As human beings, we’re bound to encounter pesky little occurrences called mistakes. It could be anything – a stressful day at work, a lackluster moment with your loved one, or a gnawing feeling of emptiness – that triggers your desire to binge. It’s okay. Whether you’ve done it once a month, a week, or even if you do it everyday, know that when you fall 7 times, you can always come back up on the 8th. There’s nothing stopping you from grabbing your life by the reins and finally taking charge. In this article, we’ve identified some ways to deal with Binge Eating.
How to Deal with Binge Eating
Be on Your Team!
The first instinct most dieters have when they crash is to indulge in self-degradation. They internalize their mistakes, letting it mold their self-image to the point that they create an antagonistic relationship between themselves and their instinct to eat. Regardless of how often you fail, this will never work. In any road to addiction recovery, addicts have to be on their team. Any form of self-opposition is not only counterproductive, but it can also cause permanent harm via relief through eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia.
With that said, get on your own team! Do yourself a favor and get rid of your inner Negative Nancy. Embrace who you are and your body’s desire to eat. As a living being, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the act of eating. Remember that binge eating isn’t a form of nourishment. Rather, it’s a “flight response” coping mechanism. It’s not a reflection of character as much as it is a reflection of your need for love, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment. Hating yourself for “fleeing” an unfavorable situation isn’t the answer and will only result in more dependence on escapism.
Give Yourself a Timeout
The idea of a “timeout” in parenting is to promote constructive retrospection. It’s not so much a form of punishment as it is a way for parents to encourage their children to ponder right vs. wrong and how they should respond when both are in conflict.
So next time you have a dietary fallback, give yourself a timeout. Leave whatever stress-inducing situation you are in, find a quiet place, and ponder what it is that triggered your binge eating impulses. The danger here is to focus on the “why” and not to fall in an endless cycle of self-punishment. Do not think, “I am horrible for eating a gallon of ice cream.” Instead, practice talking to yourself in a quiet, secluded area and ask, “What made me eat excessively? What about my day made me feel stressed?”
The most basic structure in these inner contemplations is to try to solve it journalistically: who? What? When? Where? How? And why?
Figuring out the answers to these questions will help you identify situations that will trigger your binge-eating addiction. If one day you realized that arguing over petty things with your spouse caused your overeating, take a step back and deliberate why that situation frightens you enough that you opt for a “flight” response. These trigger moments are often the result of much deep-rooted issues. Giving yourself a time-out will allow for more opportunities to discover small, unnoticed aspects of life that are either harmful or beneficial to your path towards a healthier lifestyle.
Dabble in Creative Writing
Write a poem, tackle a novel-writing session, or perhaps record your day in your journal. It doesn’t matter. The point is to let your mind wander free. Emotional triggers that cause binge-eating don’t have step-by-step solutions. However, writing down whatever comes to mind for an hour, or perhaps composing lyrics to a new song is a therapeutic method that can open your eyes to solutions. It allows you to let go of strong emotions, and sometimes opens your mind to experiences you’ve never felt.
Literary self-expression when you feel the need to binge eat is a healthy prevention system. That way, the negative emotions can be released without causing mental self-harm.
Addictions and escapism are usually a result of self-oppression. Being ashamed of who you are, or even being timid of discovering you are, are what cause the lack of fulfillment. Apart from being on your own team, really go out there and discover who you are. This may mean spontaneously spending a weekend hiking, or rethinking your career path. You can achieve a healthy relationship with food once you shift gears. It’s no longer about running away from your mistakes. Instead, it becomes a matter of seeing which experiences are learning experiences and which are moments of achievement.