From Chaos to Calm: Mindful Eating for Binge Eating

By Michelle May, M.D.

Do you have a drawer like this? Or maybe a desk, a closet–or an entire room?

Every time I opened this desk drawer I felt frustrated. I had difficulty finding what I needed–but worse than that, the chaos overwhelmed me.
What if the chaos you experience isn’t just a drawer that you can close or a room you hide from your family and friends?

The Chaos of Binge Eating

Many people who struggle with binge eating describe their eating as chaotic. One day they’re carefully counting everything they eat, then the next, they feel totally out of control. After each binge, they swear that will be the last time. But it’s not. They try various diets over and over again but if anything, that just makes it worse. The whole problem just feels so overwhelming. They do their best to hide it from their family and friends but their life becomes smaller and smaller as the binges and the aftermath take up more time and emotional space in their lives.

If this metaphor resonates for you, you might be struggling with binge eating too. Do you…

  • Eat until you feel uncomfortably full?
  • Eat large amounts of food when you’re not hungry?
  • Eat more rapidly than normal?
  • Eat alone due to embarrassment about how much you eat?
  • Feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after you eat?

I don’t mean to minimize the distress that binge eating causes by comparing it to my messy drawer! It’s just that I’ve cleaned that drawer out numerous times and it always slid back toward chaos. If you’ve struggled with binge eating, you know that cycle.

The Calm of Mindful Eating

Once again, “Clean desk drawer” made it to my New Year’s Resolutions this year–but it felt different this time.
I didn’t just clean that drawer out again; I started fresh with a whole new approach. First I pulled everything out, made a decision about whether to keep or discard each item based on whether it was useful to me. Then I sorted through the things that were left that I might need or want. But here was the big difference. I put a brand new system in place to help me stay out of chaos-mode.

And that’s when this metaphor dawned on me. Our new Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Binge Eating Program follows this same process: First you learn how to look at your triggers, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without judgment. Then you learn how to determine what needs binging is meeting for you and how to meet those needs more effectively. But the biggest difference is the new system you put in place by using the Mindful Eating Cycle to give you the necessary structure to deconstruct a binge, problem solve,and make decisions.The calm I experience every time I open that drawer reminds me of how people feel when they learn to manage their triggers, thoughts, emotions, and needs without bingeing.

That’s why we are so humbled to announce the release of our brand new book,Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating: A Mindful Eating Program for Healing Your Relationship with Food and Your Body by Michelle May MD and Kari Anderson DBH LPC. (Take advantage of our new release special – $5.00 off for the next 2 weeks!)It is our hope that you will use this book to move from chaos to calm and free up your time, attention, and energy to live the big life you crave and deserve!

Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly!

Michelle May, M.D.

P.S. Check this out! When I was cleaning out my drawer, I found several props and finger puppets that I had picked up at various events and stuck in the drawer just in case I need to lighten my mood! I wonder what oddities you’ll find when you clean our your metaphorical junk drawer?

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