Why Self-Care is Vital to Your Binge Eating Recovery & Mental Health
Sarah, an active member of my private community, confided in me that she had binged because she felt no one was there to take care of her and that self-care was just another chore and she didn’t want to do it.
Have you ever felt this way? I have and still do sometimes. I get this “I don’t feel like it” feeling. But I still get up and take care of myself the best I can because I know that slacking on self-care comes with a hefty price.
That’s why I have decided to help her reconsider the pros and cons of self-care so that she can make a different decision next time and recover from binge eating smoothly…. and she is!
Watch the video to get the full story:
Before I go any further, let me clarify this. Self-care is only one of the pivotal things you must do to permanently stop binge, emotional or mindless eating. If you want to get the full picture register to my upcoming webinar this Sunday!
Why Self-Care Can Give You Emotional Balance, Peace of Mind and Well-Being in All Circumstances
Lack of emotional self-care creates an emotional overload.
Unless you’re a monk living away from civilization and feeding off of roots and leaves, you experience stress daily. You rush to work. You pay bills, maybe have demanding clients, a nasty boss, a sick child and you feel it’s a miracle that you got through the day. Even if you’re unemployed, you have your loads of stress.
So what do you do to unload the stress?
If your answer is “not sure,” “watching TV,” or “I don’t have time for this”… then stress builds up over time and guess what happens?
You create stress overload.
Watching TV can somewhat relax your brain but this 2014 study suggests that it creates more stress because we feel guilty or like a failure for not doing something productive for ourselves, so you need to find activities that make you feel good about yourself.
How do you handle your emotions?
Do you listen to them? Are you aware of them? Do you express them? If you don`t have a system that helps you– first, listen to your emotions, quiet them, and express them when needed, and act based on them when it is positive, and it is wise for you to do, then you get emotional overwhelm.
And, what does a woman who tends to rely on food to feel better do when she feels overwhelmed? She binge eats!
If you don`t have a system that helps you listen to your emotions, quiet them, and express them when needed, and act based on them when it is positive, and it is wise for you to do, then you get…. emotional overwhelm.
And now you are literally drowning in your emotions.
And, what does woman who tends to rely on food to feel better do when she feels overwhelmed? She relieves it with food, right?
If you neglect your ambition, your desire for adventure, discovering new things, meeting new people, then you also don’t have much to look forward to. You feel trapped in the same looping week. Every week resembles the previous one, and that’s boring.
You may not even know what’s missing in your life, but you feel like some fun and excitement. And all of the sudden your kids’ food or some special treat waiting for you in the kitchen cupboard seems super sexy.
Anger and resentment are a common binge eating trigger.
Sarah was feeling angry and resentful before she started binge eating. And that’s totally understandable. She takes care of her sick husband and 8-year old son and works 40 hours a week to feed her family.
The first thing I told Sarah was that she was a hero and she needed to take care of herself more than anyone else. It seems to be working. She recently reported resisting one of her most difficult binge eating triggers. Result: no binge, no stress, no guilt, no shame and a peaceful feeling of victory.
Misplaced anger can turn into guilt, shame, and self-punishment:
If you feel resentful towards people that don’t deserve to be angry at all, like maybe Sarah towards her husband, and her son, you feel guilty, and maybe a little bit ashamed.
One of my clients recently confessed that she didn’t want to let go of her binge eating disorder to punish people who had fat-shamed her when she was a kid. I helped her release that anger and realize how she was only hurting herself. She’s not the only one. People who turn their anger inwards because they don’t feel they can express it safely tend to want to punish themselves secretly. If you want to learn more about my coaching services, visit this page.
In other words, having no routine to find emotional balance creates a cascade of negative emotions: stress, boredom, anger, resentment, guilt, and shame that deteriorates your mental health and promotes binge eating.
How Neglecting Taking Care of Yourself Deteriorates Your Self-Image
Another thing that I want you to notice is that if you keep treating yourself like you are less important than everybody else; i.e. your boss, your kids, your neighbors, your dog, your parents… you send your unconscious mind the subtle but persistent message that you don’t matter.
You don`t want to train your mind to believe that. If you do, you will feel unimportant, isolated and alone. It’s a painful and depressing experience. It adds to your already crushing emotional overload and makes food very hard to resist
Positive Self-Care or Toxic Self-Care: Which One Do You Want to Pick? One Promotes Binge Eating
We are all humans. And we all need a system to soothe our emotions, bring us joy, excitement, relief, satisfaction and grow beyond our current limits. This need is never going to go away.
We are constantly faced with a silent choice. We either create a self-care routine that supports our growth, our well-being, our peace of mind, our satisfaction, our joy, or we take the one we have by default which was probably created when you were a young kid and had no critical mind. It is usually not a very mature and wise system even if you were brought up by the nicest parents because it’s based on the perception of a needy child.
Which self-care system do you want to pick, the immature, by default one or that one that makes you grow?
The immature one will opt for immediate satisfaction. It cannot delay pleasure or reward. It will choose distraction, watching 5 episodes of your favorite TV show even if it’s past midnight and you have to get up at 6 and binge eating.
It can help you handle what life throws at you in the moment at the cost of creating massive problems later. If you are already diabetics, you know how toxic this instant gratification system is.
Your second option is to create a pro-active, mature self-care system where you learn to delay pleasure to provide for your emotional, physical, spiritual well-being. It doesn`t have to be perfect, just existent. You can always refine and improve it with time. You may begin with a 5-minute morning stretch and some mindful meditation.
What matters is that you remain persistent. Persistence builds faith in yourself, and your ability to take care of you, and your emotions, and the trust that you will be there for you.When your mind receives the message that you are a reliable source of well-being and relief, you experience peace.Click To Tweet It’s extremely soothing for your mind to know that someone is here to watch over you even if that person is you. Food automatically becomes less appealing.
How to Practice Self-Care:
I hope that you now feel inspired to create a self-care routine. But before you get started, you must find out which one is the most suitable for you. You can find hundreds of self-care activity ideas online, but they may not be a right fit for you.
What Kind of Self-Care Activities Do You Need?
Are you overwhelmed with stress?
Do you feel bored a lot?
How well do you release your emotions?
Do you lack energy?
Which of your needs are not met?
In my previous post on how to stop overeating without willpower, I have shared a free cheat sheet to help you reflect on what you needed the most today and to give you some activity ideas to get your needs fulfilled. It is remarkably simple, and yet profound. Grab it now. Click here to get great ideas for your self-care routine.
I have used this self-care strategy to bring peace and relief to my clients successfully. It works so well that one of them stopped binge eating chocolate within a week after months of nightly chocolate binging.
Click here to access her case-study.
Before you do,grab this solid framework cheat sheet to create a personalized and powerful self-care routine, and get free updates! The two work hand in hand like magic. This one helps you create the routine. The other make it consistent. Enjoy!
And if you have any comments, write one below. I would love to hear what you have to say!