There are many life skills that disregulated eaters need to become “normal” eaters and you will not—ever! never!--become one without them. Developing a positive relationship with food is about far more than eating. It’s about acquiring skills to live a quality life. Two of these skills are patience and practicing until you succeed.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t know when I say that you’re probably not very patient and want success, like, today. You’re focused on bringing the future to yourself now. Your attitude about the future tends to be unrealistic, as if you have the ability to bend time to your will. “I want to be a ‘normal’ eater today,” the voice inside you cries and, rather than remind yourself that this is impossible, you think you’re a failure because you haven’t achieved what is not achievable. A clear case of disordered, all-or-nothing pretzel thinking. You’re not a failure because you’re not yet a success. You need to rise every day and tell yourself this fact. You may even need to remind yourself of this truth 50 times a day. It doesn’t matter how you learn it, only that you do.

Every minute has 60 seconds, every day 24 hours, etc. whether you like it or not. Better to be patient and think incrementally. That’s what people who succeed at anything do. Read about how Olympic medalists achieve success. They did what they had to do every day, understanding that at some future point they would acquire the skills they desired. They didn’t lament that they didn’t have their future success now or think prematurely that they were a failure.

One thing they did like crazy was practice. They didn’t sometimes show up for their drills and sometimes not. They recognized that practice is what fills the gap between now and the future and is the singular factor that leads us to success. I’m sure there are lots of talented swimmers and gymnasts who have gobs of talent but failed to understand the need to practice if they wanted to bring home the gold. “The more you practice, the better you get” sounds simple and is simple! Another trait Olympic winners have is a unilateral desire to succeed. Unlike many disregulated eaters, they have no internal conflicts which sabotage their progress and get in the way of reaching their goals.

To become a “normal” eater, you’ll have to develop two abilities: patience and the wherewithal to engage in practice until you succeed. By practicing, you’re moving toward achieving your goals. Only through making a routine of patience and practice, will you develop the positive relationship with food that is within your grasp.