Enjoying Your Binges
When I tell my clients to make sure they enjoy their binges, they look at me as if I’m from another planet.
Enjoy your binges? What a bizarre concept.
This is the opposite of what they expect to hear from me. They expect me to yell at them the same way they yell at themselves. How can finding pleasure in this despised activity help us to stop it?
In our exhausted lives as Failed Dieters we are so full guilt and self-contempt that when we look around, all we see is more of the same. It’s as if we need to prove to ourselves that we knew we were going to fail our diet before we even began. We won’t allow ourselves to experience real success. Deep down, we actually fear it.
When we inevitably do fall off the wagon (because our diet was unrealistic and unsustainable in the first place) we then need to punish ourselves for being so hopeless and out of control. Bring on the shaming internal dialogue of self-contempt we are so familiar with.
Of course we already knew this would happen. Our inherent belief is that at our core, we are a failure, a mistake or just not good enough. Driven by this deep, internal belief that we have been carrying around since childhood, how could the outcome be any different this time?
The desperation of our Diet Mentality generates magical thinking: maybe this time… maybe this diet will be the one that lands us in that elusive place of thinner peace. If we can just control our eating for long enough and we can get thin enough, a few long admiring glances in the mirror at the end of this torturous path will be all the visual motivation we need to maintain our brand new smaller sized body. Never mind about enjoying the journey or learning any new skills, we’ll just suddenly arrive there and our lives and bodies will be irrevocably changed - overnight, preferably. Did someone say twelve week transformation? Sign me up!
When our minds are bogged down in the extremes of our Diet Mentality, our thinking is black and white, all or nothing. We’re either being very, very good (when we’re restricting) or we’re the baddest of the bad (when we’re having the knee-jerk reaction to restricting and eating out of control).
Our thought processes go something like this:
I shouldn’t be eating like this.
This is not helping me lose weight
I can’t believe I did it again!
Why can’t I control myself?
What is wrong with me?
I’ll start clean again tomorrow.
I’ll be good tomorrow.
If we enter this process instead with the freedom of a non-diet mentality, everything changes. Instantly we are more at ease with ourselves. There’s no reactive or out of control eating because nothing is off-limits, there is no deprivation involved, ever. In fact, that’s the point.
If there is genuine compassion and understanding coming from within, we will experience a tremendous feeling of choice that is incredibly foreign to us as battle-weary dieters.
Our thinking might instead develop along the lines of:
If I’m allowed to eat anything I want at any time in any quantity, then I don’t want to trash myself with all of that. I’d rather have this or this.
I’m going to become my own brand of food connoisseur, I’m going to be a lot more choosy.
If I’m aiming to appreciate this feast and if there’s no time limit, then I’m going to take my time to eat with no distractions to really taste this beautiful food. And if it’s not beautiful, I’ll be aware of that straight away and I’ll find a way to enhance it with the addition of sauces or cheeses or other flavours.
Whatever it takes to hit that deep, fulfilling level of satisfaction inside, I’m worth it.
This approach is built on kindness and gentleness towards ourselves, noticing this and noticing that in our eating, without judgment. Oddly enough, experiences like this feel so good that we unconsciously look for other ways to repeat it, which leads to more of those wonderful feelings which will become built in to our day, then we really can focus on the things we need to get done because that nagging, gnawing hunger has been truly satiated for a few hours.
To put an end to out of control binge eating, try self-compassion instead of self-contempt, it is your greatest friend on the journey to freedom.
© Copyright 2016 Karla Cameron