I fought binge eating for around 15 years. My belief was that you had to “fight to conquer” so I battled my heart out.
But try as I did, I always found myself once again licking the cheese sauce off wrapper after wrapper of Taco Bell leftovers.
Fighting wasn’t working.
The battle got me nowhere.
I had to try something radically different.
So…I made friends with binge eating. I ate the food AND felt my feelings. I quit using food to tune OUT of my life and started using it to tune IN.
And here’s what I learned…
1. A binge was often a sign that I was being too rigid with my diet rather than listening to my body. That rigidity played out in various ways, sometimes in unnecessary restriction and other times in simple but heavy guilt for eating what I thought I “shouldn’t”. I learned to treat a binge as a “trigger” to remind myself to loosen up and listen rather than control.
2. I needed to rebel. From my diet, from what society thought I should look like, from what my parents thought I should eat, and from everything I felt like I wasn’t living up to. LETTING myself go through the experience of binge eating while paying attention allowed me to realize that it was never truly nurturing that need and I needed to find it somewhere else.
3. I wanted BIG things from life. HIGH highs, incredible experiences, and to feel really, really good in my body. Binge eating was my way of losing myself with abandon and experiencing what felt like the sweetest pleasure I knew. Of course, it had severe downsides so I KNEW there had to be more sustainable pleasures and higher highs. It taught me to look deeper.