I was tortured by eating. It felt like a nightmare.
The worst part?
The experience of a binge. Eating like a crazed person, then feeling sick, stuffed and horrible (and often forcing myself to vomit).
The origin of the word “binge” comes from nautical terms. It meant to soak a wooden vessel in water, so the wood would swell and the boat wouldn’t leak.
What if we were like that–believing we’ll “leak” with emotion, energy, fear, emptiness, hunger–unless we binge.
We think we’ll lose air, we’re frantic, we’re full of urges, we’ll sink to the bottom of the ocean…so we binge.
Eating Peace Process has begun, and we’re still in the Foundations Module. These foundations are practices and exercises that help us open up to our suffering with food and eating and our bodies, and find some other ways to be with What Is without violence or control or willpower.
I love what someone asked in one of first our private group calls yesterday: how do I stop in the middle of a binge?!
In Foundations I offer several “calming down” exercises like tapping, or shaking, or writing unedited for five minutes.
I suggest meditation on a daily basis, and invite everyone to begin to practice meditating, whether you’ve done it before or not. Start with five minutes.
All these foundational activities, which include wondering about ourselves in new ways by answering questions and journaling….are all great and everything….
....but how do we stop in the middle of a binge?
That could be the hardest place to “stop” of any place in the cycle of this compulsion. Right in the middle of the height of the energy.
First of all, even though it can seem practically impossible, it’s helpful to question the belief: I can’t stop, this is too much, it’s too difficult to pause.
Is that true?
Who would you be without that thought?
I have found a few more ideas that have worked well for me, too.
The good news is, the more you practice pausing, stopping, waiting….the easier it gets. The mind literally un-hooks itself from the cycle called “BINGE!”
If you find stopping practically impossible, then simply feel what it’s like to be WILLING to stop in the middle of a binge.
Give yourself loving kindness–no one binge eats who is happy, peaceful or feeling at ease in life. Binge eating is a response to upset and urges to survive.
Being gentle and caring with yourself can be one of the most important steps to take at all–that you’re eating for good reasons, and you’re willing to find out why and to stop, since it isn’t ultimately working for you.