Freedom Story from Erin

Before finding Beat the Binge program, I was obsessed with food, my weight and trying to manipulate my body into a version I could more readily accept. 

Forty-five years of my life was spent in food bondage.

Countless hours, dollars and tears were expended in trying to control, manipulate, change, correct, fix, or accept the “problem.” All the while, believing I was the problem.

I had come to the conclusion there was some essential flaw in my character making me incapable of managing a “right” relationship with food. My relationship with food was so distorted that I lived in terror of certain foods and lacked the ability to move freely in my life.

I had attempted and failed in every program, rehab, therapy, and twelve-step option. My weight fluctuated constantly and the reflected number on the scale dictated my mood. I weighed myself everyday for fifteen years in an attempt to control that number. Constantly believing I could stop it from going higher if I knew what it was! 

There was a constant stream of noise in my brain, tortured obsessive thinking and hateful self-talk ran 24-7. The shame, guilt, frustration and despair were paralyzing. I wasn’t living; I was existing, barely surviving. 

I decided to join the program because what I was doing wasn’t working. I was hooked when Lydia said, “There is nothing wrong with you.”

For some time, I had been considering that my problem was between the ears, however, I didn’t know the solution for my thinking problem.

I watched a number of the success videos on Lydia’s website and realized I was seeing the very thing I was looking for: Freedom from the bondage of food. I signed up the next day and haven’t looked back! 

I am free! This program changed my life. I saw immediate results. I put away my scale, canceled my Weight Watchers membership--after eleven years of faithful attendance and participation--during the first week!

I did really hard things; in the past, I would have numbed myself and gone through it in a fog. I am more hopeful about my future. I feel fully present to each moment--recognizing it's not all butterflies and rainbows. I have so much time now--mentally and physically. Being able to have quiet in my mind and soul is transformative. 

One of the things that surprised me was recognizing what I always called "waking up feeling thin." Midway through week one, I made the connection that the "thin" feeling I was experiencing was nothing more than the absence of a binge hangover! I could have that lean and clean feeling every day!

The other surprise for me was the power of celebration and how quickly my brain adapted to discovering "wins" and finding the evidence to support it!

I realized while reading through my evidence journal--another big surprising thing--I didn't need to heal/recover/deal with/ from any trauma or aspect of my history to get to freedom.

So much of my earlier work revolved around a false connection between my eating and abusive childhood. I'm not only surprised, I am shocked that all of that was a habit and the chatter used it to reinforce the habit! Recognizing what is chatter and separating it from my "critical" mother was one of the nicest surprises of this work for me! 

Neutrality versus managing an eating disorder is different from every other approach I'd used. It's made all the difference. Empowered, aligned, balanced, purposeful, are descriptors I use now. Prior to this, powerless, distorted, broken, flawed, addicted, compulsive, hopeless--and this shift happened in eight weeks--miraculous!! 

Freedom Story from Lynn

Over a 30 year period, my struggle with food and weight gain gradually worsened until it spiraled out of control and became very damaging to my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

It began with me innocently "needing to lose a few pounds" and ended years later with me frightened to death with how rapidly I regained 45 of the 65 pounds I had worked so hard to lose over a period of a year and a half.

I was completely confused and disheartened because I could not keep the weight off, even though I always promised myself that I would stick to a "sensible eating plan" and not go off the rails again.

In 2016, in desperation, I joined a 12 step program because I had gained so much weight that I had to walk with a cane; my knees couldn't handle it. I truly thought that I had finally, finally found the solution to what ailed me. I worked it, and it worked.

And then, I was horrified to find myself back into the binge grazing, out of control again. I was constantly telling myself that "I've already blown it, so I might as well continue to eat today, but I'll do better tomorrow" or "I've eaten this sweet, so I need to have something salty to counteract it". Tomorrow would come and it would bring the same insane cycle with it.

Mornings weren't hard, but by the afternoon, I was toast. I was completely worn out and demoralized from the struggle!

Coincidentally (maybe not), there had been an interesting convergence of information of late about the power of the brain that I had been absorbing via podcasts and a book. I believe this brought me to the place where I was ready to hear what Lydia had to say. So, when her video showed up in my Facebook feed, I clicked on it, and the rest is history!

I feel so smart, because, at the age of 62, I was open to learning new skills and I recognized the wisdom of what Lydia has to offer.

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! I am so thankful to be free of the constant anxiety that I suffered around food. Through the power of my own brain, the confusion has disappeared.

Now I know why I kept falling back in to my old unhealthy eating patterns even though I didn't want to. I had been in the habit of grazing on sweets and carbs whenever I was alone, pretty much every afternoon and evening. That is no longer happening. I no longer have "good" foods and "bad" foods.

My body and mind are slowly healing and in the process, my fullness and hunger indicators are returning AND I'm discovering what foods I really enjoy and what I don't.

I am figuring out how I want to eat and my body will eventually reach a comfortable and healthy weight. I am working on accepting my body as it is now and not focusing on forcing it to change like I used to.

In the months and years to come, I look forward to taking the time I used to waste obsessing about food to garden and learn some new hobbies like weaving. I am able to engage more with my family because my mind is more free. I'll always be a work in progress, but now I have peace.

Freedom Story from Kristina

I don't remember a time when I didn't have a very flawed relationship with food.

As a child I suffered various traumas and reached adulthood before I was diagnosed with ADHD.

I Constantly felt restless and as if I did not have control over my life. I was diagnosed with anorexia at 16 (although looking back I think it may have in fact been bulimia).

For a long time, the ADHD diagnosis and treatment seemed to help with the eating disorder. Possibly because the medication deals with the same part of the brain where the basic animal impulses to binge come from.

But from 2016 through most of 2018 it has been one stressor added on top of another and I found myself bingeing again and again and putting on more and more weight.

Deaths in the family, job insecurity, close friends moving away, health issues, insomnia, an unstable ex sending me vaguely threatening messages - all of these thing weighed on me to the point where I craved the numbness binge eating provided - regardless of how briefly the numbness lasted.

Add to that my constant (failed) attempts to restrict and I was finding myself unable to focus on anything but food and my weight. Which acted as a easy distraction to the grief and anxiety I was trying to ignore.

Eventually, most of the external stressors began to disappear - my job status became guaranteed and my job itself became a less toxic environment for me.

My unhinged ex stopped sending messages and my husband and I put safety measures in place in case it started again. The fog of grief started to lift and I was starting to feel like things were going to be okay.

But I couldn't stop binge eating and it pissed me off.

My life was so great regardless of the things I had endured - I have a loving supportive husband, family I love and can count on, friends who care, a job I love - why couldn't I stop eating? Why couldn't I lose weight? Why did I hate myself when everything that actually mattered was going right for me?

I knew from the very first moment I listened to the Beat The Binge intro webinar that this was my answer.

When Lydia explained it was possible to have freedom from my eating disorder I literally burst into tears. Even during those years when the binge eating was not so rampant, my relationship with food and my body image were still very unhealthy.

I had long ago resigned myself to the probability that I would never be a "normal eater" or have body acceptance. I was so overwhelmed, but I knew Lydia could help me.

I knew I would get to be the person I wanted to be and finally enjoy the life I was given.

Yes, it would require work - but as Lydia often reminds us, you can continue doing the things you've always done - WHICH ARE ALREADY HARD, or try a new approach which might also be hard.

After completing the Beat The Binge program I am free from so many things I never thought possible.

Food doesn't scare me like it used to, I don't spend all day thinking about and planning around and obsessing over and hating it like used to.

I am free not only from disgust regarding my body as well as the body dysmorphia that plagued me my entire life - I actually love my body now and can see it for what it is, not the distorted jumble of flaws I spent too much time hating.

This program taught me how to access parts of my brain and change my thinking in ways that go beyond no longer binge eating - or more importantly no longer having the URGE to binge eat.

The principles Lydia teaches are invaluable in so many areas, I have a better handle on my ADHD without having to constantly up my medication dosage, my anxiety has lessened significantly, I no longer have terrible bouts with insomnia - all because of the very basic principles Lydia lays out in the program.

I even began to grieve properly for the losses I've experienced this last year - I had been trying to power through and not feel them because the hurt was too intense, but knowing I wasn't going to spiral into a binge-monster allowed me to feel the feelings and process them in a more healthy way. 

I know I was probably primed for this level of success with the program due to a number of other factors:

I developed a poor body image after I developed an eating disorder - prior to that I had always found my shape and size to be perfectly acceptable - I believe the capacity for body acceptance was still in there.

I had already felt what freedom from bingeing could be prior to the program thanks to the ADHD treatment, I had been practicing the principles subconsciously in other areas of my life, and so they truly clicked for me regarding my binge eating when I heard them presented in a easy to comprehend manner.

It was only halfway through the program that I realized why I found this method so intuitive and it was a total AHA moment. 

The biggest surprise was that I would gain so much more than freedom from binge eating.

I never would have dreamed how positively this could've changed my life - I just wanted to stop uncontrollably shoving food into my face.

Instead, I've found my tribe in the group of women and men who have shared this journey with me, I've learned how to change the way I view myself, accepted and even come to love what I am both physically and emotionally.

I have a much better relationship with food than I ever imagined possible. I get to enjoy my life now and I have been equipped with invaluable tools to keep changing my life for the better.

Freedom Story from Hannah

Before starting the Beat the Binge program I had 25 years of trying to hide my secret of Bulimia.

During those 25 years the biggest thing Bulimia stole from me was quality time that could have been better spent focusing on my family and friends.

I grew up in a pretty normal house, with loving parents who gave me a great childhood. I remember once in 5th grade, one of my mom’s friends, who was also a teacher at my school, mentioned that I was getting the “5th grade pudge.” This was the first time I remember thinking that other people saw me as being chubby or fat. Looking back at childhood pictures, I was nothing more than an average size, and for the life of me I still have no idea why the lady made that statement.

However, it was forever burned into my memory. I decided that same year that I wanted to be a cheerleader and do gymnastics, so I started classes. This lead me down the next pivotal road in my life. I became a cheerleader and in high school made the competition squad. It was important to be small so you could be a flyer...and look good in the uniform.

The spring of my sophomore year, I decided I really needed to lose weight. I think I was about 5’3” and weighted 115. I went to the store and bought my first diet pills. They made me shaky and feel weird so I decided that wouldn’t work. Then one night after dinner it happened....I became a bulimic.

Over that summer I dropped to 95lbs and Everywhere I went people noticed. Thinking back now, there is no way I looked healthy, but people told me how great I looked and I excelled in cheer. So much I ended up with a college scholarship to cheer at a 4 year anniversary.

But before that, my senior year, my parents found out about my eating disorder. Someone at the school called them and reported me being sick in the bathroom. My mom took me to a pediatrician who told me to eat a healthy diet, and then I was on my way to continuing my disordered eating.

To this day, my mom and I have only spoken about this once since my teenage years. I sometimes wonder if it’s because she too may have an eating disorder. But we have never discussed it.

So back to college, I continued my disordered eating through college and into marriage. My husband knew about the Bulimia when we got married and would encourage me to get help.

However, no counseling or doctor could help with the issue.

They wanted to dredge up other issues about my life, even though many of the things we discussed were just normal life issues. There was one therapist that even decided this whole disordered eating was about sex....I still don’t have a clue what she was talking about.

So, I would research and read, work myself into a panic, end up at a therapists office and drop out within a month because it all felt useless.

Then one day, I found Lydia's facebook page, which led me to some videos, and changed my life forever.

Not only have the principles you taught me changed my eating, they have helped me recover some (not all) of my self esteem that has been lost over 25 years of letting my chatter tell me what “I’m not.” I am forever grateful!

Now, I can eat a normal meal without feeling guilty. My food rules are gone, and I can keep whatever foods in the house I want without fear of a binge.

This has freed up so much time for me to just be present in life with my family and friends.

I am still working on the body image, but it’s one step at a time.

I also recognize chatter across multiple areas of my life, and can call it out for what it is. The biggest surprise is that I can eat normally and my weight did not drastically change!

Freedom Story from Katie Jo

Before Beat the Binge, I had lost all hope. I was convinced that I was never going to solve my food issues, I was going to continue to eat uncontrollably, and I would keep gaining weight until it killed me.

I had tried everything - self help books, online groups, week long retreats, prescription medications, over the counter supplements, every diet program out there, 20 years of counseling, rehashing my past over and over and over, reliving trauma and horrible emotions until I couldn't stand it any more.

Some of these things helped with my mental stability and taught me things about myself that were helpful in my life in general, but nothing seemed to help with the food.

When I signed up, I was bingeing every day. I was never a purger or over-exerciser, or even an extreme restricter. I would overeat or binge, then cut back, or diet, and be able to mostly maintain my weight for many years (even though I was constantly obsessed about the number on the scale and was never happy with how I looked).

Until the last 2 or 3 years... I reached a point where I could no longer diet. I could not stick to any type of food plan AT ALL. Like not even for one day. I felt completely out of control. The weight starting packing on, and I panicked and tried even harder to "do better" but nothing worked. I felt powerless and hopeless as I gained 50 pounds in about 3 years (on top of the extra 20 I was already carrying).

I was desperately looking for a solution. I had bought into the idea that my depression and eating issues were related to past trauma because I had been told that by so many people for so many years.

So I jumped from therapist to therapist, trying to find the one with the right method of treatment that would help me put it behind me once and for all.

I dredged up old memories and old emotions so many times, reliving traumas over and over and over, not understanding what I was doing wrong and why it wasn't helping.

I truly thought I just wasn't trying hard enough even though I was devoting my entire life to it.

My eating disorder and food has taken my entire life from me for the last 20 years.

I stopped expressing myself in any way. I stopped caring about how I looked, quit wearing makeup, didn't care about how I dressed.

I gave up anything and everything that gave me any kind of joy or happiness - I stopped doing the things I enjoyed, gave up hobbies and interests, stopped having opinions about things.

I just drifted along and let other people run my life. I lost all of my friends and became very isolated.

My marriage was in ruins. My daughter was growing up before my eyes and I was missing it. I didn't have a job outside the home for almost 15 years, so I spent nearly all of my time at home, either alone or with only my daughter or husband for company.

My life became a hollow shell of what it once was. I became a hollow shell of what I once was. My whole world was contained in this depressive state that I was trying desperately to get out of, but felt powerless to change.

Every bit of energy I had (which was not much) was spent either obsessing about food or obsessing about how to stop being so miserable.

I spent my days sitting on the couch watching Netflix and eating. It was all I could do to get my daughter to school, take a shower, and maybe run a couple of errands or do some laundry.

I was going through a fast food drive through pretty much every day, sometimes more than once per day. I had lost all trust in myself, in my ability to think clearly, in my ability to make decisions. I felt at times like I was truly losing my mind.

The battle that was going on in my head was almost more than I could take. I felt like the war I was fighting was against myself, and I had no idea how to win because no matter the outcome, somehow I would also lose. 

Through all of this desperation, I could not allow myself to simply give up. I just couldn't believe that there was absolutely no hope for someone like me. So I kept looking, kept trying to be open to new ideas that might be able to help me.

And then I came across Lydia's videos on Facebook. I watched a few of them and they really resonated and made so much sense!

And then there was Beat the Binge. :)

Oh my gosh, how has this program NOT helped me!!?

I am getting my life back.

I am getting my brain back.

I am trusting myself again, learning how to make decisions that serve me, figuring out what I want for what feels like the first time in forever.

Just writing that sentence brings tears to my eyes.

It has given me hope back. Hope that I can have the life I have desperately wanted but felt unable to have for the last 20 years.

It has helped me rediscover my own power, and that I can truly create the life I want to have.

I no longer spend every waking moment obsessively thinking about food. I have food in the cabinet, the pantry, the freezer, my desk at work that has been there for weeks, and this is the same food that wouldn't have lasted a day in the past.

I am allowing myself a freedom with food that I didn't know was possible.

I have so much more mental energy and clarity now.

I just feel lighter in every part of my life and in every way. I know I haven't lost weight since my clothes still fit the same (and that's ok), but I feel a lightness in my body.

The anxiety, the tense feeling of always being on edge has eased. I am sleeping better - I have been having sleep issues for years and had tried pretty much everything to fix that issue as well and nothing has helped until now.

Things just aren't as big of a deal any more. Every little mistake I make doesn't have to be tied to guilt and shame anymore. The things that I eat and the struggles that I have no longer define me and determine my worth. 

After staying at home for 15 years, I went back to work about 4 weeks into the program. I truly believe that would not have been possible without Beat the Binge.

I have wanted to for years, but didn't feel like I could for many reasons. For one, I didn't have the mental capacity. I didn't feel like I would be able to perform the duties of a job because I couldn't think straight, my thinking was so sluggish, and I had no physical energy.

Now, with the principles I have learned and practiced, all of that is changing. 

My relationships are also improving. I am able to be present with my daughter in ways that I never was before.

I can be supportive of her emotionally and allow her to have her feelings. I am also communicating with my husband better and expressing my wants/needs more.

Maybe I may even be able to branch out and make some new friends soon.

This program has impacted me in huge ways. I love the ways it has helped me with food, but what I love even more is the impact in the rest of my life.

Calling out the chatter doesn't just relate to food. And the areas that don't relate to food are even bigger and better.

I used to think that if I could just stop eating uncontrollably, I would be happy.

All I wanted was to end my food obsession. What I didn't realize was that ending that obsession would open so many other doors and opportunities for the rest of my life.

Freedom Story from Lauren

I decided to join the program after seeing the webinar online and watching the video interview with Kathryn Hansen. I was getting desperate.

I was grazing constantly working overnight to get me through work. It felt like I couldn’t stop. I was so full of condemnation and negative thoughts about myself. I started thinking about getting weight loss surgery and going to diet doctors.

Even though I knew I had fix my brain first. If I didn’t fix my brain nothing would be lasting. I was so desperate I didn’t care.

I felt hopeless and thought things will always be this way. A few days after that is when I saw the video for the webinar.

I dealt with my food issues probably my whole life. My mom said she was trying to feed me peas so she added applesauce to the spoon. She said somehow I swished it around in my mouth and spit out the peas but kept the applesauce. I always remember having a fondness for sweets.

My dad killed himself when I was 9 and I’m not sure if that sparked using food for comfort for sure or not. I always was fixated on junk food and sweets. I thought it was what brought me joy and pleasure. The thing that hurt my heart was I’m a Christian and I thought this food issue was me sinning, being a glutton, being rebellious, and just a bad person. I didn’t want to disappoint God, but I sure felt like a failure.


[after participating in the Beat the Binge program ] My brain space is freed up. I don’t have to allow those thoughts about food to stay in my head. I don’t have to believe what the chatter is telling me anymore.

I knew how to work with my thoughts about many other things in life, but I didn’t know how to apply it to the food issues I’ve had.

I can go to the store and I don’t have to buy candy. I can choose to, but I’m not pulled towards the candy aisle like I used to be. I used to think of my freedom from food crazy thoughts would have me stop grazing all the time and I would automatically lose weight.

That’s not the case and I’m learning to be okay with that.

I used to think I was only healthy or beautiful if I was smaller. That has always been the goal in my life. Be smaller. I realized my worth was not in my size. It’s in what God says I am.

I have a wonderful husband and kids, I am kind, encouraging, blessed, and have the most fantastic friends. I can be with them and not stress or feel bad about what I’ve eaten.

Freedom Story from Britney

I was depressed and despairing ever being able to eat normally again. My identity was so wound up in making "healthy" eating choices that there was very little food that I thought was healthy anymore.

I would graze binge on almond butter and nuts and all kind of "healthy foods". I was restricting flour, sugar, dairy, and all my favorite foods at one point.

I was exercising to try to modify my body type from an inverted triangle to a more hourglass shape, I wasn't accepting who I am or how I was made (by God) at all and it was hurting me very badly.

I had read many many books on stored trauma and the therapeutic approach to healing the traumatic memories from my past, and thought I was on the right track thinking I had PTSD from a painful childhood and a traumatic ex-boyfriend who abused me.

I had spent a couple thousand dollars on supplements, trips to the doctor and medical testing, and was looking into doing more special care that would have cost even more to treat the emotional pain and physical pain.

I was extremely depressed and doubtful of my own ability to accomplish anything. I was not recognizing my strengths or taking credit for all I have accomplished. I felt like I was slipping into having the only good moments in my life being those I spent with food and then regretting it moments later because I didn't have the perfect body that I thought I wanted.

I was shackled by my desire to please others with my body (through how I looked) and thought this was the most important thing, that if I could just do this one thing then everything else would come together magically.

After doing Lydia's program, I can see the truth of how my body is not an object for anyone else's pleasure (including viewing pleasure) and that I am much more important than that and that I shouldn't be making my goal to be an object for other people's egos.

I can see how to get out of that mindset. I can view the world through clearer eyes and see how much of this problem is not the result of wounding from my childhood but is actually programmed into us from society.

I can see that the problem is actually not my family, but the social pressures from the world. I can see how habits work and how I don't have to believe my thoughts if I don't want to. It sounds so simple but it was really hard for me to imagine being out of this mental and emotional anguish so quickly.

It's allowed me to feel my feelings, to not feel like an outsider but to feel like I am normal, and it's allowed me to stop shifting the pain of an extremely harmful first relationship to eating and to actually get healing for those pains.

The pain and emotions don't go away, but it helps to be able to process things, and I have gained new tools and a new approach to those old wounds and it has actually helped me to stop viewing myself as a victim!

I find my prayer life has been enriched, I am more able to turn to the Lord with my needs, and I am more equipped to face the challenges of everyday life.

I am inspired to follow the dreams that I had placed on hold while working a deeply unsatisfying day-job that sucked up so much of my creativity that I wasn't able to work on creating anything of value (I am a musician and artist) in the meantime and I am feeling confident to pursue other career options. I even applied to Grad school simply because I wanted to.

Freedom Story from Lindsay

After a few years of restricting and over exercising, I started binging. Slowly they were getting bigger and bigger and becoming more frequent.

I had no idea what was going on and I thought I was crazy! I couldn’t understand what was going on, why my willpower was failing me, why I had done so well before exercising and restricting and it was becoming impossible.

I felt hopeless and ashamed and like I had no way of getting out.

I found Lydia’s videos and read [a book Lydia mentioned on her videos]. I did the [the study course that went along with the book] about a year before [Lydia's program], while it helped me lay the boundaries, I was becoming more frustrated that it wasn’t working for me- continuing to add evidence to the fact I was broken and would live like this forever.

Before [Lydia's program] I had no freedom around food- I thought that because my binges weren’t as bad as they had been in the past then maybe that was as good as it could be.

I would still feel hijacked by food, eating much more than I knew I needed. I feared being hungry and still worried about how much food I would need to eat and where it would come from, each day. I still spent too much time and energy thinking about food and was frustrated that I felt I should be doing better.

I felt lost, hopeless, broken and as if I was living someone else’s life. I didn’t trust myself to know what I wanted to eat or when I would be full. I’d wake up each morning and dread it, as I wouldn’t know what kind of day I was going to have and by the end if I’d feel like I’d have a ‘good day’ or ‘bad day’ and if I’d end up going to sleep that night feeling shame, regret and thinking I could start again tomorrow.

I had no idea how different life would be 8 weeks later [doing Lydia's program], it’s better than I could ever have thought it would be.

I genuinely feel free around food- and I had no idea what that would be like as I couldn’t comprehend it. Food isn’t a big deal anymore, I’m able to eat with much more allowance and am working to accept that this doesn’t mean I’ll eat perfectly.

My relationship with my body has also changed, I hated my body before, and just wanted to get back to the body I thought should have, thoughts that were keeping me trapped in the same cycle. Now, my body hasn’t changed but I accept it- it’s the only one I’ve got. 

I have been able to enjoy loads of different activities and environments that would have caused me so much stress and anxiety- such as weddings, holidays and going away on road trips.

I’ve done them all and food hasn’t even been an issue, I’ve enjoyed the time spent with people I love. I can’t believe how much progress is made in a relatively short space of time and how quickly the principles can start to apply to other areas of my life. As is said in the program - ‘once you see something it can’t be unseen.’ The ideas about perfectionism and giving yourself wagons to fall off can apply to so many things I do.

Freedom Story from Sasha

I have had food issues since I was in middle school. I was NOT overweight, but I was a teenager in the Twiggy days---and compared to her, I was chubby. When I got to college, I decided to go on a reasonably healthy diet--sort of like the diabetic exchange program--or low carbs. Not a specific plan---just 3 meals a day. I felt great and lost 55 pounds. What happened though, was that I didn't know how to maintain that weight---so when I got "too thin" I started to binge on sweets---something I hadn't had in 9 mos. So that started a cycle of binging, restricting, over exercising and other purging. That went on --on and off--for 40 years. My weight was stable--so no one really noticed or knew---which was part of the problem. I looked "normal" but my relationship with food was horrible. Food occupied every free moment I had---I was very able to have a career, be a mom, be a wife---but every other moment was FOOD FOCUSED. Everything revolved around food. 

I instinctively knew that this was not because of this or that stress. Food never made whatever was the stress of the day better--the binging only made the urge go away---everything else was still there. Work wasn't easier---family issues still arose---food didn't help. Binging made it harder to work through issues because I was not focused on the "issue"---rather I was focused on the urges and eating. Binging stole my attention from LIFE. 

I tried therapy, OA, hypnosis, meditation, religion, whatever was available. I found Beat the Binge through Kathryn Hansen's program. After I listened to her book, I looked up programs based on those principles---and I found Lydia. What appealed to me was the one on one program--Kathryn doesn't offer that and I believed I needed the personal relationships to really be accountable and to know that I was like other people in this program. 

As a lawyer, I am a cynical person, so for awhile I wasn't sure that this was working---but I made an investment in myself and I would not give up. This program does work and it's because of the principles and the live support. This program requires work, moment by moment application of the principles--but freedom and recovery is worth the time and effort.

I am clearly more free!!! So many things are different. First, identifying chatter and learning to detach and not believe the stories chatter was spinning. I began to realize that chatter's stories were hooking me and I learned to use my higher brain to make better choices and to use what the chatter was saying was data/information.

By practicing the principles, calling in my celebrations, calling in my wobbly moments, going to Q&A sessions, leaving lots of [messages for my coach]---my relationship with food is so different. I don't believe "you can start tomorrow" any more. I don't believe "you need to wait until after this holiday, this party, this meeting, etc". If I slip, I leave posts and get right back into the program---I don't wait until a better day. If my slip was at lunch---I haven't "blown the whole day". I already knew what I liked to eat---I knew how to eat adequately, but I didn't practice those healthy non-restrictive habits because of a nasty habit. This program has helped me to go back to nourishing my body regularly and allowing myself to have celebrations meals/foods--I can eat what I want--what serves me, my body, my situation. 

I didn't come to this program to lose weight. Weight was not my issue---I was willing to gain some weight to have freedom. I didn't weigh myself during the program--but I did step on the scale today (which I haven't done in 30 years except when I go to the doctors) and I can tell you I didn't gain any weight. I didn't lose any. I stayed where I was and learned how to nourish my body and my mind and my spirit.

Body image issues---I am older so with age, I've learned to be ok with my body and my wrinkles. I have learned to look at peoples faces, hair, clothes, eyes---and listening to WHO they are. I don't look at bodies or color or age. I try to look inside to see who people are. This wonderful program and group of women have reinforced this focus.

I still have to apply these principles. I am going to go back to the milestones and start from the beginning and I know I will see new things each time I listen to the milestones, listen to the stories, share in the grad group.

Freedom Story from Jessica

I remember staying up late at night watching tv in high school, and eating. Later, during and after college, staying up late, watching tv and eating, regardless of whether I was hungry or not, was fun for me. Although I'm not certain how fun it really was...but it was rebellious, and I liked that a lot.

I never purged, and once I didn't live at home with my parents, often I binged just as part of a meal - regularly eating beyond fullness at a meal.

My mother is a restrictive eater, however she has managed to remain quite thin for her entire life; she is now in her early 90s. As I started gaining weight (due to overeating/bingeing) in my 40s, this opened up a whole emotional can of worms between us, as I gained more and more weight and moved further away from the person my mother thought I should be.

During a particularly stressful time in my life - my early 40s - I was single-parenting two school-aged daughters, working part-time and going to university full-time. It took me 5.5 years to get my degree, but it was so worth it, and I did really enjoy the learning. And, almost every day at school I would eat a huge lunch with dessert, and have a large hot chocolate - I felt I deserved it, it was a way of soothing myself thru the stressers of my life.

I can see now that this is where I solidified the habit of turning to food for soothing.

Although many things improved in my life once I had my degree, many stressers remained, and I continued to overeat and binge. Food was a stressful element in my parenting, as I didn't really enjoy preparing food for my kids, but I didn't have money to eat out or buy prepared foods. I feel guilty for all the food craziness I perhaps passed on to my daughters.

I do remember one time going out to a nice restaurant with two close girlfriends, and bingeing right there at the table on the delicious bread and olive oil. When I reached for my fourth piece and drenched it in olive oil, I could sense my friends exchanging a look. I remember feeling all kinds of emotions coming up, and I just stuffed that bread in my mouth, and then ate a huge meal.

During my mid-40s, perhaps as a reaction to all the hot chocolates, I cut out all sugar from my diet. And I really, truly, did - for 4.5 years, I ate no sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc, and I hardly ever used artificial sweeteners. Maybe a diet soda once a month or so. Actually now, I cannot imagine how I succeeded, but I did. But I stuffed myself with bread, pasta, cheese, rice...on and on (it was during this period that I had that dinner with friends, described above). And I gained 35 pounds in those 4.5 years, despite the fact that I was also a fitness instructor, and teaching/working out many times per week. I am now aware that I was burning out, and think I knew it at the time, but did not know how to change or get out of the downward cycle. I eventually gave up teaching fitness when I felt I was just too fat to be a realistic role model for students. And I went back to eating sugar, and have been eating it several times per day ever since (until this program!). And once I gave up teaching, I gave up exercising altogether - that strategy had failed too.

So, it's been 10 years since I last taught an exercise class, and 18 or so years since I started noticeably putting on weight. Just a few days, maybe a week and a half, before I found Lydia's program, I was getting ready to sign up for Brightline Eating, a restrictive eating program based, I think, on some commonly accepted restrictions in Overeaters' Anonymous. I was absolutely dreading starting the program, and couldn't imagine that I would be able to stick to it, but I was desperate and felt I had to try something serious and commit to it for real. I have never dieted, never used a scale, as I always knew that I had to "fix" something about me, or my life, and my eating would take care of itself. I've had YEARS of therapy, self-help, and I spent a few years (and many dollars) on a program that specifically teaches how to question our thoughts (The Work of Byron Katie). But the always hoped-for side effect of losing my eating disorder never materialized. So I thought I had to go back to addressing eating specifically.

Thank goodness I found Lydia's program, as it does specifically address eating, but it addresses our THOUGHTS about eating.

The program helped me to take so much of my mental energy and focus OFF food, and think about and do other things.

I am MUCH more free, I have more mental energy and attention, and I feel like the old me has been uncovered.

I have more physical energy - I have exercised spontaneously several times during the 8 weeks, and I have also done a lot of physical work on a new home I bought. I would have been wiped out by these physical efforts if it were not for the Beat the Binge program.

Food comes in to my mind mostly only when I'm hungry or planning a meal - and that planning is no longer obsessive and crazy. I live alone, so meals can be really anything I want, and since uncovering my restriction chatter, I really have opened up to so much more enjoyment of food, while (maybe paradoxically) thinking about it less.

I have had a few meals where I overate, and I binged a time or two in the last 8 weeks, but the program is so helpful in learning to just MOVE ON. No wagon [to fall off of], just calling out the chatter, allowing, coming back again and again to my desire to be free.

Freedom Story from Mary

I decided to join because I have been struggling for over 20 years with eating disorders. 80% of my brain was busy thinking of food and how to lose weight. I couldn't even imagine starting studying at 35 years old with this obsession going on in my head. I was isolating myself and so ashamed and disgusted of myself.

My body image was absolutely horrible and I felt like I wasn't Worth of being seen and loved with this over weight.

The program helped me to accept my body the way it is right now and I actually enjoy doing shopping and taking care of me now.

My binge crisis are gone and I feel confident that if it happens again some day I would just write down the data and move on. I'm a normal person and I'm working on adding new healthy habits in my mind and everyday life.

I have my joy back and the way I see other women, overweight or not, just with their own body, has totally changed. I literally find each and every woman beautiful.

Today, I feel ready to meet my future husband and be a good mom.

During the process, I could see my habits changing only because of practicing, and I think it is absolutely unbelievable!

Freedom Story from Olivia

I feel like I have had an eating disorder most of my life. I always remember my mum being on a diet which I quickly joined the bandwagon. From there it was years of on and off binging. In the last 5 years I can't remember a week going by without binging.
Before finding Lydia's program I had hit the wall and really felt like there was nothing more I could do. I had tried other forms of treatment but NOTHING worked. It always felt like I was broken and like something was really wrong with me. I was made to feel that I would always have an eating disorder and it is my job to learn how to deal with it.
Food consumed my mind, I was always thinking about what I would eat next, what I wasn't allowed to eat and what diet I needed to go on to lose the most weight. Binging stopped me from loving life! Stopped me from exercising, going out with friends,, relationships and just living.
I felt so worthless, I just wanted it to stop so bad but the more I tried to stop the worse it would get.

The thing that surprised me the most is how easy the concepts are. As soon as you know them you put them into practice and your brain starts changing almost instantly. I am so much more aware of my thoughts and I love it!! I have control of my brain and can think about the things that I want to think about. My relationship with food has changed so much - it is just food!!! I can eat what I want when I want and its no big deal!
I have my life back. I can be spontaneous, not have to stick to a routine or diet plan and just do the things that make me happy. I move my body because I enjoy the exercise not because I feel like I have to restrict.

Freedom Story from Sarah

My before story is this: feeling bad and wrong in my body from aged 6 (despite being a totally normal size), going on diets from aged 10. Putting on. Losing. Putting on. Losing. Decades passing.

Now in my late 40s. Restricting is too hard and my only recourse is constant overeating in a grazing way. Body hatred. Feeling trapped and wrong. Feeling like I've let down the people I love. Feeling like I am going to be punished for having no self control.

Basically: a living nightmare.

My now story: I am learning that I have a choice. That I can eat too much if I want but I am learning more and more that, on the whole, I prefer not to do that. I am learning that I am allowed to move my body - even though I have decades of shame around it for being the 'wrong' size. I am learning that trust is a thing I have lacked so much over all these years.

I am realizing that I can learn to trust myself, trust myself with food, trust that I am ok. And none of this involves perfection. I have learned that the more perfect I aspired to be, the further and further away I was getting from perfection. In fact, there is no such thing. I am learning to stay present and call out the chatter now: not when I'm smaller, not when I'm in perfect health. Now.

Freedom Story from Angela

I started binging when I was 18 years old (and I'm now almost 34!). I was spending a year abroad after high school and I started putting on weight. Up until this point I had never worried about my weight or the food I ate as I had always been slim and athletic. I decided that restricting my food would be a good idea, and I started to severely restrict what food I was eating, as well as my calorie intake. I also began going to a gym for the first time in my life. And then I started binge eating.

At first it started out more like comfort eating, a cookie here, a chocolate bar there, a couple of extra pieces of cake at lunchtime. But before long I was eating huge quantities of food in secret and then restricting and exercising super hard the next day in order to compensate. I even tried to purge, but thankfully that was something I was never able to do.

I thought that when I got back home and back to normal life, my eating and weight would go back to normal too, but if anything it just got worse. I had become a totally different person too - I was withdrawn, moody, controlling, selfish, secretive and just down right mean a lot of the time. I didn't like who I had become and I didn't really know this person. So much had changed in just one year.

Over the years I continued to battle with the restrict / binge cycle. I would lose weight through concerted effort and then before I knew it I would be binging and putting on all the weight I had lost.

I can't even say how many times I repeated this cycle, each time feeling more hopeless and despondent than the last. It affected my whole life, I didn't want to socialize with friends or family, I shut myself off, I stayed in a bad relationship for years because I didn't think I was worthy of anyone better, food and exercise and being in control was my whole life.

I couldn't do anything spontaneous as that was not part of my routine, eating slightly off plan would spiral me into a binge. I certainly couldn't go away for weekends or on holidays without feeling incredibly anxious or binging.

I am incredibly ashamed to say that I stole food from my flatmates, ate food out of a rubbish bin, drove like a mad women because I was more concerned about stuffing my face with food when I was driving, missed out on important social events because I had either binged or felt fat and worthless and let friendships deteriorate - but this was the reality of what my life was like as a binge eater.

There were definitely times where I thought I can't do this anymore, I don't care if I get fat, I just can't continue in this cycle. So I would loosen the control and eat in a way I thought was normal, but I was still emotionally restricting and feeling guilty about everything I ate and before long I was feeling so uncomfortable with my body that I would fall back into restrictive behaviours, ramp up the exercise and was back in a diet and restrict mindset.

Through this whole period of dieting / restricting / over exercising and binging I sought help, I was desperate to find a solution and end my disorder. I spent so much time and money on therapy, personal trainers, homeopathy, naturopathy, colonic hydrotherapy, self help books, hypnotherapy, regression therapy, meal plans, exercise plans.....you name it I tried it.

And none of it worked.

I really had lost all hope that I would ever find a way out of this awful cycle. I really believed that I would have to live with this for the rest of my life.

But I guess part of me was not willing to give up hope, I kept doing google searches on how to recover from binge eating. It was a couple of years ago that I came across Brain over Binge. I bought the book and read it in a couple of days. It gave me renewed hope and it really resonated with me.

I intellectually understand what Katherine was talking about but when it came to putting her principles into practice it just wasn't clicking for me.

I can't even recall how I came across Lydia, but as soon as I did and started watching her videos I just knew that this was the right thing for me. It was at least a year before I really thought ok, I want to do this.

I put off signing up for a breakthrough session countless times because I was scared or came up with excuses that it wasn't the right time for me to commit to something like this. I think part of me was also petrified of letting go of a habit I'd had for the past 15 years. It was a part of me, part of my identity and if I wasn't a binge eater, then who was I?

When I found out I was pregnant, that was when I made the decision that I had to do this. It was time to take another leap of faith and find my freedom. It wasn't just me anymore who would be seriously affected by my eating disorder if I didn't deal with it find a solution.

I did not want my child to grow up learning bad habits or seeing their mum obsess over food and exercise or wonder why their mum didn't eat the same meals as they did. The future health and well-being of my child was so paramount and was the final push I needed to make the decision to be free of this for good and to take that plunge. I wanted to be able to be an amazing role model for my child and to be someone they could look up to.

Scheduling that breakthrough session and joining the program was the best decision I have ever made and I can truly say that with my hand on my heart. It hasn't been easy, there have been days where the thoughts of restriction and binging have been overwhelmingly strong, and there have been times where I have binged.

But after 8 weeks I know I will never go back to the way I was. I don't want to. There are still things I have to work on and there are aspects of my eating I'd like to keep improving, but binging has lost its appeal.

The desire to binge is no longer there. I now eat the same meals as my husband, I allow myself to eat whatever I want and I have been surprised at my natural desire to eat well, to eat fresh food, but to eat normal food.

I have always had a sweet food but I can embrace that now and know that it's ok for me to eat something sweet every day if that's what I enjoy doing. There is no punishment, no deprivation, no obsessing and no meal plans.

I've completely relaxed around exercise as well. I've found what I enjoy doing and what works for me and I probably exercise more consistently now than I did when I had a rigid exercise routine and was forcing myself to exercise in a way that I thought I had to, but that only depleted my energy and left me feeling drained and lethargic.

My journey is by no means over. This is just the beginning, but in 8 weeks I feel like I have found my true self again, I have gotten my life back, I have regained energy and enthusiasm and I feel optimistic about my future.

Lydia, I honestly cannot thank you enough for being you, for creating a program that results in true freedom, for your honesty, your positivity, your quirky videos, your understanding, your wisdom and your encouragement and for creating a community of like minded and inspiring women. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!!!

Freedom Story from Kim

I remember the first time I was obsessed with food and binged. I was only 5 years old. I was in pre-school and I stayed inside and kept eating - I couldn't stop - while I watched the other kids outside playing at recess. Even at that young age, I knew that was not normal, but I didn't know how to stop. My family tried to put me on diets. It only made me more obsessed with eating.

I'm now in my 40's, so I have spent a large chunk of my life feeling like a prisoner to dieting, food obsession, overeating and binging.

I remember in the eighth grade feeling so bad about my weight I literally wanted to die. And I was only 142 pounds, which would put me in a normal weight range.

Fast forward to my life right before joining Lydia's program - I'm at the heaviest weight of my life (definitely NOT in the normal healthy weight range), I'm more obsessed with food than ever, I'm spending countless hours and dollars trying to find the right way to eat, and I'm starting to isolate myself from friends and activities because I'm so embarrassed by the way I look and eat. I was becoming miserable, exhausted by this craziness nothing has helped me shake, and I'm afraid for my health.

I'm very successful in every other area of my life, but this area had me flummoxed!

I knew my life was about more than this food obsession, but I didn't know how to fix it. No diet, program or therapist had ever helped me stop acting so crazy with food!

I'm so grateful for this program. Finally, a SOLUTION to stop the food craziness and find freedom! I am no longer experiencing the urge to binge. For me, even better is the fact that I don't think about food that much anymore. It's quite liberating! I used to feel so obsessed about it. Now I can enjoy what I eat and then forget about it until I'm hungry again.

Another benefit I'm experiencing is that I'm feeling more accepting of my body and am being more social again. I'm no longer letting how I look prevent me from living life. And I know that I won't be eating (or trying not to eat) in a way that is embarrassing. Potlucks, parties, and dinners out are now just fine. I'm able to be around food, yet pay attention to the company I'm with and the conversations we're having.

One of the biggest surprises to me is how simple this process is. Yet it's so effective. And I've been practicing it in areas not even related to eating and it's helping me. For example, I tend to experience strong anxiety about flying. It begins long before my flight. So I started using these principles to help with the anxiety about an upcoming trip and it's working!

This program is opening up a whole new world. Most of my life I believed there was something fundamentally wrong with me, that I was broken. Now I know I am completely normal and I just had a habit that didn't serve me. I can change my brain. It's not difficult, and it doesn't take that long, either. I just needed to learn how to do it and get the support I needed. Which I got, thanks to this program.

I feel like I have a new lease on life, and I only just graduated. I feel normal around food most of the time now. And when I don't, I practice what Lydia taught me and it works. I feel more accepting of my body. This has given me more physical energy which feels very good. I'm spending more time with friends, and I have more emotional energy to devote to my marriage. And, with many hours a week I've freed up from researching the latest diet or "way of eating" I have more time to spend on my business as well.

Thank you Lydia for creating this program. I can't wait until everyone knows there's a simple, elegant, effective way to overcome the food crazies, and people know there is nothing wrong with them. It's just habits we've developed and there is a remedy.

Freedom Story from Anne

Prior to doing Beat the Binge, I was binging around 4 times a week but it was more like an all day graze binge vs. sitting down to a pile of food, though I have done that previously as well.

There was a lot of secrecy to it still as I was ashamed I wasn't able to lose weight any longer or stick to a diet or food plan of any type at all. I have done counseling and different "healthy" food plans and "intuitive eating" and studied binge eating on my own before it was even an "eating disorder," and read a lot of self-help books, and stewed over the behavior for about 12 years.

I began binge eating late in high school. It was a meal here or there, not frequent. This behavior followed a 3-year stint of anorexia which had me down about 90 pounds as a freshman and sophomore in high school. In college there were a lot of life changes happening - I had lost my identity in sports and was trying to figure out my place in the world. I was a strong student and had the perfect apartment and held a solid job but the one thing that was out of control was food!

I worked for a raw foodist and was vegan for a time and this is when the binge eating was completely out of control!

I gained around 100 pounds through all of college. It was losing 30 pounds here, gaining 60 pounds there, losing 20 pounds...the swings were drastic.
This cycling continued to happen out of college and into my career. I landed a fantastic job that brought me into a good community with fun roommates and travel galore. The binging leveled out a bit for a few years and I was getting more active again and lost about 60 of the 100 pounds I had gained - life felt exciting!

I still wasn't happy with my body, even at my skinniest and fittest - the goal of perfect was always out of reach.

I am naturally a larger female - 6'2" and easily put on muscle mass and mass in general - there is nothing really dainty about me.

I knew that this want to be super skinny did not sit well with my conscious - I have always been one to fight for the people on the fringe - why did I have these feelings of hate against myself because I couldn't mold my body into the shape I wanted it to be in - why did I even want it to be that shape? This didn't resonate with my belief of loving everyone and everyone having value or my belief that women are WAY more than just something pretty to look at.
My insides were at war and I felt responsible!

Little did I know...we have "two brains" ; ) Four years ago I had my son and 2 years ago I got married. Having these two loves in my life were the mirror I needed to keep searching for a solution.

I have had a lot of healing in my life over the last 4 years but the binging was still there. I was brought to the point of just wanting freedom in my life - I had stopped dieting and just wanted to "eat normally." I "didn't care" if I lost all the weight I had put on over the years, I just wanted to be done with the anxiety around food that years of "good food, bad food" diets had brought into my life.

I wasn't completely free of the desire to want to be thin that lingered and I wasn't able to stop binging just by quitting the harsh restricting - it got slightly better in the last year after watching Lydia's youtube videos and all of the other support interviews she has with people like Isabelle Foxen Duke - but the binges were still hanging on.

After the 8 week program, I can say with certainty that my brain has changed.

My behavior is completely different around food. I haven't binged in weeks and I am working on overeating, though even that has changed for the better as well.

My relationship with my husband is stronger after learning these tools and now knowing that I am not hiding anything from him.
I don't have guilt or shame when I eat, like I used to after eating literally anything. I don't have guilt or shame around having "chatter" or "crazy thoughts," I am confident I have the tools to call it out and just look at it knowing it isn't really "me."

I have tasted freedom and there is nothing better. Love is freedom, the opposite of love is manipulation - I can confidently say I do not desire to manipulate my body at all - which is a huge step closer to loving it.

I also feel better about people - just being in the beat the binge program with these other AMAZING women was so heartwarming - I haven't ever been in a community like it.

We all share in this journey together and it is amazing to see women encouraging each other and celebrating wins together and just loving the new freedom we are experiencing.

The biggest surprise I got from the program was the layers of freedom. Not only am I free from binging, I am free from judgment of myself and my thoughts and perfectionism, I am free from the shackles that society imposes on women and mothers, I know how to navigate my thought life, I know how to problem solve better in relationships...the list goes on and on.

-A

Freedom Story from Theresa

My mother often missed meals and I remember her clearly weighing herself and being very fed up that she couldn't get under 9stone. My father also always commented on women's weight and looks and the worse thing you could do as a woman is to be fat. We were not allowed chocolate or treats and so I remember trying to eat as many as possible whenever I could then my first proper diet was at 14 at boarding school when a friend and i decided we would just eat an orange a day which was successful and I had anorexic tendencies and ended up being expelled from school at 15 and one of the reasons was that I wasn't eating.

I know now this was possibly as a result of being sexually and physically abused by the priest at boarding school between 11-13 but I basically blocked those 2 years out of my brain completely. Once home I quite quickly started bingeing.

Then for the next 25 years I binged 2-3 times per week but wasn't overweight, even after having twins. I was however, always on a diet, obsessed with food and what I looked like and felt overweight even though I wasn't.

Then when i turned 40 I had a breakdown when my daughter reached that age i have been abused at boarding school and that is when the bingeing and my physical health got really out of control.

My weight went up very quickly and I went up and down by 3-4 stone and the diets I did got more extreme - complete meal replacement shakes for 3-4months at a time or every other day fasting as I couldn't seem to do anything less extreme - so basically starving and bingeing every other day. As they were so extreme the bingeing and bounce back was always fast and furious and I worried that I could burst my stomach or really injure myself and I was so ashamed as my weight went so obviously up and down but I couldn't talk to any of my friends or family about it.

I then started having therapy and that really helped but didn't completely sort the bingeing although it was much less as i had also pretty much stopped restricting. However, getting in touch with Lydia was the final piece in the puzzle for me to find the freedom I so desperately wanted all this time.

Now I feel free! I don't think about food all day and I don't have any of the overwhelming urges that i used to have all the time. I only had one minor binge in the 8 weeks working with Lydia so it was almost instant help for me.

I am still working on body image as having been slim for the majority of my life until the last 15 years I still wish I could be slimmer but that is getting much better and having bought new clothes has helped alot with that.

I feel so much happier at home with my family and don't have the mood swings that bingeing made me have - I feel I am in my relationships and am more loving rather than most of my thoughts being on either trying to get food or avoid food.

I, like everyone, was so scared i was broken and it wouldn't work for me and I would have wasted my savings. Such simple principles and knowing that even if I have a slip and binge that i know the way out is amazing. I am much calmer and although I say I would like to lose weight I know that my body will find the set point that it is meant to be in its own good time and i am happy with that. THANK YOU LYDIA!!

-T

Freedom Story from Danielle

My Binge Eating Disorder started when I was in my early teens. At that time, the fact that my parents talked about weight loss and commented about people's appearance (although never toward me) made me self-conscious about my weight and want to diet. That lead me to the Binge Eating cycle, where I would restrict during the day and binge or overeat almost everyday at night, and finish by using laxative. That period lasted until the end of high school and started again 2 years ago.

In summer 2015, I lost weight because I started doing a lot of biking in the city (which I enjoy), and felt really good about it. In order to maintain the weight or to keep losing more, I started to control what I ate. I would count the calories to make sure that I went to bed hungry. I even created a daily calorie limit for myself (funny for me now). Following that, I continued to lose weight for one year until fall 2016, when I started to Binge Eat again.

At the beginning, it didn't affect much my life because I Binge Eat once a week or 2 weeks, I could "cope" with that (I made sure to eat much less the next days and my weight stayed the same).

In August 2017, coming back from a trip (where I restricted a lot), my episode of Binge Eating became more frequent (3 times a week). That is where I started to attach much more meanings and emotions to this habit. On one hand, food has a capital importance in my life. For example, if I go out to eat with friends or my boyfriend, I will make to to choose the "best" restaurant or meal. I would look at the menu way before going, and even after that, I would be indecisive about what to choose in the restaurant. And when I ordered a meal that was not as good as I thought it was, I became frustrated and disappointed. I would also restrict myself during the day to be able to eat more in the restaurant.

When I am in a BE mode, I (my lower brain) feel so compelled, excited at the idea of eating without limit. On the other hand, I will feel horrible after a binge. Physically, I feel bad, and couldn't do anything for the rest of the day. I couldn't be physically in shape for the next days too.

There were times where I wonder if I would die one day of BED. Mentally and emotionally, I would feel regret, worthless, unproductive, and useless as a person. I typically BE alone at home between the end of class in the afternoon and before my boyfriend came back from his job. I will especially feel so bad and worthless for him to come home to a girlfriend who just eat. It impacted also my social life and my studies. I will procrastinate on my school work, and lower my standard and effort. There are many social opportunities with friends I cancelled, classes I skipped, or work days I missed because I want to BE or feel bad the day after a binge. There is a lot of things I enjoy that I just don't "feel" like doing anymore, things as simple as taking a walk with my boyfriend in our neighborhood. In beginning of 2018, there was a day I told myself I cannot continue like that because I could see myself handicapped with this BED for my whole life, living miserably.

I know I have potential and dreams I want to achieve, so I reached out for help to Lydia's team by scheduling a breakthrough session.

After the program, I feel so much better around food. First, I don't BE anymore, and even if I do in the future, it won't be a big deal because I have the tools to bounce back quickly.

It is incredible to realize that I don't even want the thing that bring me #1 pleasure before. I restrict much less than before, and if even I do restrict, I can spot the restriction chatter and quickly have clarity around that.

Being in the program made me realize how miserably hungry I was before because of all the restriction (to not gain weight), so I am really happy now. I am also able to truly eat what I want and rediscover my taste around food.

Before, I would eat things because they are low in calories or feel pressured to finish food before they go bad in the fridge. Also, I thought I really love dessert and ice cream, but now that I truly allow myself to eat everything, I am not as crazy about sugar as I once was.

As for my body, it became a reliable partner for me because I can trust its hunger and fullness signal, and my metabolism came back too. I started to see myself differently. There was one day I looked myself in the mirror and thought: "maybe I am prettier curvier" (I loved that new appreciation).

Lydia was amazing in teaching us these principles that even made us change our attitude in life. I feel positive about situations I would normally beat myself up before.

Finally, the most important thing I walk out from the program with is gaining trust in myself (feeling of empowerment), knowing that whatever happens in life, I have the tool to be free at anytime.

-D