How to Stop Craving Carbs

Do you find yourself craving and over desiring pizza, pasta and even rice?

Every diet I hear about these day talks about limiting carbs and how this is essential to being healthy. This misinformation makes it hard to feel like a healthy person when I eat my rice and pasta.

I am a very athletic person, and I need carbohydrates to fuel my favorite activities. But because I hear so much anti-carb talk, I want to add my perspective.

The thoughts you have about food determine how much you obsess or stress about food. I support the people around me in however they choose to eat, but I like to be very intentional about how and why I eat as well as the thoughts I have about different foods.

I love carbs. They fuel me, they help my brain function well, they help my fluid balance and they satisfy me. When I don’t eat enough of them, my body wants them. So I’m going to keep eating my banana, rice and pasta.

I encourage you to evaluate if the thoughts you have about carbs are helping or hurting you.

Finding balance between health and not overeating due to binges is completely possible, and it all starts with your thoughts.

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Food Rules

You get to set the rules you have about food in your life. Having a healthy relationship with food means that you are setting the rules for your life and not allowing yourself to be confused by all the conflicting nutrition advice that is out there.

What food rules would the healthiest version of you take on?

Some of mine are:
Eating until my body is satisfied
Not eating because of an emotion, but choosing to feel the emotion instead
Not counting calories
Eat foods that nourish and satisfy me

These kind of rules create the relationship with food that serves me and allows me to be the best version of myself.

Set your own rules. And give up the ones that hold you back, confuse you and leave you hungry.

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Decide Who You Are

You get to believe whatever you want.

If you want to believe that the sky is orange, you get to believe that.

Usually we choose thoughts that are supportive of how we want to see the world and what others tell us to see.

So what if someone has told you that you need to look a certain way? What if someone has told you that you aren’t enough?

You don’t have to believe it. The entire course of your life can change when you stop believing these negative things about yourself.

I choose to believe that I am beautiful, smart and kind. I have a love for other people. I have a balanced and healthy relationship with food. I control food, it does not control me.

These beliefs about myself determine how I show up in my life. Because I believe these things about myself, it has become a reality in my life.

It’s not always smooth and easy. I’ve had to practice believing that I have a healthy relationship with food. And believing that has given me the confidence I need to maintain a healthy relationship with food.

It isn’t magic. We become what we think of ourselves. Feeling good will lead us to do good things and our lives will be filled with goodness, and vice versa.

What are you going to think of yourself?

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Spiral Up

Awhile back, someone introduced me to the concept of spiraling up and it deeply resonated with me.

I’ve noticed that I am either progressing or falling into bad habits. Being aware of which way I am going is important to ensuring I like the direction my life is heading.

The idea of spiraling up is that when we do something that is helpful and healthy for us, it will lead us to do more healthy and helpful things and you will progress as a person.

In an eating disorder, one unhealthy eating behavior can lead to other unhealthy habits. This trajectory can also show in other aspects of your life. This is a downward spiral.

The key to getting out of a downward spiral is to recognize it as soon as possible. And then take action that begins a new trajectory.

Getting a good nights rest can lead to a healthy workout and nutritious breakfast. Those things can lead to a better mood and healthy mental habits.

What can you do today to start an upward spiral? Maybe it starts with a good night rest. Or scheduling a mini session to overcome your unhealthy eating patterns.

Take action right now on doing whatever will help you step into the life you want for yourself.

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2 Types of Hunger

We all experience two types of hunger: emotional hunger and physical hunger.

Physical hunger is what we are honoring when we eat to supply our bodies with more energy.

Emotional hunger is when we eat even though we don’t need food.

Having a healthy relationship with food doesn’t always mean that you only eat when you’re physically hungry, but it does mean you eat with intention.

If I’m not physically hungry, but I want to enjoy a snack, I like to evaluate why I’m wanting to eat it.

If I want to eat because of boredom or to avoid anxiety, I want to let myself feel those emotions instead of hiding from them with food. Food can be used to help us avoid our emotions. Try to notice what you want to avoid by eating instead of avoiding it.

There is a thin line though. Sometimes avoiding certain foods is a way for me to hide from the anxiety of feeling full. Part of having a healthy relationship with food means that I allow myself to eat things that I want to eat.

The trick to knowing what is best is to evaluate whether or not it’s time to eat. Ask yourself these questions:

What am I feeling right now? If it’s physical huger, eat.

Are you trying to avoid an emotion by eating? Then name the emotion you’re feeling and allow yourself to sit in that discomfort. This will help you build confidence that you don’t need to use food to cope with discomfort.

Are you trying to avoid emotional discomfort by not eating this? An example of this is not eating sweets because you don’t want to feel guilty. This can include dieting or restricting food and is another form of avoiding emotions.

Having a healthy relationship with food means also having a healthy relationship with ourselves. As you decide when you choose to eat or not eat, you will be able to get to know yourself on a deeper level.

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Self Care in Action

Recently, half way into a work out, I felt a sharp pain in my left hamstring. I immediately stopped to stretch and take care of my body.

In my eating disorder, not doing an extra rep, working out for an extended period of time or not feeling exhausted afterwards meant that my workout wasn’t good enough.

I’ve made a lot of progress with my thoughts about exercise in the last few years. The thought I changed that has impacted my relationship exercise is, “I love my body and I love to see what it can do”.

For me this thought has changed the focus from changing my body to caring for my body.

My goal this year is to focus on exercises that allow my body to become healthier and stronger. I’ve really been emphasizing core workouts, stretching and yoga because I have a weak core and tight muscles which has caused me a lot of back pain.

In my eating disorder, stopping a workout half way through was something to be ashamed about. Now it is a sign that I’m not pushing myself to the point of injury and I feel peaceful with my decisions.

What is your motivation to work out? Are you taking care of your mind and body or are you trying to burn the most calories? Are you motivated by guilt or love for your body?

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This is Why You Body Shame Yourself

Do you want to be thin, but you think you are fat? That is a thought, not a fact. You get to decide how you think about your body. And how you think about your body will impact how your care for it.

I’ve met underweight women who have a lower body satisfaction than some overweight women. Some women would be thrilled to have their body, but they aren’t because the thoughts they have about their body.

Shame is an uncomfortable emotion for most people. For me, it is a feeling that makes me want to dive into bed and hide from the world. It feel heavy and empty at the same time.

I have spent a lot of time feeling shame about my body. A perfectly healthy body, a body that does so much for me. Yet, I thought things about my body that caused me to feel shame.

Did you know that you don’t need to think or feel anything? I didn’t.

We tend to believe that certain events have to be interpreted a certain way. But they don’t! You can be happy when you get fired or when a friend betrays you.

The reason you feel shame about your body is because of the thoughts that you have about it. And you have the ability to think anything you want.

This doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily choose to feel happy about everything. But it is important to know you have that power, nobody else can control how you feel.

Isn’t that powerful? Nobody has any control over how you feel no matter what. You have all the power.

I decided I wanted to stop thinking negative things about my body, and instead think neutral and positive things.

It started with, “I have a body” and then I was able to appreciate my body, “My body allows me to do amazing things” and eventually “I love my legs, they are strong.”

These thoughts create a different result in my life. They change they way I treat myself and other people. I appreciate my body and I treat it with respect.

You can do this too. Make a point of noticing your thoughts about your body. If they aren’t helpful, you can try brainstorming new ones.

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What Are Your Reasons to Recover?

Recovery requires a lot of discomfort. You need to persevere when it seems impossible. Knowing the reasons you have for sticking to the process is important.

When you are actively thinking about the reasons you have to recover, you will feel capable of overcoming the uncomfortable emotions that you will need to feel.

Before I even learned about the power of our thoughts, I noticed that my success in recovery depended on me regularly recording the reasons I have to recover. I wrote a list of 100 as an assignment and I rewrote it every time I was struggling.

Listing the reasons I wanted to recover helped me maintain my motivation when the urge to binge and purge was intense. It kept my eye on the prize and helped me persevere until I didn’t even need the list to resist an urge anymore.

Put a pad of paper in your pantry, in your bathroom, on top of the scale or in any place you can access it during an urge.

What are your reasons? Make a list on your pad. Rewrite it on this on your paper when you are struggling.

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Exercise and Eating Disorder Recovery

I come from an incredibly active family. My brothers and I were playing sports year round starting at a young age. My parents do triathlons and long distance running.

Being active has always been part of who I am. I have always found running particularly therapeutic. It’s a great time for me to reflect on life and enjoy being outdoors.

I took a break from most exercise in the beginning of my recovery. I did yoga and some dance classes in the treatment center I was at, but I didn’t run or do strenuous activity. I think this was important for me to have a mental break. I learned to not NEED exercise and a gained a greater appreciation for it when I did exercise.

So many diets preach exercising as a way to change your body and burn off the “sinful food” you ate on the latest special occasion. I had mixed my love of being active with a desperate need to burn calories to ease my anxiety about the food I was eating.

But exercising from a place from fear is not only unhealthy for your relationship with your body, but it isn’t productive. It isn’t sustainable or satisfying for most people.

When I started exercising again, I would only do workouts approved by my treatment team. I journaled before and after and recognized the thoughts that came up.

I picked the ones I like and focused on only thinking them. Things like “I feel strong”, “my body can do amazing things”, “the scenery and fresh air is so beautiful”.

Working out with these kind of thoughts is truly healthy for me. My mind, body and spirit all benefit. And I don’t NEED to do it to stay sane.

If you work out right now, try noticing the thoughts you let yourself think about working out and try to recognize the thoughts that serve you and ditch the ones that don’t.

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This is What is Holding You Back

You want to stop bingeing, right? But do you really believe you can?

What would life look like if from this day forward you stopped feeling the insatiable desire to gorge yourself with food?

I got honest with myself about this in recovery. I realized it would be hard. I’d feel really uncomfortable emotions. Fear, anxiety, sadness, shame, anger and disappointment. I’d have to feel it all without escaping with bingeing. Or try to solve it by restricting my food or coming up with a new diet.

Food wasn’t going to solve any of my problems. I had to learn to use the power of my mind to overcome my demons.

Man using scissors to remove the word can’t to read I can do it concept for self belief, positive attitude and motivation

I had to get really uncomfortable and sit through really uncomfortable urges, but eventually I realized I was capable of sitting through them.

Believing that I wasn’t a slave to food freed me. The thought that food controlled me gave food even more power over me. Believing I could feel ANY emotion helped me take back the power.

So start with the thought that you CAN start your journey to recovery. And then practice believing it over and over again. Because you CAN!

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