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Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Binge Eating Thoughts

Binge eating is an urgency that makes me crave a particular food in large quantities.

An urge to binge is an extreme state of pressure or anxiety that compels me to change the way I feel immediately by consuming what I crave. I "have" to eat the unhealthy food.

My emotions are driven to their greatest point of fear and pain. But what am I afraid of?

My fear is the fear of loss. I am afraid of losing the ability to instantly change my emotional state by eating. I am afraid to lose the ability to get out of pain. To give up a consistent way to get pleasure is frightening. It is not about the food, it is the fear of deprivation.

I am also afraid of losing control. The inner me is rebelling against all the rules and regulations set down by my "healthy" me. No one, not even healthy me, tells me what to do.

How do I get control when I face this fear of loss?

The first step is to be aware of what is going on.

Whenever I am driven to eat, when I have to have something right now, these are inappropriate thoughts signaling I am out of control and have lost my freedom.

At the same time, the voice in my head is telling me - "if I don't do this now I am going to lose the opportunity, if I don't do this now I am going to lose the pleasure, if I don't do this now, I am going to lose the ability to change my state, if I don't do this now I'm not going to have this experience later on or I may never have it."

If I say that I can't have it, it increases the urgency and sense of loss, it creates a sense of scarcity. People desire things that have limited quantities. I am fearing a loss of something that is scarce and valuable. My fear of being deprived increases my urge for it. My expectation that I am going to miss out increases this urgency to binge.

The urge will just pass if I know the food is always going to be there.

I can use the tomorrow technique - I will have/do this tomorrow. This is procrastinating intelligently. I need to remind myself that I haven't given up anything. I get the opportunity to have it any time in the future. I can giving myself the opportunity to have the body and self esteem that I want.


What thoughts can I explore that will interrupt this chain of events right at the point where I think about bingeing?

1. Picture the food in a different way. I can think of it in the grossest possible way - with hot mustard on it, tasting like stale beer, cold and rotting with maggots, covered in some revolting bodily fluid etc.
2. Take deep breaths and consciously relax to reduce the anxiety
3. Picture vividly the consequences of eating the food - think about how I felt when I was overweight, picture the fat settling on my hips and thighs, the pimples on my skin, the loss of pride in my accomplishments, the physical pain of not being able to digest the food and the food hangover tomorrow, the shame at having to report another binge episode on my blog, being sick, old, depressed and alone in the future I will be building if I eat this junk.
4. Do something else immediately to break the behaviour chain - listen to a song on my ipod, go outside in the sun for 5 minutes, brush my teeth, do 10 pushups, fold the washing - it doesn't have to be super productive, just an interrupt in the thought process
5. Give myself the gift of instant pleasure - take a shower, read a book, give Mr Katie a hug, cuddle the cat, look at my 'after' photos, look at my medals from the comp (which are now hanging in the KITCHEN), go for a walk, paint my nails.

To eat in excess, I have to get to a point where I say not eating this food = pain.
To not eat in excess, I have to get to a point where I say eating this food = pain.

If I eat this, what is it going to cost me? If I eat this what do I have to give up? If I eat this, how much longer will it take to reach my goals. Eating this is not a reward, it is creating pain. What else could I enjoy that I can immediately use for energy? What will provide pure pleasure with no pain.

Not eating something is the first step in giving myself pleasure. Find another way to change my emotional state. Food will never enrich me, progress me, expand my energy, make me feel loved.

Urge breaker - I CAN DO IT acronym
I control the urge and I am winning and smiling about it. Picture the food in a revolting way. When I say NO to something, say "I am winning by not eating this". When I am hungry just SMILE. It will give me instant pleasure.
Counterfeit urges don't control, they go away. Pretend that urge is trying to con me- call it out. Don't play the rationalise game (I deserve this, I need a refeed, it won't matter). I won't let anything outside of me control me.
Ask myself questions that will break the pattern. What will it cost me, if I was being honest, is this what I would do if I was being my highest self? What do I really to feel/experience? What would be really good for my body?
Now - breathe and move - urges experienced as tension and pressure. Do something outrageous.
Drink some water and don't be a dog (Pavlov's dog salivating at the bell reference).
Oh what a smell! Think of a rotten smell and link it to the food I am craving.
Interrupt the pattern. Go do something else. Brush my teeth. Go take a shower. Go to the nearest mirror, take off my clothes and look at my stomach/butt/legs. Go try on my skinny jeans that don't fit any more.
Trample the urge and target my desire. Picture a huge red stop sign and shout "STOP IT" and then picture my ideal body and then say "I HAVE A TRIM BODY" and feel fantastic.


Unhealthy amounts of food is DEPRIVING me of the things I really want in life.

Stolen from The B0dy y0u D3serve by T0ny R0bb1n5


  1. Fabulous post Katie. Thanks for sharing xxx

  2. Loved this post Katie, thank you for sharing, while it is really tough and personal for you to go through this, you are helping me enormously so thank you!