Theses on Binge Eating

A random assortment of things I have learned in course of the struggle with my inner Cookie Monster.*

  1. Don’t “go on a diet”. Eat three good-sized meals a day.
    • Don’t skip breakfast. Or lunch.
    • Eat good food. Tasty. Varied. Plenty veggies.
    • Control your portions. Ask the advice of someone you trust, if you don’t feel confident in judging a “good” portion.
  2. Delay your gratification. The food will still be there in ten minutes. Your cravings may not be.
    • You just need to get through the next ten minutes, the next hour, the next day. The weeks and months will take care of themselves.
  3. Enjoy your cravings. Turn them into food-themed daydreams. A fantasy of eating has no negative health consequences.
  4. As you bring your eating under control, you will feel empty, anxious, bereft. This will pass. In a few months time, someone will serve you the sort of meal you used to eat every day and you will think, “that’s too much food!”.
  5. Sometimes, you will find yourself on a binge. This does not mean you’ve failed. You can’t expect the road to be smooth – you’ve just hit a pothole.
  6. Just because you binged yesterday, does not mean you have to today.
  7. Try to accept support. Find an eating disorder support group. Find someone you can trust. Admit to them that you have a problem.
    • Hugs and Cuddles are good. If you can get them.
  8. Start positive change wherever you can. Controlling eating was more challenging for me than getting more exercise. But exercise helps with stress and depression, which helps with the urge to binge…
  9. Do things which are less compatible with snacking. It’s too easy to watch TV with one hand in a bag of something. Read, crochet, play an instrument, keep your hands busy (wouldn’t want to get grease over my books, would I?).
  10. Never eat out of the packet or the pan, or at the kitchen counter. Get a reasonable plate or bowl of whatever, put the rest away, and go sit down.
  11. Do unto yourself as you would do unto others. Many of us find it harder to be as compassionate to ourselves as we would be to someone else. What would you say to you if you weren’t you?

* YMMV

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