Bullying and bingeing are like children who are a bad influence on each other. They can always be found together when a woman is fighting her inner demons around food. But you can never tell which one is the instigator or who started the fight.
Every dieter wants to do it perfectly. It is common for a slip from the prescribed eating plan finds its way into a full blown binge. In fact, it's a biological imperative that food restriction causes the symptoms of disordered eating that drive women into treatment: obsession with food, diets, recipes; impulsive and intrusive thoughts, feelings and actions (just one won't hurt), and finally compulsive eating, binges, sneak eating. Next comes the familiar self-denigration, browbeating, and a solemn vow to never let that happen again. Until the next time.
It would be unrealistic to think our minds could perfectly turn off the voices of our ancestors and the culture we swim in. That perfectionism is no more useful in our eating with permission than it was in our eating with restriction.
Instead of fighting with your inner bully, why not use a teacher’s tactics of taking that voice aside where it can’t do any damage and finding out what’s going on for it? Fear, abuse, judgment. Then maybe you can reassure, comfort and re-employ the inner critic that wants you to drop this gentle eating BS and just go do an intermittent fast. That voice is not you. Your head is out to get you.
Kim Halsey is a human resource professional and executive coach who helps people overcome life damaging habits, restore important relationships, and live their dreams without drama.
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