From Food Addict to Peaceful Eater
Maintaining a 90 Pound Weight Loss
I am now a healthy, peaceful eater who eats to live, instead of lives to eat. And the best part for you is that I've devoted my life to helping others do the same, so they can stop binge eating and start living again.
For 45 years I was obsessed with and controlled by food. It actually felt like my life revolved around it. I was either trying the “latest and greatest” diet plan hoping I could muster up the willpower to stay on it long enough to take off all the weight, or I was eating everything in sight.
I knew no in between. All I wanted was to figure out how to eat my favorite foods in moderation. But instead I was always living at one extreme or the other; deprived or bingeing.
Because I didn’t want anyone to know how much I really ate, I used to sneak food and eat it in private. Hiding junk food and planning when I could sneak away to eat it, figuring out where to hide the wrappers and dealing with the depression of being a food addict seemed like a full time job. But, not only was it a job I wasn’t getting paid for, it was a job that came with many costs.
Being a binge eater sucked the joy out of daily living. As with any addiction, when you feel controlled by something, you’re just not “yourself.”I felt like this thing would come over me and make me screw up my diet even though I knew I’d be miserable after abusing myself with food. But I felt compelled to do it anyway.
I had a closet full of different sized clothes because I never knew what would fit depending on where I was in the dieting/bingeing cycle. I hated the way I looked in clothes and just wanted to be able to wear what I liked instead of only what fit.
I couldn’t bear looking in the mirror and I stayed as far away from the camera as possible.
When I’d go on a family outing, all I could think about was when it would be lunch time or when I could escape to the bathroom to eat whatever junk food I had hidden in my purse. I couldn’t be “present” when I was controlled by food. And I couldn’t talk to anyone about this because of the shame and embarrassment I felt about my behaviors. Honestly, it felt like I was having an affair with food.
I recall cancelling social plans with friends because I was too embarrassed for them to see me if I was heavier than the last time we had gotten together. Not only was I hiding food, I was hiding myself from life.
Finally, in October of 2010, I realized that all of the dieting I had tried only led to deprivation and that deprivation led right back to bingeing. It was a cycle I repeated for 45 years and the only way to change my life was to interrupt this pattern.
Luckily I figured out what I had been doing wrong all along. I had the mindset of a binge eater, not the mindset of a peaceful eater. I realized that I needed to live as the opposite of a binge eater in order to start feeling calm around food. By doing some innovative, easy to learn behavioral tweaks during the day I lost my desire to give into cravings and impulses and I was able to stop the insanity of yo-yo dieting and food obsession. For years now, peaceful eating has become my daily norm.
Throughout all the years I suffered with Binge Eating Disorder, I always promised myself that if I could ever find my own way out of this crazy lifestyle, that I would devote the rest of my life to helping others so they too could stop struggling.
The good news? I finally realized that diets don't work and out of sheer desperation, I found the answer I was looking for all along. By making some simple mindset shifts, I changed my relationship with food, reached my goal weight, and reclaimed my life.