goal binge eating

A Binge Eater’s Goal – It’s Complicated

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The goal is to stop binge eating, but is that enough? Maybe not.

March 22, 2020

Questions come up like:

  • What would I do instead?
  • How would I cope with (whatever)?
  • What’s this whole thing really about?
  • What do I really want?

As long as the words binge eating are in the goal, doesn’t that just keep our mind focused on binge eating – like the whole don’t think red thing?

How can we create goals around binge eating – or around food in general – that send a more precise message to our brains? I’ll use this post to think it through.

What would I do instead of binge eating?

Not eat. That would be a good start. But it’s not helpful. In the moments that I go for excess food, I know I am not hungry. So what do I want? I swear I don’t know. However, last week I had a massive episode of stress and something tells me the part of me that loves to eat is a detour around the stress.

This is nothing new. Counselors and coaches have been saying this for a long time and the concept has never been helpful. I guess that doesn’t mean it’s false. What if it’s true for me?

Or what if I just assumed it is true, as denying it has never been helpful! I can imagine a blubbery little part of me just laughing his little butt off at me. He knows. He takes over like a little demon and eats like there’s no tomorrow.

Literally, there is no tomorrow for him! He just wants to feel the pleasure of food for a minute. Then he’s gone and I’m standing there holding a bloated bag of regret.

So, what is it?

What do I really want instead of overeating? I want to feel calm and safe and satisfied – deeply.

And if I’m honest, right now I do not feel those ways. I feel trapped and angry. Impossible anger. I feel resentment at external circumstances that I cannot change, or believe I am helpless to do anything about. I go around and around in my head about it all.

Do you do the same? Ruminate on stuff you can’t change but feel victimized by? And then get angry? I hate admitting it. And I don’t know what to do about it but that blubbery little dude inside me does – eat! Party! Find a way to get a little pleasure for a moment. Screw it!

In a way, it’s a solution, but not a very good one. I just can’t imagine being at peace in my current situation. I want it to change but it’s unlikely to do so.

Ta-da! My new goal.

Instead of feeling angry and trapped, I want to feel free and satisfied!

What would need to happen in order to feel free and satisfied – regardless of outside circumstances? I’d need to adopt a new perspective – a new belief – about the circumstances.

Now, if you’re just reading this out of curiosity, these words might be bouncing off you. For me, they are real – this is real. I hope some readers are having an aha-moment as I am. Again, none of this represents new concepts for me but this is a new moment indeed.

I have the goal but don’t know how to get there in the moments I want to binge.

So what the hell do I do now?

When I want to eat, just realize I am feeling angry and trapped and decide to feel free and satisfied instead? I don’t consciously feel angry or trapped before I overeat. And I don’t want to dip into all that crap every single day.

The little blubbery guy knows right when to take over and save me from emotional hell. Hmm. Maybe I should be grateful for that. Could that be a starting point? Is there something else inside me that is causing the emotional hell?

Of course there is. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be an issue. But what is it?

First, let’s be grateful that I have a way – any way – to avoid burning in emotional hell. I couldn’t live that way. I’ve been there – not pretty. I am such an angry-as-hell person, deep down. And my little binge eater has been protecting me from all that.

I think I’ll take a break and meditate on appreciation for the positive intention of this part of me.


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