“How can going ‘all in’ work if bingeing triggers purging?”

“If I allow myself to eat all of my forbidden foods then it will trigger bingeing and then purging, as bingeing is a trigger for me to purge. How is it possible to eat unrestricted and stop purging?”

Question by the lovely Anaisa, a listener of the podcast and a Rebel Queen inside our Wealth & Self-Love membership. ❤️

Bingeing is a natural biological response to restriction. Purging is not.

I’m going to say that again…

Bingeing is a natural biological response to restriction. Purging is not.

Purging is a compensatory behaviour. Purging is your safety net. You purge because you absolutely cannot (or you currently think that you cannot) sit with the overwhelming discomfort of feeling shame and fullness after the “binge”.

But guess what…? YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS, my love!

There is ALWAYS a reason why we do something, even when we consciously say that we don’t want to do something, unconsciously we do. And our unconscious drives 95% of all of our behaviours.

Here is why you want to purge even though you say you don’t want to:

It relieves anxiety.

That overwhelming feeling that I just touched on of feeling physically full and emotionally distraught, is a form of anxiety. Anxiety is fear.

I remember after a binge, right before I would compensate by purging one way or another, I would be engulfed in self-disgust. I would feel so bad that I would literally want to crawl out of my skin and not come back for a week until I was empty again. I felt like I needed to escape this feeling NOW otherwise I was going to die or explode or something.

The feeling is indescribable in words but it saddens me to say that I’m sure so many of you can relate…? 🙁 When you purge, it relieves a lot of that.

The feeling of emptiness or cleanliness 

Again, this is born from fear (der, all of it is! 🙄) The emptiness brings a feeling of safety and “ok-ness” that only those that have experienced this will understand what I’m talking about. If you haven’t purged before (thank goodness), it is similar to the feeling of being starving hungry and having an empty stomach. The safety and reward you get when you experience that. And the cleanliness part is linked to OCD and orthorexia (and often to past sexual abuse).

You think it will help you to cope with life

“I need to pure NOW because otherwise, I won’t be able to function at work tomorrow.” or similar. You think that if you don’t empty yourself then literally the whole world is going to end (I’m not exaggerating or taking the piss, I’ve been there!)Because you keep doing the purging behaviour then you keep feeding into this fear and making it stronger. (More about that in a moment).

Fear of weight gain

Most likely THE biggest driver of purging and compensatory behaviours… the absolutely paralysing fear of gaining weight. Am I right or am I right…? You purge in an attempt to avoid this at all costs. Purging via vomiting can only remove up to about half of the calories eaten – which means that, realistically, between half to two-thirds of what is eaten is absorbed by the body anyway.

When you re-wire your fear of weight gain, believe it or not, you are not sacred of weight gain (whether it actually happens or not)… I know that sounds literally IMPOSSIBLE, but I’ve done it… and for 20 years of my life, my biggest fear was gaining weight.

I’ve done quite a few episodes about the fear of weight gain so go check them out. Here and here are a few to get you started.

You don’t trust your body 

“All that food I’ve just eaten is way too much for my body to cope with. I need to get rid of it to ‘help’ my body.”

Familiar? You think that your body can’t cope and you don’t trust your body to process the food and do what it needs to do. Most of this comes from control and the fear of weight gain. You try to control your body and don’t trust it to do what it needs to do and so you intervene.

Trust me, purging is WAY more harmful to your body than ANY amount of processed food. Read about it. and here. The truth is, your body knows what to do with the food you eat. You have a digestive system for a reason, you don’t need to try to control it. You don’t try to control every breath you take, do you…?


For some, purging brings physical and emotional release. This is born out of not being able to process emotions and express needs or/and can satisfy the need to stay consistent with the familiarity of abuse.

Often, when someone has been abused but has left the abusive environment behind, they tend to recreate the abuse by abusing themselves in ways that feel similar to the past abuse.

How to stop purging

Ok so now you’re more aware of why you purge, even when you say you don’t want to, I’m going to share with you how to stop as you eat unrestricted (go all-in”) to recover from the eating disorder.

I want to circle back to the question;

“If I allow myself to eat all of my forbidden foods then it will trigger bingeing and then purging, as bingeing is a trigger for me to purge. How is it possible to eat unrestricted and stop purging?”

Before I go into how to stop purging I want to touch on this part of what Anaisa said; “If I allow myself to eat all of my forbidden foods then it will trigger bingeing

Right off the back of that, she’s already creating a self-fulfilling prophecy for herself, can you see that? “If I allow myself to eat all of my forbidden foods then it will trigger bingeing

Can she tell the future? 🤨

I know I”m being picky here and of course, I know that she has said that because I am assuming she has experienced exactly that… (binge eating when she’d allowed herself to eat her forbidden foods) for however many years. However… (and I’m going to bring it back to the second person here) if you are already predicting that you WILL binge when you eat your forbidden foods then what do you think you’re going to do? Your words are incredibly powerful as your words create an intention for your actions.

Forbidden foods

Look at this part of her sentence with me; “If I allow myself to eat all of my forbidden foods

Using the word allow already suggests that you’re going to let yourself do something that you don’t normally do and therefore shouldn’t do. This amplifies that there is mental restriction around food. Do you say “I’m going to allow myself to have a glass of water?” or do you just have a glass of water because you want one? Why is that?

Using the words “forbidden foods” is coming from the same context. Foods that are not allowed. Foods that are bad and wrong. Of course, you’re going to binge on those foods… as restriction creates a reaction. A rebellion against what was restricted. It’s biology AND mindset, all born from a fear response.

What is a “binge”?

Now let’s get into what bingeing even means.

If I asked you to describe to someone who had never heard of the words ‘binge eating’ before, how would you describe it?

I’m assuming that most of you would describe it with a negative connotation attached to it. Do you think bears binge when they eat loads of honey or whatever it is they eat ready for hibernation? Why or why not?

Would you describe a dog who has been beaten and starved for years as “bingeing” when it eats like it’s never seen food before? Why or why not?

(FYI – most of you will have starved and abused yourself for many years…)

Binge eating is simply a natural biological response to physical or mental restriction.

We only think it’s bad because of our conditioning and false information. Even in in-patient treatment centres for anorexia recovery, some professionals say to the patients “be careful not to go too far the other way and binge eat”..!!!!!!!! I mean wtaf!!!!!! 😤 🤯 Their literally telling someone whose fear of eating is literally and actually killing them not to eat too much?!

To me that’s like someone getting professional help to overcome a fear of heights and just as they’re starting to overcome it, the professional pretends to push them off the edge of a cliff and then describes to them how painful their death would have been if they had fallen!

So going back to bingeing, bingeing is not bad or wrong, it’s your body’s way of protecting you and getting what it needs in order to repair and survive. Even if you “binge” when you’re full it’s only because you’re mentally restricting and therefore your biology is driving you to eat because it fears impending restriction.

So let’s change the word binge to reactionary ate. As that’s what it is and has no moral judgment linked to it. And whether or not you reactionary eat a lot or a little during your recovery, that is perfectly ok, normal and all part of your journey. Goodness, I reactionary ate for MONTHS as I refused to believe that it was ok and I still kept trying to micro-restrict my body and my food. If your body has been starving for years then don’t be alarmed that you’ll eat a lot of food for a long time.

Surrender. Trust the process. Get support from someone who knows what they’re doing and has been through it themselves.

Why do you want to stop purging/recovery from the ED?

What do you want more?

  1. to face your fears and start your journey to recovery? or
  2. to stay in the familiarity and the “safety” of the ED?

Write down in depth why you want to recover. What are you so done with? What do you want to break free from and why? Uncover your why that makes you cry.

Create your vision

Write down in depth the vision you have for your life and yourself WHEN you are recovered. Allow yourself to think big. What will your life be like when you are free from the ED? How do you feel every day? What will you do? What will you be working towards if you weren’t thinking all day about food and your body? Write it all out. And don’t worry if you don’t yet believe that you can have what you want. It’s normal to feel that way at this stage as it’s a lack of self-belief and self-trust and all you have as evidence currently is that you can’t recover.

Understand and know your power to change

“In order to recover from an eating disorder, you CANNOT act like a person with an eating disorder.” -Tabitha Farrar

Read that again.

Of course, comes the question “HOW can I just act like a person who doesn’t have an ED?” If it were that simple I would have done it already.”

Well, yes and no. Firstly, you have to really want to change and be ready and willing to leave the hell hole of your comfort zone. If you don’t really want to recover then you won’t. If the (false) sense of security and control is worth more to you than what recovery promises (with a hit load of evidence from others that have recovered, including myself) then accept that you are choosing to stay where you are. I say all of this with love… I have been where you are. I felt stuck and felt like I couldn’t change. And yet here I am.

How? Because I wanted it enough AND I understand and know what I’m going to share with you now…


Your identity is your self-image and your identity drives everything.

You don’t get what you want, you get your HABITS and IDENTITY.

You learn EVERYTHING as a small child. You must re-habituate your habits and/or change your subconscious IDENTITY to HAVE what you want in life.

Currently, you identify as a person with an eating disorder. Your paradigm is having an ED. Your past conditioning, experiences, ways of coping and habits formed have created this paradigm. Your automatic thinking brain (habits) and your emotional brain (psychological) are keeping you stuck where you are.

3 parts of the brain that I work with:

  1. The brain stem – survival part – the oldest part (lowest)
  2. The emotional brain (Amygdala – middle)
  3. The prefrontal cortex is the most evolved part of our brain – logical thinking (front)

A paradigm is a standard, perspective, or set of ideas. A paradigm is a way of looking at something. 

Paradigms are important because they define how we perceive reality and how we behave within it. Everyone is subject to the limitations and distortions produced by their socially conditioned nature.

If you attempt to recover from an ED from your current identity, living in the same paradigm as you have for __ many years, then it’s practically impossible to change long term.

This is why in order to create change, you must create a new identity for yourself which automatically creates a different paradigm. I can’t go into enough depth here about exactly how to do this for yourself as I need to understand what your current paradigm is, what your personal values are, whether or not you’re in alignment with those or if you have conflicting values, what’s blocking you from creating change and what trauma you have stored within you. There are many layers to each of us.

But what I can and will do is share to the best of my ability, how to start creating a new identity for yourself.

Thinking vs Conscious thought

Everything we experience in life is a function of three things;

  1. Mind – we are alive
  2. Consciousness – we are aware
  3. Thoughts – we think

Your brain is not your mind and your mind is not your brain.

Your brain is an organ and an exceptionally smart “tool”. Your mind is consciousness. You create with your mind. You change who you are with your mind. You create your reality with the power of your mind.

If you were on an operating table and you had no consciousness (no mind), you’d just be a bag of skin. You’d still have your brain, but you wouldn’t be able to use it. It’s your mind that uses the brain.

If you think your brain and mind are the same thing, then that’s why you say you can’t change… and you believe it.

Your beliefs create your paradigm and your identity creates your beliefs.

Your identity is who you believe yourself to BE.

Your identity is created for you by your environment and parents/caregivers from the age of 0-9.

The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.”

This is the software that has been downloaded for you whether you like it or not! Your brain is the hardware and your conditioning is the software.

When working with actual computers/phones, it’s easy to just wipe out software and replace it with a new one. Because we are human, we have things called emotions and habits. I’m sure you’re very much aware of these!

Your brain thinks all the time – automatically. How does it know what to think? You’ve thought these thoughts over and over and now your brain gives them to you automatically. Where did you get these thoughts from? Conditioning. Your parents. Your environment.

You are not your thoughts.

You are the thinker of your thoughts.

Therefore you get to choose where you hold your attention and what thoughts to think.

Your thoughts are not facts.

You get to choose what you’d prefer to think. Of course, at this early stage, your beliefs will not be in alignment with what you want to think and believe but you need to start here. This is how you were conditioned in the first place as a child and when you were a child, your brain was in a state of hypnosis.

How often have you ever had a thought by itself that you consciously created?

Usually, you’ll be swamped by and living IN the automatic thoughts of the thinking brain.

“I’m not going to purge tonight. This is so hard. I’ll never be able to change. I can’t stop purging. Who am I kidding? I need to, I don’t have a choice.”…

This is why hypnosis is just as important if not more so, than mindset work as you are changing your identity.

Mindset is;

  • a person’s disposition, attitude or mood.
  • way of thinking and their opinions
  • a mental attitude or inclination

Everything that you believe, you have been programmed to believe.


Hypnosis influences the unconscious mind (which controls 95% of your behaviours). Of course, through awareness, learning and a great coach, you can bring the unconscious conscious and change it (mindset work). But alongside that, you can support your identity change by hiring a hypnotherapist to work with in person or online or/and work with a coach (such as myself) who provides you with the right hypnosis audios that will support you and your goals.

The power of who you are

You are pure consciousness and the part of your brain that is called the prefrontal cortex allows you to know this. Basically, at your core being, you are consciousness knowing itself. Where were you before you got here?

What is consciousness? Consciousness is energy (everything is energy) and it is creative. Consciousness created the whole universe. YOU are consciousness. You are not your brain, your habits and your conditioning. You are Consciousness which is the mind…

Are you starting to grasp just how powerful you are…?

Willpower doesn’t work

Just like in our ancestors, our brains chase that dopamine high. So when a behaviour comes along that results in a reward, the brain builds a connection between that behaviour and pleasure that can be hard to shake because it becomes a habit.

So when you started purging, you would have experienced dopamine high because you would have connected it to “compensating” for the bingeing. No matter how awful the act is, if your fear of weight gain or whatever is driving your purging behaviour is stronger than the discomfort of the act then you’ll keep doing it.

Willpower doesn’t work long-term when you’re trying to make a change. Why? Because when you use willpower you’re getting into a battle with your own brain. Using willpower gives the original thought more power, and you’re then trying to overpower the original thought which makes it stronger. Whatever you resist persists.

You are sitting there trying your absolute best NOT to purge and you give yourself 2 choices;

– to purge or

– not to purge

Purging is a habit and habits are brain-based. Your brain is set up to do things on autopilot and when you try to change that (with the lack of awareness that you had until you read this), the brain freaks the fuck out and defends that habit with all it’s got.

It will send urges, emotions and thoughts to protect the habit that is being threatened. It does this because it literally thinks that the habit is there to keep you alive. After all, if you’re alive today and we had the habit yesterday then we need to do what we did yesterday to survive and on it goes…

Habit voice

Your habit voice will;

lie, scream, trick, yell, manipulate and rationalise to get you to do the old habit.

“Go on, you may as well.”

“One more time.”

“Start tomorrow.”

“You’ll give in and do it anyway.”

“You can’t stop.”

Habit voice will say anything to convince you to keep doing what you are attempting to stop.

You must recognise a habit is a habit, it’s not a reflection of a characteristic of you. You are not your habits. You are not your thoughts, you are the thinker of your thoughts.

The thought process to stop your habit

What happens when you try to stop purging

  1. Habit brain goes off
  2. Habit urge – compulsion – I WANT I NEED to purge/get rid of this food
  3. Habit voice cons you into doing the habit
  4. Most people give in and do the action of the habit

Your conscious response to your habit brain

  1. This is just a habit, it is NOT me
  2. It is just fear and habit voice, it is NOT me
  3. I dismiss habit voice and urge NOW
  4. I move my attention to who I choose to BE (eg I am a person who sits with discomfort and chooses recovery.)

Repeat. We learn/programme our brain through repetition. The brain responds to repetition. It takes on average 67 days to subconsciously change a habit.

It gets easier the more you do this, I promise. Keep connecting to your why, and your vision and remind yourself how freakin powerful you are!

As within, so without

Whatever is in your internal world will show up in your external world automatically.

“You cannot do what you are not, and you can only do what you are.”

– Jim Fortin

It’s easy for you to do what you unconsciously think you are. If see yourself as someone with an ED, then it’s easy to be that. And not only that, confirmation bias happens. Confirmation bias is where your brain searches for and only sees information that confirms or supports your beliefs or values.

“If I don’t have it in my external world it’s because I didn’t have it in my internal world first.”

And so therefore you must create an identity that supports who you want to BE. You are a human BEing, not a human DOing. You get to choose who you want to BE.

Ask yourself the new identity paradigm:

“Who would I BE, how would I FEEL and what would I DO if I was already fully recovered from the ED… If I was living in food freedom, self-acceptance and self-love?

This is similar to your vision but it goes deeper. It focuses on BEing from the identity that you already ARE who you want to be. And then take ACTION.

If you don’t leave your comfort zone, you’ll never leave your comfort zone!

For some practical tips to address the behavioural aspect of purging, check out this episode here.

You can not “un-know” what you know and just from this episode alone, you’ll notice a shift. If you don’t then go take a look in the mirror… 😉

If you’d like coaching and support every step of the way throughout this journey to food freedom and body love, reach out to me to explore coaching.


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