Bingeing is a response and a symptom.
Many things can trigger a binge. Uncomfortable feelings such as anger, anxiety, exhaustion, loneliness, boredom, or sadness can trigger binges. Or bingeing can be a response to breaking a strict food rule or being too restricting when dieting. We may say something like, “Oh, I shouldn’t have eaten that cookie. I’m not supposed to have sugar. I’ve blown it. I might as well eat the whole box. I’ll start again tomorrow.”
Bingeing can be a response to anticipation of future deprivation (a diet). Even lab rats binge after being deprived of food. Telling ourselves we can’t have certain things and being overly strict sets us up to binge. Foods aren’t good or bad. There is a place for all types of foods in a healthy diet.
It’s best not to try to cut out foods or entire food groups completely out of our diet, unless we have an allergy. Making food forbidden makes us want it more and sets us up to feel guilt and shame when we eat these foods, which often leads to us bingeing on them and then even stricter dieting to undo the damage of the binge. This cycle can go on for years and cause great emotional and physical damage.
Some foods are good once in a while, some are great every day, and some are good for every meal. There is room in a healthy diet for treats and indulgences. If we must live by any sort of rule, the 80/20 rule is a good one. If we eat healthy most of the time (80%) then we can allow room (20%) for treats, birthdays, holidays, and other indulgence. We could even have a treat daily and still lose weight, as long as it’s figured into our daily calorie needs.
If we are prone to bingeing, the first step is to become aware of what is triggering our binges. We need to keep a food and mood journal to track our responses. If we binge, we need to reflect on the thoughts, feelings, and events leading up to the binge. That way we can get a clear idea of what’s really going on with us.
If we are to become free of bingeing, we must get willing to take a deeper look. We must also stop dieting. Trying to diet with a bingeing problem is like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. If we’re triggered by uncomfortable feelings, we need to learn to process these by sitting with them, keeping a journal, and having a support person to talk to. If we are bingeing out of depletion and exhaustion, it’s time for us to learn to implement better self-care and set better boundaries.
If we are triggered by anxiety, we need to learn to let go, breath, meditate, and exercise to release it. If we are having problems in our relationships, we may need to get counseling to address those issues. If we’re bingeing out of loneliness, it’s time to seek out social opportunities. Obviously, overeating in response to any of these needs doesn’t solve any of these problems.
We must take action and become an active and responsible partner in our own healing process. No one can fix us. They can help guide us, but ultimately our recovery is our responsibility. So we must be willing to do the work emotional eating recovery involves. This takes time, patience, mindfulness, and learning to develop greater acceptance and compassion for ourselves and our bodies.
The rewards are great: self-esteem, self-acceptance, feeling at peace and being comfortable in our own skin, better moods, clearer thinking, more energy, a slimmer body, and a vibrant balanced life. Now isn’t that a life worth striving for?
Are you ready to move beyond the binge and make peace with food? How you do food is how you do life!® Contact me for a free consultation!
- Do I binge when on a diet? Is this in response to having certain foods off limits or because I’m restricting my total calories too much? What if I just ate less and exercised more?
- Do I binge in response to emotional feelings such as shame, sadness, anger, loneliness, etc.?
- What could I do instead of binge? What other self-care behaviors would take care of the feelings better? Could I go for a walk, call a friend, journal, or distract myself with something else?
- Can I find a way to make peace with the foods I want and allow them a place in my life in small amounts? Can I find healthier treats or just indulge occasionally with the treats and foods I love the most?
Self-awareness is the first step to overcoming my overeating.
I track my thoughts, feelings, and moods in a daily journal.
I am willing to feel my feelings and allow them to be.
I am willing to honor my true hungers and find satisfying ways to meet my real needs.
I take care of my stress in healthy ways.
I listen to my hunger signals and feed myself just enough food to satisfy me.
I allow myself the room and patience to grow a new set of wings.
Is emotional eating keeping you from losing weight and living the life you want? Are you ready to get off the diet rollercoaster and master your weight and your life?
If so, you may be a candidate for coaching. Coaching can make the difference between success and failure.
I have found that people who struggle with food and emotional eating are released from that prison once they learn the skills of mindful awareness and mindful eating, emotional self-nurturing, developing a spiritual or meditation practice, and learning to set appropriate limits and goals.
This turns off the urge to overeat and engage in other compulsive behaviors. When you feel better, you eat better! I have walked this path myself, and it has led me to peace and freedom.
The goal of my coaching is to create a lighter, balanced, healthier, nourishing and joy-filled life. You will begin to see results in all areas of your life because How You do Food is How You do Life!®
I coach and mentor people in the areas of: permanent weight loss, food addiction, compulsive, emotional overeating, binge eating recovery, creative self expression, spiritual direction, mindfulness, meditation, self care and stress management, self esteem and body image issues.
Note: My work is spiritually focused, not religious, and fits with any belief system you may have, even agnostic. My work assumes that you have all the wisdom and answers you need inside of you.
What you call this place — God, intuition, Higher Power, inner wisdom, or true self — is up to you. I am simply a guide bringing you back to the truths that are already inside of you.
If you want to know more about why and how coaching works click here.
If you’d like a free consultation click here!
I hope you have enjoyed my newsletter. Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing. I love to hear what’s working for you and read about your success stories.
Catherine L. Taylor
How You do Food is How You do Life!
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