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A Way Out of Binge Eating June 28, 2010

Posted by Jen in Binge Eating, Emotional Eating.
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I remember a time when the only thing that seemed to make me feel better was thinking about food.

I’d fantasize about a warm chocolate chip cookie or a piece of bread with a thick slab of butter. I’d distract myself from whatever was at end, thinking about what I could eat when I was alone.

And oh, did I feel alone. Being trapped in a binge eating cycle is one of the worst feelings there is. There’s the constant desire to stop eating to avoid your feelings, but then the pull of the food in the cabinets, telling you stories about how it will make everything better, is always just around the next bend. After the binge is over there is silence, regret, and a story about how next time you won’t do it. How you’ll start a diet and make it better. But then there’s always a next time.

Is it possible to break the cycle? Is it possible to stop using food to soothe, to avoid life? Absolutely. I’m know, I’m living proof.

I used food to ease anxiety, mostly. Anxiety over my career, my love life, my overwhelming feelings of not being good enough. I also used it when I was bored, or sometimes when I was excited. There was always an initial rush, but then a huge letdown as I got fuller and fuller, and felt more and more terrible.

But I broke free from that. Yes, it took time and effort, and sometimes I had to dig my nails into the palms of my hands to get my back to the present moment and away from the kitchen.

But it’s possible, and it is so worth it. Now I use one of the many other tools in my toolbox to deal with anxieties, boredom, loneliness. I sit quietly, meditate, go for a walk, read, stretch, or simply sit and face the feelings I would have tried to avoid in the past.

I am worth it, and so are you. Sometimes when you are trapped in a terrible binge cycle, you may feel awful, worthless and guilty. But I promise you, you are special and wonderful. You deserve to get better, you deserve to get in touch with your hopes and dreams, and you deserve to live the life you want. You are worthy, I promise.

There is a way out. There are other ways to make yourself feel better. If, right now, the only thing you can do is remind yourself that you are special and deserving, do it. If you can meditate for a few minutes, do it. If you can for a walk, or describe ten wonderful things about you, do it. If you can scream at the top of your lungs, “I am worthy and I can do this!”, do it!

There is a way out. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll find your way.

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