-Mayah Taylor, MA
Many individuals, including myself, have experienced negative self talk. That voice inside your head that criticizes you, doubts you, and tells you that you are not good enough. It says negative hurtful things to you-things that you would never say to anyone else. I can’t believe I ate that whole pie; I can’t do anything right; I will be stuck like this forever.
Like it or not, everything you say to yourself matters. These limiting beliefs can harm you and rob you of leading the life you truly want. It robs you of peace of mind and emotional well-being, not to mention stifling your goals of a better, more body positive you!
Where Do Shame and Guilt Come From?
There are many emotions associated when we discuss binge eating. Common emotions associated with binge eating are shame and guilt. These emotions if left unchecked can be detrimental recovery from binge eating.
The shame that is felt as part of binge eating is how we tend to internalize the humiliation and embarrassment we feel. It’s the feeling of who we are or who we have become as a result of binge eating is “bad.” The guilt you feel can come from the thought of “not feeling good enough” or “I did something wrong”. Or maybe there is no real reason you can explain for why you feel guilty, you just can’t help but feel that way. These feeling can often be a distorted perception of reality.
How Do We Dismiss the Hurtful Self-Talk?
Start by distracting yourself. Find healthy things that make you happy so that you don’t give in to the negative self-talk. Allowing the negative self-talk to fill your head can put you on the path of giving up on yourself, your recovery, and push you towards using food for comfort. To break this automatic tendency, you first have to make a deliberate effort to say something different. And then actively search for evidence to back it up. For example: I am never going to stop binging. This would be replaced with, I am a work in progress. I will get there one step at a time. And continue to come up with as many examples as you can to support this new statement.
Another way to dismiss the negative self-talk is to remind yourself that you are not alone. There are others just like you that are struggling with the binge. Encourage yourself to find those people and reach out. Start by looking for local binge eating support groups near you. There are also binge eating support groups online if you feel uncomfortable leaving home. Above all, challenge your negative self-talk. The negative things you tell yourself will eventually be your “real.” Instead, be kind to yourself. Show yourself love and compassion. Accept yourself!! You are not perfect. This journey is not perfect, there will be setbacks. The power you give yourself by allowing self-compassion and self-love is hope. Hope for recovery. Hope for success. Hope for a better and healthier you!!
Check out this exercise to help get you on the path to a more positive view of yourself, here.
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