Why do I Binge Eat? What I’ve learned from reading This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth

I’m reading this amazing book by Geneen Roth called This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide. So far, 10/10 would recommend to anybody who has EVER struggled with their body image, wanting to lose weight, or their relationship to eating and food.

As a female in her late twenties who is big on self-development and has ALWAYS struggled with food & body image, This Messy Magnificent Life brings to surface some pretty touchy and prickly emotional wounds that I’ve likely tried to bury since the age of 10 or 11, which is the earliest I can remember being self-conscious about my body.

Since starting the book, one question that has consistently come up whenever I’m on the verge of a food binge, or wanting to eat despite already being uncomfortably full, is to ask myself, “What am I avoiding right now?”

What am I distracting myself from?
What are the feelings I’m unwilling to face?
What are the tasks, responsibilities and stresses I’m trying to bury away with this food?
Where in my life am I feeling powerless and small?
Where in my life am I sabotaging my chances for success?

And my gosh, the list of answers never falls short… when I’m willing to authentically look, that is. I’m actually flabbergasted at the sheer amount of stuff crap my mind attempts to bury away and distract me from with sensory pleasure activities. Throughout my life, it’s been many different things: shopping, exercise, alcohol/drugs, busying myself with social events. But the most constant thing has always been food.

I love food. I love how food tastes. I love how food makes me feel. I love the feeling I get when I have a big meal, or lots of food to look forward to. In low moments, food has often been a driver for me to get up in the morning, or get up and dressed even if I’m feeling super lazy.

But I’ve also hated the way I lose control around food. I’ve hated feeling full to the point where I think my stomach is about to tear open, and stuffing my face anyway. I’ve hated the feeling of a meal coming to an end, while others are still working on their plate. I’ve hated the feelings of emptiness and subsequent punishment that has often followed one of my binge sessions; whether that meant pushing myself excessively hard with physical activity, or restricting and under-eating.

Although I’m not nearly as bad now as I was in my early twenties, my body is TIRED. My metabolism isn’t as fast as it used to be, and with where I am in my life, I’m fed up with the narrative of being a failure/not good enough – which, I’ve discovered, is the root of many of my longstanding problems. After over a decade of this sh*t, it’s just getting really old.

To quote Ariana Grande… Thank U, Next!

Turns out there is a lot I’m still avoiding, or haven’t fully dealt with. And I don’t expect to be able to resolve seventeen years worth of deep-seated issues and detrimental self-beliefs overnight. Geneen Roth’s book has been an eye-opener for me, and if you’ve stuck with me this far into my blog post, I genuinely believe it would be well worth a read for you too.

For now, here are the questions I’m asking myself as I navigate my relationship to food and feelings of self-worth:

  • What am I avoiding?
  • What feelings am I burying?
  • What is it that I’m actually starving for that I’m replacing with food (or other mindless entertainment)? i.e. purpose, love, affection, feeling like I matter, etc.

And the beliefs I’m cultivating:

  • I am worthy of love despite my shortcomings
  • I am worthy of abundance despite my flaws
  • I am worthy of happiness despite the mistakes I’ve made
  • My accomplishments/failures do not dictate my success
  • My accomplishments/failures do not dictate my worthiness as a person

Order your copy of This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide now
Click here to learn more about Geneen Roth’s work and upcoming talks.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_

Featured Image by Dan Gold on Unsplash
This post is not sponsored.

So I’m my late twenties… now what?

Halfway through 2019, and here I am: blogging/e-journalling with a creeping migraine. Some days I feel great about where I’m headed, the progress I’ve made. Other days I feel like I’m so far behind everyone else, why even bother trying?

I’m 27, turning 28 in a few months. Eek. Did I think I’d be here when I was eighteen? Definitely not.

When I was teenager, I thought I’d have everything together by 28. Maybe engaged, or married. Career thriving. Travelling the world. Making and saving comfortably. I thought I’d be the fittest I’d ever be, and basically just have all my shit together.

Now that I’m sitting here, reflecting on the past 10 years, one thing I know to be true is no matter what age you are, it never really feels or looks the way you think it’s going to. I have a pretty unoriginal theory that our physical bodies age at a much faster rate than our minds and souls, leaving us feeling like time has flown by before we’ve had the chance to really live.

I mean, yes, I have a lot more experience and am a completely different person than who I was ten years ago. At the same time, it feels like high school graduation was just yesterday.

Needless to say, 2019/Year 27 has been a year of renewal and realignment. It’s been a year of questioning old beliefs, digging up and healing old wounds, rediscovering who I am NOW today (not who I wanted to be 5-6 years ago), and updating my list of goals and dreams accordingly.

It’s been a year of learning how to set boundaries (still learning), and stepping into my flow whilst relinquishing control at the same time… I know, it hurts my brain too.

Where I think these next 10 years are headed is focusing on becoming the most raw, authentic version of myself possible. The most raw, authentic, creative, go-getting, stock-investing, TFSA/RRSP-maxing, take-no-bullshit, happy, conscious version of myself.

Yayyyyyy. I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda scared. But then I remember life is extremely, extremely short. All of this life is just going to pass me in the blink of an eye, and none of this small stuff (overthinking, over-worrying, being scared) will really matter.

Then I just breathe, take it all in, and enjoy this beautiful fragile human life for what it is: a tiny blip in the grand history of time. So important and consequential, yet so meaningless and inconsequential. Everything we do matters, and nothing we do matters. Ultimately, therefore, life is what you make it.

What I wish for in my life is to have made a difference in the world for the better, to have loved and been loved, to tell great stories, to create, to laugh, to cry, to give generously; to stand up for what I believe in; to not waste a single second of my precious time and attention; to appreciate every moment, even the bad; to pass on, free of burden and regret.

What do you wish to accomplish in your lifetime?

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
IG: @WhereHappinessBegins_

Featured Image by Wolf Zimmermann on Unsplash

Choose longterm happiness over short-term gratification

@WhereHappinessBegins_ Fondation Beyeler Artwork - Cumulo by Tacita Dean

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There is no light without the dark. I don’t believe in the idea of false positivity. Or that the point of life is to always be happy, laughing, and dancing. Every emotion on the human spectrum has its place, cause, and purpose – even the ones we deem as “negative”.
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I don’t believe in burying negative/unwanted emotions with positivity quotes and meaningless feel-good advice that miss the point entirely.
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I believe in self-awareness and going deep to locate the ROOT of our unwanted emotions. If you’re going to distract yourself because you aren’t ready to deal with an emotion yet, at least be aware that’s what you’re doing.
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Choose longterm growth and happiness over temporary emotional bandaids, and lean into the entire spectrum of your thoughts and feelings. Because what you resist persists!
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An ignored thought/feeling will only keep getting louder and louder and louder until it is addressed. It WILL demand to be seen and heard, and likely in ways you do not want.
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Don’t be an ostrich by sticking your head in the sand 😝 Learn to pull back the curtain on the shadowy parts of your mind so that the light and warmth can come through.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Artwork: Cúmulo by Tacita Dean
Location: Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland

Make a choice to stand for something.

@WhereHappinessBegins_ Know Your Worth Illustration by @AshleyMurrayCo🌻🤔💭
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for everything.” – Alexander Hamilton
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This is a popular quote I heard a lot growing up. While I got it theoretically, I don’t think I ever understood what it meant.
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I’ve always been able to see multiple sides of an equation. This has been both useful and detrimental in my life.
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My Pros:
• I’m a great mediator in disagreements; between two opposing views
• Mostly open-minded to different opinions, experiences, and ideas
• I would do well on any side of a debate at school 😝
• When I DO decide on something i.e. an opinion or belief, I get REALLY excited; feel peaceful, grounded, and unstoppable from the sense of assuredness
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My Cons:
• Easily swayed/lacking solid ground to stand on because I can see merits to all sides/opinions
• Feeling a weakness in my identity and a sense of being lost/not knowing myself
• Prone to overthinking and rumination because there are SO many sides and factors to consider
• Prone to indecisiveness as a result
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As I continue to grow, experience, and develop, what I’m discovering is the balance between open-mindedness and making a CHOICE, i.e. choosing where I stand on an issue. They are not and do not have to be mutually exclusive.
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Making a choice doesn’t mean I’m necessarily saying the opposition is “wrong” or invalid.
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Making a choice doesn’t mean closing myself off to other possibilities or being rigid. NOR does being open-minded mean I’m forced to take on ALL other possibilities and opinions.
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A choice is simply a statement that while both A and B may be true and valid in different contexts, when held up against my own goals and values, I am more committed to B than I am to A. Or vice versa.
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A choice is nothing more than a stronger commitment and alignment with one option, over another. And for some people, it is much MUCH stronger.
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Regardless, in order to move the conversation along, I think we could all do with a little more willingness to acknowledge opinions and experiences that are different to our own.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Illustration via @ashleymurray.co

Spirituality & Intuition

@WhereHappinessBegins_ Spirituality and Intuition

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I’m a spiritual person. I regard my intuition very highly.
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Two things I’ve always been afraid to say/proclaim.
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Because it sounds fluffy, a little too hippie-dippie, and goes against the logical and rational side of my brain. It’s not foolproof, and it isn’t scientifically proven, and yet I believe.
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• I believe in this thing called a ‘gut feeling’.
• I often listen to my inner voice.
• I use tarot cards and numerology when I’m called to it
• I believe in signs from the universe.
Because I’ve experienced coincidences that are too coincidental, and my inner voice has yet to steer me wrong.
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This doesn’t mean I haven’t BEEN wrong about some things or people – I can’t read minds after all – but I’m always steered in the right direction. As long as the guidance is coming from my TRUE inner voice, and not from fear, lack, or anxiety.
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Some may assume that my ‘intuition’ simply tells me what I want to hear. But often what comes up is quite the opposite: a hard truth that, deep down, I know is right. Even if I don’t want to hear it.
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What I think is most important is being able to utilize logic, intuition, and fact congruently in all decision making. However, you can think just about anything to death, and never get anywhere.
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At some point, you’ve just got to trust yourself, trust you have all the facts you need to know, and take the leap. 💫

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Illustration via @spiritdaughter

Growing Pains: Why “Knowing How” Is Not Enough To Change Your Life and Habits

WHB Mandy Hale Change is Painful.jpg

I’ve been stuck. I’ve been stuck for a long time. Moreover, I’ve been stuck and waiting. Waiting for something to change. Waiting for my dreams to miraculously fall into my lap; for an opportunity to appear out of nowhere, and for someone to give me all the answers.

Answers about where life is going and what it’s supposed to look like.
Am I making the right decision(s)?
What am I supposed to be doing?
Am I a good person?
Do I have a purpose?
Was I right/wrong?
Will I have a good life?
Should I go on this date with this person? But where should we go, and what should I wear?

What I’m starting to understand is KNOWING will never replace DOING. Even if by some miracle, I were given all the answers and could see my entire life mapped out, it would still leave the DOING to get there. Even if I were given the answers about why I get depressed, why I procrastinate; if I could scrutinize and distinguish every detail about WHY I am the way I am, how my childhood has affected my adulthood, and the “reasons” behind all my actions, it would still leave me not knowing HOW to change, or WHAT to do with that information.

Knowing will never replace doing, nor does it actually produce the results we want. However, neither does knowing how and what we need to do to achieve what we want.

I KNOW that the source of my poor relationship to food and body-image has to do with feeling criticized by my family as a child and teen. I KNOW that when I’m stressed or depressed, I use food as a means to feel better. I KNOW that when I’m hungry and binging on food, it is usually something else I’m hungry for, or I’m dehydrated. I KNOW that to lose weight, I’ve got to eat less, DO more, stay hydrated, and get more sleep.

Does knowing ANY of that make losing weight and getting fit easier? No. Does knowing make me put my fork down? No. Putting my fork down is what puts my fork down.

It is the DOING of the action that gets results.

 

One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it. – Unknown

The incessant need for humans to understand WHY and psychoanalyze our lives, our pasts, and every single decision we make easily becomes another form of procrastination that excuses us from actually taking the actions to change, or grow.

Of course, there is a necessary degree of knowing that must occur; the degree of which will vary under different contexts. For example, knowing HOW to lose weight may not help us lose weight, but NOT knowing at all is certainly a hindrance.

Therefore, there is a healthy degree of responsibility we must all take to be well-informed, and gather the basic understanding of the WHYs, WHATs and HOWs of any given situation. But that is where we must learn to draw the line, and not fall into the curiosity trap of analysis paralysis, OVER-thinking, and hesitation, which often leads to justification, resignation, and avoidance.

The most effective way to become unstuck, find “answers”, and change our lives (or aspects of it) is to do things in a way that is different from how we have become accustomed to doing them—simple, right? But not easy.

 

Insanity is doing thing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results – Albert Einstein

Growth does not feel good, at first. Growth is NOT fun – at first. Growth may even feel counterintuitive at times. You sure as hell can bet that when you’re running your first mile after months or years of inactivity, every cell in your body will be screaming, “NO! This is not right! What are you doing?! WHY are you doing this??? Stop!!”

As human beings, we are hard-wired for survival, which means doing things we know will keep us safe. It means not taking too many risks, or going past our comfort zone.

CHANGE feels really difficult and downright impossible at times.
STRETCHING YOURSELF past your current limits is uncomfortable. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. And as humans, we love to make it especially difficult by expecting to be at Point Z before we’ve even reached Point A.

Growth is not always fun, but necessary to your happiness, sanity, health, goals, and fulfillment in life. Taking Action To Grow is the only way to get the answers you’ve been looking for, whether that answer is a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’, to ‘Proceed’ or ‘Change Paths’.

Growth will NOT always feel intuitive. It is easier to be resigned or cynical about growth, than to have to endure the pain of change, which is really the pain of taking unfamiliar actions. Growth can be painful, but it is always less painful and more rewarding than staying stuck, living the same predictable cycles for the rest of your life.

#WhereHappinessBegins
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

Cocktails with Seedlip Gin

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Majorly cutting down on alcohol has been a relatively long and difficult journey! These days my alcohol consumption is few to none.

My reasons for reducing alcohol intake:

  • Getting tired of the same old weekend haze, doing the same shit, with the same people
  • Questionable, or emotional decision-making
  • How expensive it is!
  • Empty calories
  • Negative effects on my body and skin (bloating, water retention, dullness)
  • Occasional post-drinking blues
  • Brain fog & fatigue for DAYS
  • Seeing the amazing people around me who DON’T drink and have just as much, if not more, fun
  • Wanting to fully experience everything I’m doing and the conversations I’m having
  • Wanting to learn how to break down my own mental/emotional barriers without the help of alcohol
  • Wanting to learn how to manage my own stress from the week without having to rely on alcohol to “unwind”

This journey has definitely been so much easier with brands today such as @seedlipdrinks creating such cool, sophisticated high quality non-alcoholic spirits that are beautifully branded as well.

Location: Daylesford Farmshop & Café, London, United Kingdom

#WhereHappinessBegins #CraveGoodDrinks #HappyTravels
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_