Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Binge Eating and....Ahem.........Drinking

I just received an email from my dear friend, M, that read:

I'm the beast that consumed two (count them, 2!) double, duty juicy cheeseburgers yesterday! Isn’t that messed up!!!!!! AND…… to top the whole thing off, I ACTUALLY started thinking about making cookie dough, until I nearly slapped myself out of the stupidity!!!!!!!! I feel like I'm in a tub drain and it is starting to spin faster and faster towards the end……….and I wonder how I could have thunder thighs?!?!”

Are you guilty of it? I know I am guilty of it. I know I feel extremely guilty when I binge (though, mine is usually on something chocolate) and then ask myself ‘Why? Why? Why would I do that to myself?’ and then that segues to about an hour of self-loathing, like my friend M, which is never a good thing.

Probably one of the biggest complaints and main reasons people do not obtain the ideal results from training or eating a healthy diet is because of the ‘big binge’.

When we train harder we tend to eat more and usually the wrong foods. Or, we think we deserve a treat and decide dive into that cupcake sitting in the office kitchen or grab a second (or third) helping for working out extra hard. More often than not, these treats turn into binges sabotaging all the effort. No wonder sticking to a workout program can be so challenging!! If you are not seeing or feeling results what’s the point?

The first question to ask yourself is if binging is something you do daily, weekly or on the rare occasion. If it is a daily issue for you or you think it may be an uncontrollable problem then seek professional help from a therapist or group such as Overeaters Anonymous

If binge eating or drinking is something you choose (yes, I said ‘choose’) to do, the hard and fast response is that YOU are CHOOSING the food/drink (be it, cheeseburgers, mojitos, wine, pizza, the all-you-can eat buffet, cake, cookies..and that includes cookie dough, etc.) OVER the health of your own body. That might seem like a harsh response but it is true and THAT simple. There is more that happens in the space between your mouth and that love of (place binge food of choice here). The choice of this food over your health has mostly to do with your current state of emotion rather then an actual need for the food.

How can I stop the binge?

Well, it helps to remember that it is up to you to make the CHOICE. Take a few seconds or minutes to think about what you are eating and start a food journal where you write down everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that you eat. No one has ever made you eat anything you didn’t want to (as an adult, anyway). When a craving starts ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I hungry?

Physical hunger is an actual physical reaction (i.e., stomach growling) and usually any healthful food will fill that void.

If you are not hungry and craving then answer the following questions:

  • What am I feeling?

Are you sad, happy, angry, tired or bored? Try and take a minute to jot down your feelings on a notepad or a nutrition journal. Get into what you are feeling. See if you can resolve what is happening with you emotionally at that moment instead of suppressing these feelings with the temporary sensation of taste. Maybe you need to confront someone you are in relationship with, burn some excess energy by exercising, celebrate by sharing good news with a friend, take a nap if you’re tired or, if you are bored, find a hobby other than seeing what’s in the pantry.

  • What is the craving about?

If you start seeing a pattern with your cravings and emotions when you are not physically hungry confront this fact about yourself EVERY TIME you see it come on. This takes practice and diligence. The more you are aware of it the less power it will have over you and the less likely you will binge and, like a said, CHOOSE the blooming (whatever) over your health and the much coveted bikini body.

Comments, questions and venting are all welcome!!

1 comment:

  1. Dang Niki! Don't put ownership on me!!!

    My favorite point is to make a hobby out of something else besides eating. My biggest problem is going out to dinner as a way to socialize. Its hard on my wallet and on my waist. I don't have any friends like you. All of our socializing consisted of hiking and yoga. Come home!