Okay, so today I am beyond excited because…Here’s part 2 (hurrrraaaay)! It’s going to be a whole lot lighter in comparison to my Part 1 as I understand it was pretty heavy! My mum legit asked me when I was going to post some happier content about dogs… (Ma got her priorities right). The easiest way for me to write this is going to be in a short and sweet list of the three biggest factors that I believe helped me move past that stage of my life. Keep in mind that as I said in my last blog post, no journey is the same and we will all come from different circumstances… So take what I say with a grain of salt and tweak different things so they work for YOU.
1. Remove external perceptions.
In my view the most important issue you will need to address is undoubtedly, perceptions. When I started binge eating I was heavily into fitness and anything that got me moving. Everyone viewed me, or I thought they viewed me, as a fitness/health freak and I started to see myself that way as well. I wasn’t Schae the good friend or Schae the good cook (I am hella good, btw)… I was just Schae the ‘fitness junkie’. Binge eating to me went completely against the perception others had of me which made it even harder to deal with. I thought that addressing my binge eating, people’s perceptions would negatively change and I would be perceived as unhealthy, or lacking discipline etc… Looking back now I should have addressed my problem head on, but instead, I would start and finish every day with a horrible perception of myself for a year and a half because I was too damn scared to deal with the issues I thought would ‘disappoint’ others. This was not okay. One of the biggest things that helped me move forward was learning how to tune out others opinions, perceptions and thoughts that negatively affected me. Day by day, I tried to focus on how I truly perceived myself, irrespective of others and trusted in myself that I was making the correct choices. I accepted the fact I needed to make changes for my own health, on my own terms. I concerned myself with my own opinion instead of the opinion of people who probably neither mattered or gave a damn! Slowly but surely, my own perception changed from ‘Fitness Fanatic Schae’ and ‘Binge Eating Schae’ to my own version of the happiest and healthiest Schae I could be. If you’re going through the same thing I can’t encourage you enough to truly focus on you and only you throughout this period! At the end of the day it is only your journey to walk. Find what it is that makes you feel completely and utterly healthy, happy and thriving because those things will always come from within and push you forward. Remember to not overwhelm yourself trying to balance how you perceive yourself and how others will perceive you because it will forever be a backward and forward drunken tango (ain’t nobody got time for that). You. You. You. Own that.
The happiest/goofiest Schae around… (… also only Schae around)
2. Learn when to give yourself a break and when to call yourself out on BS (bullshiet).
When I was stressed at work or at school, binging was my one way to deal with it all. So, when I made the decision to try and kick my binge eating habit once and for all, it was a fine line between trying to find alternate ways to manage this stress for the first few months. Luckily enough, I can count on one hand the times when I came home after a stressful day and wanted to fall back into old habits… This is when I needed to call myself out on the bullshit. Habits are usually triggered by something (stress, arguments, long days) so you need to recognize what these triggers are so that when they do pop up, you know how to deal with them in a different way. As I mentioned for me it was stress, so whenever I had these intense feelings of wanting to binge when my head was all fuzzy, instead of doing a re-run of the 2007 Britney Spears episode (its okay Brit, we forgive you), I reflected upon other elements of my life and took a walk. Whenever I returned it was with a clear head and the want to binge was completely gone. Find your way to deal with the BS.
On the flip-side, actually knowing the difference between times when you’re stressed/angry/sad VS times when you are actually craving some food/s is going to be a big deal in a process similiar to mine. If it is truly a matter of craving food and you have recognized that it isn’t just an excuse to binge eat, relax… give yourself a break and enjoy this food in moderation. If you have reached this point of recognition between the two circumstances, its pretty safe to assume you would have come to terms with the idea that dealing with a food craving does not mean go to town on the Chips Ahoy Cookies in the cupboard. Try your absolute hardest to understand both sides of this process. It will take time! But in the long run this is going to be one of the things you deal with on a daily/weekly basis and before you know it, you won’t even have to think twice about the difference between the two situations… you will just know.
3. Trust yourself
Boy oh boy… Whenever I speak to girls about things like this or even about restrictive eating habits, the question I get asked most is “but how do I trust myself?”. I can’t give you an answer to this question, I really can’t. All I can say is that you are on this journey to better yourself, you need to believe that! If you don’t trust that in a year’s time you’re going to look back and be like “damn gurl, I’ve come far”, then I honestly don’t see a point in even trying to move forward. Always have your best interests of the future in mind. I remember a time when I was explaining to someone that maybe this week they should try a piece of toast with peanut butter instead of scrambled eggs for breakfast when she explained her restrictive eating manners… she replied with “but how do I stop at one?”. This is what I mean. Already questioning how she was going to trust herself placed in a food based situation is a big no no. Try not to do this! The only way to move forward is to stop fearing these situations and expose yourself to opportunities that allow you to trust yourself and grow! Try some toast for breakfast instead of your oats, go out for dinner with your friends or go see a movie and have some popcorn with your partner… Then look at yourself at the end of the week and I can nearly guarantee (if you balanced moderation, of course) that 1. your body doesn’t look any different and 2. you are damn proud of yourself! Start every single day with the correct frame of mind and trust that you are working on the ‘healthy’ version of yourself. The version who doesn’t want to binge eat or restrict foods then preach this shiet every single freakin’ day you wake up!
As always… all the love in the world, Schae X