All posts by Isabel

Are you making “thin” your “God?”

Too many of us have mistaken thinness with the “power of God,” believing that weight control is the answer to all of life’s fears and discontents.

While it’s true that for the price of thinness—whatever that may cost us,

our culture sells us status (masquerading as love),
and social power (masquerading as acceptance),

these privileges are not enough to fill what some might call the “hole in my heart.”

Of course, when we treat our weight “like God,”

when we turn our weight into the thing that makes us “okay” or “not okay,”  “complete” or “incomplete,” 

our weight (and food) quite literally rule us—we become a slave to whatever we need to feel safe and whole. 

If we need weight control or thinness to feel safe, we will be ruled by, and obsessed with our food and the scale.

If we need money or “success” to feel safe, we will be ruled by, and obsessed with our work.

If we need a human relationship to feel safe, we will be ruled by, and obsessed with our human relationships.

The only way out of the chains of food and weight obsession…or any other material obsession for that matter (work, relationships, etc.),

is to start seeking safety and wholeness in something we cannot lose—something immaterial—something less vulnerable than physical form.  

To learn more about How To Stop Binge Eating for good, make sure to check out this important post for a full breakdown of my recovery philosophy.

When feeling “full” isn’t enough…

Fullness is what happens when your stomach pouch is full of a certain volume of food—when your stomach pouch is stretching or distended from being literally filled up.

Satisfaction, on the other hand, is a statement about desire. 

To be satisfied means, “I truly do not want any more food…I feel physically and emotionally complete with my meal.”

Sometimes satisfaction will require becoming very full—even uncomfortably full—while, other times, satisfaction will demand less.

Early intuitive eaters often shoot for some “acceptable” amount of fullness—rather than shooting for true satisfaction,

and then wonder what is wrong with them when they “can’t stop” at their own imaginary line of “acceptable fullness.”

The reality is, fullness alone is not always enough. If fullness isn’t accompanied by satisfaction, you will need—and you will eat—more

(…and that’s “normal”).

Satisfaction results from a complex combination of chemical and emotional needs being met in the body and mind,

including things like pleasure and relaxation, as well as adequate calories and macronutrients…none of which is guaranteed by a feeling of fullness alone.

For instance, you can fill your belly up to the brim with food…but if you’re anxious and fearful (of weight gain or disease) while doing so…satisfaction is unlikely.

Similarly, you can fill your belly up with all the vegetables and protein in the world…but at some point you will feel wholly unsatisfied without adequate carbohydrates and fat…and vice versa.

Of course, allowing yourself to become truly satisfied means making peace with the possibility of fullness beyond what diet culture has told you is “okay.” 

Allowing yourself to become truly satisfied means making peace with where ever you happen to land on the fullness spectrum when satiation occurs. 

PS—if you’re having trouble reaching “satisfaction,” this blog may also help.

PPS—to learn more about How To Stop Binge Eating for good, make sure to check out this important post.

When the world feels scary, remember this about your food and weight…

When we’re filled with fear, anxiety or feel out of control in our lives—when the challenge of uncertainty strikes,

we may find ourselves trying to seek control in habitual ways—reverting back to old beliefs and storylines that give us a mission, that give us something “to do” in the midst of a frightening situation.

Food thoughts, poor body image, or diet-related fantasies may come up while we sit inside, waiting restlessly for an uncertain future. 

Our subconscious tells us: “if I can get this under control, I’ll have something to look forward to…I’ll be okay…I’ll feel safe and secure.” 

The pursuit of thinness offers a false sense of security in insecure times…and we so easily forget the costs and consequences of such pursuits.

Notice if this desire to get your food or weight “under control” is coming up for you during these difficult times.

Ask yourself, is this really a road you want to go down given your past experiences on this roller coaster?

And consider…

How else might you take care of yourself (physically AND emotionally) throughout the chaos? 

Where can you surrender what you can’t control,
and relax back into this present moment

No, That’s Not Emotional Eating

There are two primary reasons that people confuse “binge eating” …that is, eating in reaction to dieting or diet mentality

with “emotional eating” …that is, eating for pleasure, soothing or comfort. 

If you’re not sure about the difference between “emotional eating” and “binge eating” you may want to review Video #2 of my video series here before moving on with this post.

#1. The first reason that binge eating is often confused with emotional eating, is that our will power—and thus, our ability to diet or resist food—diminishes when we’re stressed or managing difficult feelings. 

If we’re dieting or using will power to hold ourselves back from eating, we’re more likely to “crack” or “fall off the wagon” (aka binge eat) when difficult feelings come up. 

This is not the same thing as “emotional eating” per se—which has nothing to do with will power or restriction. On the contrary, this is binge eating (i.e. a rebellion against dieting) that’s been brought to the surface early, because our ability to resist food has been compromised by stress.

To be clear, dieting (or diet mentality) is still the “real culprit” in this example. “Falling off the wagon” is pretty inevitable if you’re using will power to suppress your true desires around food…difficult feelings only speed the inevitable process along.  

#2. The second reason that people confuse binge eating with emotional eating—is that emotional eating can easily “trigger” a binge…if we’re still struggling with diet-mentality around our emotional eating choices. 

If we think emotional eating is “wrong” or “bad,” or if our emotional eating urges come in conflict with what we think we’re “supposed” to eat—we will easily succumb to “falling-off-the-wagon” eating when we “slip” at the hands of an emotional urge. 

In other words—what could be a cupcake or two when we’re bored, turns into a sheet of cupcakes + whatever’s in the kitchen sink because “I’ve already screwed up…better get it in now and start again tomorrow!” 

In other words, emotional eating can turn into a binge the moment we judge our emotional eating as “not okay” or deem ourselves “off the wagon.”   

To learn more about the difference between “emotional eating” and “binge eating,” check out this podcast interview I did with Health At Every Size warrior, Julie Duffy Dillon

It’s a great episode—especially for anyone who’s ever identified as an “emotional eater” or who struggles with the question: “I’m not dieting, but still bingeing—what’s up with that?!” 

Check out this episode here

To learn more about How To Stop Binge Eating for good, make sure to check out this important post as well.