PART 2- A Few Lessons I’ve Learned: Binge Eating & Religion

If you missed part 1 – you can read it here.

It’s more than okay to take your time – there is no need to rush things.

With big decisions, don’t rush it.  It took me a long time of  ‘hanging on’ before I was ready and willing to look inside for answers.  Leaving religion, for me, wasn’t a small choice.  I attended church every Sunday and lived the principles in every aspect of my life.  Leaving it all at once, was daunting and too much to bear.  So I took my time.

Change can feel scary.  Feel it.  And take your time.

There is no rule that says you have to rush into change.  This lends itself to ‘all or nothing’ thinking that tends to be present in most people who struggle with binge eating.  If you are struggling with binge eating – odds are you want it to be over with NOW.  But in reality you won’t wake up tomorrow morning and never find yourself slip back into old patterns.  Take it slow – be compassionate with yourself – it takes time.

Be open to new information.

We can’t ‘know’ everything.  New evidence surfaces all the time.  You know more now than you did when you were five.  At that age, you probably believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, or other mythical inventions.  When you were 15… most if not all of those beliefs were no longer part of what you held in the ‘true’ category.

We learn, grow, and change.  And it’s okay for our opinions and beliefs to flow with new information that we didn’t have prior.  Flow with it.

When applying this lesson to food and our bodies – we can see that just because we believe a certain activity or food is good for us… we may get differing evidence from our bodies.  Or we may believe a food is ‘bad’ for us, but after evaluation (tuning in!) our bodies tell us that it works for us.  (Example – my body does like chocolate!!  But quality and quantity do make a difference!)

Be patient with yourself when big changes happen in your life.

Guess what… when we begin something new we are going to ‘suck’ at it at first.  Expecting perfection isn’t realistic.  Embrace making mistakes and not ‘knowing’ the answer.

When the rug is pulled from underneath you, you aren’t going to have your balance immediately.  It will take some time to figure things out.  Be loving and compassionate with yourself as you go through the process.  I felt as if my world was torn apart when I realized I could no longer have faith in the religion I was raised in.  I felt ‘off’, grouchy, and I cried A LOT.  And to be honest, I still have my days where I feel emotional – I do my best to allow my emotions without judging or squashing them.

When I first began the process of healing from binge eating – I was still binging.  Sometimes I could make it through a day, week, month, etc – and other times, I just could not do it.  I learned that if I judged myself for slipping up – I ended up binging again sooner.  But when I met my ‘hiccups’ with compassion – the binges started to become fewer and farther between.

When changes occur or is self created in our lives – remember that…

*Judging yourself thwarts your efforts.

*Compassion allows healing to freely take place.  Practice it.

Don’t judge yourself for grieving.

When you’re attached to something, and that ‘thing’ disappears or changes to a form that you are uncomfortable with, the natural response is grief (maybe even some anger!).  I felt as if I was grieving the death of someone I thought I’d never lose when I left my religion.  And as tempting as it was to stifle that grief (and sometimes I did!) – I continued to practice allowing myself to grieve.

Being sad and feeling a loss is a natural and normal part of being human.  Even when it’s a change that you want, you may have other emotions come up that need to be processed. There is no shame in feeling.  Depression, anger, shame, guilt, joy, boredom, fear – they are all allowed in our experience.  Let them flow and be released in YOUR time.

I remember quite vividly the moment I realized that I did not want to binge anymore – and it felt hard.  I wanted to be done – but at the same time, I didn’t know how to exist or function in my life without using food as an escape.  I felt sad to be moving away from an activity that gave me relief (albeit temporary) from life.  Creating peace with food involves grieving the loss of what food or the ‘control’ of food used to do for you.

Being uncomfortable is a part of change, and change is a part of life.

Lean into it.  Don’t shy away from feeling uncomfortable.  New things rarely feel natural.  And we are never ‘great’ at them when we start out.  Going against religious guidelines that I had been raised with, has been extremely challenging.  I have felt uncomfortable and I’ve become an outsider to the community that I once felt a part of.

Tuning into my own inner wisdom isn’t as easy as ‘looking up and answer’ from someone else.  I’m sure I’ve made mistakes and will continue to make more mistakes.  But they are MINE.  And I get the lessons and wisdom that comes as a result.  It’s ok to ‘suck’ at it!

When creating peace with food and your body – odds are you are not going to be great at it when you start.  I was awful at it!!  It will be uncomfortable.  I made mistakes every day.  But with every choice I made, I learned what worked and what didn’t work for me and my body.

As we lean into being uncomortalbe with ‘not knowing’ – we learn and grow in ways that are otherwise unavailable to us.

Breathe…. remember to Breathe!

Breathe, practice being in this moment.  It’s the best way to process feelings, thoughts, and situations.

Don’t run, hide, or try to fix things rashly.

Be there.

Be present.

Let it process.

When we practice doing this (breathing and being in the present moment) – clarity comes and we can move forward with a deeper connection to our Inner Wisdom.

All my Best,

Stefanie

Posted in binge eating, Spirituality.