How Do We Change The Narrative Around Diet Mentality With Food Intolerances?Jan 17, 2023
Do you ever wonder: What do I do when I'm bingeing all the time? What do I do about these actual food intolerances of those binge foods or the fear foods?
This is an excellent question, but there’s no clear-cut answer.
This is something that I've dealt with personally by having PCOS and while helping other women who have things like IBS, candida, celiac, et cetera.
It’s difficult when people have these digestive or hormone concerns or something to do with their health.
It’s like your body is telling you that you should not be eating this food because it's bad for your health, bad for you – yet that's the very thing that you want to binge eat.
I know exactly how that feels.
With my PCOS, it's not exactly that you must cut things out, but it's highly recommended to lower your sugar intake. There are a lot of foods that are not great for people with PCOS and particularly it's the thing that a lot of us binge on - the high sugar foods.
For me, it was difficult to be told that I could massively reduce my symptoms if I give up the higher-sugar foods.
Of course, there are many benefits to it, such as you could get your fertility to be better and stronger meaning you would be able to get pregnant easily if you just did this one tiny thing, which is to stop eating so much sugar or to stop eating so much gluten and dairy; but you're still thinking to yourself:
It's kind of my fault. I'm making this worse for myself. I'm truly harming my body on top of the harms of the bingeing and all that comes with it, but on top of that, I'm making my PCOS/my IBS/my digestive issues worse, I'm making my condition worse!
That's a hard pill to swallow because you're already struggling with enough.
You're already feeling so much guilt and shame around your bingeing and now, all of this. Now you're feeling the extra guilt because you're making the food intolerance worse for yourself, too.
That has a clear action or direction of just, oh, don't eat this thing so much to help yourself out.
For me, that was very difficult, and it almost made me want to rebel even more because it was just like I literally can't have this thing. But that's the very thing I want. Oh, what the hell? I'm just going to do it and I'll just deal with consequences after it's, really, really hard.
There's already enough mental restriction going on in this whole binge cycle and now you've got extra restrictions placed on you by doctors and stuff. It's difficult.
Essentially, what are we looking at?
It's this equation where your need for that binge, your desire to binge, or being stuck in that cycle is more significant than your ability to really care for what your body needs and put that first.
We want to be able to flip that equation and say to ourselves, my need for the binge is so much less than how much I want to take care of my body long term. I CHOOSE to put myself first.
How do we change the narrative?
Ultimately, what we want to do is to address your binge and restrict cycle.
We want to do the deep work to help you stop physically restricting, stop mentally restricting, stop emotionally eating, stop going to food for all the emotions, and the tricky part there.
We can address emotional eating with no problem.
We can address the physical restricted restriction, too.
When it comes to mental restriction, it gets tricky.
When you've got other restrictions in place, it's tricky because what would you usually do? You'd just give yourself full permission. There are no limits. But, let's be real. There can be limits given by your doctor or the medical community. So, what do we do there?
We want to find that balance for you at first where you feel like you are giving yourself to eat these things, but you're not going overboard where it's actually harming your body.
There’s an amount of sugar or gluten or dairy - or whatever it might be for you - that your body can manage without it being painful or damaging.
We want to find that balance and let our brain know that we are permitting ourselves to have this certain food while also taking care of our bodies, from a place of love.
It’s giving yourself smaller doses of the food while creating healthy boundaries for yourself.
When you were in the binge-restrict cycle before, there might have been rules where you don’t allow yourself to have sugar or a certain food that you love to binge on for a certain number of days or even at all. We want to move away from these rigid rules that make us want to rebel against them because of the forbidden fruit effect.
What you can’t have, you want even more.
Move it to boundaries that are way more flexible flowing.
Boundaries are there to protect your energy rather than rules which can feel very punishing and as if you don't trust yourself.
What boundaries can I set up to take care of myself?
One of my boundaries was to add fewer sugary snacks into my snack time rather than cutting out sugar completely.
I allowed myself to have the sugary snacks because I love them, but I ate less of them because I had the less sugary snack when it was snack time, and I enjoyed it! I would think to myself what other snacks can I add in?
I did that to protect myself, my well-being, my mental health, my physical health, et cetera, and it felt very flexible because I hadn't taken away the sugar.
I was adding more to my life, adding more to the variety of things that I could eat, and that felt amazing!
Doing this while also addressing your physical restriction, your emotional restriction, all that stuff is going to help decrease the frequency and the intensity of the binges; and then eventually, it’s going to help in healing, in getting to this place where you're able to say “I truly want what's best for me” and it's not going to be coming from a diet or restricting mindset.
Being able to say, “I want what feels best for my body. I want to eat the foods that fuel me and that don't give me a headache or don't make me feel pain.
I just really want those foods, and that's easy for me to say because I'm not bingeing anymore” meaning it is healing in itself.
I'm not having to restrict myself.
I'm not in this vicious cycle of guilt and shame and disgust and regret, but I'm in a place where food is way less emotionally charged.
For me, food is just food. Yeah, it's still enjoyable and it brings pleasure, but it's way less emotionally charged.
Eventually, you will get to that place of food freedom with the use of balance and boundaries.
You can get to that place with the small doses and all that where you no longer feel like this health issue, (whether it's PCOS, IBS, Candida, et cetera) doesn’t feel like a burden. Where it doesn't feel mentally restricting anymore.
You're now adding to your life because those things are still available to you. You still have full permission, and you know that.
You truly feel that you've added so much more to your life. You've added more variety of foods that you enjoy.
On top of that, you've added to the quality of your life because you're not bingeing, you're not restricting, you're not in that cycle, and you are truly finally in the driver's seat of taking care of yourself and it feels damn good.
Feel free to DM me on this topic. I know it's a tricky one to navigate on top of trying to navigate healing through an eating disorder. It's tricky but worth it.
If you’d like more help with the food freedom process, learn all about it in my 30-Day Reboot online course. The course has helped over 300 women already stop binge-eating and improve their food relationship.
Lots of Love,
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