Break the binge eating pattern
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 16, 2015
If you binge eat, listen: “When you reach for the potato chip bag remnants, scrape the bottom of the ice cream pint, polish off a bag of cookies or hit drive-thru after drive-thru and eat in the car, you know what you’re doing.
But you feel powerless to stop.
Employ rudimentary mindfulness.
As you overfeed your body, ask yourself, ‘What emotion am I feeling?’ It isn’t hunger but most likely anger, loneliness or boredom.
But you know that. Binge eaters feel and feel deeply.
When you get that hit of salt, fat or sugar, it feels good now, but it creates a health hangover. You’ve succumbed to short-term satisfaction to relieve long-term dissatisfaction.
You know that, too.
Mindfulness teaches us to turn toward what’s difficult. We check in with our bodies and minds. If you are eating out of anger, loneliness or boredom, there are life changes to make. You can figure out those changes with yoga and meditative practices.
It’s just easier to eat.
Everyone suffers. Binge eating is a moment of suffering, and you can feel isolated in that suffering. But after binge eating, your inner critic can be brutal, and that critic ensures that you stay feeling bad.
When you see people suffering, you offer love. You need to turn that love toward yourself.
Engage your inner critic. Acknowledge that your critic means well and is trying to help you be your best self. Say, ‘I know you are trying to help me, but you aren’t helping me right now.’
Now, place your hand on your heart. And breathe.
Change it up. You may not be able to stop eating for other satisfactions right now, but you can practice breaking the binge patterns.
Chew every single potato chip by itself 32 times.
Invite all five senses to the pint of ice cream. Sit at the table, crack open the lid and hear the zip as you peel the film from the ice cream. Press your spoon into the ice cream and note the density and color. When you bring the spoon to your mouth, touch the ice cream to your lip, smell it and feel the temperature. Pull your lower lip into your mouth for your first taste. When that first taste has disappeared, let the whole spoonful melt in your mouth. Feel the sensation of the ice cream sliding down your throat and into your stomach.
Yes, eat all the cookies you want. Just bake them yourself. And share.
When it comes to fast food, skip the drive-thru; walk there, eat there and walk home.
Begin to teach yourself that you’re not a slave to your patterns.”
This was based on a conversation with Madeline Ebelini, director of Integrated Mindfulness, Bonita Springs. Visit http://integrativemindfulness.net for more information.