Have you ever had a thought like this:
“I want to binge, but I know I shouldn’t.”
It’s one of those thoughts that sounds useful. You’re showing you’re aware it’s something you shouldn’t do.
But thinking about what you should and shouldn’t do isn’t helpful enough. It’s basically having ideas of what’s expected, but not really being sure if it’s what you want to be doing.
The key word here is “want.”
“Should” is used to indicate what’s desirable.
“Want” means you have the desire already.
“Should” essentially means you want to want to not binge eat. In the thought I wrote above, you want to do it but wish you didn’t want to.
The crazy thing is that of course you don’t want to binge! But at the same time you do, and in the moment when you feel that urging to do it, you want to more than you don’t want to.
You need to get to a place where you want to not do it more than you want to.
This is possible, but you have to first become clear about why you want to and why you don’t. Have specific reasons.
Build your desire to not want to do it instead of just desiring be in a place where you don’t want to do it.
“Should” is full of possibilities that you want to want, but “want” is a clear desired outcome of what you do truly want.
“I should/shouldn’t” is also going to cause guilty or shameful feelings before you even decide to give in and binge because you have an expectation of what you want from yourself yet at the same time you want to do something destructive.
“I shouldn’t want to binge, but I do.” How guilt-ridden does that feel?
On the other hand, “I want to binge, but I don’t want to binge.” feels quite different. And it’s the truth. In this example, you get to decide which you want more. Come up with your reasons right now and go over them again when you feel an urge to do it.
Replace your “shoulds” with “wants”. See how it feels.
You might find it easier to find your strength to say no.