Nail Yourself to the Present Moment with Food

livenowRecovering from diet-binge cycling, 

requires learning how to sit in this present moment with food, 

without grasping for the next diet,

without leaping for some attempt to fix it,

without trying to “figure out” your plan of escape.

It requires learning to sit with a full belly when you have one

or with your body exactly as it is,

without being wooed back into grand planning with food—plans that only take us further away from what our bodies need right now, and set us up for a repeat of the cycle once more. 

The truth is, “intuitive eating,” by definition, can only happen in the present moment. I can’t know what I’ll be hungry for outside of the moment that I’m hungry for it—I can’t predict with certainty what my body will need in five minutes, or five hours or five days. 

All I can do is sit in what’s happening right now, and listen for the next right action, one moment at a time, as it’s made clear to me. 

The only commitment to be made, is to nail myself to the present moment with food.**

**A Pema Chodron idea.

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The Evolution of “Eating Whatever I Want” in a Post-Diet World.

SOULI personally eat exactly what I want, without apology, and feel it’s important for my mental health (and freedom from rebellion/binge-eating, etc.) that I be empowered to make whatever food choices feel right for me in any given moment.

That being said, I think it’s important to note
that my “wants” around food have changed considerably since I stopped trying to control the way my body looks, and started reconnecting with how my body feels. 

When I was dieting (and/or struggling with diet mentality, poor body image, etc.), I walked around believing I was a bottomless pit—totally insatiable and practically needing to be handcuffed around the very sight of my “trigger” foods.

During that time, “eating whatever I wanted” effectively meant binge-eating all day, because I had no understanding of food’s role in my life, outside of the diet-binge dichotomy (or, more precisely, outside of the self-control/rebellion dichotomy).

But when I stopped looking at my body like a home improvement project—like an ornament to be molded to my liking (or the liking of others),

and started looking at my body like the human person that she is—the child of someone, the sister of someone—a living, breathing animal that feels things,

this shift in perspective, 
from self-loathing to self-care,
slowly but surely, began to influence my “wants.” 

Food stopped being about what I could get away with eating, 
or what I should or shouldn’t have,

and started being about would make me feel good
—physically, emotionally, holistically

not just on my tongue, but in my body,
not just in my body, but in my soul.

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The Common Mistake of Trying to “Gain Control” Over Food

Overcoming binge-eating
is not about gaining “control” of your food,
but about realizing—
that “control” is a figment of your imagination.

meditation in chaos

Our pursuit of “control,”

based on the very false assumption that we can make our food go our way if we just try hard enough,

is the product of truly delusional thinking, 

considering the infinite and unknowable universe in which we live.  

Let’s be real—

We are NOT in control of our body’s needs in any given moment,

We are NOT in control of our emotional needs in any given moment,

And despite what many self-help gurus might suggest,

We are NOT in control of our every reaction to triggering, environmental stimuli. 

We are only human,

and denying or trying to change this fundamental reality, 

is a sucker’s game—leading only to frustration, rebellion, and evermore compulsive behavior.

Contrary to the suggestion of every diet book ever, 

sanity around food will NOT be afforded to those who tirelessly try to gain control— 

the pursuit of which is a never-ending hamster-wheel leading only to dead-ends and rebellious outbursts,  

but rather,

sanity will be afforded to those who make peace with and accept 
our fundamental out-of-control-ness,

to those who can ride the waves
of uncertainty, of messiness, of human error,

to those who can sit in food-chaos, and find okay-ness

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How to Recover from a Painful Binge-Eating Episode

Stomach AcheOne of the most powerful tools I ever developed for recovering from a “bad binge,”

was simply learning how to separate whatever physical pain I experienced post-binge,
from the emotional pain I experienced post-binge.

When I took the time to notice, I realized that the physical pain of bingeing,
even the kind that leaves you in bed in the fetal position for hours,
is really not much more uncomfortable than having to pee really badly, or having a bad rash, or hangover, or some other arbitrary physical irritation.  

The true bulk of my suffering at the “hands of a binge,”
was actually the result of emotional pain

that is, my shame at having failed,
my fear of gaining weight,
and my belief that there was something deeply wrong with me for not being able to “control myself around food.”

(It didn’t occur to me that most people can’t “control” —aka restrict— their food for very long, and that most people binge when they try.)

While there’s no safe way to eliminate the physical discomfort of a binge after-the-fact (other than wait it out, listen to your body, and take care of yourself like you would a hangover),

our emotional discomfort,
which is the much more painful part of bingeing in my experience,
can be alleviated in an instant,
through challenging our weight-normative beliefs,
our morality of food and eating,
and developing compassionate understanding of what diet-culture has put us through.  

(And don’t worry, the physical discomfort part goes away pretty quickly on it’s own once we get back to listening to our bodies–just like a hangover).

Like this post? Check out my free video series about ending the diet-binge cycle here!

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