I want to binge(10 Posts)
Trying not to eat until I burst. I am feeling very stressed right now, and eating = safety to my subconscious mind. Any tips on how I can break this?
Warning: gross oversimplification ahead, but the point is that there is a logic to it, even if it's hard to put into practice!
Well, the first thing is to recognise that the problem is the stress, not the eating. And actually, although in the very short-term eating seems to numb the pain, it is a pretty crap way of dealing with stress! On balance, it just gives you another thing to stress about.
So deal with the sources of stress: can you eliminate any of them? Or give yourself hope of eliminating some? Eg: if your job is a nightmare, are you looking for alternatives? Can you reduce your exposure to the sources of stress? Eg: if you help care for relatives, can you fence off one or two days a week where you will only deal with genuine emergencies?
Reduction is the most important step, but when you've exhausted those possibilities, you need to learn some longer-term and more constructive ways of dealing with unavoidable stress: counselling, meditation, exercise, medication, journaling, group therapy, prayer... I can't know what might do it for you, but there are lots of possibilities to explore.
For me, I need to distance myself for a short period of time to stop the habitual grabbing of food without thinking it through. So I go and make a nice coffee. Keeps my hands busy, gives me something to drink, fills me up a little. I've made the decision in advance that it's what I do so there's no wringing of hands as I work up a plan (and most likely snack on a biscuit as I do!)
If doesn't always stop me eating but I would say at least two thirds of the time it works.
Is there a similar thing you could do?
Brain over Binge - this book makes sense to me. Explains what is happening in your mind to make you want to eat.
Essentially you need to recognise when you are actually hungry and when you are not - which you have done, you know this isn't "real" hunger - and then you have to just ignore the false message. You don't have to respond to it. Th book advises against finding distractions as this won't help long term but actually I think they can be a good strategy, especially at the start.
Thank you so much for your replies. I already meditate daily, which has helped me so far, but I feel like I'm at my breaking point. A long series of stressful events have culminated in our 7 person family living in a tiny mouldy rental in a town far away from friends and familiarity. We are home edding temporarily until we buy a house closer to dh's office and are properly settled so we are on top of each other especially due to wet weather. All of my stress is circumstantial and I know I'll feel a million times better when spring and summer rolls around.
Last night I managed to stave off bingeing with several cups of tea and some housework. I do feel like I'm hanging on to my sanity by the fingertips but at least I'm still hanging on.
I will remember your words of advice and look into that book suggestion. Thank you.
Well done, sounds like you are doing amazingly well under difficult circumstances xx
I used this book to deal with a binge habit brought on by restricting my food and boredom. It was the beginning of a journey.
That's a brilliant book Higge!! Brilliant. I used it back in the late 90s I think and it totally changed the way I look at food/diets.
First, I agree with mrali and also longer term it is definitely a good approach to find alternative ways of relieving stress. Distractions also sometimes help. But...and this is going to sound completely counterintuitive but sometimes you need to give yourself permission to binge, make it okay to use... but there are conditions...lay the table, serve yourself a reasonable portion of food in a nice bowl or plate. Sit down, breathe and relax and eat slowly, enjoy it. If you are using food as comfort then really let it comfort you and don't feel guilty about it. Once you finish the plate, go and serve yourself some more, but always go slow and focus on what you are getting out of the food and experience. Do it consciously. Appreciate how you feel throughout. Inhaling rubbish at speed, standing in your kitchen, wrapped up in your head and then beating yourself up and feeling sick afterwards is not comfort eating, it's a form of self harm. If you can practice 'mindful bingeing' and stop being afraid of it and feeling guilty about it then it can become something that feels much less out of control and reduces naturally.
Also read through the binge eating disorder threads 1-2-3.
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