It doesn’t feel good to eat in secret. You feel bad about what you’re doing and you feel dishonest. You might not be entirely sure why you’re doing it but you know you don’t want to be.
In this episode, I’m going to explain why it’s happening. I’m also going to tell you how to stop secret eating and I’ll give you a tip for how you can stop in the middle of a binge. You don’t have to feel ashamed or guilty about what and how much you’re eating. Listen in to find out how you can change that.
Hi! How the heck are ya? I’m good, feeling good, and ready to talk with you all about being a scientist and being a judge.
And no, I’m not talking about career choices, I’m talking about how you’re handling your past eating decisions.
When you binge, when you make a mistake, when you eat something you said you wouldn’t eat, how are you responding to that decision?
Are you being judgmental or are you being curious?
Because one of those is going to be useful for you and the other is not.
Most of the time when I would binge, I would be a full on judge.
I would get mad at myself, I would think about all that I ate and feel so embarrassed, I would throw myself a pity party, and the next day, I would jump right into how I was going to fix it, which was basically me punishing myself. I wasn’t trying to fix my binge eating problem but, fix that binge which meant I was going to over haul my eating and do an intense workout. I also may have punished myself by not allowing myself to spend time with a friend if it was going to be an eating or drinking thing since I was afraid of weight gain.
None of that helped me to stop binge eating. All it did was make me feel bad. I’d feel bad emotionally when I was mad and disappointed in myself and I’d feel bad physically when I’d under eat and workout too much. I’d feel bad isolating myself because of my binge. Those punishments weren’t teaching me any useful lessons.
Yours probably aren’t either.
Think about what a judge who is in a bench trial does and what their job entails. There’s no jury, they’re just in a position where they hear both sides and decide guilty or not guilty. If it’s not guilty, they let them off and if they’re guilty, they decide the punishment.
That’s what you’re doing to yourself when you’re the judge but you’re most likely not going to let yourself off. You’ll binge, declare guilt, and punish yourself. And your punishments are not ones that will lead to rehabilitation and becoming better in some way, they’ll most likely just make you feel bad and possibly contribute to more binges, like my punishments did.
When you binge, you might want to go right into the judgement zone. It’s probably what you’re used to doing and you may even think it’s useful to go there.
It’s like you think if you are mean enough to yourself then you will stop binge eating.
But that’s not how it works and no matter how many times you’ve judged yourself extremely hard, that hasn’t stopped you from having another binge. It just makes you feel bad when you’re judging.
None of you want to be judged, that’s one reason why you do your bingeing in secret. You don’t want other people to judge you.
Yet here you are, doing it to yourself. You’re doing to yourself something that you fear.
And it’s completely optional.
Judging yourself after a binge or after you eat something you said you wouldn’t is not required.
You get to think how ever you want to about what you did. So let’s stop choosing being mean to yourself.
Instead, get curious.
Look back at what led up to your binge, anything you can pinpoint.
You don’t have to know every little detail, every thought, feeling, or action.
But find something, find as many things as you can that could have contributed to your binge or your eating mistake.
This is crucial information. This is how you’re going to figure out how to stop binge eating.
This is how you start problem solving. You find the problem behind the problem.
You find the cause of the binge so you can find a solution for that cause.
When you’re judging yourself, all you’re doing is focusing on the problem and not getting anywhere with it.
But when you’re a curious scientist, you’re going to move yourself forward.
You’re going to figure some things out.
You’re going to come to a conclusion, that’s what scientists do.
If something doesn’t go as they hoped, they look back at what they did, what happened, and look for what could have gone wrong. They assess the process and the results, see what could be done differently to produce the result they want, and they try again.
It’s very unemotional and they’re detached from the experiment. They’re not making it mean anything about themselves personally if things don’t go well, I mean, maybe there are some that do because they’re humans not robots but, for the most part, they just learn and get back to work.
Because they know that judging the outcome and beating themselves up about it not turning out how they wanted to is just a waste of time.
They have results to produce and their time is valuable.
So is yours.
Time is valuable for all of us, we only have so much of it.
So please be conscious of how you’re spending your time.
Are you spending it asking yourself over and over and over in your mind, “Why do I keep doing this to myself?” without answering it or do you get curious and find an answer, even if it may be wrong?
But most likely, you won’t be wrong. You’re wrong if you think you’re bingeing because there’s something inherently wrong with you like you’re broken or don’t have enough willpower or you’re a failure who can’t do it. That’s not it.
Look back at your actions, feelings, and thoughts. That’s where you’ll find your answers.
You can start with noticing that you binged right after work. So there was something going on after work that led to the binge. What was it? What was going on around you, in your body, or in your mind?
You’ll start getting some answers and then you can figure out a strategy for how you’re going to handle it tomorrow right after work. What are you going to do or think differently?
That’s how you be the scientist. You problem solve. You find the problem and focus on finding a solution for that problem.
Being the judge when it comes to your eating is just going to make you feel like crap.
Being a judge is useful in plenty of situations – in the justice system, in a competition, things like that – judges are so great for those, we need them. Judges are not bad. But with your eating, being a judge is not useful.
Let’s drop the judging and punishing and start getting curious and problem solving.
Let’s move forward, not stay stuck and make things worse.
Alright, you all go put on your lab coat and get to work on figuring out what you need to work on, without judgement. And then get to work on it.