Do you ever worry about your ability to stay binge-free long-term? I see this fear come up in people both when they’re doing well for awhile and when they’ve just started seeing success. Their past failed attempts keep coming to mind and the self-doubt comes along with it.
In this episode, I’m helping you build your belief in your ability to have long-term success. There’s honestly no reason why you can’t, no matter what your past looks like. This belief is important to have so listen in so you can start working on yours.
Hi! How are you? How’s your eating been? Have you been having successes? I hope so! And I hope you continue to have success.
In this episode today I’m going to be talking about continued success.
Whenever I’m nearing the end of a program, there’s sometimes people who are worried about how they’re going to do afterward. They’re doing great now, their eating is how they want it to be and they’re feeling good.
But they worry about whether or not they’ll be able keep it up.
And actually, this doesn’t only happen at the end. I’ve had people worry about this in the beginning and in the middle. It can really happen at any point.
They think about being successful long-term and are scared they won’t be able to do it.
This is a pretty valid fear. In the past, they probably had times when they were successful for awhile and then fell back into bingeing, and maybe a gnarly binge-spree.
This happened to me many times I’m sure, but one period of time stands out to me. It was years ago when I moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles and what’s kinda cool is that I was part of an online support group and I was able to go back and find my journal entries on that site from that time.
I was feeling so good about not binge eating. I didn’t know why I wasn’t bingeing, although at one point I wrote, “I guess I was just ready,” and I wrote about how excited I was about my move and how motivated I felt to not binge and get to my goal weight, but I also knew that wasn’t all it was. I knew my motivation wasn’t the only reason I’d been successful, although it was definitely important. But with that motivation and doing whatever I was doing, I was on a roll and I made my move to LA as a binge-free woman.
I went 8 weeks without bingeing and I didn’t think I was really actively doing anything that stopped me from bingeing. I thought I was just over it for some reason. It was the longest I’d ever gone for and then I binged. Then after that binge, I went 11 weeks. I don’t have any journals on that site after the 11 weeks, which makes me wonder why I gave up on that site, I really don’t know it was so long ago, but I have my memory and I know there were hundreds of binges after that in the years to come.
Streaks of successes happen, and they’re great.
But what’s not great is when you encounter self-doubt in the midst of them.
You start thinking that you won’t be able to keep it up or that a binge is eventually inevitable or that you’ll never able to do it longer than your longest streak, whatever that has been.
Basically, you think there’s only a finite amount of success that you can have.
This lack of belief in yourself is not good.
If you don’t believe you can keep it up, you won’t put in as much effort to do it.
I see this happen often with people who reach their goal weight and then gain a bunch of weight back, if not all of it.
They don’t believe they can maintain it. They fear gaining it back. They don’t have confidence that they can keep the weight off.
So they stop trying to. If they won’t be able to maintain their loss, why put in energy and effort to try?
So they let go of trying, do what’s easy, do the things that are easy pleasure, they just eat whatever they feel like eating and stop having regard for their goal of maintaining their loss.
The same thing happens with binge eating. You’re not bingeing for awhile, you’re excited about it, but you also have doubt about how long you’ll keep this up for.
You don’t have confidence in yourself.
One reason why this happens that I’ve seen in some people is because they have no idea what the real reason is for why they are successful.
They have no idea what’s causing them to not binge.
They think it’s luck or that it’s something outside of them that’s causing it, like things are going really well in their life and that’s why.
If that’s true, when the luck runs out, it’s over. Or when things aren’t going well in life, and that will happen because life isn’t going to be easy and happy all the time, then it’s over.
If you’re attributing your success to things outside of you then it makes sense that you’d fear it would be taken away.
Also, if you’re using willpower, which is finite, then yes, it will be hard to keep it up.
You know if you’re using willpower if you’re wanting to binge but resisting it, or if your urges last a long time.
Willpower gets used when your brain is telling you to binge and you’re fighting against it. It’s when your thoughts and feelings are not aligned with not bingeing. You’re feeling the urge, your brain is telling you that you need to eat food, and you’re telling yourself you’re not going to do it. You’re not going to do what you feel driven to do.
It’s exhausting and you can only do it for so long. It’s not sustainable.
People get this idea in their heads about how long they think they can abstain from bingeing. Maybe it’s a few hours, a few days, weeks, months. They may not even know they have this idea of a limit, but they do.
I hear it in my clients when they say things like, “I’ve only been able to go 3 weeks so whenever 3 weeks comes around, I get scared a binge is coming” or “I can’t make it through a whole day.”
You start putting these limits on yourself. Your belief in yourself ends at a certain point. You think you can only abstain for so long and only allow urges for so long, but what if that’s not true? What if you have the ability to allow urges and not binge indefinitely?
I believe you do, if you have the tools to do it and have made changes at the root of the problem, which is in your thinking.
When you change your mindset, your thoughts, your beliefs to be aligned with not bingeing, then there is no willpower being used. There is no fight against yourself. You’re a person who thinks in a way that non-bingers do, who doesn’t feel urges and desires for eating a lot of food, and therefore it’s easy to not do it.
This is why I recommend coaching with me because this is the work we do. We stop fighting ourselves and we align ourselves with our true wants.
Now, if you’re not using willpower, if you hear me talk about willpower and you’re like, “Nah, it’s actually kind of easy for me sometimes. I just don’t feel urges and I just don’t want to binge,” then what are you doing that’s causing this? What’s causing you to be successful?
It’s not luck. And although maybe life is going well for you, that’s not the only reason why you’re not bingeing. Plenty of people have good lives and still binge. It may make it easier for you to not binge if you life is going well, but you’re still doing something. Something changed in you.
Figure out what it is. Give yourself some credit for making internal changes and find out what they are.
What are you doing now that you weren’t doing before? What were you doing before that you’re not doing now?
Be as clear about this as you can because this is what works for you. This is what needs to be repeated.
When you know what works and you have done it and you’ve seen results from it and it’s something that’s repeatable, then you will feel so much more confident in your ability to not binge.
It’s when you have no idea why it’s happening that you don’t know what to repeat and therefore don’t feel confident that you can keep it up. You don’t even know what to keep up.
I feel confident in my ability to not binge because I have tools that I know work, I know what works for me, I know what doesn’t work for me, I know how to use the tools I have because I’ve practiced using them, and because of all this, I feel confident that I’m going to continue my success.
We all have infinite ability to be successful long-term, and to grow and if we want to, we can continue to learn and grow and never ever stop becoming better and better versions of ourselves.
As long as we don’t give up on ourselves because we have limiting beliefs about our ability to go past some kind of maximum we created in our minds.
Believe that you can have success because you are the one creating it. You are in charge of what you do. Success and failure don’t just happen to us, we make them happen.
If you want success to happen for you, you must believe in it. It’s the only way that you’ll keep working toward it.
So believe you can be successful, go be successful, and have a great week, bye bye.