Limiting Beliefs That Keep You Running Back to Binge Again
The causes of binge eating disorder are not well understood. Some see it as an addiction. Some think it’s rooted in psychological disorders like depression. Some suggest that binge eating is related to PTSD and a history of trauma. Whatever the individual cause, binge eating is a way of coping with emotions and experiences that hurt.
When we try to overcome our binge eating, we may find ourselves running back to old habits and thoughts—to binge again. Why do we act so self-destructively? Often, it’s our limiting beliefs that keep us from recovery. To treat binge eating successfully, we must both examine the cause and fight the limiting beliefs that get in the way.
What Limiting Beliefs Do to Us
Limiting beliefs hold us back. They affect our self-identity. They color what we believe about ourselves. We learned them long ago, as children, and we may not even recognize them for the lies they are.
Limiting beliefs judge us. They say we are not good enough, not smart enough, not worthy. We don’t deserve to be healthy, or happy, or have a good, productive life. They tell us we can’t. Or we shouldn’t.
Fighting Your Limiting Beliefs
Recognize your limiting beliefs and how you learned them.
First, we must identify our particular limiting beliefs. Pull them out and look at them. Perhaps you are convinced that your negative body image is the truth about you. Your limiting belief is that you don’t deserve to be healthy and attractive. Where did this thinking come from?
When you find yourself thinking, “I can’t wait, I have to eat now,” ask yourself, “Why do I think that? Did I learn it in school? Did my parents tell me I couldn’t do this? Have I tried it before and failed?”
Call out the lie.
Once you’ve isolated your limiting belief, give it a good hard look. If you hold onto it because it worked once, or because you were told to, recognize how false it is. How it has stood in your way. Get mad.
Your belief that you must do everything perfectly may have kept you from even trying to do the things you want to do. Unhealthy thought patterns may have prevented your developing good relationships. Let your anger about these frustrating habits build your determination to change them.
Replace your limiting belief with one that gives you power.
Perhaps your limiting belief is that you have no control over your eating. You have no “willpower.” Believing you have no control is unrealistic. You have some power over your actions. Replace the “no power” belief with a more realistic one: “I can learn some techniques to help me control my eating.”
Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by pie-in-the-sky substitutes for your limiting belief. Consider what your empowering belief will let you do. Will it give you evidence of your readiness for the next step?
Act as if your new belief is true.
Twelve-step groups use the mantra, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” You can begin to make your new, empowering belief work for you by pretending you already have it. When you act as though you believe that you can cope with the situations that trigger your binge eating, you brainwash yourself into believing it.
Gather evidence of success.
Start small. When you succeed in taking a small step, give yourself credit. You did it! Recognize that you have succeeded in changing. Keep building more and more evidence until you see your former, limiting belief for the lie that it was. Recognize that your new, empowering belief is the truth about you.
You Can Conquer Your Limiting Beliefs
Defeat your limiting beliefs by recognizing them and where you learned them. Call them out for the lies they are and replace them with more realistic, empowering beliefs. Act as if you truly believe in your power to make good decisions and act in your best interest. Keep building evidence until you replace your limiting beliefs with the truth about yourself: you are good enough, smart enough, and worthy of a healthy, happy life. Your new beliefs will help keep you from running back to binge again.
To put more tools in your arsenal that will help you conquer your limiting beliefs by attending our live 12-week program, Make Peace with Food, Mind, Body & Emotions. Can’t make a daytime program? We also have an evening Virtual Beyond Emotional Eating program that will help you move past food and body issues.
Click here to learn more about individual therapy for binge eating disorder, or call us today at 832-559-2622 to find out more about how we can help you move past those limiting beliefs and into a life beyond binging.
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