binge eating saboteur

Unit 2: The Saboteur

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The Saboteur is a generic term for the part of you that insists on overeating. Consider it one of your subpersonalities. For more on these personality parts, read the book Subpersonalities, by John Rowan. Fascinating!

To the Saboteur, binge eating is not a problem. It’s a solution. When you try to stop it from getting what it wants, you become a problem for it and an internal war ensues. You have been losing this war because you do not know how to win it.

When the war is over, you will be free to control how much food you eat. Until then, the Saboteur will keep getting its way regardless of your plans.

One man put it this way:

We’re talking about what I put in my mouth. You’d think I could control that!

You can and, in fact, you do just that most of the time. You don’t binge every time eat. But you cannot control the Saboteur. And the Saboteur wants to overeat. It’s a part of you with a different goal and you are standing in its way. When it surfaces, your attitude changes to reflect the Saboteur’s paradigm, not your typical state of consciousness.

This is not about self-control, as it turns out. Binge eating is what your inner Saboteur insists on doing for reasons of its own (which we will discuss later in this course).

For now, think about your inner Saboteur (you can call it whatever you want). Just consider it. Don’t judge. Don’t fear. Consider. Have any of the following signs and symptoms of the Saboteur happened to you?

Saboteur Signs and Symptoms

Have you ever…

  • Started a nutrition program and then stopped for no reason?
  • Suddenly stopped caring about your healthy eating plan?
  • Started a diet “knowing” you were going to fail?
  • Told yourself, “Who cares!”
  • Told yourself, “Screw it!”
  • Told yourself, “I was good yesterday, so…”
  • Told yourself, “I can eat whatever the hell I want!”
  • Started a day full of resolve and ended in a binge.
  • Felt scared at the thought of quitting your binge habit?
  • Felt confused or frustrated at your own behavior?
  • Given up hope of ever controlling yourself?
  • Explained that some inner demon takes over when you binge?
  • Wondered if you were crazy?

You’re not crazy. You’re (probably) 100% normal. You just have an inner Saboteur, like most people.


In your Binge.Coach journal, answer the following questions.

  1. Are you surprised to learn you have an inner Saboteur?
  2. How do you feel toward this part of you?
  3. Which of the signs above apply to you and how?
  4. What if you learned that you’ve been trying to deal with your inner Saboteur in a way that only encourages more disruption?
  5. Is your mind open to learning more? Why or why not?

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About the Author


Binge Coach

Binge.Coach is a course to help you stop overeating. The content here is free. If you find it helpful, please share it. Our course is based on personal study and experience, not clinical protocols, addiction treatment, or medical advice. Users are 100% responsible for any actions taken as a result of visiting this website. Anyone suffering with a medical condition should consult a physician before proceeding.