“It just happened. One minute I was watching tv, and the next thing I knew, I had eaten a whole bag of potato chips and a carton of ice cream.”
Except it didn’t just happen.
Your body does not involuntarily walk over to the food. The package does not open on it’s own. You do not magically end up with food in your mouth.
These are all actions you choose to take when you decide to eat.
There is a moment when you make a decision to binge.
You may decide to just eat just one cookie, but then you decide to eat all of them, and then something else, and something else, and something else.
Or it maybe you decide you’re going to binge, you know exactly how much you’re going to eat and you go for it.
Regardless of how it goes, there is a decision that is made.
For some of you, you may start eating before you realize what’s happening. If this is you, it’s important for you to work on staying aware of what you’re doing. You have to be able to catch yourself when you decide to eat. When you’re fully aware of what you’re doing, then you can recognize the decision being made.
Now you may wonder, why would you decide to binge?
You’re looking for relief from a feeling.
Maybe it’s boredom, or sadness, or an urge to eat that popped up out of nowhere. To find relief from those feelings, you eat.
But all you’re really doing is causing more feelings you won’t want to feel, that you will then want to find more relief from after you binge.
This is that awful cycle – urge/binge/feeling/binge/urge/binge and it goes on and on until you decide that you’re going to feel whatever it is you’re feeling without binge eating to make it go away.
For me, the two most comment feelings that would drive me to binge were boredom and the urge.
Boredom eating would start out seemly innocent, but as my brain recognized it as pleasurable, it wanted more and more and more. This was emotional eating turning into binge eating once I chose to keep going.
Then there were the urges to completely let go and binge and if I chose to give in to those, I knew it was going to be go big or go home. Or rather, go out and get a big amount of food and go home and eat it all until I felt ill.
Either way, there was always a moment when I decided that I was going to eat instead of feeling whatever it was I was feeling.
You have to want to not binge eat more than you want to not feel your feelings.
Your feelings and your urges, are what drive you to binge eat.
How you respond to them is your choice.
You need to take responsibility for the decisions you make.
Yes, your brain is calling out for food, and a lot of it. But you know you don’t need it, no matter how loud that voice gets in your head that says that you do.
When you feel an uncomfortable feeling, and you want to binge to make it go away, you get to decide what you’re going to do. Make the right choice.