What has become evident to me is that often people eat now, based on something that has happened to them in the past. This may be a casual or flippant comment from someone else that causes us to eat in a certain way. Often we will binge because we are responding in a negative way. This was certainly the case for me. Someone made a comment to me when I was 16 years old which I now believe was the catalyst to a path of negative eating which lasted for over 20 years. This person felt they were helping me by pointing out that I was already over weight and if I didn’t watch what I was eating I would get bigger and bigger.
However, instead of having a positive effect it had the opposite result. We don’t like people to point out our shortcomings or to tell us we are not good enough. Basically I just thought, “How dare you tell me what to do, I’ll do exactly what I like!” I then got a huge helping of pudding and ate as much as I could. This eventually led to a roller coaster of dieting and bingeing. I was coming from a place of anger and negativity and was trying to force myself to lose weight through dieting and deprivation. I felt I wasn’t good enough just as I was.
Another example is where someone has been assaulted or bullied and they over eat in an effort to put on weight, to protect themselves. Often we believe if we are fat, we won’t be attractive, so no one will bother us. We may then remain over-weight for years, even if the threat is no longer there. Once we get into a negative way of eating, we may not even remember what caused it, but we continue with it because it has become a habit.
Learning to eat naturally allows us to let go of the past and live in the present. It heightens our awareness around food and our bodies, enabling us to make the appropriate choices based on what we need now. It allows us to treat ourselves kindly and give our body what it needs when it needs it. This is because when we eat naturally we actually start listening to what our body wants. Natural Eating is based on four simple principles:
Eat when you are hungry
Eat what you want
Stop when you are satisfied
Move onto something else after eating
These are all positive and empowering ways of eating based on listening and respect, rather than mistrust and fear. It starts with being in the present and tuning back into your body instead of holding onto negative issues from the past. So if you feel you are on a negative path of bingeing and dieting, learn how to eat naturally so you can be in control again.