The Gift of the Binge
Oh, binging is so bad! You white knuckle your way through only to find yourself succumb to the seduction of your desire. Then, here comes the shame and the only way to shut up the bitch in your brain is to binge some more.
The cycle continues until your despair becomes so deep that you vow to DIEt yourself out of that binges.
That may work for a while, yet eventually, that food whispers sweet nothings into your ear until you can no longer hold back.
I lived through this cycle for years! Compulsive eating, binging, food addiction, whatever term works for you. It seduces you progressively over time. In other words, the binging gets worse until you can face the motive behind the binge.
Just like a bully, being afraid of binging gives it more power. Your binges are not bullies. They are not here to hurt you. They provide great insights into what is going on within you, what wounds need to be healed, and what acts are you avoiding.
The ultimate goal is to avoid the binge, but like a rabid dog it will just chase you.
Quit running away from the desire to binge. Instead, look at your behavior from a place of curiosity. The following formula will help you to take a step back and productively analyze your behavior.
When I start thinking: “Gosh, I sure want to eat those pretzels. I am hungering for the salt and crunch.” When this craving comes along, I know that I am about to go into a dark binging ball of despair.
When you start to feel a binge come along, stop and ask your belly (the place where real wisdom lies) the following questions:
- Wow I really want to binge, yet I know this desire is a symptom of something else that feels off. What is going on?
I am feeling very intimidated by “Sally.” She is doing so well in her business, and she is celebrating making a billion dollars this afternoon. I can never be as good has her.
- From this answer, ask: what can I do to alleviate the situation?
Well, I know that I only compete against yesterday’s me. I know that I am angry at myself because I have not been taking the consistent actions.
BE CAREFUL TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY WHILE ALSO BEING SUPER SWEET WITH YOURSELF. I then look at my tasks and take action immediately. It doesn’t need to be a big splashy action, rather it just has to be an act.
- How am I trying to control what is not mine to control?
Worry, an addiction in its own right, is a form of control. Procrastination and indecision are forms of control. In my case, worrying about Sally’s success kept me stuck in the seduction and drive to binge.
- Give yourself 10 minutes while taking action. If after the 10 minutes you still want to binge, then do it on purpose. I said for 10 minutes I am going to sort these papers that are cluttering my desk and my head. If afterwards I want to binge on those pretzels, then I will.
Chances are, your desire will be gone.
What if it isn’t? Then binge on purpose by following these steps:
- Get out your binge food and place it on a real plate or bowl. Use real flatware and make it an event.
- Sit down and take a deep breath. Take a bite and taste the decadence. Chew, swirl it around your mouth before you swallow.
- Rinse and repeat 2 more times.
- Assess: Do I want more? Then follow steps 2 and 3 until you are satisfied.
- Clean up your place and move on with your day.
My friend, the binge is not nearly as harmful as the shame you place on the side.
Even 7 years later, I have times when I want to binge. This desire for a deep affair with food always lives with me. Some people can live food affair free. I can’t, nor do I want to. This compulsion to binge keeps me humble and more effective to be in service to you.