How would you feel if I told you that you being obsessed with weight is actually the reason you are bingeing?
I know, it doesn’t make sense right?
Shouldn’t you be bingeing less if you want to lose weight?
Well, it is actually quite the opposite effect. In fact, over obsession with weight is a slippery slope into the binge-restrict cycle.
This may seem confusing now, so first let’s dive into what the binge-restrict cycle is, how being obsessed with weight perpetuates it, and how to stop being obsessed with weight.
What is the binge-restrict cycle?
Binges are actually quite predictable.
Typically, a combination of over-restriction (often due to bad body image and over obsession with weight) and negative emotions (often can be caused by bad image) can lead to bingeing.
Picture this, it’s a Wednesday night and you just finished a huge binge.
You feel guilt and shame, and decide that you are going to diet all day tomorrow.
So you wake up Thursday, have a black coffee for breakfast, a piece of avocado toast with lunch and a chicken breast with broccoli at night.
You have maybe consumed 500 calories the whole day. You feel good about sticking to this strict diet.
But then your roommate brings home a box of donuts. She said that you can have as many as you want. You politely decline, but can’t stop thinking about the donuts all night.
You try to distract yourself with pictures of skinny girls as “motivation” to resist the urge. But, before you know it you’ve downed five donuts, and not only do you feel guilty about eating them all, but you also feel guilty that you cheated on your diet.
Does this cycle sound familiar to you?
Well this is the binge-restrict cycle. You binge, you diet to “make up” for the binge, and then you binge again.
How does being obsessed with weight play into this?
You being obsessed with your weight can perpetuate this cycle, since you always feel like you need to make up for the binge with restriction, so you can maintain or lose weight.
The more obsessed you are with your weight, the more likely you are to continue this cycle, since you fear gaining weight from the binge.
Someone who doesn’t care much about their weight will likely eat normally after a binge, therefore being much less likely to continue the cycle of bingeing and restricting.
How to stop being obsessed with weight
So you may be thinking, ok so I know it’s not good to be obsessed with my weight, but how the heck do I stop?
This is a very good question, and it’s not always easy.
If you are obsessed with weight, it’s important to shift to a weight neutral or body positive stance on your weight.
When I say “weight neutral”, this just means accepting your body as it is right now and losing the desire to change it. You don’t have to love your body, but it’s important to not desire to change it.
On the other hand “body positive” means that you do love your body. Either way, you don’t feel the desire to change your body, whether you love it or just feel neutral about it.
There is no size fits all when it comes to healing your relationship with your body shape. But, there are a few strategies that may help you:
Strategy #1: What does your body do for you?
One more “weight neutral” approach is to simply start appreciating all your body does from you.
Make a list of all the things that your body helps you do. Here are a few ideas to start:
- Dance with my friends
- Hold my baby nephew
- Walk my dog
- Play with my dog
- Play the guitar
- Drive a car
Whenever you start feeling down about your body or your shape, list a few things that your body does for you. Feel deep appreciation that your amazing body allows you to complete these tasks.
Strategy #2: Body positive affirmations
Next, it could be beneficial to keep some body positive affirmations in your head for when you are feeling down about your weight.
Here are a few to help you get started, but feel free to come up with a few on your own. Be sure to say affirmations that make you feel strong and beautiful.
- “I love my body, from my head to my toes”
- “I love the shape of my body, I love how unique I am”
- “There is no body I’d rather be in, I appreciate every inch of me”
Create a few more on your own and write them down in your phone notes or on a piece of paper to have handy whenever you need it.
Strategy #3: Mirror exercises
Another strategy is practicing mirror exercises. This can be very difficult to do, especially if you have a hard time looking at yourself, but it can be very helpful.
Stand in front of the mirror with as little clothes as you are comfortable with, and choose 10 things that you like about your body.
This could be your arms, your smile, your fingernails, etc. Just choose 10 things you like about yourself.
This activity can help you focus on what you like on your body, instead of what you want to change, which helps breed a positive mindset.
How to stop binge eating
If you struggle with regular binge eating, it’s hard to say a perfect step by step way to stop binge eating, but there are a few tips that may help anyone improve their bingeing.
I suggest downloading my free Binge Freedom guide. I go into detail about a few tips and strategies to reduce your binge eating, including improving your body image:
Enter your email to have the guide sent directly to your inbox:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. Learning to love your body and stop obsessing over weight takes time and practice, but it is achievable, no matter your body shape!