Binging when you're 'supposed' to be dieting

Bit of a dual message in this post today:

  1. Just be honest.  Always.
  2. The words we use can break our progress


I'm so proud of one of my clients right now.

She started with me in May, paid $630 in cash to see me twice a week for 6 weeks for Personal Training and nutrition help.  Somewhere along the way she just stopped showing up, replying to my emails, texts and phone calls.

She literally disappeared.

Turns out she was caught in the trap that you ladies all to often find yourself in.  The conversation goes something like this: 

"I'm so embarrassed, I'm supposed to be losing weight, I've signed up to do this thing, but all I seem to be doing is putting weight on and overeating.  I'll just make an excuse to get out of my appt so I don't have to show my coach what I've done"

Why am I proud of her?

I finally managed to get her on the phone, and to her surprise I explained how I could help her with those food challenges she was having.  She's made an agreement with me to lay her cards on the table and tell me everything that she's been hiding, so we can help her.

She could have kept screening all calls.  She could have declined my offer.  She could have lied to me and told me everything was fine.

Where are you doing this right now in your life?

  • Where are you hiding from yourself and being dishonest with yourself?
  • Where are you hiding from those who can help you and what are you hiding from them?
  • How is this working for you and the goals you have?

Turns out this young lady had no idea that I personally experienced 28 years with Binge Eating Disorder and used to eat things like an entire cake or a wheel of camembert like a giant cookie.

Turns out this young lady had been fooled into believing that exercise was the solution to her problems, and that if we just have the "right" exercise, then the weight will fall off.

In one short "come back for some help" phone call, I discovered EXACTLY what this girl needs to help her fulfill her dreams of having the body she desires.  How did I discover this?  

She was HONEST with me.

Now I can REALLY help her in a huge way.  And she can help herself.  And she will win her battle with herself.  I actually feel a little sick thinking about what would have happened if I hadn't bothered just to ring her 'one more time'.  Would she have become MORE unhappy with herself?  Would she have yo-yo dieted her way into metabolic damage?  Would she have become an exercise-orexic?  I don't know .... but what I do know, is her HONESTY has quite possibly saved her from all of that.  Whew.


This situation arose from a very common series of words that many of you are telling yourself right now : "I'm such a FAILURE, I'm SUPPOSED to be DIETING but instead I'm just being a PIG"


Unempowering words with absolutely no ability to create forward momentum for you

FAILURE - How can you be a failure when you don't even realise what is driving the behaviour?  That's like me failing the test to become an astronaut.  Duh, no one has taught me to be one.  No one likes to feel like a failure, I get that.  But that's precisely why you find it so hard to get help, because you think that no one wants to be around a failure.  REPLACEMENT WORDS - I'm having a challenging time with balanced nutrition, I need some help and guidance.

SUPPOSED - Girlfriend, the only thing you're supposed to be doing is living the life of your dreams.  Loving, laughing, moving, growing, caring!  Does the life of your dreams really have you smashing yourself at the gym until your eyes bleed?  Does the life of your dreams look like you scoffing down cake every time you're upset?  What are we REALLY supposed to be doing?  REPLACEMENT WORDS - I'm trying my absolute best to be the me I really want to be, but I know I may need some help and guidance.

DIETING - The word diet implies we are following a thing ... or not following a thing.  All or nothing.  So to you, this means when you aren't following the thing, you feel like you've failed.  After all, you had a thing to follow and you didn't follow it (I know you and your black and white thinking).  So this word 'diet' just adds fuel to the 'fail' fire.  REPLACEMENT WORDS - I'm working on a lifestyle change right now, there are some challenges I don't know how to deal with, I'll ask for help.

PIG - Oh, now we're just calling ourselves names.  I have a new client and she has almost an entire dictionary of 'fat girl names' that I need to erase from her vocab.  Do you remember a time when someone called you a name and you felt really bad about yourself?  Well that's what's happening when you call yourself these jokey fat girl names right now.  Are these taunts to yourself making you act in a positive way or are they leading you to behave more in the way you've labelled yourself.  I am a pig, therefore I will act like one.  REPLACEMENT WORDS - I just ate an entire packet of Tim Tams, boy I'm really struggling, I need some help.

So let's look at a replacement sentence that might be more empowering:

"I really want to improve my LIFE and my BODY, I have started doing something about it, but it's proving to be quite challenging.  Who can I talk to that can help me work through this stuff"?

  • We are sticking to the facts - we're doing something and we're finding it hard.  No need for labels, judgement or self bullying.
  • We are being honest about our actions and struggles instead of laughing them off, hiding them or lying to ourselves.
  • We have made a commitment to ourselves that we want to get it solved, this will lead us forwards out of the frustration and one step closer to our ultimate goal

Your take home message for the day:

Be honest, kind and caring to yourself.  Seek the help you need, and don't hide from that help.  Use words that empower you forwards to find that help, instead of words that keep you stuck in the cycle of hate/diet/fail.