My name is Quincey Whimpey and I dealt with a binge eating disorder for years. Before I found macros, I was quietly suffering with restricting and bingeing and would torment myself over food and my own food choices. I think it's important as humans to share in our experiences. None of us is alone, none of us is perfect, and none of us should hide. In today's post, I wanted to outline my experience and how I believe I was able to overcome binge eating in the hopes that it resonates with whomever is reading this.
First off, I will say it did not happen over night. It took many months of failing and trying again. I started macro counting (aka flexible dieting) about eight years ago. In my adult life up until that point, I had tried every diet under the sun - low carb, high fat, Atkins, Paleo, Keto - you name it, I'd tried it. But all those diets left me feeling... deprived. Feeling deprived led me to binge eat, and I couldn't get out of that cycle. I would be "really good" and eat clean during the week, but on weekends, I would binge eat. For 10+ years I followed this pattern, until one day I researched macro counting and decided to try it.
First piece of advice, fake it 'til you make it.
Even if you’re not totally happy with how your body looks or feels, you have to start acting like you love it. This may mean slowly transitioning from "I hate my body" to "I have a body" to "There are parts of my body that I love" eventually to "I love my body." Slow progress is progress all the same.
Second piece of advice, show yourself love in new ways.
To get started in loving myself, I made a list of things that make me feel good– things that didn’t have anything to do with food. My list contained things like lifting weights, a hot bath, sitting in a sauna, going for a walk outdoors, or even taking a nap! Then I tried to practice one or more of those things on a daily basis.
I’ve found that the more I took care of myself, the more I want to keep it up. It’s momentum building! (Come to find out, taking a walk outside makes me feel better than eating a whole sleeve of cookies! Who knew!)
Third piece of advice, change the rhetoric.
I stopped labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” Food is just food.
This one is tricky, because I truly do believe that some foods are better and more nutritious than others. I absolutely think we should primarily focus on eating real, whole foods as much as possible, and I do think that processed foods should be minimized.
However, for the sake of my mental health, I don’t feel guilty about moments when I wanted to eat french fries, pizza, or a donut! It means I am human. It really is okay to eat these things every now and then, and when I don’t feel guilty about it, I go right back to eating salads, smoothies, and healthy dinners and usually appreciating how good they make me feel even more! It’s a win, win!
Fourth piece of advice, do your research on macro counting.
I fell in love with macro counting. Macro counting took away the feeling of being deprived. Macro counting took away anxiety and guilt around eating the "wrong" food. Macro counting has helped me progress mentally and physically. Now when I'm at my son's birthday, I have that piece of cake (without eating the whole thing).
This is the only way of eating that has helped me live in the moment and be a better wife and mother. Macro counting has taught me so much that I'm OK just being me, and I shouldn't feel guilty because I'm enjoying a piece of pizza with my daughter. I want you to know you can get the body you want while counting macros and feeling sane. Counting macros, however, is only PART of the process of transforming your body. That’s why the programs, coaching and supplements we create at iHeart Macros combine macro counting, workouts, and the supplements you need to stay healthy!
Listen to more about how I got started with macro counting on my interview with the Key Nutrition Podcast.
*If you are struggling with an eating disorder and need help, please visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline. You can call, chat, and text with a specialist right away.