It is common to use stories to justify addictions. The addiction itself becomes a goal or it can become attached to a goal.
Of course, there can be different reasons or motivations for eating eating habits that are outside of addiction. Often times even more than one contributing factor.
But in focusing on this specific scenario, what happens in your mind is you start justifying those addictive behaviors to satisfy the need, which leads to creating stories that help satisfy the addiction
The more they are positively reinforced, the stronger they become. The justifying behaviors start to snowball and become easier to do because they’re seen as necessary, safe, or beneficial (due to those justifications).
In order to release yourself from the justification cycle, you have to be willing to let go of the goal, the addiction. But first, you have to feel safe to do so!
Start by asking yourself, "Why am I so attached to ___? What is it bringing to my life? What would letting go of it mean for me?" Once you start to gain insight, you can redirect your energy into more positive pursuits that genuinely satisfy the needs you have and are sustainable + life giving
If there is an unsatisfied need, we can easily fixate on it, turning to external sources of addiction or a focus that takes us away from important things in our life.
I break an example down in the video but if you are “addicted” to binging and purging (whether that be through exercise, restricting calories, or throwing up) and you feel safer doing this because it feels safer to stuff everything down and throw it all up as a release than it does to address the intense underlying emotion, you’re going to justify your disordered eating as protection from the emotion so when you lie to family or you hide in private or you go to the bathroom or wake up for hours of cardio it’s all “fine” because it has served its purpose
I would love to hear your reflections on this topic. If it resonates with you, I would encourage you to check out my free 8 day food relationship series. Click here to find more information.
To apply for my in-depth food relationship coaching program, click here. You will find client testimonials and stories to show you what this kind of coaching is all about.