Today I have a vulnerable episode for you. I’ve talked in the past about my struggle with binge-eating, but today I’m really going deep into what that looked like for me and the steps I’ve taken to overcome this eating disorder. If you struggle with an eating disorder, I want you to know that I get it, I understand. I hope this episode connects us. Let’s jump in!
In this episode Allie discusses:
What an eating disorder is
What her eating disorder looked like
Practical steps to overcome eating disorders
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
The Purpose Show Facebook Community
Elizabeth Dahl | A Women of Wellness
National Eating Disorders Association If you need immediate, free, or low-cost help, NEDA offers a helpline, resources, and support groups.
DECLUTTER LIKE A MOTHER
Discover Allie Casazza’s powerful and proven method for clearing the clutter in your mind by first clearing the clutter in your home, the place where transformation begins.
Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hi friends! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show podcast. If you’re new here, this is an interesting place to jump in, but I’m so glad you’re here. If someone shared this episode with you or you just happened to find the show today and click play, welcome to a very vulnerable episode.
I hope that this connects us all. Whether or not you share my struggle and resonate with every single part of this, a little bit of it, or even none of it, it’s okay.
I’m currently recording this on the floor in my bedroom closet with a sleeping child directly across from me in my bed because he and my husband Brian were at the ER last night until 2:00 AM.
Everything is fine. We thought there was a serious problem but it ended up just being a little bit of a blocked poop pipe, so we’re all good now. This is real working mom life for you today. So special.
If you have been hanging around with me on the internet for a bit, especially on Instagram, you know that this episode is kind of a long time coming. I’ve shared about emotional binge eating for years. I’ve been super honest about a lot of it and just let it air out.
I really have no problem talking about this publicly. I feel like there’s so much shame wrapped up in this and there really shouldn’t be, so I’m happy to speak openly about this.
Like I said I’ve shared for years about this and just in the last year I’ve really, really healed. At this point, I can honestly say I really don’t binge eat any more. I definitely will have normal things happen like craving salty food. Salty food is always my go-to over sweets.
Cravings are just signals from your body. You can research that and learn to listen to what your body really needs when it’s craving certain things. It’s super interesting and helpful. Or you can also not do that and just eat the thing that you’re craving and that’s fine too.
Let me paint this picture for you guys. In the past, I would go on a binge. It could be all day for one day, it could be only at night, and then the next night and the next night for days. I had times where I would binge eat in the evenings because that was usually the most common time of day for me where I would binge at night every night for months.
And this is binge eating, which is different from bingeing and purging. Bingeing and purging is eating a bunch of food and then intentionally throwing it up or intentionally taking a laxative and diarrhea it all out. There are different ways of bingeing and purging.
My eating disorder was just binge eating. What I didn’t realize fully at the time, and even when I did realize fully it still kept going, was that when I was feeling uncomfortable emotions, I would binge eat. That’s what I mean when I say emotional binge eating.
There are lots of different eating disorders. A lot of people think that it is just anorexia or bulimia, which, of course, those are very real and very serious and if you struggle with those, please go get professional help. Absolutely. I’ll share in a bit about this, but I also got professional help.
An eating disorder is any disordered eating where you’re not able to, or not willing to just say, “Oh, I’m hungry; I’m going to eat food,” and be fine. It’s where there’s a ton of manipulation. Or you want something but it’s “going to make you fat,” so you eat a little bit of it in your mouth and then spit it out and don’t swallow it. All of these things are disordered eating.
I don’t think that there’s enough information out there about what this actually looks like. There are millions and millions of women, probably billions that are walking around, not realizing that they absolutely are struggling with a form of an eating disorder. They absolutely have disordered eating.
For me, that was what my life used to look like. It was a lot of bingeing, really using the evening time after the kids would go to bed to deal with the heaviness of the day. Specifically before I started my business and during the startup of my business. It got a lot worse with our financial struggles.
If you’ve listened to me talk before, you’ve probably heard me mention this. Or if you’ve listened to episode six of the podcast you know our life story, our business story. There was so much difficulty. It was just really unbearable.
And I turned to food. Food was always there for me. The dollar menu was always doable for us. The dollar menu at Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Jack In The Box. I just ate. And I really can honestly say I don’t do that anymore.
And let me also say that it is normal to want to use food to satiate because food is satiating. When we’re hungry we eat food and that satiates our hunger. It’s very easy, normal, and okay to notice that you have a pattern of using food to satiate things that are beyond hunger.
Using food to satiate feeling uncomfortable emotions, having a really hard day, or not even really knowing what the uncomfortable emotion is, but just feeling super done from the day. Or dreading the day that’s coming and bingeing in the morning.
There is no way of doing this that’s like, “Oh, you’re doing it that way? That’s super disturbing. You have real problems. That’s gross. I don’t even know what to say to you.”
There’s all different ways. There’s all different types of disordered eating. There’s all different times of day, times of the month, times in your life. There’s no extra wrong, “Oh my God, you’re doing it that way?”
I’m going to be sharing based on my own experience, what my habits were, and what it led to. But, of course, please take this and apply it to whatever version your struggle is.
That’s a very brief description of what it looked like. Now, it’s just not there. I will never, ever, ever be able to come onto my platform in any of its forms—social media, the podcast, the blog—nowhere can I go and say something like this, like ‘I no longer do this’ if it weren’t true.
Maybe it’s being an 8 on the Enneagram, I don’t know. I am overly blunt and overly honest. It sucks sometimes, especially in female friendships where I feel like my whole life I’ve just been too much for people.
But in this, in leadership, it is such a gift because it makes me authentic. I can honestly sit here on my closet floor and say to you that I no longer go on these binges. I just don’t struggle with it anymore. I don’t do it anymore. There are very tiny pieces of it left which I can certainly talk about, but I know what to do about it. I feel super empowered.
I have the knowledge, the experience, and the training from working with a professional (which is something I think you all should do if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking you have disordered eating) to be able to adapt, notice I’m aware of it and I know what to do.
I want to share some really, really key pieces of how I got here from where I was, from those eating habits, from doing that for years. I also want to be clear because I feel like the way I described my story is not fully clear.
Even after all of our crazy, crazy, heavy financial difficulties, even after all of that, after the business was doing really well and flourishing, we were good and we moved back home to California and all that stuff, I still was bingeing. I was just bingeing at a different level.
I would still go and hit the dollar menu at Jack In The Box late at night after a full day of eating healthy. Money doesn’t fix the root problem. Money just amplifies what you already are—good or bad.
I feel like my binge eating actually got amplified because I could basically buy whatever food I wanted. I wasn’t limited to two tacos from Jack In The Box, although that still was my drug of choice. I started actually bingeing more often and started having binge days and binge weeks.
I would eliminate, cut down, and basically diet to try to control my weight, and then go back to bingeing because I wasn’t dealing with the root. Now, even saying that is so weird and hard to even imagine myself going through that.
I put myself through that and it was so hard. I feel so sorry to my own self that I did that. There’s been a lot of healing for that past version of myself. But now, being here, I want to share some key things that helped me heal.
In the past beating binge eating has been about looking better. Wanting to overcome bingeing and stop those episodes was about looking better and that’s it. I thought, “I’m bingeing, but I don’t binge and purge, so it’s affecting the way that I look. I am gaining weight and I want to change the way I look, so I better stop this bingeing.”
But it was never about getting down to the root, so it never worked. The change wouldn’t last long enough for me to feel better, or even really look physically healthier. I basically fell into a cycle of balancing my weight out. It was already an eating disorder, but this put it over the top.
I became an expert at knowing how much I could binge eat, how often I could binge eat, what to do in the coming days, meals, and weeks to balance it out. I knew exactly what to do. I knew how much I could eat.
I knew what to do when I went off the rails and binged like crazy, ate enough meals for three grown men, which I would often do. Soda, milkshakes, and eating things that I was straight up allergic to and didn’t care, like dairy.
I thought, “I know what to do to get my skin to clear up and make sure I don’t gain a ton of weight right now, and even out.”
I basically kept myself evened out. I was technically overweight still, but it was in a safe range. I knew where I was at with the size of my clothes and I knew how to keep myself there. And that, my friends, is an eating disorder.
Knowing how to do things that are unhealthy for you in order to stay looking a certain way, or keeping certain hurtful, harmful habits while really just caring about the exterior, what people will think, what you look like on the outside, and not really caring about how you are self-harming. You are harming yourself.
I’m talking about money here because it’s so directly related to my life story. And again, if you haven’t listened to episode six, you might be like, why is she talking about this? But like I said, money just amplifies what you already are.
My binge eating became amplified because I had the funds to buy food. It was literally a struggle. We could not get anything more than the dollar menu or beans and rice or whatever. But I wanted to binge, so I would always choose the dollar menu and not get myself groceries. It was bad.
I was literally planning around this like crazy. For $3 I could eat a lot of food, a lot of bad crappy food. For $7 Brian and I could go pretty hard with dollar menu junk food, chips, Doritos, whatever.
So, after all of that my habits with eating and bingeing just got much worse. And then my weight started to go up and not stay the same. Just for the sake of numbers, I would say I was about 25/30 pounds overweight, and I just kind of stayed there. The average person stays around that range and just kind of lives like that.
I was comfortable. I felt like myself. I didn’t feel super heavy. I felt good enough. And I stayed there while bingeing and maintained all that for years.
But then we moved back home and money amplified my habit. I started to binge more often. I started to eat more food. I started to buy more food. I started to buy less crappy Jack In The Box food and more up-leveled junk food, if you understand what I mean. I bought more and better.
I became obsessed with food. I would binge all the time, sometimes multiple times a day. And my weight started to increase. I ended up gaining about 30 more pounds from that point, so I was about 60 pounds overweight.
I was 60 pounds, maybe a little bit more, overweight from what is a healthy weight for me. I stayed there for a really long time. Then it became my full-time job to stay there with the bingeing and my habits. I’d binge and know what to do to stay there because I didn’t want to get over that weight.
But I was miserable. I felt sick. My hormone disorder, my PCOS, was out of control. It was absolutely ruining my life. My skin had never been worse. My breakouts were awful. I felt absolutely miserable.
I was so fatigued. I was so sick. Every day it was a fight just to have energy. I was not doing well at all. Then it also became a full-time job to hide my body in photos with different camera angles. It was just not good.
I stayed there for several years. After staying in that place for so long, that is when I decided to get help. I’ve worked with several women who I still have a connection with and am working with to this day.
The first was Elizabeth Dahl, A Woman Of Wellness. She’s been on the podcast before. She’s amazing.
The second is Dr. Heather Rhodes, who really came in on the hormone side of things. She helped me understand my hormones and work with that part of myself.
I am still connected with these women. I am currently working with Dr. Rhodes. I think I’ll always work with her. She’s like my holistic back pocket doctor that I can get time with to make sure I’m doing the right thing, supporting my hormones, and then move on with my life.
She’s helped me work with my cycle, plan my work around my cycle, understand my hormones and food cycle, and all of those things.
The third person that I am still doing one-on-one work with and probably will be for a really long time is Sarah Speers. I’ve talked about her a lot as well.
I can link to all these women if you’d like to work with them.
I just began to do the real deep, ugly, difficult inner work on my relationship with food, why I was binge eating, where it was coming from and all of that. The journey to overcome binge eating became about taking my power back, taking my control back over my life and my body, and about loving myself.
I saw myself going through these stages, going through this process of becoming an emotional binge eater, of it getting a little bit better at times, and then a little bit worse, and then way worse and being super amplified once we moved back home and had the business.
Using food to deal with stress. Using food to deal with disappointment. Using food to deal with joy and happiness. Using food as just a habit at the end of a day.
My days were no longer like roller coasters like they were when our life was so, so hard and so financially impossible. I got into the habit of life was good. My business was going well. Everything was going great.
My kids are healthy and happy. We lived in this amazing house. We moved back home to California. All of this stuff is going great. I’m just running my business and doing life.
But at the end of the day, I always binged just because it’s a habit. It’s a comfort. It’s something that I have always just done. And those kinds of habits are the hardest to break, but they’re not impossible.
I began to learn through work with Sarah, through work with these women, through doing the inner work on my own as well and learning to love and accept myself as I was without a single thing changed. At that exact weight, in the lowest moments, the moments where you come up out of your body and you see yourself unhealthy, overweight, binge eating.
Actually seeing yourself binge eating or catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, which I have done is so humbling and brings up so much shame and self-hatred. And I really, really learned how to see that version of myself completely in the light of love and acceptance.
That takes a lot of work. And I did that work and it was so beyond worth it. I really learned to overcome binge eating as an act of love to myself and caring for myself. That’s huge! Instead of ‘let me change my weight’ (I’m not going to lie to you. Of course I wanted to change my weight. I did change my weight and I’m still working on that) it became about something different.
It became about learning if my emotions are the trigger, or times of the day are my trigger, these emotions are not going to really change necessarily. I need to learn how to sit with my feelings and handle my emotions for the rest of my life instead of avoiding them, burying them, and using food to cover them. Because that’s not a sustainable way of living if I want to live a long, healthy life and I want to feel good.
My body is a vehicle for so much. It’s how I express myself. It’s the vehicle for raising kids. It’s the vehicle for me doing this whole thing with my business and my mission here in the world. It’s everything. And it’s going to shut down if I don’t change.
If the emotions are a trigger for me acting on habits that are going to make it shut down eventually, then I need to learn how to deal with emotions.
Do you see how it really became about doing the work and getting to the root? That’s what I mean by that.
It also became about actually becoming a better, lighter, happier version of myself internally, because what I learned is that what’s going on internally will always, always echo on the external.
The body will always show what is going on inside, not just with what you’re eating, but with what you’re believing. With the stories you’re telling yourself. With what you believe to be true about yourself.
The body will eventually show everything. Symptoms in your body are signals of what needs attention internally. I learned that and I really, really saw it to be true.
Sarah Speers helped me walk through my life and notice all the different points in my growing up and becoming a woman—my cycle, being a teenager, things that happened when I was a kid, things that happened when I was a young adult, things that happened a year ago.
She helped me tie it all together to things that were going on that formed internal limiting beliefs of shame, fear, and abandonment issues, and my body reacted to that. It was really, really, really life-changing for me to see that pattern and to really understand it.
That really helped that internal shift happen for me to help me overcome this binge eating, overcome this eating disorder. First of all, doing the work to recognize that I have an eating disorder took a really long time. Then to overcome it, to love myself instead of force myself into change because of the external version of me, that was a huge, huge, huge, huge change.
Let’s get down to what the strategy and the details of this are. I really want to dive into as much as we can here.
When you are bingeing, food is a distraction; It is not a solution. It feels like a solution because it releases endorphins. Eating and eating really good food releases endorphins.
It releases all those good, happy hormones, but it’s so temporary. Afterwards, you feel like piss, absolute piss. It’s the worst.
I learned that food is a distraction from something else, something that I’m avoiding. Every single time. Even if the thing that I’m avoiding is just stillness or processing the day or something that I’m not looking forward to the next day, like if I have to have a difficult conversation with a team member or something.
I would often use food the night before, or the morning of to distract. It was never a solution. Not once.
And that’s what this is all about. Diving into why I felt the need to distract myself from my feelings all the time. It’s a habit of avoidance.
And the craziest thing is I would always notice when other people had the habit of avoidance. I would notice when my husband, Brian, would avoid certain things in his life. I would call it out, point it out, “You can’t be doing that. That’s not healthy. Let’s talk about this. Let’s fix that.”
I would notice other people in my life were avoiding this, avoiding that, avoiding starting their business, avoiding whatever decision they were struggling with, whatever it was. I would notice everywhere other people having the habit of avoidance, because everything is projection and what is going on inside of us is what we’re going to notice in other people.
The flaws we notice in other people are actually the things that we have ourselves. Noticing what I didn’t like about my spouse, noticing what I had a hard time with about other people, or didn’t like about other people, was a huge key indicator in what I actually was doing myself and didn’t like about myself. Sometimes it’s not such a direct mirror, but it’s always there in one way, shape, or form.
My binge eating was a habit of avoidance. Because I knew deep down subconsciously that that’s what I was doing and I hated it about myself, I was noticing that same habit about literally everybody else in different situations in their own lives. It’s crazy.
It’s crazy how telling it is to just notice what we don’t like about someone else and then it’s the key to figuring out what it is that we actually want to change about ourselves and could work on. The habit of avoidance wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t how I wanted to live.
And so, when I really realized that, first of all, I had some apologies to dish out and I had to do that, especially in my marriage, but that was huge for me as well. I noticed that it was a habit of avoidance. That food was not a solution, it was a distraction.
A distraction from what? A distraction from whatever it was that day. Usually it was heavy emotions. Somebody giving me an awful comment on the internet and wanting to avoid processing that. Having a difficult conversation with a family member or someone difficult in my life that is constantly trying to overstep boundaries or whatever. Using food to distract from those emotions.
Being really tired and having to keep going because my life is very full with four kids (going on five at the time that I’m recording this with the adoption), the business, and the demand of being in the public eye. Projects. All of it. It’s just a lot. It’s allowed to be a lot. It’s okay to be a lot.
But rather than taking care of myself, loving myself, supporting myself, and all of that, I would just avoid, because it’s easier. That was a huge realization. I really want you to sit with that. Pause this episode if you need to and come back to it later if that is something that is for you. Because that alone is a huge takeaway from this,
Okay, friends. My first book, Declutter Like A Mother is officially available for pre-order. It releases on September 7th! I am so excited to call you in and ask you to be a part of this journey with me, to really join in, celebrate, and let’s have a friggin’ party!
Let’s declutter your spaces and get your environment to align with the version of yourself you really want to call out, because as Marshall Goldsmith says in his book, Triggers, “if you do not control and create your environment, it creates and controls you.” So, let’s get that aligned. Let’s get this area of your life fully supporting you. You’re paying for the space you live in, right? Let’s get it aligned and supporting you.
Declutter Like A Mother is written for the mom who really has unconsciously subscribed to the way that our culture describes motherhood to us. She thinks that this is just the way it is. It’s always going to be kind of a mess. It’s just always going to be a struggle and there’s just really no other way to do things. You can try to get organized and you can try to create more balance, but really it’s always going to be really hard. It’s always going to mean you are just serving everyone else and you’re kind of running breathlessly through life.
I can’t wait to get this book to every single mom that resonates with that, into their hands and show them, no, there is another way! There is another reality you can subscribe to that’s better and lighter. It’s not perfect, but it is so much better for you as a human.
Then you can show up as your best self as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a sister, as all the different roles that you’re in.
This book is huge! It’s way beyond clutter. This is a book about life. This is a book about how to do motherhood a different way. And yes, we are going to start at Step One, which is shifting your environment.
So please, go pre-order it. When you do pre-order a copy, you get some really amazing gifts for free from me.
The first and possibly best (I’m very excited about this!) is the Mom Life Reset. This is a brand new crash course, designed by me, to help you uncomplicate things. This is literally unheard before, brand new content that I recorded just a couple of weeks ago that is only for those who pre-order the Declutter Like A Mother book.
You also get five lock screens, professionally designed by my designer, for your phone with affirmations on them, because your phone is a part of your environment and I really want to help you align that in a way that’s going to encourage you, lift you up, and support you every time you tap your screen.
The other thing you get is a sneak peek at a chapter from the book that I handpicked for you.
So, go to DeclutterLikeAMother.com. Pre-order your book. Save that confirmation page. Share your confirmation number with me, so I know you pre-ordered and you can unlock the crash course, the lock screens, the free chapter.
I can’t wait to see what you think! I can’t wait for you to get this book in your hands. I can’t wait for this to be out in the world!
Thank you so much for your pre-order. It changes my world when you pre-order my book. Pre-orders are everything for authors, especially a first-time author like myself. So thank you!
I appreciate you. I can’t wait for you to pre-order it. I can’t wait for you to get the book. And I can’t wait for you to get your hands on these amazing gifts that I’ve curated just for you as a thank you for pre-ordering.
I love you so much. I can’t wait to keep supporting you. Thank you for being here!
Because we rationalize when we know we’re doing something unhealthy, but we don’t want to let it go and we’re clinging to it for dear life, another thing that really really came up for me in this journey of overcoming binge-eating was that I rationalized by saying, “Well, I just love food and this is the way that I take care of myself. I deserve this.”
I actually had to really take a look at that and really, really learned that taking care of myself looks like honoring my emotions and letting them run their course without self-judgement and self-shaming. I had to let myself feel. Suppressing those emotions, avoiding dealing with my life through food is not taking care of myself. It’s abusing myself. And that realization was huge for me as well.
Also, taking the next right step to nourish my body is what taking care of myself looks like. When you crave something, when you want food, your body is trying to tell you that you need something. If you’re craving chocolate your body’s trying to tell you that you need magnesium. When you crave salt, your body’s trying to tell you that you need something.
It can be physical, but it can also not be physical. When you’re craving junk food and you want to binge so bad, your body is trying to tell you that you need something. It’s probably emotional. It’s probably spiritual. It’s probably not food. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not.
Getting really good at learning how to decipher which is which and what is what is the work. It comes from practice. It comes from keeping a journal or a note in your phone, jotting down how you feel, what time of day it is, where you’re at in your cycle, what you’ve eaten that day, how hydrated you are, and how just f-ing pissed you are that you want to go and binge eat, but you’re trying to break this cycle and it’s so annoying.
What’s one more day? Should I just do it? Journaling through and keeping track of all of those emotions, this is the work.
Having said those things, I want to move into how to actually battle the urge to binge. What do I do? I feel like we’ve covered some really big keys of how binge eating works, what it does, what it looks like, the honest hard to admit truth.
The avoidance piece, the distraction not a solution piece. The “Oh, I’m taking care of myself. I deserve this,” is bullshit piece. I wanted to get all that out.
But what happens when I’m sitting down on the couch and I’m watching TV, which is something that I do in the evening almost every day to unwind with my husband, and I get that urge to binge? What do I do?
What did I do when it was happening literally all the time? What did I do when it started to fade away, but would come up every once in a while? And when it did come up, it came up hard.
What did I do when that happened to get to this place where today I can say I pretty much never struggle with binging and it doesn’t really come up very often? And when it does, I know what to do and I don’t binge? Let’s get into that part of it.
The first thing I want to say to you is that you have to decide. You have to do the inner work. Get help. I can’t stress that enough. Then make the actual decision to go the route of long-term gratification, not instant gratification.
And friend, that path sucks. I am going to always be straight with you. It sucks.
We live in an instant gratification society and we have for a really long time. If you’re listening to this, you were probably raised in an instant gratification society. You don’t know anything else.
We want everything now. And binge eating is an instant gratification issue. We want to feel better now.
I don’t want to feel my feelings. I don’t want to do the inner work. I’ve been working all day. I’ve been momming all day. I’ve been answering questions and serving everyone but myself all day. The last frigging thing I want to do is do more inner work. I just want to feel better.
I will feel better if I eat that cookie. I will feel better if I have three glasses of wine. I will feel better if I ordered Jack In The Box with a giant soda. I will feel better now. And that’s what I need. In order for me to get through the day and get to the next day, I need to feel better now.
That is the old story. If any of that resonates with you, please know you are not alone, but you need to support yourself to get out. After you get help, you do the inner work and you’re getting that core stuff out, make the decision to go the route of long-term gratification.
I had to make the decision that I’m in this for the long game. I’m in this for the long haul. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. All that cliche BS, but that’s actually true now.
I’m not here for an instant gratification life. I’m not here to play small. I’m not here to self abuse and call it normalizing motherhood with a wine, junk food, binge eating mom life. No, I’m not doing it.
I had to make the decision that I’m not doing that and that I am here for the long term gratification of knowing that I know myself, of knowing that I was deeply connected with God, with my soul, with who I am as a human person, and that I took care of myself. I honored myself. I loved myself. I understood myself.
Because that knowledge, that lived experience is going to make me a better person. It’s going to make me a better partner. It’s going to make me a better mom and a way better leader.
And that’s what I’m here to do. I am not here for the instant gratification of suppression. It’s not what I’m here for. That is not my purpose. No way.
I had to make that decision to break up with instant gratification and it was painful. Let me tell you, like any addiction there are withdrawals. I had instant gratification withdrawals. I got pissed off.
Super honest, I had just made this decision and I got hit with the urge to binge one night and I got so mad at Brian over nothing. I don’t even remember what it was because it was literally nothing. He did nothing wrong.
I got so mad and I started losing it. It was like PMS on some kind of crazy drug. I was livid, “How could you do this?”
It was putting something down in the wrong place. I don’t know. Something stupid and literally nothing. I’m watching myself freak out, thinking, “Oh my God! Stop!”
But I couldn’t stop. I was just so angry and losing it. Again, projection. I was so in withdrawal from not allowing myself to binge, from deciding that I’m not going to go to the instant gratification, I’m not going to binge again.
This drug, this vice had been taken away from me by myself. And I had hired a coach, so I had accountability from Sarah.
I was so angry that I was just losing it. And I projected all of that onto him. And of course I had to super apologize later. I’m even embarrassed that it happened.
Things like that will happen. It’s a withdrawal. It really is. We get so used to instant gratification and we give ourselves that when we binge. When you stop it’s hard.
We don’t want to feel our feelings. And when we take away the instant gratification that covers them up, they will often volcano out at the nearest person. So be warned.
If you are a suppressor, it might come out later on yourself or it might be an inner shame spiral on yourself, so be super aware. We’ve been burying things for so long, once we stop shoving them down with instant gratification tactics, and we actually give them space, they will erupt because they’ve been waiting.
One thing that I did after that night to forgive myself and work through it was EFT or tapping to move the emotion through my body. You can Google that if you would like. I know Sarah Speers also has some training on that on her IGTV that I can link to for you guys.
I also came up with a mantra that I kept tight on myself when I was going through all this. And it was, “Considering what I’ve been through, this makes sense.” Just that sentence gave me so much grace.
Everyone says to give yourself grace, but how do you give yourself grace when you have just freaked out on someone close to you so bad? It’s so embarrassing.
The way that I found is, like I said, use EFT to move the emotion through you. Let it pass. EFT literally moves the emotions through the body and helps it pass because the emotion just needs to be dealt with.
Then giving myself grace and saying that sentence, “Considering what I’ve been through, this makes sense.” And not like, “Oh, it makes sense. I’m okay.” I still apologized. I deeply apologized.
I had to do this to my kids. I had to do this to myself. I had to do this for Brian multiple times. I even had to apologize to a good, a good friend. I didn’t lose it on her like that, but I just wasn’t myself.
I was rude. I was snappy. I was watching her eat all this food that was triggering food for me, that I was taking a break from for a little bit just to honor my body, and I lashed out over lunch. I was snarky, just not myself.
You’re detoxing from addiction behavior. It’s going to be rough. It’s not nothing. And it shouldn’t be a secret shame thing.
Tell people about it. Give yourself that grace. Have a mantra that you can go back to, “Okay, I apologized. I reconciled. I did everything I needed to do to fix this. And now the grace piece, ‘Considering what I’ve been through, this makes sense.’ I handled it well. I’m mature. I handled this well, but it makes sense. I see myself and it’s okay.” That was huge for me.
Once you work through that huge piece, we move into actually getting prepared and actually doing the thing. For me, getting prepared when I was not feeling binge-y was really important. Getting loads of nourishing snacks and foods in my house.
I had to resist the temptation to have some of my choice binge foods in the house. I was still keeping things around ‘just in case.’ I was telling myself, “I’ll have self-control now because I have a coach and I’m making this decision to not have instant gratification.”
No. If you’re really making the decision, you don’t have things that are harmful for you, that are a struggle for you in the house. I got those things out of the house.
I also moved in the time that I was doing this healing and I made sure that we moved to a house that wasn’t right down the street from Jack In The Box or whatever.
Sarah actually had an exercise that she worked through with me to where it disassociated the positive emotions from Jack In The Box because I struggled with that place specifically. It removed the craving so I no longer had that issue. That was huge as well.
I sought out ways to set myself up for success. I knew that if I was driving past my favorite junk food every day just to leave my house (which is how I was at my last house) it just wouldn’t help me.
I wouldn’t do that now because I think, “That’s silly. I’m good.” But at the time that I was moving, this was very raw and very fresh. And if you’ve ever overcome any other addiction or addictive behavior, you feel like you don’t trust yourself fully.
That was a whole other issue that I also had to work through with my coach, getting past that because I didn’t trust myself.
But anyway, I supported myself by loading the house with nourishing snacks and foods that were really yummy and good for me. Little things like slicing the fruit after I buy it from the grocery store, because that’s going to remove a hurdle at the end of the day. I’m not going to slice a watermelon at 8:00 PM. I’m done.
I’m sitting my ass on the couch and watching Modern Family reruns. I am not fricking food prepping. Having sliced melon, having sliced apple with a little bit of lemon juice squeezed on it so it doesn’t get brown with cinnamon on top, was huge.
Help yourself out. Help the future binge-likely-version of you out by setting yourself up for success, whatever that looks like specifically for you.
I also had to do a lot of testing, trying, and buying different things to find my new go-tos. Tea was really huge for me. I will link to some of my favorite night time teas. I’m being super honest with you guys, when I first stopped binge eating, I noticed that I shifted to alcohol. It’s not like I was going crazy or anything, but I would have to have a glass of wine at night. I didn’t like that.
I didn’t like the fact that I would feel so sad if I didn’t have that glass of wine. I just didn’t like that. I know myself and I don’t want to have anything like that. I don’t want to have to have anything that’s not really good for me.
I feel like we’re made to need to have things. We need to have water. We need to have fruits and vegetables. Our body needs to have those things. But wine? No. Beer? No. Alcohol at all? No. Junk food? No.
I was breaking this habit and replacing it with another, which is super common, so watch out for that. And this is another reason it’s important to work with a professional person.
I went to tea because I felt like that was like, “Okay, this is something to drink.” Also I got really, really good teas that were powerful and had calming agents in them, so they were literally doing something for me, helping me relax, and literally supporting my body.
Find replacements for your favorite binge snacks. A big one for me used to be chips, so having sliced peppers or cucumbers with a dip of some kind was big for me in the beginning. And it’s not like, “Oh my God, yummy. I get to have cucumbers and hummus that I made from scratch.”
No, I’d obviously rather have Doritos. Who are we kidding? But the point is, I studied myself. I know that I like salty. I know that I like that crunch. So I got healthy replacements that were salty and crunchy. The act of sitting there and eating something that crunched in my mouth, it’s a psyche thing. It really did help me.
Having really yummy sparkling waters or juices was good. One thing that could really help some of you who are struggling with wine at night (because I know that’s very common, especially for moms because moms are so marketed when it comes to wine, it’s a huge problem) was getting a wine glass. There’s something about the ritual of having a really beautiful glass and making yourself a drink. It feels like such self care. I would get a wine glass, put ice in it, and then I would put sparkling water in it. Sometimes I would do plain. Sometimes I would do the LaCroix that’s very lightly flavored and would compliment the juice I would put in it. I would do ice, plain sparkling water, and then a little bit of juice or organic lemonade of some kind.
Pressed Juicery is really popular and they’re in a lot of cities, so there may be one near you. They have really, really good organic juices. And there’s this one that’s a strawberry basil lemonade. They used to have an activated charcoal lemonade that I would make this drink with sometimes.
They have cleanse juices, but they also have yummy juices like citrus and things like that. I would get a few of those and literally just add a little splash to the sparkling water. So, I’m not sitting there drinking fruit juice, which can be not good for you. It’s natural sugar, but it’s still sugar.
I would just put a little bit with some berries on top floating in the glass with a lemon or lime wedge on the side. At one point I even got myself cocktail umbrellas. Guys, I went all out supporting myself.
It’s not about tricking your mind or kidding yourself. Obviously, alcohol does something to you and that’s the hit a lot of people are looking for. Binge eating junk food does something to you and that’s the hit that people are looking for.
But it was putting effort into myself, loving myself, buying these juices and waters, getting out a pretty glass. That was meaningful to me. I was showing up. I wasn’t just depriving myself, sitting on the couch like, “You can’t have anything.”
I supported myself, and redirected the habits to something that was actually serving me because I had done the inner work. Because I had made the decision to go the route of long-term gratification instead of instant gratification and then I was showing up for myself in that decision by replacing what was not helping me with things that would help me.
I noticed that in the evenings when dinner’s done, the kitchen is clean, I’m hanging out with my husband, that I’m snacky. And sometimes I would really actually feel hunger. When I felt like that I had a plan. I had snacks prepped in the fridge. I had things stocked in the pantry.
I was ready to go. I had my juice and my sparkling water. I was ready. And that was huge.
The next thing that I want to talk about is hard but it’s doable. It is doable for you.
I got really good at awareness, at noticing what I was feeling. As a reminder, we’re talking at this point in the episode about practical things to do. How do you overcome the binge eating habits?
Deciding to go the route of long-term gratification. Being prepared. Making sure that you get prepared when you’re not in a binge mood. Then noticing what you’re feeling in those moments.
An example that we’ve been using—sitting on the couch, watching a show and I feel the need to binge. I feel like I want to eat. I want to eat hard. I want tacos. I want salsa. I want salt. I want sugar. Whatever it is, sit with it.
Step one: Notice it and sit with it.
Don’t try to change it. Don’t judge it. Don’t judge yourself for it. Don’t bury it with food. Just let it be.
It takes less than two minutes for an emotion to run its course. You just need to sit with it. We just need to let it go. Let it be. Notice it. “Ah, isn’t this interesting. Here it is again.”
Maybe you need the grace mantra, “Considering what I’ve been through, this makes sense. I’m just going to sit with it. I don’t need to act on it. I don’t need to do anything about it. I don’t need to judge it. I don’t need to feel embarrassed that it’s here again. I’m just going to sit with it. This emotion is normal and it is allowed to be here.”
Next: Check in with yourself. Are you hungry?
I’ve talked about this on social media before. The acronym is HALT. Are you hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?
I do this with my kids a lot, but I started to do it with myself. Am I hungry? Am I angry? Am I lonely? Am I tired?
You guys, I would venture to say at least 60% of the time, I was actually tired and needed to just turn the TV off and go to bed. And to this day, I would say it’s a 60-75% chance that I’m really just ready for bed, but it’s insanely early so it feels weird to go to bed.
Or I feel like I’m missing out on something. I’m missing out on some quiet time. I’m missing out on an opportunity to bond with my husband or just chill by myself. It feels like a defeat, FOMO, or a missed opportunity.
And it’s not. It’s not a missed opportunity to nourish your body with sleep. It’s not a missed opportunity to listen to your body’s prompts and follow them. It’s a missed opportunity to not do those things.
To get restored for the next day, you don’t need to stay up late and sit there and watch TV, read, or be productive. You need to sleep.
I heard this from a lot of women, “Oh, I just feel like I’m missing out on something. I feel like I’m not going to be restored the next day because I didn’t get time alone.”
You’re not going to be restored the next day because you’re going to be sleep deprived. Go to bed. At least 60% of the time I just need to go to bed, especially because my habits were so much at night.
The day was a lot. The emotions were a lot. The demand from other people was a lot. And so I need to go to bed at 8 or 9 o’clock like an old person. Go to bed with the kids. That’s fine because it is a lot.
“Considering what I’ve been through, this makes sense. I am just tired. I’m going to go to bed now.”
IF you get to this point and you’re like, “I’m not tired yet. It’s not time for bad. I’m hungry. No, Allie, I’m really hungry.”
Okay, great. Your body works. So eat something that will nourish you.
Now, listen, this is not about diet culture, not eating because you want to lose weight, or “I’m not supposed to eat after 7 o’clock because I’m going to gain weight.”
If you’re hungry, eat, but eat something that’s going to nourish you. Go to one of those prepped, sliced fruits, good chocolate, or whatever you’ve got in your house that’s going to be your new nighttime thing.
I’ve been working with Dr. Heather Rhodes for a couple years now. And one thing that we’ve talked about is how good it is for your body to have some good, healthy fat before bed. Maybe a little bit of coconut milk with some good well-sourced granola.
A little bit of sprinkled dark chocolate on top of some raspberries and a drizzle of honey is one of my favorite snacks. Something like that would feel like a dessert and would be so yummy. It’s also a great breakfast.
Do something that’s going to nourish your body. This is not about, “Oh, what should I eat to not gain weight?”
But rather you’re learning to actually listen to your body and act out of the knowledge that you have disordered eating—bingeing—and you’re breaking a cemented habit by doing something different. Make sure that that’s your mindset.
The next thing I want to talk about is trying one of your go-tos instead of eating. This would go with getting prepared when you’re not in a binge mode. Another thing that I did to get prepared was having go-to things to do to shift the energy instead of eating.
When I checked the H-A-L-T acronym and I wasn’t hungry and I wasn’t tired, what’s left to do then? Now, here’s the thing: it’s pretty hard to eat greasy junk food after a nourishing cup of tea. It just is. You don’t even need to tell yourself no, because when you’re saying, “No. I’m restricting this from my life, you’re just going to want it more.”
And that’s a huge part of the work I did with Sarah Speers as well.
Tell yourself, “I’m just going to have a cup of tea first. I’m going to have a cup of tea and a big glass of lemon water, and then see how I feel.” It’s hard to eat junky tacos, or whatever, when you’ve just had a nourishing cup of tea. Especially with how long it takes to make the tea. Usually the cravings will dissolve by the time I drink it.
And again, this is just allowing the emotions, allowing the feelings, allowing the cravings. You don’t need to do anything about it. You don’t need to act on it. You don’t need to hate yourself for it or judge yourself for it. Just allow it and think, “Okay, the cravings are here. I’m going to make myself a cup of tea and see how I feel.”
It takes a while to brew the hot water, steep the tea, have it cooled down to be drinkable and then drink the whole cup. You’re letting things happen. You’re not thinking, “I’m going to drink this quick, so then Allie said I could have my junk food.”
No, you’re just noticing. You’re just aware. You’re the gentle observer of what’s going on in your body and your mind.
Something to drink has been huge for me, so that’s why I’m offering that. Tea is my thing. But yours doesn’t have to be tea. It can be sparkling water. It could be anything.
There are non-alcoholic drinks. There’s a company called KIN that makes nonalcoholic nightcap drinks. You could get something like that. You can do whatever you want.
Another thing is breathing. There’s an app called Breathwrk. I do this all the time. I started using it for anxiety but now I use it for literally everything. I’m breathing all the time.
Our breath, our God-given breath, is so powerful and so healing. With your breath alone, you could intentionally send yourself careening into a panic attack. You could also deeply and wholly center yourself in peace.
Just from your breath. Nothing else. Not even your thoughts. Just your breath.
I started to wonder, “Okay, what if I use my breathing to help when I’m feeling binge-y and I just played with that and tried it?”
It totally helped. Totally worked.
Open the app Breathwrk. There are genres you can pick from. You can pick from: I’m feeling anxious. I just want to calm down. I’m ready to go to bed. I just woke up. I’m ready to energize. You can pick whatever you want.
Pick something that feels good to you. Maybe just pick “Calming.” Maybe you’re feeling really binge-y and there’s no topic for that, so you just pick calming and do some calming breaths.
It lets you pick a really short amount of time, a medium amount of time, or a long amount of time. The longest is four minutes or something like that. Don’t quote me on that, but it’s something like that.
I would just pick the medium one and I can always do another round if I want. I just breathe. You just look at the app and it walks you through just breathing. It takes your mind off of what you’re going through basically.
You focus on your breath. The breath is cleansing, helpful, and it moves that energy. It’s really crazy.
Another thing that is huge is a change of scenery. Here’s a scenario that I lived through for so long. It’s night. The kids are in bed. It’s been a long day. I’m super done.
I’m watching TV on the couch and I’m feeling like I want to binge eat. And I would binge eat. In the same scenario, and it’s almost like muscle memory, my body’s like, “Oh, time to eat junk food because we’ve done this every night for years.”
Changing the scenery is huge. Even if you’re not in the scenery where you used to binge, if you just feel the urge, just move. Move somewhere else.
For me, it’s getting up, getting off the couch, turning the TV off specifically. If the weather allows where you are, get outside. Oh my gosh, the air and just a total change of scenery.
Not only are you not on the couch watching TV, or doing a late night laptop work session or whatever your situation is, but you just went to a different climate. You just went outside. This is actually how our nighttime walks came about because I would binge when the kids were awake.
I always say, “Oh, kids are in bed,” because that was part of it. But a lot of the time I’d binge when the kids were awake. I’d binge for dinner.
As a family, we would all basically binge. I’d get the kids junk food and then I’d get extra for me. And I started to feel like that all the time at dinner. This is how our evening walks started, with a change of scenery.
Now we walk all the time, almost every day, sometimes twice a day. A change of scenery feels so good. And again, it’s just an emotion. It’s going to pass. Walking moves that energy.
One of the biggest things that I want you guys to understand is this: don’t shame yourself for what you want and how you’re feeling. Love is the only thing that can bring real, lasting, positive change. Love yourself in this moment, even when you’re feeling like you want to binge.
Even if you’re angry. Even if you’re about to lash out at somebody because you just want to eat and you know that you made a decision not to. Just love yourself.
Your body is a machine. It has been trained to binge and undoing that is going to take time and a positive relationship. And you can do it.
Love yourself for wanting to do it. Love your body for being a learning machine. Accept yourself for where you’re at and know that you’re on a journey. It’s not going to be perfect overnight.
For me, reminding myself that while I am allowed to eat whatever I want, I am not restricting myself, which would be diet culture. The core reason I want to binge in those moments is because I’d rather not deal with uncomfortable feelings and make the easy choice, especially after a long day. And that’s not in alignment with who I really want to be.
Remember “Where there’s no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18. One of my favorite quotes, favorite scripture.
Align yourself with that. I have a vision for where I want to go and binge eating and letting this old way run my life is not aligned with that, so I’m not going to take that action this time.
I would suggest having a list somewhere of mantras, statements, affirmations, reminders that you can open and read out loud to yourself. I have an iPhone, so I use the Notes app. You can pin notes to the top of that app.
Right away I would change my scenery, do a little breath work, and while I was on my walk, I would look down at my phone and start reading affirmations about where I’m headed, what my vision is, how I want to feel, who I want to be, how I want to live, how I want my body to look and feel and ask myself what’s going to align me with that.
This is all after I’ve checked in on the HALT. “I’m not actually hungry, so I’m not going to eat.” Or, “I am hungry. I ate a healthy snack and I’m still feeling binge-y, so now I’m going to try these things.”
It’s not about starving yourself or anything like that. It’s about nourishing yourself with breaking old habits of bingeing and using food to suppress like we’ve been talking about. All of these things together can work collectively to help you heal and overcome.
I think the biggest key is you’ve got to connect to how you want to feel ultimately, not short-term. Ultimately, how do you want to feel? Hold on to that because eating shit is not going to get you there. It’s not.
You want that reality of ultimately how you want to feel. You want that to be your reality more than you want to binge deep down. You’ve got to find a way to do the deep inner work and support yourself to get yourself there.
I want you to know that if you listen to this episode and you resonate, I get it. I understand. I understand. If nothing else, I understand.
But I don’t want you to listen to this and stay there. I want you to know this is hard and no matter how much you have going on or how little support you have—if you have a partner that does not want to change his habits and is continuing to do this—you can still do this.
I want you to know that it’s possible. I want you to know that you can come back to this. You can relisten. You can do whatever you need to do.
But I want this to be a space where you are supported. I want this episode to be the jumping off point for you and you use it as a diving board to literally head into your next phase of life. I want it to be a space where you remember that you are in control.
You remember your power. You remember the life you want to live and how you want to feel in that life. And you begin to align your habits with that. Your habits don’t run you anymore.
You are so beautiful just as you are right now. I don’t care what your size is or how many layers are hanging over your jeans or leggings right now. We all have been there and have that.
You’re so perfect. You’re so amazing. Please know that and understand that. Please find a way to move into deep love and acceptance of yourself and get the healing that you need.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
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