Ep #151: Resisting vs. Allowing Urges

If you’re going to not binge, you have to make it to the other side of your urge to binge. You feel the discomfort of it until it goes away. You might think that means you’ll be resisting your urges but, that’s not what I recommend. I recommend allowing. What’s the difference you might ask? In this episode I’m going to tell you.

Resisting and allowing are not the same thing and are most likely not going to produce the same result. Listen in to this episode to find out what the results are and how you can tell if you’re resisting or allowing. Make sure you’re allowing if you want to successfully consistently get through your urges.

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
  • The difference between resisting urges and allowing them
  • What happens when you resist your urges
  • How to tell if you’re resisting or allowing
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The Stop Binge Eating Group Coaching Program

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Hi! Before we get started I want to let you know that registration for the next Stop Binge Eating Group Program is open!

If you’re still binge eating and your eating habits are not what you want them to be, then now is your time.

Binge eating doesn’t have to be a part of your life and you can feel free around food, feel in control, and trust yourself.

Not only will you and I work together on this but, you’ll be part of a community of other people who are doing the same work as you so you don’t have to feel so alone and when more people are involved, more ideas are shared. Every now and then, I have a group member that uses a new analogy or talks about the tools in a different way than I do and it clicks for someone else.

We get to work as a team, lift each other up, support each other, AND, the most important part, it’s not just support, you find strategies, solutions, and make long-lasting mindset shifts that will change your relationship with food.

I have a group that started in January that’s in their final month right now and I am absolutely loving the transformations they are sharing. Maybe you’ll hear from some of them on future podcasts. They’re feeling good about themselves, taking ownership over what they eat and don’t eat, respecting their bodies, accepting their bodies, feeling urges and emotions without eating, and not making a big deal out of making eating mistakes. It’s so amazing to see.

You can get all the details and register yourself for the next group program at coachkir.com/group and if you have any questions beyond what’s addressed there, you can email your questions to info@coachkir.com.

Alright, and now onto today’s topic. Resisting vs allowing urges.

One of the most critical parts of stopping binge eating is being able to feel your urges all the way through.

You feel the urge, it’s uncomfortable, and you experience that discomfort until it eventually passes, without eating, and on the other side of that urge is pride, accomplishment, and building confidence.

Feeling the urge until it’s gone results in not bingeing.

It’s a simple concept but, you might be making some mistakes as you’re attempting to do it.

One of the most common mistakes I see is that people resist their urge instead of allowing it.

Now, you may think those are the same thing, and you’re not alone if you do.

Even after I teach to my group members, in depth, the steps for allowing urges, sometimes they still talk about trying to resist it and I make sure to correct them.

Resisting and allowing are not the same thing and in this episode I’m going to help you identify what you might be doing that’s not helping you get through your urge and what you can do differently.

So let’s first talk about what resisting looks like.

The idea of resisting urges gets tossed around a lot and it sounds useful but, when you look at what it really is, you’ll see it’s not the most useful tactic.

To start, let’s look at the definition of resist. Here’a a couple that showed up when I looked.

Try to prevent by action or argument.

Struggle or fight back when pressured or attacked.

Argument, struggle, fight back, that’s what you’re doing when you are resisting.

Your urge shows up and you get angry, irritated, frustrated, or impatient.

You may notice yourself thinking thoughts like, “Why is this here??” or “Go away!” or “I’m not going to eat, I’m not going to eat” or “How long is this going to last?”

Those are resistance thoughts.

Your urge is there, you’re feeling it, and you want to push it away.

You want it gone and you’re taking a mentally aggressive approach. It might be highly aggressive or it may be subtly aggressive.

But either way, you want that urge gone now.

What happens when you respond this way is that you pile on more discomfort on top of the urge.

You’re feeling the urge, then you’re feeling irritated on top of it. You were originally just feeling the urge and now you’ve added a negative emotion to it so now you’ve compounded your discomfort. There’s more of it for you to deal with.

And as you’re doing that, let’s not forget that resisting is fighting and struggling. Those are exhausting and you can only do them for so long.

You’re using willpower.

How I describe willpower is when you’re thinking about doing something, you’re feeling the drive to do it, and you’re trying really really hard to not do it.

So you’re thinking about binge eating, you’re feeling driven to binge eat but, you’re trying really really hard to not do it and you find yourself thinking, “I’m not gonna do it” over and over and it’s so tiring to keep arguing with yourself about what you’re going to do or not going to do.

That’s what resisting looks like and because you end up creating more discomfort with the arguing and willpower, most of the time it results in you just giving in.

You get tired of it, you don’t see any end to it because it’s staying the same or the intensity of discomfort is growing so, you get out.

You eat to make it all go away.

It may not happen right away, you may give in after 30 mins, and hour, or days of resistance.

But that’s how resistance usually goes.

And that’s why I recommend allowing.

So as I did with resisting, let’s start with the definition.

Here’s what I found.

Give someone permission to do something.

Give the necessary time or opportunity for.

When it comes to your urges, you’re giving your urge permission to be there and to exist.

You’re not trying to will it away. You’re not trying to force it out. You’re letting is exist in your body.

The discomfort is there, and you’re going to allow the discomfort to be there as long as it is, which is the second sentence of the definition I shared.

You allow the urge to be there for a period of time.

Now you may want to know how long that period of time is. How long will it last?

But I don’t have that answer for you because there is no answer. It will last for as long as it lasts but what I can tell you is that if you’re truly allowing it and letting it be there, it will last for a shorter amount of time than if you were resisting it.

This is because you’re not adding to the discomfort with your resistance thoughts, you’re being calm with the urge.

You’re not thinking, “Go away” you’re thinking, “It’s okay that you’re here.”

That’s the basic difference.

It’s fighting vs accepting.

It’s there and trying to make it go away probably won’t make it go away.

But allowing it to run it’s course will.

I have a friend who I sometimes disagree with on certain topics.

In recent years, it seems that it happens more often and we get into heated discussions that leave me with a bad taste in my mouth and I don’t like it. I want to be friends with them and I don’t want these disagreements to get in the way of that. So I decided to try a new approach and see what happens.

So the last two times I hung out with them, once I noticed we were moving into argument territory, I stopped fighting. I realized that fighting back and arguing my point of view wasn’t getting us anywhere except causing me to feel upset. I would argue my point and they would argue their’s and it would just build and build.

I decided to not participate in the building and instead just allow them to say what they wanted to say.

I let them speak and I allowed them to speak.

And you know what happened? They eventually stopped speaking.

Because I wasn’t responding, the argument stopped because they stopped trying to convince me to believe what they believed.

Your urges are my friend. They want to convince you to binge and when you argue back, the urge is going to get more heated, and then you will, and then it’s on fire. So you put out the fire with food.

But if your urge says what it wants to say and creates the discomfort it creates, and you just allow it to, then it will eventually calm down.

It’s okay that my friend has opinions. It’s okay that I don’t agree with my friend. I can allow them to talk until they’re done talking.

It’s okay that your urge wants you to binge. It’s okay that you don’t want to. You can allow it to be uncomfortable until it’s done being there.

That’s allowing.

It’s being okay with discomfort for a period of time, however long it is.

It’s letting it happen knowing it will pass, because it will. You’re not going to have a chronic urge, nonstop, forever.

And it’s choosing calmness in the midst of discomfort rather that anger, irritation, frustration, or impatience that will add to the discomfort.

So you’ll know if you’re allowing or resisting based on how you feel while you’re in the urge discomfort.

That will be the main indicator so if you feel one of those negative emotions I listed or something else that’s more discomfort, look into what you’re thinking about that urge or about eating. Notice if it’s combative or unwillingness. If it is, a shift need to be made into accepting the urge.

It’s okay that it’s there. Discomfort is okay. You will survive and get through it. And it won’t last forever but you will experience it for as long as it’s there knowing that true comfort will be on the other side of it, not in eating food.

So no more resisting urges. Allow them.

No more fighting, be accepting and give it permission to be there. That doesn’t mean it will stay forever, it won’t. But while it’s there, it will be easier for you to let it be than to push it.

Now, making that shift from a resistance mindset into an allowing one is not always easy and you may have resistance about allowing.

If you do, I highly recommend you join me in the next Stop Binge Eating Group Coaching Program where I will help you move past the resistance and become comfortable allowing discomfort in your life.

A big part of why you’re bingeing is because it’s your way of avoiding discomfort so learning how to be with discomfort will result in you not needing to binge. You’ll feel your urges instead.

So go to coachkir.com/group to get all the info and to register and I’m so excited to meet you and work with you!

Alright, I’ll talk to you soon.

Bye bye!

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