The Real Reason You Binge Eat…
CATEGORIES: Life Weight Loss
You know when you eat way too much and feel overly full and sick?
Otherwise known as binging.
When you know you are not hungry but you still keep on eating and can’t really seem to stop?
It may look like binging and eating as much as you possibly can in a short space of time or it might be a constant all day thing, where you just eat and eat…
You see I know a lot about overeating. I am a recovering binge eater, but before we look at what on earth we can do about it is important to set some things straight:
- It is natural to occasionally overeat – sometimes you don’t realise or it’s just fun, like Christmas or a Birthday.
- It is not a cardinal sin to overeat – sometimes it’s a powerful choice and it’s what we genuinely need.
- It is 100% ok to have a large appetite and eat more than others.
- Always eat when you’re genuinely hungry.
But that is not what I am talking about today. I am talking about a regular, daily or weekly, habit of binging and eating way too much: feeling out of control and in a habit that you can’t seem to break.
With a lot of folk I work with one2one it’s about getting to the root of the issue. Transformation happens only when we get to the big WHY behind the behaviour.
And to find this out it all comes down to one question:
What are you really hungry for?
Eating is the laziest and more instantaneous way to meet a need. We can feel a lack within ourselves and then can instantly grab to food to meet that sense of lack.
And we’re built for survival so if we have a need (which often makes us feel vulnerable and scared) then we are going to look for the quickest solution.
So here are the 4 most common things people are really hungry for when they are in the habit of constantly overeating:
- Hungry for connection. If you feel isolated, alone and lonely then food can numb that feeling and provide an activity to distract you from the truth.
- Hungry for stimulation. If you’re bored with where you’re at and have no inspiring challenges in your life or aren’t growing in any way then you are probably bored and food is the easiest way to get that thrill and rush of fun and excitement.
- Hungry for freedom. Maybe you feel trapped in your job, in your relationships or in a ‘diet’ or life – overeating is a perfect act of rebellion. Its the perfect mini revolution you can do to somehow prove you are free and you’re a grown up who can do whatever the f**k you want!
- Hungry for self-worth. If you’re spending your day constantly feeling like you’re hunting and desperately seeking other peoples’ approval and acceptance then food can be your constant companion. Food can briefly make us feel empowered before it numbs the pain we may have about who we are. Low self-worth is often shameful, meaning we don’t want to admit it, so overeating is the perfect secret and private act we can do to numb the pain.
There are many more but these are the ones that I have experienced most in my own life. I still over eat at times but I am getting better and better at learning to acknowledge and meet my needs in deep and healthy ways.
You see, you have to give yourself permission to need something and then you have to learn to listen and meet the need – but not always with food. For example: eating out is a great treat, it’s a great way to celebrate something or deal with a stressful day but it is not the ONLY thing I do to meet the need to celebrate. I go see friends, I have days out, I have nice baths, I go hang out with my family, I buy a magazine or over-priced coffee, or visit a health food shop!
Overeating is not some terrible thing, its just an immature expression of some of our deepest needs not being met, and that is ok. Once we know this then we can truly bring about change.
So let’s all put our grown-up pants on and invest in truly loving and nourishing ourselves, so we can be a source of strength to those around us?