brain are activated your brain isn’t properly fueled to break the pattern of binge eating and dismiss your urges.
As you learned in those moments, your brain is invested in trying to drive you to eat so what it does is it takes fuel that is typically is evenly distributed throughout the brain and shuttles it to portion of the brain that’s sole function is survival.
People call this portion of the brain different things…the reptilian brain, the monkey brain, the lower brain…I’m going to call it the primal brain here because it’s the most primitive part of brain that’s responsible for basic functions like your heart beating and lungs breathing, as well as your instincts. In this portion of the brain the only thing that matters is survival: food, reproduction, safety, protection.
This portion of your brain is very automatic, irrational, and can’t be reasoned with through conscious thought. This portion of your brain is also where your urges to binge come from. When fuel is sent to this area, it’s taken away from the portion of your brain that you reside in. When I say you I mean YOU…your personality, your conscious thought, your reasoning, your rational thinking, your long term goal creating, your discipline, your will power, you love for yourself, your love for your family and so forth…
So basically…when you use conscious reasoning to stop a binge urge or techniques like talking yourself out of it, going on a walk, playing music, calling a friend, will power, force etc they do not work and they don’t because you’re trying to use conscious surface level “tools” for an unconscious, automatic pattern residing in the primal brain.
It’s literally like talking a monkey who thinks his survival is threatened out of anxiety and out of eating when his brain is telling him he’s starving. That would never work. Well, I’m not calling you a monkey, but that part of your brain where your urges to binge come from is at that level.
Don’t be discouraged by this, it’s actually very liberating because through this knowledge you can see that the urge to binge isn’t from some deep unresolved broken part of yourself it’s just there because your brain has made the pattern automatic and deemed it necessary for your survival.
Here are some other liberating nuggets you can use to empower yourself with this information:
1) Your conscious part of your brain is the one that’s responsible for movement and your motor control, so even though your urges to binge are coming from an automatic part of your brain you ultimately have the power to decide not to act on it
2) This allows you to separate yourself from your urges to binge by realizing the urge isn’t coming from the real you but an automatic part of you
3) Your brain is extremely malleable and always trying to make things automatic to make it’s job easier, so as you dismiss your urges to binge over time those brain patterns will die off or “prune” away as the neuroscientists call it, and new patterns will form.
These new patterns will eventually become automatic, and you will create a new normal for yourself.
We start here in phase one, because even though people may think bingeing is linked to deeper emotional reasons, and perhaps it could have originated there in your past, there are plenty of people in the world that have emotional breakdowns or stress and don’t use food to cope through them.
This is because their brain hasn’t created the link between emotional stress and food like yours may have.
Although working on those deeper emotional issues is a part of the process for long term freedom, you can have freedom from binge eating with or without “healing” them all, and if you couldn’t, that means we’d all be in therapy for years which isn’t fair and something I won’t stand for.
In fact, many of my clients come to me after decades of therapy and unsuccessful treatments and these methods break them right through their life long struggle.
You deserve freedom from binge eating, and you deserve it fast. Here’s a video that breaks Part 2 of Phase 1 of Food Freedom Forever even more:
If you need any support in this area, we are here for you!
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Health & Love,