Are you secretly (or not so secretly) hoping to lose weight in binge eating recovery? Or think you can recover from binge eating without gaining, and maybe even losing, some weight? Maybe you’re even secretly (or not so secretly) hoping to lose weight after recovering from binge eating.
It’s okay – you’re not alone if you’ve ever had thoughts like these. The desire for weight loss is extremely common for those recovering from binge eating. And it makes sense because your unhealthy relationship with food did not start with your first diet. It started from a deeper dissatisfaction with your body.
‘Can I lose weight in binge eating recovery?’
How long have you told yourself, “when I lose weight, then I’ll *insert fantasy here*?” How has this affected your binge eating? How often have you tried to lose weight only to put it back on? How does this desire to lose weight keep you from experiencing your life?
I ask these questions because you have to start challenging how you think about weight loss before you are even open to hearing that there may be something deeper than the desire to lose weight in binge eating recovery.
Losing weight is a surface-level goal
Yep, hear me out: weight loss is a surface-level goal because your desire to lose weight in binge eating recovery isn’t about the weight, in and of itself. Think about it like this: you wouldn't care about your weight if you lived on a deserted island. You only care about your weight to the degree you believe weight loss will get you things, such as:
- The attention
- The validation
- The approval
- The easy life
So, while you may desire weight loss and binge eating recovery, what you want are those *things* you’ve been taught to believe will come from losing weight. What are those *things* in your life? Why do you really want to lose weight?
It is important to acknowledge this because the reality is…
- You could lose weight and still not get attention
- You could lose weight and still be criticized
- You could lose weight and still be rejected
- You could lose weight and still have a hard life
What is your true desire?
Is your desire for weight loss social, physical, or both? Maybe you want something social: the approval, the relationship, the attention. Then you need to focus on healing that part of you, not on your body. But why can’t you have those things in the body you have now? And what if you started chasing those things in the body you already have?
On the other hand, maybe your desire to lose weight in binge eating recovery is wanting something physical: more energy, increased strength, to feel more alive. Then you need to focus on healing that part of you, not on your body. Because what do those things have to do with the number on the scale?
“But what about my health?”
Let me ask you this: Do you need to lose weight for your health, or do you need to start taking better care of yourself for your health? Engaging in more health-promoting behaviors for your health? Prioritizing your needs for your health? Do you need to set goals to:
- Drink more water?
- Get more sleep?
- Add in more fruits and veggies?
- Heal some underlying trauma?
- Associate with better friends?
- Prioritize your needs?
Recovery is about focusing on who you want to become rather than some arbitrary number on the scale. Although it may seem so on the surface, I guarantee you the goal of binge eating recovery isn’t to lose weight. The goal is to become the person who lives in a way that makes you feel your best physically and mentally.
‘Can I lose weight in binge eating recovery?’ TLDR;
Too long didn’t read: The hard truth is that no one can tell you if binge eating recovery will result in weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance. However, instead of worrying about that, I want you to dig a little deeper and uncover your weight goals and address those babies head-on. I want you to be able to listen and trust your body through this process. If you can do that. If you can heal your mind, then weight-related worries will be a thing of the past because your body (regardless of size) will allow you to live the life you want. And isn’t that true freedom?