After years of being trapped in the “I’m either dieting or I’m bingeing” cycle, I think this shift was one of the hardest shifts for me to make; recovery is NOT a black or white, perfect thing. And it’s not always a walk in the park!
My binge eating recovery is full of ups and downs and course corrections. And, today, I am grateful for every single lesson my imperfect recovery brings. Most importantly, I am no longer afraid of food or my relationship with it. That fear has been replaced with relief; a sense of trust. I trust that when I choose to live mindfully, using my new skills to connect with all of my thoughts and feelings, the need to go mindless with mindless eating just stops.
Today, I get to be in charge. Food is no longer the boss of me!
Getting mindful and eating mindfully vs using food to go numb, whenever I didn’t wish to tolerate the moments of my life (feel my feelings, connect with uncomfortable thoughts, move forward with difficult or boring tasks), was a monumental shift for me! It included giving up the fantasy of a perfect recovery or finding THE diet that would finally FIX me, with no slips backwards.
I found that progress, recovery from compulsive and emotional eating, is more usefully measured using these three markers (Members’ Empowerment Tool #10; Redefining Recovery):
1. My emotional eating episodes are beginning to get farther and farther apart and are fewer in number.
2. The quantity and the quality of food eaten when I turn to food emotionally is improving.
3. After an emotional or binge episode, my recovery time back to mindfulness, emotional regulation, and healthy eating is happening sooner and sooner.
When it come to binge eating recovery, progress is most often incremental and progress is progress. So please be gentler with yourself. Give yourself credit where credit is due, rather than beat yourself up for the choices you sometimes make to self-soothe with food. That begets more recovery…I promise! And it is such a relief!
I’m Ellen Shuman and I am proud to say I work mindfully on my recovery and it’s worth it! I am also a pioneer in the field of binge eating disorder treatment; a Coach who specializes in helping people overcome binge eating, binge eating disorder, emotional eating, compulsive eating, and food addiction. I am the founder of A Weigh Out Life Coaching & Members’ Circle and Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present). I’m also a Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”. Have a question about recovery? Call me or email, email@example.com, 513-321-4242.