Battling the Binge: part one

binge, eating, mindfulness, diet, health, wellness, holistic, gut health, quit sugar ‘I’m changing my ways. That’s it, once and for all, I’m done with feeling like this. I quit <insert certain whole food group here>.’

Let's get vulnerable, shall we?

I’ve heard myself declare with gusto that I’d give up sugar forever, or never touch conventional chocolate again, or stay the hell away from processed packaged rubbish. Time and time again, however, I return to the comfort and familiar feels of food that does me wrong. Its like returning to an emotionally abusive partner - you know they are controlling your mind, they’re no good for the soul and the enjoyment is a temporary facade before you feel icky and lost once again. My relationship to food is nothing short of a shitstorm sometimes, and every time I drown in sugar-induced depression I promise myself its the final outburst of childish weakness. But its not - it probably never will be, and I’m understanding how OKAY that is. First of all, I know that with most of us, our psychology means that if we tell ourselves we can’t have something, we immediately crave it, yearn for it, salivate for it, dream of ourselves devouring it. By indeed declaring the honourable statement of the never-evers, we automatically set ourselves up for losing.

I am hanging for the day when I get to the point of complete understanding that food is a holistic approach. I get it intellectually, but I’ve yet to discover the so-called balance myth that sexy slim nutritionist authors are trying to play at. You know the glowing, radiant people at the beginning of wholefood-oriented cookbooks that claim to have nailed moderation and have a completely healthy relationship with food? Wow, one day. I shiver at the stories of them in their past polishing off a block of chocolate; I roll my eyes and think ‘man, you ain’t seen nothin’! My nightly bedtime routine was a large packet of chips, a bag of chocolate covered nuts and a few too many cookies.’ Or maybe they are as big fibbers as we are…

How we eat is how we live our life, and right now mine is a messy platter of desire, curiosity and the dance between alignment and nowhere near it. I’m becoming more accepting of these truths each day, and I truly believe that the more gentle I am on myself, my body reflects that with more positive energy encouraging me to choose vibrant, alive foods over the sickening, energy suckers that attract me in desperate times.

See, I’m one of those excessively passionate people with such a huge hunger for life I literally have to eat my way to express that psychological lust for living. In yogic tradition, we call this attribute Rajas, which is a concept to describe the tendency for drive and excitement and a step above what the yogis would consider a good, balanced life. In my rajasic state that is positive, I am optimistically active in co-creating with life, however this energy becomes overwhelming when I don't know how to find a balanced and calm state when I need to wind down. I am often anxious, self centred and overstimulated. This quality within me is both my most valued and seemingly difficult to wrangle, as I find it hard to slow down, relax and withdraw from activity. This Rajas energy is reflected in my taste for sugar, stimulation and sex, and it sometimes gets the better of me when I am unable to control the minds desires for binging on whatever I have closest to me.

I’ve been on a quest for healing my gut health and my turbulent relationship with food for five years now, attentive to triggers in emotional and physical states that allow me to turn to the creamy, soft and sweet foods that temporarily bring back my mojo. I’m getting closer, to understanding my ‘why’ and then also taking it easy on myself for these binges to be an experience to live and then let go.

Here is how I’m going about it:

  • AWARENESS. Years ago, I was so disconnected to what food actually meant and what it was, that I’d be stuffing my face with something while searching for something else without registering it. Feeling in to our present moment and our bodies and intentions is a HUGE shift. Its tricky, and even now I breathe shallow and eat past I’m full but I am more consciously aware of the inner workings of my body and creating an inner dialogue with it.
  • Name your triggers. A cool way to understand what exactly is emotionally/psychologically holding you back from living your dream nutritionally is noting down what feelings arise when you find yourself craving your go-to comfort foods. Is it in times of stress? When you want a cuddle? Or out of boredom? I’ve found that because I’m such a multi-tasker, its ingrained in me that whenever I’m watching a screen I must be doing something with my hands to feel ‘actively’ involved in the present, hence why I often reach for food. An interesting experiment for all to explore.
  • Education. I would be nowhere different if I hadn’t taken initiative to source out information. We accept what we are told as we grow up to be truth, and its not until it causes us pain that we seek better answers. I highly recommend websites such as + , the stunning cook books The Healthy Life and I Quit Sugar and also watching That Sugar Film and Hungry for Change.

This is just the beginning of the journey, and I have so much hope for the radiant woman with optimal health that is me on the other side of this hurdle. I am honouring where I am as being exactly where I need to be.

Stay tuned for part two and join me on this healing journey. We all deserve to feel free.

From the woman that refuses to believe 8 almonds is an efficient snack and shuns the idea of fruit for dessert,