Breaking Bad Habits: How To Change Your Life Fast And Simple

 

A bad habit can feel like a freaking wet blanket. Ugh.

You do something over and over again even when you don't want to or when you know it's bad for you. How can that be?

It feels like you have demons, or ISSUES. Something must be wrong. How else could you explain wanting to stop doing something so bad, yet your actions are not in line?

The vicious cycles...

Well, if you can relate to this in any way...today is your day!

I'm here to myth bust bad habits. I'll explain (and simplify) the realities behind bad habits, and teach you how to break them. Fast and simple.

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Before you continue – if you're struggling with binge eating or overeating, read this blog post: The Simple Truth About Why You Binge. It explains how binge eating is nothing more than a habit and why the bad habit forms.


A habit is a pattern in your brain


After doing something only a few times, the brain remembers and neural pathways form. This is your brain trying to be efficient and make your life easier. The brain assumes that if you do things on repeat, it must be because they're good for you. The brain assumes these actions are what you need for survival! And so it wants to repeat these actions automatically. This is also why the urges to do them can feel so intense.

Until taught something new.

For good habits this is awesome. For bad habits, it can become a frustrating loop. Until you understand it and get in control!

These habits in the brain are patterns, not some deep-rooted emotional *flaw*. You don't have demons! In fact, when the urge is not serving you, you can think of it as neurological junk.

So now the best part...


How To Break Bad Habits – 5 Simple Steps

  1. Understand that a habit is nothing more than a pattern in the brain. When it's not serving you, it's NEUROLOGICAL JUNK.

  2. Recognize that it's something your true self doesn't want to be doing. The highest, not-automatic part of your brain is in line with this and has the most control over your actions.

  3. Separate your urges to binge from anything emotional or deep-rooted. You are NOT flawed!! You have a bad pattern in your brain.

  4. When the urge comes up, realize it's a faulty pattern being served up on automation and FLICK or KICK it away! In your mind, of course.

  5. A new pattern will form in your brain and the urges for the bad habit will go away.

    Please note! This only works if you are trying to train yourself into habits that are in line with your basic human needs. In other words, if you're trying to train your body to excessively restrict food, this will not work. Your body and brain will only work in harmony when they have what they need to function.


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Want to myth-bust your binge eating “TRIGGERS”!? Learn what your triggers really are and how to stop acting on them!


xo,

Bridget

 

The Simple Truth About Why You Binge

 

The reason why you binge eat is quite simple. It is NOT some deep-rooted emotional issue. I promise!

Let me explain –

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Why You Start Binge Eating In The First Place



There are two main buckets to explain why you binge eat in the first place. For most of us in America, it starts with dieting. AKA restriction. When you restrict food, you mess with your brain's ability to find rhythm and know what's going on.

One part of your brain is habitual and instinctual, and focuses on your survival. This part of the brain – let's call it the primal brain – doesn't understand the concept of dieting. Because it doesn't understand a world where food isn't scarce. The concept of a copious amount of food that's always available is a new one. The more "animal" part of your brain, the primal brain, can't imagine this.

So when you diet, your primal brain sends you intense urges to binge eat. It thinks you're starving and wants you to eat a lot and stock up so you don't die. Imagine, if your brain thinks starvation and death are near, the urges to eat food are going to be STRONG! Makes sense.

If this is not you, then you binge eat for a few other reasons. Either you learned this habit as a kid (I'll explain more about the significance of habits in a moment). Or you binge eat because you see it as a reward or it gets you high.



Why You Continue To Binge Eat



Once you start binge eating, it become so hard to stop because a habit forms in your brain. Plain and simple.

Thefreedictionary.com defines habit as –
"A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition."

In other words, when you repeat an action, it becomes a habit unconsciously. So after a short while, the reason why you started to binge in the first place doesn't much matter. Because the habit has formed.

Then, you have a bad habit on your hands. A pattern your brain serves up because that's what you taught it. Not some deep-rooted emotion flaw.

And changing your habits can be easier than you think! See HERE for the 5 easy steps!


Was this helpful?! Leave a comment below and let me know. I'd love to discuss.

Want to myth-bust your binge eating “TRIGGERS”!? Learn what your triggers really are and how to stop acting on them!

xo,
Bridget

 

How To Stop Binge Eating The Fast and Easy Way

 
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What if recovery from binge eating was easy?

What if you realized that your urges to binge were a habit that you taught your brain, and not some deep-rooted or emotional issue?

What if your urges to binge were your brain serving up patterns that you taught it by accident!? And nothing more than that?

And if you knew the part of your brain that decides not to act on your urges was the real you? The you that does not want to binge and doesn't have to.

If this excites you, then today is your day!!

I recently read a book called Brain Over Binge and my world has SHIFTED. I realize that up until now, I have recovered from binge eating the hard way. I gave my eating disorder major meaning, and I made it complex. Now I have a new perspective and everything feels SIMPLE. And easy. Wow.

My urges to binge had nothing to do with depression, insecurity or any other emotion like I thought. They were not my subliminal self trying to cope or fill a void. They were a habit. Nothing more and nothing less.

When I was a young teenager I started to diet. I would restrict and overthink my food in effort to be rail thin. I wanted a flat stomach. My brain thought I was starving, like, in actual danger of starving to death. And wanted me to EAT, so I would survive.

My overwhelming urges to binge were my brain trying to protect me, and keep me alive. I would give in to the urges and binge because I couldn't resist. And then I'd feel terrible, so I'd excessively exercise to compensate. And a habit formed. A lifestyle formed. And ultimately, an eating disorder formed.

To oversimplify things, we make patterns in our brains of the things we do often. So the pattern of binging and starving became like second nature to me. Because I did it all the time. And so even when I stopped dieting, I still had urges to binge eat. Because even though I wasn't in survival-mode anymore, it was my brain's pattern. The automatic part of my mind thought that was how I needed to live, because it's what I taught it.

So I lived like this for YEARS. Trying to fight my patterns the hard way, thinking they were something deeper and more significant. Thinking my flaws or genetic character required food to cope. This was what therapy taught me and how my own insights started to form.

After reading Brain Over Binge, I understand the brain and my habits in a whole new way.

I now see my urges to binge as a habit my brain is serving up because that's all it knows. And it thinks that what I need. But now I recognize that for what it is, a false message. And not something emotional or meaningful. And so I'm EASILY able to ignore it. Because I'm detached. Like give it a mental flick or kick and it's gone. So simple.

After a short while of doing this (like hours/days/maybe weeks or months for some), your habits change. And the urges to binge vanish. Poof. GONE.

The part of you that doesn't want to binge is the real you! And it's the stronger more conscious part of your brain. The part of your brain that sends you urges to binge is the more automatic part of your brain serving up patterns. By separating the two, you can recognize your urge to binge as a mistaken signal. Of course you MUST stop dieting or restricting calories! To make sure your body is getting what it needs to thrive and be alive. Then you can choose not to binge. Move on with your life and watch your habits change QUICKLY!

Please try this and let me know how it goes!! Let's chat in the comments below or in my Facebook group.

And read Brain Over Binge, it will your life FOREVER!

 

How To Stop Binge Eating In The Evening – The Exact 5 Tips That Works For Me

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I'm going to teach you how to stop binge eating in the evening...because it's the worst! 

I would wake up in the morning full of regret. The first thought in my head the second I opened my eyes was frustration over binge eating the evening before. I would then snap myself out of bed, pump myself up that today would be different and head off into my morning! I'd have a healthy breakfast. Or better yet! I'd skip breakfast altogether to give myself a chance to burn up some of the food in my stomach. The rest of the day would go ok, I'd manage to exercise and not binge. Sometimes I'd even make it through a healthy dinner. But the in the evening, all hell would break loose. Ugh!!! Why was I good most of the time but then would flip the switch in the evenings? 

Let me explain! The thinking and methods above will never work. Not ever. Because there is too much restriction and not enough intuition. Once I COMPLETELY changed my approach to binge eating recovery, I started to heal. I realized that I had to address things in my life other than the food I was eating. Eventually my eating disorder dissipated into thin air. Just like that.  

Here are 5 tips on how to stop binge eating in the evening –

1. Get your chores out of the way first

 When you get home at night you're beat down from the day and exhausted. The evening is your sliver of a moment to relax and be free. So make sure to finish your day the minute you get home, before your evening begins. I began to notice that if I started to binge eat immediately when I got home from work it would last a longer time. Because I was dreading what would come next. Unpacking my bag, washing up, getting ready for the next day, writing that one last email, etc. So I made it a point to knock those things out THE MINUTE I walked in the door. This way they weren't hanging over my head and keeping me in the bliss of a binge as a way to avoid them. Because there wasn’t anything left to avoid, everything ahead in my evening was enjoyable. Even the non-food things. Bang out your chores or "must-dos" immediately when you get home, as fast as possible. And then have dinner after.

2. Get comfy FAST 

You binge eat because you feel pain. This can be big, obvious pain. Or smaller more subtle things that are harder to notice. Believe it or not, but the slightest amount of discomfort can send you into a binge. Because eating food is distracting and makes you feel better. It's a crutch for uncomfortable situations of all sizes. In the evenings, we're often bent out of shape from the day and have some clean-up to do before getting into relax-mode. We need to remove our uncomfortable clothes, take off makeup, shower, etc. The sooner you can get comfy and ready for bed, so it's not looming later in the night, the better! Once your chores are done, before you start eating and relaxing, wash up and get ready for bed! Get warm, clean and COMFY! The better you feel the less likely you are to binge. This is a simple one but profound habit to get into.

 3. Stop restricting all day

If you restrict all day you will binge at night, GUARANTEED. If you're living by rules and holding yourself back, stop. Start going with the flow and giving yourself what you need. Otherwise you will snap, which is what happens when you binge. Instead of starving yourself or trying to be perfect all day long, eat three meals per day no matter what. And let yourself eat what you're in the mood for. This way when the evening comes around, you won't need some big release. When you let yourself feel satisfied throughout the day-to-day, the evenings aren't as big of a deal. You'll feel more even keel and consistent, I promise.

4. Know what you’ll do with your time instead

You can't remove something without replacing it with something new! So! If binge eating is your #1 evening activity, you'll need to replace it with something else. Or many other things. I like to make lists, so I know exactly what I want to be doing with my time instead of binge eating. Write down ideas for productive things but also fun, relaxing and nourishing things. Everything you want to be doing instead of binge eating. When the urge to binge comes on, refer to your lists! Do ANYTHING on them instead of binge eat (as long as it's not harmful or self-destructive). Practice this over and over again until it starts to work wonders!

5. Visualize the regret in the morning and use it to your advantage now

Before diving into a binge in the evenings, think about yourself the next morning. Get into that state of mind. Feel the physical discomfort. Get angry and frustrated. By tapping into your future self, and knowing how horrible you'll feel the next day, you can influence your decisions in the moments. It's like sending a message from your tomorrow-self to your current-self. If you don't binge eat now, in exchange you'll feel SO MUCH BETTER tomorrow morning. And then, the momentum builds. The more you do this, the more better decisions you will be able to make. And it's the most wonderful snowball ever. This little trick helps me a lot!!

 

Are you ready to stop binge eating? Start by identifying your unique triggers. And learn what to do about them!

 
 
 

 

Did this help you? Let me know in the comments below! I love to hear from you and always reply!

 

How To Stop Binge Eating – 10X Your Progress With This Easy Habit

 
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Today I'm sharing one of my best tools to stop binge eating. This little trick worked wonders for me and I still use it in my life today!

My binge eating would come in cycles

When I was deep in my binge eating disorder I would go through some funny cycles. When the urge to binge came on it was all I could think about. Paralyzed. Or like a robot-soldier programmed to go on a mission. There was no stopping me. Even if I was able to pause for a second to contemplate anything else I could be doing with my time, I couldn't think. I had to eat and that's what I would do.

Then, later on when I was in a more calm state of mind, I could think of A BUNCH of other ways I could have been using my time. Urrgg. It was exciting to have lots of ideas, but frustrating to go completely blank when I needed to remember them. I knew I would stop binge eating if I chose to use my time doing other things. But that was so hard! Especially if in those crazy moments I couldn't think or get myself to do anything else besides binge eat.

Creating lists helped me stop binge eating

And so I started making LOTS OF LISTS! I would list out everything. Not like to-do lists (although I love a good to-do list) but like inspiration lists. Or like, how to live life lists. Or, how to use your time lists.

When inspired and feeling good, I would list out the things I wanted to be doing with my life. And then I would refer to them in times of need, right when the urge to binge would arise!

Lists are a way for me to send messages from my rational mind to my crazy-urge-to-binge-eat mind in times of need. GENIUS.

I would list out everything I wanted to be doing with my time

I started simple, with lists for what to do inside the home and lists for what I could be doing outside of the home. But then I started to get more specific. I'd list out productive things, self-care activities, ideas to contribute to the world. Books I wanted to read, topics I wanted to research, YouTube channels I wanted to watch. I would even map out ideas for relaxation and fun, because I had very little of this in my life besides binge eating. Crazy!

Making lists helped me stop binge eating in two ways

  1. One is the more obvious way like I describe above. When bored or had the urge to binge, I would whip out my lists and choose something. I would fight to snap into action, anything from my lists instead of binge eat!

  2. Also, creating these lists helped me realize who I am and what I wanted to be doing with my time. By writing down lists for every scenario, I had a roadmap for who I wanted to be and how I wanted to fill my time. Because I would refer to these lists so often and default to the activities on them, they were steering my life. Eventually I stopped binge eating and became everything on my lists instead. So cool!

Are you ready to stop binge eating? Start by identifying your unique triggers. And learn what to do about them!

 
 
 

Was this post helpful for you? Leave a comment below to let me know! xo

 

What To Do The Day After A Binge – My Top 3 Tips

 
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Waking up the day after a big binge is the worst feeling in the world. UGH. I’ve been there many times. Your stomach feels so full it’s hard to believe! You want to stay in bed all day and hide from the world! Like seriously, you actually might call in sick. You have no clue what you’ll wear. You have gas, pimples and are in worst mood ever. WHYYY.

Then you think crazy thoughts, like you’ll never eat again or you’ll exercise twice per day to even things out. Or you’ll at least not eat again until dinner to give your body time to digest.

But NOOOO! These “solutions” are not what you should do the day after a binge. They will actually send you further down the binge eating rabbit hole! I guarantee it.

I know because I tried that approach for almost 30 years! Yet everyday I kept on binge eating like it was the last time I was ever going to do it.

Then finally, I completely changed my approach. And once so, my binge eating disorder seemed to dissipate into thin air.

So let me share, here are my 3 top tips on what to do the day after a binge–

1. Have breakfast.

It is so important that you never skip a meal. Because starving yourself will ALWAYS backfire. You will snap and end up feeding yourself what you need at some point down the line ( usually during a binge ). By eating 3 meals per day no matter what, your body can get into a routine. And so can your mind. By taking the guesswork and decision-making out of the situation, there is ease and calm.

Eat breakfast the day after a binge no matter what. And then have lunch, and dinner too. Your body will be so happy to find its rhythm. You'll also be happy because you're not starving yourself. And balance will be the result.

2. Eat high-fiber and moist foods from nature.

Imagine your stomach is a blender, what you eat gets blended up. Then, imagine removing the top of the blender, turning it upside down and seeing how fast the food falls out...or not. If the food is dry and sticky, it will get stuck to the edges and not come out of the blender. If the food is moist and fibrous, it will slide right out. The more moisture, the more food will glide out of the blender. The less moisture, the harder the blender will be to clean. I love this analogy!

So! The day after a binge, make sure to eat food that's moist and rough. To help your body break up and get rid of the food stuck in your gut. This includes any plant food grown in nature, but especially vegetables. Also whole grains like brown rice. Avoid foods that would get stuck to the sides of a blender, like flours and icings for example. By eating high-fiber and moist foods you'll be taking big poops and feeling better in no time!

3. Stay in an empowered state of mind!

Mindset is half the freaking battle. Or more! If you get in a negative state of mind, you are going to bring yourself down. GUARANTEED. If you can keep your spirits up and looking forward, good things will come. The day after a binge is a great opportunity to train your mind to keep it positive and growth-oriented. Rather than beating yourself up, turn your mistakes into lessons. Use the information to inform your decisions next time. That's all we can do at that point anyway, the past is behind us. So learn, grow and keep moving forward!

Never ask yourself questions like, "why do I do this to myself?" or "why am I like this?" Instead, ask yourself “how can I make the process more fun?” Or “how can I be a little bit better next time?” This mindset shift will pay off leaps and bounds. Things snowball, so choose the direction of your thoughts wisely!

Ok, let’s do this!


Ready to stop binge eating once and for all??!

 

xoxo, 

Bridget

 

Perfectionism and Binge Eating

 

When trying to be fit, healthy and vibrant, the logical thing to do seems like striving for perfection. Why not do the best you can to do everything right? Follow all of the rules and make the right choices at every meal. If you can just use willpower to be strong, you can stick to your guidelines and be the person you want to be, and therefore feel your best. Right?

Not really.

It seems counterintuitive but striving for perfection actually hurts you, and leads to bad behavior.

Restriction is a killer.

Let me explain why –

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Striving for perfection leads to binge eating for 3 main reasons

#1 The more you strive for perfection, the more you want to do what you’re not supposed to do

If you restrict yourself from something, psychologically you're going to think about it more and want to do it. This is because you make it "a thing," your decision-making becomes about rules and is less intuitive or about what your body needs in any given moment. Instead of making strict rules to live by, lead with the desire to take good care of yourself – that means eating healthy, nutritious, natural food most of the time but also allowing yourself less healthy and more satisfying foods when that's what you crave or would serve you in that moment.

If you can navigate your diet and eat this way, you won't have to binge later on to balance things out, because you'll be filling your needs and finding balance in your every day life. In a nutshell, striving for perfection leads to binge eating later on or at some point, where making decisions based on how you feel or what you're in the mood for leads to more consistency and less peaks and valleys on your healthy journey.

#2 If you’re striving for perfection, one little mistake will make you feel like a failure (and that’s a slippery slope!)

Maintaining a healthy routine is a lot about your state of mind. When feeling great, you gain momentum and continue to make good choices; but if you get frustrated or down on yourself, you're more likely to stray and make poor decisions.

Striving for perfection leads to binge eating because when you make a mistake you get thrown off course. Instead, be flexible and fluid, know that nothing is perfect -- if you make a decision that's imperfect, brush it off, learn from it and keep going. That's it, it's all good.

#3 If your guidelines are too rigid, you eventually need a chance to release

Perfection takes a lot of effort, sticking to a rigid lifestyle takes a lot of physical and mental energy. Eventually you're going to need a chance to release and relax a little bit. That's often times what's happening when we're binge eating, we release and let go, taking a moment to be carefree and stop thinking so much about everything.

Striving for perfection leads to binge eating because no one is perfect and everyone needs a chance to let loose a little once in a while. Therefore, be less rigid in your day-to-day life, allow some imperfections and be flexible. This way, you won't build up the need for a big release.

Bottom line: if you slip up, just keep going.

These are some simple insights that really changed the game for me, I hope they help you, too. Let's discuss below, I'd love to hear what you think!!


Ready to stop binge eating once and for all??!


xo,

Bridget

 

5 Steps To Overcome Binge Eating

Binge eating disorder is complex, if it was simple to understand and conquer then it wouldn't be such a big issue for so many people.

Binge eating disorder effects A LOT more people than you might think. Since opening up about my eating disorder I have connected with and learned about all kinds of people struggling with similar issues – thin people, chubby people, clean eaters, models, trainers, adults of all ages and even children. It's a funny thing to be addicted to food because you can't quit eating, you can quit eating for the wrong reasons but in general, you must eat food in order to exist. And so we must learn to have a healthy relationship with food, and it's a careful balance. But with some understanding and practice, it can be simpler than it seems!

My 5 top tips for binge eating recovery are these:

  1. Never be bored

  2. Learn how to feel negative emotions without reacting

  3. Eat nutritious food from nature

  4. Stop restricting

  5. Don't strive for perfection

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1. Never get bored

Boredom is a killer. When someone asks you what you do in your free time, the answer can't be "I scroll through Instagram," there needs to be a lot more to your life. When we're bored or don't know how to fill up our free time, we resort to eating as an activity or a way to fill space. That seems so obvious but it's a big unlock to understanding binge eating disorder. It's really important to know what your life is about and what you do outside of school or work. What do you love doing, what do you look forward to, what skill are you refining, what hobbies are you obsessed with, what new education are you gaining, what do you contribute to your community? Once you're able to answer those questions, those activities take up space in your life instead of food. These have to be things you truly enjoy, they can't be things you're supposed to be doing or that check boxes on paper. It's also important to not do shit you hate, so if there are activities or commitments in your life that you loathe, get rid of them asap!

2. Learn how to feel negative emotions without reacting

Points 1 and 2 go hand-in-hand. Negative emotions can be anything, things like sadness, discomfort, anger, insecurity, loneliness, frustration, depression, worry, stress or body dysmorphia. These feelings are part of life and can arise at any time. When we're bored or have free time, these feelings tend to show up especially loud because we don't have any distractions. It's just us with space and time, needing to decide what to do. When negative emotions arise, one or many of them, consciously or unconsciously, binge eaters REACT. We react with food – ordering it, going to get it, cooking it, eating it, cleaning it up or hiding it and sometimes cycles of these activities.

A humongous key to binge eating recovery is to feel these feelings but do nothing! Just notice them and feel them, but don't shove them down or distract yourself from them with food. If you need to react in some way, make it to do something (anything!) that's nourishing and productive but not harmful. I like to make lists of ideas in advance so I can refer to them in times of need. Personally I lean into wellness activities or cleaning.

3. Eat nutritious food from nature

I think binge eating is mostly psychological but I do believe there is an aspect of physical addiction as well. In order to break free, you must flood your body with nutritious food that's high in fiber so you overthrow what you're made of from the inside out. This is any food from nature, veggies are king but also moderate fruit, raw nuts and seeds, whole grains, legumes, beans, high-quality oils and processed foods and lots of filtered water. Remember, you literally are what you eat, it becomes you! Your hair, skin, nails, blood and therefore your energy, mood, everything! Low-quality, processed, non-organic food is addicting, you need to start eating whole foods to restore your health, one bite at a time.

4. Stop restricting

Restriction causes binge eating, straight up. The more strict you are with yourself, the harder it is to stay on track and the more you want to do what you're not supposed to do. It's best to have basic guardrails to live by but to lead with listening to your body and allowing yourself what you need in the moment. For example, if you're craving a cookie at 4:00pm on a weekday, go for it! If you need Thai food for dinner, go for it. The trick is to always make the best decision that you can, so find a cookie with high-quality, whole ingredients and that's not made of chemicals, or eat a big salad first so you make sure get in your nutrients and fiber before your sweet treat. If you order take-out, make sure your order includes lots of veggies and maybe avoids fried food for example. Little things add up. Binge eating recovery and having a healthy relationship with food is a balance, make it less about rules and more about intuition.

5. Don't strive for perfection

Nothing needs to be 100%, and not anything about binge eating recovery is going to be perfect. No one's diet, lifestyle or regimen is perfect, success takes some flexibility. The key is to just keep going. Let your journey toward recovery be sloppy, let it be on and off or forward and back if it needs to be, because it would be surprising if it wasn't that way. The key is to keep it moving in the right direction. Had a slip up or broke one of your rules? No biggy, learn from the mistake and move on. Any other mentality can be detrimental because it turns one little offset into a really long digression. Keep things light and positive and you will see more forward momentum!

THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS, COMMENTS?? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET ME KNOW BELOW!

Ready to stop binge eating once and for all??!

xo