I know this may sound crazy, but there are times when you want to binge. If you listened to episode 2, which you absolutely should, then you know there is a moment when you decide you’re going to binge. If you decide to binge, it’s because part of you wants to do it.
In today’s episode, you’ll learn what the reasons are for why you want to binge and how you can want to do it less and want to NOT do it more. The more you don’t want to binge and the less you want to binge the easier it will be do not do it.
Hey! How are you? Welcome back! I hope you’re having an amazing day and you’re ready to learn about why you want to binge eat.
You may be surprised by this topic because initially you might think, “But I don’t want to binge!”
And yeah, you don’t…but you also sometimes do.
I know of course you don’t want to. You wouldn’t be listening to a podcast about stopping binge eating if you didn’t.
But if you 100%, all of the time, never wanted to binge then you wouldn’t do it.
If you remember back in episode 2, I talked about how there is a decision made in the higher brain once the lower brain sends out that signal to binge. If the decision you make is to follow through on the binge, then you’re choosing that option because you want to do it.
I know, it might sound crazy to you, but yes, there are times when you want to binge.
This makes not bingeing challenging because either you go back in forth in your head between I want to and I don’t want to, which the back and forth dialogue probably isn’t as simple as that but that’s the idea, or you just want to and you just react to your wanting.
So why would you want to binge?
Well, the simple reason is because you don’t want to feel the way you do. You want to feel differently.
Once you feel that urge to binge, you want out. And the easiest way to make that urge go away is to give in to it, to give it what it’s asking for.
You binge because you want relief from that urge. Relief feels so much better than a nagging urge, doesn’t it?
So you eat to get the feeling you want.
But because you’re eating in response to a binge urge, you’re not just going to eat a cookie and be done. You’ll feel relief when you bite into it, but that urge is still there and you keep on responding to it.
It’s saying more and you keep responding to it to hopefully eventually make it go away for good. Then you’ll finally get that full on relief you were looking for.
Then unfortunately you end up feeling other things that you weren’t intending to. But in that moment when you’re feeling the urge, you’re not thinking about that. You’re just thinking about how you can change how you feel right now. “After the binge” isn’t even a thought in your mind. Or if it is, changing how you feel now is so much more important to you than how you’ll feel later.
So it all comes down to wanting to feel differently. Bingeing makes the urging feeling go away.
Now, there might also be times when maybe you’re not just reacting to an urge. There are times when you may binge after emotionally eating or times when you are planning to binge at a later time and you’re not even feeling an urge right now. So let’s look at these.
Let’s start with emotional eating. Why do you want to do that? Same thing as with the binge urge really, because you’re feeling an emotion that you don’t want to feel and you want to feel differently.
You’re feeling stressed, frustrated, or overwhelmed and you want to eat because eating will take you away from all of it. You want to escape those feelings. You won’t have to feel those feelings if you eat, but then when you do, that urge comes along and you’ve then escaped into a binge.
You gotta watch out for those seemingly innocent breaks from feeling the way you do. When you have a binge urge habit, any time you eat for emotional reasons, when you’re trying to avoid a feeling, there is a high likelihood that the urge will appear and you’ll switch from emotional eating to binge eating.
There are also some people who binge when they’re happy and it’s partly the same as I just talked about with the negative emotions. In this case it might not be something you don’t want to feel, but you are still looking to feel differently. You feel happy but then you think eating will make you happier. You want more intense happiness. You want more joy. You want more excitement. If you’re eating when you feel a positive emotion, it’s still you wanting to feel differently, to feel even better.
Now the last one, planning binges. Why do you want to plan binges?
You think it will be a pleasurable experience or something fun to do or a reward for having done something difficult. Whichever reason you’re doing it for, it’s because you want something different. Again, you want to feel differently. You want to feel pleasure, you want to feel enjoyment, you want to feel happy. So you plan out a way to feel that way and the easiest, or maybe it’s just the most accustomed way for you to do it since it’s been your go-to for so long, is by eating a lot of food.
I can for sure say I wanted to binge for all of these reasons. I didn’t want to feel those urges and the only way out that I knew of was to go to the store and buy a bunch of food and eat it all.
I didn’t want to feel lonely or stressed out or nervous so I’d eat and it would pretty much always turn into excessive eating until I felt far too full as my eating would become faster and feel more compulsive.
I planned binges hours ahead of time, or maybe even longer than that, just because I felt so crappy and when I knew I would finally have a chunk of time to myself with nothing else to do, eating a bunch of food would be my source of entertainment, pleasure, fun, and happiness.
No matter which example here it was, I was always using food to feel differently than I was feeling.
So that is why you want to binge.
If you don’t do it, you’ll be left with feeling the urge. You’ll be left with those feelings you don’t want to feel.
You want to binge more than you want to feel an urge.
So what can you do about this?
Start with identifying your reasons why you want to binge when you want to do it.
Notice what feelings you’re trying to get away from. Is it the urge? Is it other feelings?
Then question whether bingeing will actually give you what you want.
Will it REALLY give you what you want?
The tricky part is that it does for a short period of time. You’ll get the relief, the pleasure, the escape, but then once those subside, you’re back where you started, feeling how you don’t want to feel.
Eating dulls your emotions and numbs them for a bit, but if you don’t actually deal with them, they’ll come back after your binge along with any other negative feelings you might create for yourself depending on how you talk to yourself afterward.
Eating makes your urge go away, but it’s the same thing as with the emotions where you might end up creating other negative feelings both emotionally and physically.
Also, by giving in to your urges, you’re reinforcing them. You’re teaching your brain to keep on sending them and continuing the habit instead of working on breaking it.
So list out all the reasons why you want to binge.
Then question all of them. Are they good reasons? Do you like those reasons? Is that they way you want to deal with your feelings?
Now, it’s also going to be really helpful for you to have a really good, compelling reason for why you don’t want to binge. When your brain starts spewing all these “go binge” thoughts and the reasons why you want to binge seem very enticing, you have to have a very enticing reason to counter it all.
Why is it important that you stop binge eating for good? How will your life be better if you don’t binge?
This is the reason you need to remind yourself of every day and every time you find yourself wanting to binge. Make it a really really good one.
So to wrap it all up, find your reasons why you want to binge, then questions them. When you’re not in a place of wanting to binge, do you like those reasons? Do they seem worth it?
Then come up with a really really good, compelling reason to not binge. One that really speaks to you and makes you feel it in your bones that you genuinely do not want to binge.
That’s all I have for you today. If you’ve gotten this far and you’ve enjoying what you’re learning. I’d love it if you’d take a moment and write a review! Doing so will help others find this podcast and the more people that find it, the more people who will get help. Let’s help people!
Have a great week and I’ll talk to you next week.