Urges to binge seem so unmanageable. But the truth is, they’re not. You have more power over them than you may think. You have options when you feel them and in this episode I’m sharing them with you.
What you think about when you feel an urge and how you respond to them matters big time. So I’m teaching you what you should do in order to make your urges less intense and more manageable.
Hi! Hello! Welcome! So some of you have been writing to me and asking how you can work with me one on one so I just wanted to address that real quick so then if you’re interested, then you’ll know.
The first step is for us to do what’s called a mini session. It’s a phone call that last about 30 minutes where you’ll get a chance to get some free coaching, see what coaching is like, and ask me questions.
Then, only if you’re interested, and if we’re a good fit, I’ll tell you how my program works and all the details about it.
The mini session is 100% free with zero obligation and you can find the link to sign up in the show notes page for this episode at coachkir.com/7.
Alright, now onto today’s topic. Managing urges.
Did you even know you can manage urges?
They seem so unmanageable sometimes don’t they? Like there’s nothing you can do….but there is!
First though, let’s breakdown what an urge even is. Let’s look at what it is you’re going to manage.
An urge is a really strong desire. It’s a feeling that drives you to binge. It’s also accompanied by thoughts that encourage you to binge.
Remember, thoughts cause feelings so if your brain is signaling with a very strong thought about eating or bingeing, it’s yelling at you to eat and telling you you need to binge, then that thought is going to cause a very strong feeling, which is the urge.
Now, those urging thoughts can be very convincing. They make binge eating sound very necessary and it’s because your brain has been conditioned to think it is!
Have you ever thought, “I need to binge?” I know I did plenty of times. This is the kind of thought I’m talking about.
It’s a convincing thought, you hear it in your own head and you believe it. If it’s coming from your own head it must be a fact, right?
Not so much, because the truth is that you never need to binge. Bingeing is never a necessity. It’s not necessary for your survival even though you brain thinks it is. This is just a thought that your brain is producing.
It’s really just a thought error. Your brain made a mistake telling you that you need to do something that you actually don’t. It misspoke. It happens.
I remember so vividly a time when I was first doing this work and paying attention to my thinking and I heard myself say, “I should just give up.” But instead of just going along that, I paused and said, “What?!? No I shouldn’t! What’s that all about??”
Total thought error and I recognized it as that. It was just a thought that ran through my mind when things got hard and I knew that giving up wasn’t what I really wanted to do.
My brain wanted me to because our brains don’t really like doing new uncomfortable things, and that’s okay, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree up in my higher brain where I make my decisions about what I’m going to do.
So there are those urging thoughts telling you you need to binge or something along those lines, and then there’s the feeling that goes along with it.
That overwhelming urge that seems so unbearable and uncomfortable.
You may think the only way out of that discomfort is to binge but it’s not, and thank goodness because otherwise the bingeing would never end.
What we tend to do is either resist or react to the urge.
Resisting is fighting against it. It’s telling the urge, “No, no, no, I’m not giving in to it, I’m not going to binge.” And what usually happens is that you push against it until you can’t any longer and you finally just surrender to it.
Resisting is a fight and just like when you fight another person, all it’s going to do it make matters worse. That urge is going to fight back and since you’re essentially fighting against yourself, you’re going to lose.
Then there’s reacting which is just deciding right away that you’re going to binge. You just want to get it over with. You don’t deal with it at all.
Well my friends, it’s time to deal with it.
A big piece of this is being willing to feel uncomfortable.
Being comfortable with being uncomfortable is one of the secrets to life you guys.
If you’re willing to feel discomfort and are okay with it, then there is no need to run to food to make it go away.
Discomfort won’t kill you. It’s not going to harm you.
It just doesn’t feel good. But that’s okay. Feeling negatively and feeling discomfort is a part of life. There’s no way around it.
So you can learn to experience it or you can spend your life running away from it.
I highly recommend you stop running because that’s just leading you into a binge.
You feel an urge, and you jump onto the path toward food.
But what if you didn’t? What if you just let the urge exist in your body? What if you didn’t try to push it away or immediately relieve it?
I know it sounds like a terrible idea, but isn’t bingeing also a terrible idea?
Either way you’re going to feel uncomfortable so it’s your choice of either feeling the discomfort of an unanswered urge or the physical and emotional discomfort after you binge.
You have either option to choose.
What’s important though, when you’re allowing your urge and not resisting or reacting, is how you’re thinking.
If you’re thinking this urge is too powerful or this feels intolerable or that you have to fight the urge, then this is not going to work well. These are resistance thoughts and they will cause you to feel powerless or out of control. Then of course when you feel those ways you’re going to just give up and binge.
You don’t have to fight it. You can just let it be there. It’s just a feeling. It’s not going to harm you.
And the reason it seems intolerable is because you’re fighting it and it’s fighting back. I mean, come on, who can actually tolerate someone fighting with them? So yeah if you’re fighting with yourself, it’s going to intolerable. Recognize that you’re the one making it feel this way because of how you’re responding to it, it’s not just how the urge itself is.
Let me give you an example of how this works but in a different type of scenario.
Say you’ve brought a little boy shopping with you. He’s hounding you to buy him candy and he will not stop. You start feeling really aggravated and argue with him but that just makes him argue back and whine more. Finally, just to shut him up, you buy him that candy.
That boy is your binge urge. It hounds you to binge, if you argue with it it just gets louder and more intense, so you finally just give in to it to shut it up.
But what if you just allowed that little boy to do his thing. If you just stayed calm, let him try to bug you, and you just let him be a whiny kid. Then you leave the store without buying him candy and eventually he gets over it.
That will happen with your urge too. If you can calmly let it be there and not react to it, not argue with it, it will go away eventually.
The key here is staying calm and not reacting. That’s where your thoughts come in. You create calm for yourself and you also create aggravation. You decide which you want to create.
Also know that the urge isn’t more powerful than you. Remember, you’re the one who gets to decide what to do with your urge up in your higher brain. You’re the boss of your urge. You’re the manager. So manage it. Tell it no.
So here’s the breakdown of how to manage an urge.
Notice the thought errors that come with the urge. These are just sentences that pop up in your mind encouraging you to binge. There’s no need to make a big deal out of them and you also don’t have to comply. You can just dismiss them.
Then decide to feel the urge. There is no feeling you can’t handle. Don’t push it away, just let it exist. Notice and observe it.
Then decide what you want to think when you’re feeling it.
Choose thoughts that will cause you to feel calm, not anxious, powerless, or out of control.
Keep calm and allow the urge.
It will pass on it’s own. You don’t need to eat to make it go away and it will go away much quicker if you just accept and allow it’s existence rather then trying to fight it off.
You have the power to intensify or weaken your urges.
It all comes down to how you respond to them, what you think about when you feel them, and what you’re willing to do.
Be uncomfortable until it passes, and it will pass. How long it will take can vary – minutes, hours, it’s up to you and how you react.
Notice it and observe it without any kind of reaction.
And while you’re feeling uncomfortable, think about what’s on the other side of that discomfort.
How amazing it will feel to not have binged!
Once that urge passes, you get to celebrate! You get to feel proud and accomplished and putting in that effort will all be worth it.
Learning how to feel urges is a skill that needs to be practiced for you to become good at it. And it’s a skill that is ridiculously valuable not only for your binge eating, but anywhere else in your life where you find yourself consistently reacting to urges whether it be with drinking, shopping, or even checking your phone! I know a lot of your can relate to that.
Doing this work is absolutely something you can do on your own but if you find yourself having a difficult time or find it to be too challenging then I want you to consider doing this work with me. It can all be done more quickly and easily if you have someone who is knowledgeable and skilled in this process and can help you see obstacles and solutions where you may not be able to.
I honestly encourage you to give the mini session a try and see what you think about it. Even if you decide not to work together in my program, you’ll still get some good help. Best case scenario, you may actually find out that this is the solution you’ve been searching for.
Have a wonderful week feeling those uncomfortable urges and I’ll talk to you next time! Bye bye!