Binge Eating Therapy

Friday Q&A – Can I Recover from Binge Eating Without Gaining Weight?

Eating Without Gaining Weight
Midsection of mid adult Asian woman adjusting balance weight scale

Dear Leora,

Is it possible to recover from binge eating without putting on too much weight. If you’ve starved yourself for a while and lost weight but now bingeing and slowly starting to put it back on, how can I stop the binge cycle without putting on all the hard work I’ve lost?

Dieting in Denver

Dear Dieting,

I understand why you are confused. On one hand, the whole world is encouraging all different kinds of diets and telling you that you constantly HAVE TO WORK HARD TO CHANGE WHO YOU ARE SO THAT YOU CAN BE BETTER! Yet, the ED recovery world, which is a small contingent of us, are telling you not to diet.

Your body is certainly a valuable possession but it’s not what makes you valuable. But because it contains the value that is you, it’s great self-care to care for it and love it and keep it safe and healthy within your ability to… This doesn’t mean stressing yourelf out to keep your body “healthy” stress for health cancels it out. It doesn’t mean spending hours each day working our or counting every calorie or spending money on plastic surgery or botox or liposuction desperately trying to change what you have. This is about embracing what you already and have and taking great care of it. It’s like, if somehow you had possession of an original Picasso, would you paint over it to make it look like an Andy Warhol? Or would you make sure to get it insured, keep it out of sunlight, store it in a climate controlled environment, and really truly allow yourself to enjoy it? Taking care of it will keep it beautiful for a very long time, despite how much it ages. In fact, age enhances its beauty. It’s the same thing with your body. Rather than trying to change it into something different, rather than disliking it the way it currently is, let yourself love it, no matter what size and shape it is. Your body deserves love no matter what it looks like. It’s your body, the only one you got. So take care of it. Feed it healthy food, don’t feed it too much and don’t feed it too little. Give it healthy amounts of food that you love. Move it with love and care, stretch it, wash it, floss your teeth, drink your water, be kind to it, rest it, give it adequate amounts of sleep, take it outdoors to get fresh air and sunlight, bring it into nature, be grateful to it for whatever it gives to you, limit alcohol, tobacco, diet sodas, and other chemically laden substances… but don’t freak out if you eat them every once in a while, relax your mind, listen to music, dance, be kind to yourself and to others. Rather than going on a diet and actively trying to lose weight, go toward health. When you do, you will find more peace and happiness than you will when you are actively looking for it from a scale. When you take care of your body and your mind in a deliberate and loving way, you will find that your body weight naturally finds its right place. This isn’t a diet, this is thinking about the rest of your life and your body in a positive way. Strengthening it for the long haul!

So, in a nutshell, my answer is- try not to focus on the weight loss, it’s hard to focus on losing something. Change your focus to self-care and self-love to gain a balanced and healthy mind and body, it’s much easier to gain something, in this case being health and well being.

I hope this was helpful!



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Most recent quote from community member: "Unbelievable progress. I had a slice of cake, wasn't that fussed about it and moved on. Cake is just cake! I never thought I'd get to this place. I keep thinking back to an earlier meditation when all the negative energy left down through my feet. That was really powerful. I'm planning to play it again. I've also drawn up a weekly meal plan of healthy balanced meals. This just helps to give me a bit of guidance and planning and eliminates any need for impulsive decisions when I often feel stressed after work. Amazing, thank you so much. I always hoped for hope, but n ow I feel like I'm living hope! I'm so grateful Leora. Thank you."