What’s Your Lens?

Photograph By Hollie Brown- Soleil Photography

Since I haven’t blogged in a while, thought I’d get back to basics and write an intro as to what this blog is about. My goal is to encourage others who are on the quest to find peace with food and themselves.

About 4 years ago, I was a total wreck, bingeing on food and lying to my family about where it was going. I was hiding my eating. Feeling guilty, ashamed and desperate to find help, I began to scour the internet for food plans, self-help programs and even spiritual enlightenment. Nothing seemed to work.

I had spent a good portion of my life struggling with food and weight and went to programs and counselors over the years. I worked very hard to change but continued to see my grief and struggle with food as the center of my existence. And any stress would bring about bouts of drastic weight gain.

Finally, fed up with the craziness of this lifestyle, I decided to stop focusing on my eating disorder. I had looked through its lens long enough. So, I asked some questions….What if I could eat whatever I wanted and didn’t feel guilty? What if I stopped trying to diet and just ate? What would happen?

These questions didn’t come from a sense of giving up being healthy and fit, but a sense that I was freeing myself from the struggle with food.

That’s how the bingefree journey began.

By giving myself permission to eat, the pressure was off of constantly trying to eat clean, count calories and not eat too much. Once I began to enjoy eating and trust my body, I ate what was needed to keep me satisfied on any given day. Some days it was more than others. Some meals were healthier than others. But overall, my eating evened out to normal levels.

I found myself choosing to eat recommended serving sizes, not by weighing or measuring portions, but by putting an amount of food on my plate that looked satisfying to me and not worrying about how much or how little it was.  And if I was still hungry after finishing, I gave myself permission for seconds, or thirds. After a a short period of time, no seconds were usually needed or wanted.

Looking back, I feel far removed from the eating disordered life and I must make myself remember how anxious and obsessed I was while in the throes of it. But even after almost 4 years, I still marvel that instead of downing a whole box of cookies, I can eat a few and be satisfied – or walk into a buffet and be content with one plate of food (when we could walk into a buffet, before COVID) or that if I do overeat, I don’t hate myself and try to starve myself the next day.

This keeps me thankful that I am in a better place. And it spurs me to keep telling my story to help others who are caught in the uncontrollable eating spiral.

Everyone’s journey is different. But if you are caught in the spiral of dieting and compulsive overeating or just feeling bad about your relationship with food and your body, there is a way out. Its not magic, but its not as hard as you think. You can normalize your relationship with food, not by forcing yourself to not eat, but by looking at yourself a little differently -giving yourself the dignity to eat what you want when you want and not worrying about what anyone else thinks.

Some of the articles in this blog list steps and strategies that helped me on my journey to becoming bingefree. There are posts on body wisdom, body acceptance, discovering value as a human being and the expectations versus the realties of being a normal eater. Peruse the articles, I have added links to the most relevant for beginning a bingefree life.

Best of luck on your journey.  If I overcame this, you can too!

Help to Begin Your Bingefree Journey – start here