I have a friend who has let me down too many times.
When we last spoke about this ongoing issue she said, “I’m working on it.”
But this is not the first time I’ve heard her say she’s working on herself.
I’m all for people doing self-work. I think it’s some of the most important, if not the most important work you can do.
But the problem I see with her, and many other people, is that they’ll say they’re working on this and that yet there’s rarely a long-lasting change.
Recognizing that there’s something that needs to be changed and wanting to make the change is a great first step.
How do you change?
You can read articles and books, watch videos, and think about what you want to be different, but if there’s no application, there’s no change.
My friend wants to change things about herself, but I don’t think she actually knows how to do it.
That’s why she may see changes for a little bit but then she’s right back where she started.
This is exactly what used to happen with me and my binge eating all the time.
I clearly remember telling a close friend of mine at the end of a calendar year that “next year I’m not going to binge.”
I knew I needed to stop, I so badly wanted to stop, but I didn’t really know how to do it.
I had no plan, I was just going to do it.
Basically I thought that magically I would suddenly be able to stop just because I made this proclamation.
Spoiler alert – it didn’t work.
We come up with all these ideas of how to stop – stop buying binge foods, set calorie/macro goals, spend more time with friends instead of being alone since that’s when most binges happen, etc.
But, my friends, these are not the solutions.
Binge eating is a mental problem. All of these solutions are action/behavioral solutions.
Even if you don’t buy the foods, your brain will still tell you to do it and you’ll eventually give in.
Even if you set calorie/macro goals, there will be days that you’ll go over them and you’ll think you might as well just go all out and binge.
Even if you try to spend more time with friends, your brain will still try to stop you by telling you you’ll eat too much if you go out with them, or it will somehow convince you that staying home alone and eating is a better idea.
It’s your brain that has gotten you every time and it will continue to do so until you put in the work to change it.
You must retrain your brain to think differently about binge eating, about emotional eating, and about food in general.
My friend needs to work on changing how she thinks, but she doesn’t know how and doesn’t want my help.
I needed to change my brain to stop binge eating, which is exactly what I did.
To make a behavioral change, you must change what’s going on in your head.
Unfortunately, changing how you think is not something most of us are taught how to do. I didn’t learn until I was in my 30s and I know plenty of other people who’ve learned even later.
The good news is, it’s never too late to learn and change.
When you’re working on stopping your binge eating, what is the work you’re doing?
Is it behavioral change or mental change?
Are they things you’ve tried before? And if so, what will be different this time?
Be clear and precise about what exactly you’re doing and what steps you’re taking.
Don’t just think about changing, make the change. Do the work that will get you to where you want to be.