Binge eating often feels chaotic… swinging from feeling in control then completely losing control. If you struggle with chaotic eating, perhaps it is time for a fresh approach: Move from chaos to calm!
Chaotic eating isn’t a junk drawer you can close!
Do you have a drawer like this? Or maybe a desk, a closet—or an entire room?
Every time I opened this desk drawer in my office 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 you can close or a room you hide from your family and friends?
What if your eating is chaotic?
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, restriction 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 “junk drawer” 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
Time and time again, “Clean desk drawer” made it to my New Year’s Resolutions. But this time, I took a different approach.
I didn’t just clean that drawer out again; I started fresh. First I pulled everything out and 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 Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Binge Eating Program follows this same process:
- First you learn how to recognize your triggers, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without judgment.
- Then you learn how to determine what needs bingeing 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 without restriction, deprivation, or guilt.
How to move from chaotic eating to calm…
The calm I experience every time I open that drawer reminds me of how people feel when they learn a whole new way to manage their triggers, thoughts, emotions, and needs without bingeing!
If you are ready to begin that work, here’s a good place to start! Our Mindful Eating for Binge Eating Set by Michelle May MD and Kari Anderson DBH LPC CEDS includes:
- Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating: A Mindful Eating Program for Healing Your Relationship with Food and Your Body
- Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Binge Eating Workbook and Awareness Journal
It is our hope that you will use these books to move from chaos to calm and free up your time, attention, and energy to live the big life you crave and deserve!
(Note: The Mindful Eating for Binge Eating book and workbook set is a great first step to bringing healing into your life. We offer workshops, retreats, and therapeutic programs to help you heal your relationship with food and your body. If you have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, and/or currently struggle with symptoms of past trauma, we strongly recommend working with a licensed therapist.)
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?
This article is updated from a previous version.
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