The Beauty in the Binge
I know it is hard to admit that you lose a little control sometimes when it comes to food…but know what? It totally makes sense and it is okay. Let’s talk about it a bit…
A term most use when it comes to losing control around food is binging. The dictionary’s definition of binge: “a short period devoted to indulging in an activity to excess, especially drinking alcohol or eating.”
Sounds so nice and controlled, right? Even spiritual…”devoted to indulging”.
Here is another definition for a binge that I like better: “An intense moment when one feels like a driven wolf or possessed. One just HAS TO devour a tremendous amount of food IMMEDIATELY!”
Can you relate?
When you compulsively eat once or repeatedly you might find that you also feel a deep fear around food, hunger, and your devouring need. You see that you have an incredible power that drives you which reveals your inner urges and unknown aspects. In the moment of a binge you are tapping into an unknown energy within.
That incredible POWER that drives you to CONSUME FOOD NOW actually has the potential to transform into a POSITIVE POWER.
The truth is that your binge is a gift. It is there to be listened to as it is seeking to tell you a message. Your binge is showing you that you are sitting on your power and stopping your truest expression somewhere in your life. Your binge is your soul’s way of letting you know that you need to first slow down and listen deeper to what Life is asking of you.
Here is the key…
Your binge is an out-of-control behavior which is a balancing act for an area in your life where you are in tight control.
With your “out of control behavior”…your binge, the quest for balance is to see where in your life is tight controlling occurring? Are you:
Controlling food amounts/frequency
Controlling food type
The wake-up call from your compulsive eating is that there is excess control somewhere in your life. There is a desire for the wild within you to be free and alive. It is a call for natural rhythm, a call for nutrition and nourishment, a hunger for relaxed pleasure, and call for slowness.
To practically address your binge habits:
Eat rhythmically. Make sure you are eating a robust breakfast and lunch. Most afternoon binges are a result of a nutrient deficiency from lack of nourishment and food quantity in the earlier part of the day.
Make sure meals contain a macro-nutrient balance. This means quality proteins, fats, and carbs. Excluding one food group can lead you to binge to compensate for missing nutrients.
Strategic pleasurable foods. If you are a stringent eater who leaves out (controls) all treats, sweets and sugary foods, you might loose it at some point and go crazy with sweets. A planned indulgence can help with this.
Ritualize the binge. This is for you if you’ve tried the above and still find yourself binging. This is most often helpful for night bingers. A ritualized binge is a conscious, slow, deliberate, and planned binge. You get out your favorite table cloth, a beautiful plate, turn on your sensual tunes, light a candle, and put your binge food arranged nicely on your plate. Then you eat it in a relaxed, indulgent, slow manner. Why? This is bringing consciousness, attention, and presence to a behavior that might otherwise help you escape from the present moment.
Remember that binging is a stress response and often your binge gets you into a relaxed response. When you are stressed you are desensitized to pleasure, and when you are relaxed you are alert to pleasure. When you are alert to pleasure you usually don’t eat excessively.
Final prescription for the binge: journaling and reflection in the following areas:
Do a control inventory. Where in your life do you need to be/want to be/are in control?
Wild woman/man wish list
How do you hold onto emotions?
Where do you hold back from desire?
So, the next time you binge, please give yourself a ton of grace. No more shame, embarrassment, self-loathing, and damaging talk to yourself. Your binge is a gift and a wake up call seeking to lead you to greater and truer pleasure and fulfillment.