Hey Bridget! I'm really struggling with binge eating recently. I want to be a model and have been working for it for roughly a year but have stubborn fat that won't seem to budge, so I end up getting depressed and binging; which only makes matters worse. Do you have any advice?
Hi there! Ah man, I’m sorry. That sounds really tough, and I can relate for sure.
When you go through cycles of extreme restriction your body does not like it. We are designed to hold onto body fat (winter is coming/winter is never coming these days) through our genetics, and to crave sweet things. When our reptile brains meet with the modern worlds abundance of food, binging becomes a thing. I have been amazed/horrified at what I am capable of throwing down during a binge session. And it leaves you mentally horribly drained and depressed. I really am sorry you are going through this.
First thing I would recommend is perhaps speaking to a therapist. When I struggled with binge eating it was never about losing weight. I was a teenager, and a huge amount had shifted in my life at once. I wasn’t prepared for it, and I sought solace in food. This isn’t rare, but when you throw in the pressure of remaining “model size”, eating some chocolate turns into a big middle finger to the modeling game – an act of self-destructive rebellion. So you may as well eat the entire tub of ice cream too because FUCK YOU FASHION!! There are a lot of mental tangles here to work out, and you usually aren’t even aware of them until someone points them out to you. Once this happens, you can face your demons and they disappear. Things grow horns if you ignore them.
Weight-loss is meant to be a slow deal. The faster it happens, the harder it is to maintain. Every single day that you wake up and decide to not binge, you build willpower. When you make the decision to nourish yourself with healthy food until you are full but not stuffed, you build self-confidence. Starving yourself never ends well. As hard as it can be mentally, eating three meals a day (and a snack if you want it) is the best way to maintain a steady weight loss. Keeping your blood sugar stable and keeping a steady stream of nutrients into your body is ideal for health and your metabolism. Body fat isn’t stubborn; your approach to losing it just isn’t working.
I would recommend getting some stress control in your life. Start meditating, try a movement activity like yoga or tai chi, and spend less time online and more time outside. Don’t compare yourself to other people – you need to get in touch with what is going on in your own head. Everyone has their demons, but they sure as hell aren’t showing it on instagram. Once you start to pay attention to the thoughts in your head you can recognize the warning signs and triggers to binge eating episodes. Then you can get control of the situation – distract yourself. This will be a personal journey for you; I wish I could help more, but acknowledging your demons is the first step to recovery.
Finally, if after a few months of eating well you aren’t the size you need to be, maybe modeling isn’t the career choice for you. Your health always comes first. This is a great job, but it isn’t the only job out there. There is nothing to be gained by forcing your body to look a certain way – you can’t fight your natural body shape. If it doesn’t come (fairly) easily, it isn’t meant to be.
I hope you find your peace here 😀