Why I reached for junk food even though I knew I’d feel bad
I’ve shared in the past that my history struggling with binge eating, weight, and perfectionism was ultimately what led me to deepening my professional work in holistic nutrition through the study of nutritional psychology.
Healing binge eating has been one of my greatest spiritual teachers, as I was called to explore and understand the core triggers for all self-defeating cycles.
But before I was able to listen to and honor my habit’s deepest messages and move toward healing, I often found myself literally stuffed full of food, looping through the same set of defeating questions:
“Why did I do this again even though I KNOW it makes me feel so terrible? Why do I sabotage myself? What’s wrong with me?”
I used to rack my brain (and ache my heart) over these. Asking myself these questions would literally bring me to tears, often sending me on an anxious quest to repair myself.
On to you…
You may or may not ever struggle with the intensity of binge eating.
Your frustrating cycles might show up differently, through sabotaging your relationships, your work-life, your exercise habits, etc…Your mind may want one thing, yet you do the opposite, again and again.
This leads us all to the question:
Why would a human being do something that is not in their best self-interest?
Good question, right?
The big news is, we DO choose what is in our best interest. “Best interest” could be defined as that which the makes the individual feel the safest. Our deepest beliefs, trump our surface desires. Affirming what is known (even if it’s a crappy habit) can feel safe.
I’ll say it again and again, we do what we do (and eat what we eat) for very good reasons.
One Example: You feel bad but you don’t know it
There is a moment before you act out in a way that does not serve your greatest good, that you may be feeling bad about yourself. You may not be able to put your finger on what is actually causing you to feel that way. You may not even be aware that you feel bad. All you may notice is that you are feeling apathetic towards self-care or are looking to distract or entertain yourself with food. This is typically when we act out in a way that conflicts with what we desire for ourselves. Ultimately this provides “evidence” to why you feel bad, instead of excavating the true root.
Tip: If you feel yourself “not caring anymore” about something you lovingly committed to or are making justifications for something that is not in your best interest, recognize you might be de-valuing yourself.