Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Identifying your Binge Triggers

Over the past month and a half, I’ve been fighting my binge urges quite frequently and I have to tell you that each time I overcome it; I learn something new in the process. My recovery didn’t involve me following a strict nutrition plan. Instead, it was more about listening to my body and identifying the difference between emotional hunger and real physical hunger. It was a mental challenge rather than a physical one. In the process of fighting my binge urges, I learnt that there are a few things that can trigger my binge eating and so I decided to list them down, for it might help to find out your triggers and hence overcome it.

I continue to emphasize and stress on how important it is to identify your binge eating trigger points and catch them before they take over your sanity. 

1. Protein Bars:
As weird as this sounds, I just cannot have one protein bar without eating 12 other ones with it. My solution? Stay away from protein bars at all costs. 

2. Skipping Meals:
For someone who has 5-6 meals a day, skipping one meal makes me extremely hungry and would relapse on me so I would literally eat everything in sight. 

3. Negative self-talk:
*Has one piece of chocolate* “Great, now my weight will fluctuate tomorrow I might as well just give up and eat everything in sight.” That’s exactly how it all starts, negative self-talk. 

4. Post Family Gatherings:
Leftover food from family gatherings the day after is a huge binge trigger for me. I would eat one thing and my negative-self talk would start. 

5. Other:
- Being alone in a place that I binged before (such as the house kitchen) would trigger my binge eating.
- Feeling unattractive and ugly (that’s where negative self-talk begins and binge is triggered)

These are my major binge triggers, once you start identifying them, it will be easier for you to catch your thoughts before it takes over you in the kitchen. 

So, what are your binge triggers?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Conquer Your Binge Eating Thoughts

This week has been a bit hectic for me, in terms of trying to keep up with gym and proper nutrition. Most of my days were fighting my binge urges. I gave up once. I’m glad though, because it was only once and it did not continue to a series of “binge episodes.”

What got me thinking is how did I fight my binge urges? What were the tactics that made me overcome my thoughts? 

I came across a self-help book called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle; it basically focuses on how you should focus on the present moment and avoid thoughts of the past or future. This book greatly helped me because it made me realize that I am not my thoughts.
The primary cause of my binge urges was my thoughts about it. I was so attached to binge eating that I thought my world entirely depended on it, like I would feel better when I binge ate, or that I truly needed to binge to make up for an emotional need. It took me time to realize that giving up on binge eating is mental rather than physical. 

In the very moment that I would have the urge to binge, I would go to the kitchen but then I would stop and listen to my mind; I would listen to it complain as much as it wants but I would not act upon the thought. I let the thought pass, I do not resist. I am not my thoughts; I am the silent observer (my higher self) that is aware of my thoughts. I would imagine myself as a higher being, and my negative thoughts are “noise.” This would help me conquer my thoughts, and I would feel a sense of achievement when the thought passes.
I can’t tell you that I am completely recovered from binge eating, but I’m certainly getting better in controlling my thoughts and redirecting it to my fitness goals. First few days were the hardest; I would literally lock myself in my room until the thought passed. 42 days binge free and counting; this binge eating is starting to become history! 

How did you fight your binge urges? Please share your methods; you never know who you are inspiring.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Please Be Careful About What You Say when Kids Are Listening!

We live in a country where “dieting” and “depriving yourself from food” is a normal part of growing up. It has become common knowledge that “dieting” is not referred to as nourishing your body and changing your lifestyle. In fact, dieting is referred to as a temporary and ineffective weight loss mechanism.   

Growing up in a house of constant criticism about my weight and physical appearance and how it contributed to my eating disorders are the main reasons why I feel that this topic is extremely crucial for the well-being of your kids. 

Being aware of how you talk about food and weight when kids are around can prevent them from developing a series of eating disorders throughout their life. We need to be role models to our kids and younger siblings; we need to be more thoughtful when we say negative comments about weight and food in their presence! 

I’ve noticed mothers who comment on how they should lose weight, or talk about who lost or gained weight. They might do it unintentionally, but it teaches kids that people are their appearance. Mothers who comment on their kids’ weight, please stop doing that. There is no need to redirect your kids’ thoughts to their size. Teach your kids that food is nourishment and that exercising makes you feel energetic and is fun. Please do not criticize people who are overweight, there are overweight people who have a healthier lifestyle than you do. Develop healthy eating habits in your kids from the start, this will teach them to get in touch with their natural hunger and satiety. 

Modeling a healthy, balanced lifestyle is the best approach for your kids to maintain a healthy weight and mind throughout their life.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Opening up about My Binge Eating Disorder

Hi. Hope everyone’s having a great day. One hour left for work, I finished what I had to do (the rest can wait tehe). I’m secretly typing this and hoping that no one will look over my shoulder. Anyway...

What’s binge eating? It’s my opponent, my biggest fear and stealer of my serenity. People often talk about bulimia and anorexia and go about how serious it can be, but never acknowledge Binge Eating. I honestly never thought that any food disorder can develop into a nightmare except when I lived it!
I was such a perfectionist in terms of food. I would stick to the exact same meals at the exact same time of every single day. I don’t remember if I ever missed a meal at that time. Months passed, I was so close to my goal and then I got a job… 

I used to go on hungry for more than 5 hours because I couldn’t find the “perfect” meal, and I would come back home, binge eat, feel guilty, starve the next day, binge eat again. You get the flow. I was literally stuck in a vicious cycle and I didn’t know how to get myself out of it. On binge days, I would feel so disgusting at work that I would call in sick, or if I couldn’t skip work, my social interactions would be so limited because my thoughts would literally collide with whatever I want to say. 

“Laxatives!” that’s what I thought. Perfect solution, I would eat whatever I want and would just flush it out. Guess what? That even promoted my binge eating, too. I remember days where I would literally get out of bed in the middle of the night for the sole purpose of eating. It was horrible. I would feel constant sweating, agitation, rapid heartbeats, mood swings and weakness. Horrible, horrible binge eating side effects.

I gained 5 kilos. 

My breakthrough happened. 

I looked in the mirror. My biggest competitor is staring right at me. This is it. I’ve had enough of feeling bad about myself, I need to take action and I need to take it now. It was that simple, acknowledging that I had a problem was the first and most important step to recover from it. 

Today, I’m 35 days binge-free and still fighting. In fact, I was so motivated after 2 weeks of being binge-free that I decided I would start this blog to motivate and inspire others like me.

Monday, June 9, 2014

3 Square Meals or 6 Small Meals?

The title’s pretty self-explanatory; 6 mini-meals or 3 square meals for maximum weight loss? 

I get this question quite a lot, and the truth is; there’s no right or wrong. 

You see, you can lose weight by having three big meals or 6 mini meals per day; it all depends on how well you organize your time to fit in meals, the type of food you eat and the amount of calories that you’re aiming to achieve per day. 

Studies show that when you eat six meals, you’re more likely to be less hungry throughout the day and therefore curb your appetite. Six meals supposedly stabilize your blood sugar so you don’t feel weak or really hungry in between meals –which usually lead to unhealthy choices. However, I’ve noticed that having 6 meals doesn’t work for some people simply because they end up thinking too much about food and hence, overeat. 

Whether it was thinking too much about food or job constraints is what’s preventing you from having 6 meals… Just make sure that you’re meeting your daily calorie needs and have nutritious meals.
As for me, 5 or 6 meals a day work perfectly fine. In fact, it doesn’t give me the chance to be hungry and hence promote overeating which in turn, promotes binge eating. 

So are you a three meal or a 6 meal kind of person?  Please share your experiences.