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How Do You Deal With Overeating? July 17, 2010

Posted by Jen in Binge Eating, Emotional Eating, Meditation, Motivation, Weight Loss.
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Let’s say things in your life have been going swimmingly. You’re making progress towards a healthy and satisfying life, your relationships are doing well, and you’re staying on track with eating for fuel, not for emotional reasons.

And then you have a bad day at work. Or get in a fight with a loved one. Or find out someone you care for is sick. Wham! You’re back at the fridge, doing the thing you used to do to comfort yourself.

You’re eating. You’re stuffing down the fear, feeling the rush of biting into a piece of cake, and just want to keep moving, keep avoiding, keep eating.

Eventually, you’ll stop. Your stomach might be hurting, or you might realize the eating isn’t doing anything, or your spouse may have come home and you don’t want to get caught eating.

You brush and floss your teeth and get ready for bed. The anger and guilt are already filling you up, causing you to feel terrible about what you’ve done, terrible about who you are, and terrible in your skin.

This time is a gift. Yup, a gift.

See, this can go a few ways. You can continue to berate yourself. This does a few things: It helps you continue to avoid the feelings you were avoiding by eating, because you’re so busy focusing on how awful you think you are. It may also cause part of you to feel righteous, because you’re punishing yourself for being “bad”. Unfortunately, this type of behavior may lead you right back into binge eating the next day, as you try to avoid the ever-growing number of bad feelings piling up.

Another way this story can go: You make a plan to go on a diet. You decide you can overcome this over-eating problem by sticking yourself on a strict regimen. You will overcome. You will fix yourself, dammit! However, this method is going to lead you right back down binge lane, and, wouldn’t you know it, you’ve still managed to avoid thinking about or feeling the thing that upset you in the first place.

Or how about this story? You let go of the berating and the dieting. You let yourself go to sleep, telling yourself you’re a good person and you’re loved. In the morning you wake up and acknowledge the way your body feels, but you treat yourself with love. You take a few minutes to sit somewhere quiet and actually feel the feelings you’ve been trying to avoid. You journal. You meditate. Your forgive yourself for all the ways you’ve been punishing yourself. You plan some delicious and healthy food to eat during the day. You wait for your body to tell you it’s hungry. You get back on track. You are gentle and kind to yourself.

Which way feels the kindest to you? Which way would you like to deal with your problems?

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Comments»

1. berealyoga - July 27, 2010

Wow, you hit the nail on the head with your last paragraph! Self kindness is key. There is nothing worse than the post-binge hangover, and this is often when being kind to ourselves is the hardest! But so so necessary! It’s the only way through. Keep posting sister!


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