Picture this: It’s 2006, I’m working long days as a fashion designer, traveling the world, depleted, tired, depressed, frustrated, and seriously overweight.
Every night on my way home from work I stop at the grocery store, but this trip isn’t simply about picking up dinner.
This trip actually started at my office as an intense, anxiety filled craving.
As I pull up into the grocery store, it’s now a full blown “I gotta have it or else” food trance.
Yep, a food trance.
In a food trance I belong. I fit in. I’m somebody. I matter. I’m soothed.
Can you relate?
Indeed a food trance is an escape from worldly problems and our own inner critic, but there are also biochemical imbalances at play. Something many doctors and psychologists can’t seem to connect the dots on.
What’s interesting about being in a food trance is that we often don’t realize what’s going on until after it’s over when we feel regret, guilt, shame, and self-loathing.
Then we tell ourselves that we’ll never binge or eat “bad” again because tomorrow is the start of our new diet, fast or cleanse.
Except it NEVER works out this way.
Telling yourself you’ll never binge again is like trying to forget the lover that left you. It only serves to set you up for more self-hatred, guilt, shame and failure.
Developing trust with food does not happen overnight, but what I do know is that when biochemistry is normalized and you gain awareness around feelings, triggers and food choices, the more the compulsion to eat diminishes.
So, if you’ve made a commitment to yourself to figure this out, I want you to celebrate and acknowledge the small successes that are really important such as:
Taking a deep breath when you get triggered and asking yourself what’s really at play here
Having compassion and forgiveness if you do overeat
Digging deep to uncover the feelings that set you off
Bouncing back more quickly after a binge occurs
I encourage you to take it one gentle step at a time. Make a conscious choice to love yourself and stand in awareness about what’s going on. Remember, you’re looking for progress, not perfection, and this is where true healing begins.
What’s one step you can take right now to understand your eating patterns more clearly?