March 6, 2012 Jeanne Rust

Myths and Realities About Binge Eating

Do you have some deep beliefs about binge eating? Deep beliefs lead to depression and despair in binge eaters.

Do you believe that you'll never be able to regain control of your eating?

Do you believe you'll always be hungry?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you can be helped. You can regain control of your eating.

Here is "The Re-gaining Control" process in two steps.

Step 1: Learning to breathe is the first lesson to learn. You may say, "Hey, I'm breathing."

Breathing needs you to take (I mean really breathing) deep breathes all the way down into your belly and then release the air slowly. You will need to practice breathing for at least a week until deep breathing becomes a habit.

Step 2: You don't need to be hungry all the time. You need to eat three meals a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You also need to eat three snacks that include protein every day. Protein helps keep you full so you don't feel starved and binge just because you're over-hungry.

Here are a couple of sample meals that will help you:

Sample Breakfast:

1/2 cup cereal, 1 piece of toast, 1 piece of fruit, 1 egg or ½ cup of cottage cheese and 1 ½ tsp of Earth Balance (an approved butter substitute, or 1 tsp of flax oil.

Sample Snack:

The easiest snack is a piece of string cheese and a piece of fruit. You can substitute ½ c. yogurt or ½ c. cottage cheese, or 10 nuts for the cheese.

The first two steps will help keep you from being hungry, keep your blood sugar stable, and help you stay free from anxiety. You'll begin to feel so good after 3-4 days, that you won't be able to imagine being starved and eating large quantities of food again.

However, most of you are creatures of habit. The day will come when you'll forget your snack bag. You'll forget to eat lunch, have a small snack, and eat a huge dinner with cake and ice cream for dessert. And lots of it!

Do you think "Here's another diet that didn't work."?

Do you say to yourself, "I'm a failure."?

Wait a minute. Sit down and do some deep breathing. Get yourself back in balance again.

Managing your food is almost like learning how to ride a bicycle. When you rode a two-wheel bike for the first time, did you fall down? How many times did you fall down? Then how many times did you catch yourself before you fell down?

Your simple eating plan works exactly the same way. Rather than going right to the negative thoughts, see if you can say to yourself, "I'm going to eat right again because then I feel good." "I am not a failure." "I can get back on the bike!" "I can even learn to catch myself before I fall down." I can stop myself before I begin to binge.

So what if you "fall off the bike" many times. Each time that you get up, brush yourself off, and get back on that bike, you'll be building your self esteem. You'll feel better about your ability to eat in a way that enhances your wellness. You'll be on the way to learning that you can do anything you set your mind to!

If you feel anxious, sit down and do some deep breathing. This works! These exercises sound simple and guess what? They are.