If you have experienced it, you know it. That feeling: you were feeling fine five minutes ago, and then, you get worried about something, or you have a memory that instantly pulls you down, and the next thought is, that pint of ice cream in the freezer.
Suddenly that pint of ice cream is the most beautiful, glowing thing you have ever seen or thought about, and you are the luckiest woman alive because all you have to do is go to the freezer and get it.
You rush over. Even getting the spoon out of the drawer seems like an obstacle, getting in the way between you and your salvation.
You rush through all the movements to get to that coveted pint, and it’s all a blur until you have it in your hands – cold, hard, that shape that you know instantly means comfort.
Your couldn’t be happier. The first few bites are amazing, heaven.
Then, at some point, you begin to go numb. You stop tasting. You don’t have much awareness over what you are doing right now, you just know you can’t stop. Don’t want to stop. There is so much momentum to what is happening right now that you feel caught in it, carried by the flow and the power of The Binge.
Binge Eating is an Addiction
For a binge eater, eating massive amounts of food compulsively (as if we are being forced to do it, feeling out of control) is our way of dealing with emotions. It’s an addiction, and in my opinion, addictions share a root cause.
The root cause of addiction is the avoidance of painful and difficult emotions.
Addictions also share the quality of being treatable. Now, of course, not all addictions are created equal, and some addictions are certainly harder to kick than others. But if you agree with me that all addictions share a root cause, and that root cause has to do with avoidance of difficult emotions, then it follows that if we learn how to face our emotions head on, we will begin to transform the addiction by slowly removing the underlying cause.
Working with Emotions
Working with our emotions isn’t something that brings change overnight. It’s a process. But it is the only process I know of that will bring lasting change.
Because unless we face the painful underlying feelings that creep up and cause us to binge, we will find some way, even if it isn’t food, to destroy ourselves as long as it means we don’t have to feel the painful feelings.
But the great news is, once you do start to face those underlying emotions – change can’t not happen.
How badly do you want to transform your Binge Eating?
If you experience binging regularly, or even once in a while, you know how much suffering is tied to the binge.
You know the feeling of going to sleep so full that you can’t believe you’ve done this to your body. Wondering if you will ever digest the food you’ve eaten and feel normal again.
Gassy, bloated and uncomfortable, you are half asleep and half awake, your dreams riddled with concern over how heavy you are feeling, how you will live the next day, and if it will always be like this.
Worst of all, you can’t guarantee that you won’t binge again tomorrow. In fact, chances are you will, and the dread of that loss of control all over again is always in the back of your mind.
As we can see, the underlying reasons for binging must hold a lot of power, to drive us to do something so self-destructive to our bodies.
And to face those underlying reasons, those difficult emotions, takes a huge amount of courage and strength. But I am here to tell you that you have that courage, you have that strength.
Every Problem Has a Solution
Every challenge has a way to overcome it. I do believe that we cannot do it alone. Even if it’s reaching out for help by reading these articles, that is a good start.
It’s important to recognize that anything you experience, is a part of the human experience.
That means it isn’t unique to you.
You are not alone.
Reaching Out for Help is the First Step
Binge Eating Disorder is an incredibly private affair, which makes it even more effective when we ask for help. My first recommendation when dealing with Binge Eating is to begin talking about it. A close friend, coach, therapist, mentor, teacher ~ these are good places to start.
The idea is to separate yourself from the habit. By talking about it, you recognize that you are not the habit. It’s a temporary condition that can come and go.
Going back to where we started in this article, I do believe binge eating to be an addiction. That’s very good news. It means it is not many other things; a curse, a birth defect, a permanent state. Are you ready to embark on the wild adventure of healing?