Why Self-Worth Is The Root Of Binge-Eating For Many & How To HealOct 23, 2022
You know that feeling where you don’t feel good enough no matter what you do?
This feeling of not being good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not confident enough, not hot enough...
When you’re feeling this way, one really important thing to remember is you’re not alone in it. That low-self-worth feeling is a huge factor that all my one-to-one clients and 30 Day Reboot students share in this food body journey.
The feeling of low-worth drives so many body image and food relationship issues. It also drives the way you express yourself, the way you walk, the way you stand, it drives EVERYTHING!
If you felt like you were good enough, you are attractive enough, then you wouldn't have this constant need to want to change your body, to control your food, to control your weight!
Because why are you doing those things?
It's ultimately so that you can finally feel like you're good ENOUGH in whatever way: you're attractive ENOUGH to men, you're thin ENOUGH so that your mom will love you more or so you think you are slim ENOUGH.
If we could heal this worthiness wound, it would be monumental for the outcome in our life. A lot would change.
In this article, I’ll share tips on how to feel more worthy so that you can let go of body image issues and excessive food control.
THE ROOT OF BINGE EATING ISSUES IS OFTEN LOW SELF-WORTH
Usually the binge eating comes down to two factors:
Binge eating is an excellent soothing mechanism for difficult emotions.
Binge eating is a result of dieting and restriction.
No matter which one you relate to more, where did that come from when we really dig into that? It's that feeling of not being good enough.
Maybe you noticed growing up in school that the fat kids didn't have as many friends and got made fun of. Maybe you noticed that women were always putting down their bodies and going on diets. You sort of put the dots together and said, “Okay, I need to control my appearance because it not only helps me get away from that pain of being made fun of and rejected, but it also makes me feel good enough. It makes me accepted and even loved and praised and validated.”
That’s where we often dig down and find that this whole “not good enough feeling” or wanting to be good enough is underneath a lot of women’s food and body issues.
Now that's what I want to go into a little bit because for a lot of us, it's clear when we explore a little bit and self-inquire, we do find that we have this feeling of just wanting to prove ourselves and be perfect and want people to love us more; but then what?
PRACTICE NOTICING YOUR THOUGHTS
OK, so this is what we do when we start becoming very aware of the thoughts that are in our mind that are telling us we're not good enough or we're not something enough.
As a prerequisite to that, you want to start building up your awareness muscles. That can be done through meditation or just practising these simple steps a few times throughout the day for 30 seconds:
- Being aware.
- Sort of sitting and noticing your thoughts
- Not judging your thoughts.
- Not trying to change your thoughts.
- Just almost sitting as an observer.
- Distancing yourself from those thoughts.
- Knowing that your thoughts are not you, they are just one part of you that is sort of an accumulation of all your conditioning and everything in your past and all those wounds and everything we carry with us.
These steps will help you begin to become aware of the low-self-worth thoughts that drive food and body issues.
BECOME AWARE OF YOUR LOW-SELF WORTH THOUGHTS
Once you’re feeling good, now that you’re starting to be aware of your thoughts, let's notice throughout the day as much as we can. You know, those thoughts when you look at yourself in the mirror and you think, “oh, God, look at my stomach today, it's like I look pregnant”. Or maybe you try on some clothes at a store, and you just want to cry because you feel like your body is not good enough “Why can't you just look like that girl on Instagram? Her stomach is so flat and she has that thigh gap.”
Being really aware of those kinds of thoughts, noticing when you are being mean to yourself, when you're putting yourself down, and making yourself feel less than.
Once we can be aware of them, that's when change can happen, because when we're not aware, we're just going with the automated thoughts.
These thoughts are happening all over the place, approximately 10-100,000 times a day and what is a thought that is repeated over and over and over again and believed? It's a belief.
When we start thinking over and over again “Oh, God, I've got to change my body, I've got to show everybody, I've got to be more like that girl on Instagram” that really gets internalized and cemented into your psyche. You start to believe it “I'm not good enough, I need to change, there's something wrong with me.” So, what do we do?
BEGIN DETACHING FROM HARMFUL THOUGHTS
We become aware of them. We distance ourselves from them, we detach, “okay, this is just one part of me. It's that part of me that's wounded from the path of seeing all these women always on diets or these women trying to lose weight, all these people praising weight loss as I grew up”. Then, what we do is we gently acknowledge that thought and we kind of just say, “You know what? Thanks, but no thanks.”
We don't need to forcefully try to get rid of and shame them and be like “Oh, no, no, no, I shouldn't be thinking these things is not good for me.” We don't want to be like that. That's almost your ego coming back into play and just adding more fear and shame into the situation, making you feel bad for having these thoughts.
It's fine to have these thoughts, but we just now want to realize these thoughts aren't all of you and you have a choice to take them on, to believe them, to carry the feelings that they bring up inside of you like dread, sadness, frustration, and so on.
Instead of letting the negative thoughts create difficult emotions like sadness that we carry throughout the day, now we choose: “OK, you know what? These thoughts are really not helping me. I get that they are sort of trying to keep me safe. They're trying to protect me from that pain that I've seen in the past, like the almost perceived pain I think that there would be if I gained weight. And now I am going to.”
First get back to a neutral position.
So that’s the first step, getting back to a neutral position, saying “You know what? Thanks, but no thanks.”
Move your mind away from those thoughts. Maybe, get in tune with your body, do some movement, shake it out, and go for a walk through some breathing exercises.
Add Positive Affirmations In Once You’ve Neutralised Your Thoughts
Once you start doing that successfully and fairly often, the next step is to add in affirmations. BUT! I wouldn’t use affirmations until you’ve already started the work of noticing and neutralising low-self-worth thoughts.
If you're not feeling good enough and you're not doing any of this awareness work of trying to shift your thoughts and you're just waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror and saying, “I'm beautiful, I'm enough, I'm worthy, I'm confident” - it is not going to work because it's just fake words.
Your mind knows it's fake when you're not doing any of the deeper work. Your brain is a smart cookie. And your body will feel the lie too!
Affirmations are so much more powerful on top of this work.
Once you've noticed these thoughts that are self-deprecating, you saying you're not good enough in some way, that's when you add on top of that an affirmation, “yeah, but maybe I am actually enough, as I am right now. I'm in the process of building my sense of worth these kinds of transitional statements, so you don't have to go straight and even from here and be like, I'm enough, I'm this, I'm worthy”
You can say things like:
- “Maybe I might actually be...”
- “It's a possibility that...”
- “I'm in the process of making this change.”
- “I'm almost…”
These transitional statements will feel more believable to your mind and probably are true in that moment.
So as a recap:
How do we start healing our worthiness wound
- Build awareness of your thoughts
- Start noticing your low-self-worth thoughts - catch them in the act!
- Gently shift them to more neutral statements
- Even begin adding affirmations on top particularly transitional statement that feel true to you.
- Repeat! The goal is for these new thoughts to be repeated so often that you begin to act and feel that way!
As I mentioned earlier, a repeated thought is a belief, so if we can keep repeating those new affirmations, our brain is going to be like: “OK, maybe this is true, let's look for evidence” and so you'll start looking for evidence in your life. You can even do this manually! You can maybe sit down and write a list of all the tons of reasons that prove that you are enough as you are. You're amazing.
Write down anything to do with your work, your relationships, traits about yourself, your strength, your qualities - write down all the proof you have in the world. Something you can come back to and realize, “You know what, I am enough! My body, my weight, my shape does not define that.”
Remember that this is not a quick fix but with consistency and commitment - change will happen. For more in-depth help with transforming your inner world and therefore your food and body relationship too - take a look at the 30 Day Reboot.
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