Through the past couple of weeks after the holidays, the question why was constantly on my mind. "Why am I like this way?" "Why do I eat?" "Why can't I stop?"
Well a year ago I was part of a Binge Eating study. In this study I received a book that was a type of manual that would help me to understand my problem and how to fix it. I lost the booklet before the study completed and didn't do any of the exercises, so it was truly a waste, unfortunately. But I did get one thing from that. It explained to me in a way that made perfect sense on why I binge.
I truly hope that this will help explain it to anyone else with this issue, although this doesn't only apply to food, it applies to shopping, drugs, alcohol... anything that we as humans escape into, and then again, as we all know, some of us escape too much, this could be why.
I have been told that where all this eating stems from is emotions, I know duh, but it's more complex. I feel emotions INTENSELY. Anyone who knows me personally knows this to be true. A lot of people have assumed that I am "too sensitive" but it's not even close to that, it is way beyond too sensitive. My emotions overwhelm me, and quite frankly scare me. I have at times felt sadness and despair so deep that I would scrape a knife across my skin, not to cut, I am too much of a baby for that, but to feel the sting, the sharp pain, and that would help me to take my sadness and despair outside of me, to express it in some way. Not in a way to show off, but in a way that if you keep it bottled up you explode. I haven't done this for a few years, because it sunk in how dangerous it could be.
You see the problem is I don't know how to process and properly express my emotions. I feel almost stunted, that my emotions are felt by me like how a child feels emotions. I remember when not getting a treat at the corner store would be so devastating that I would throw a temper tantrum... its still that intense now. And my way to numb these feelings is to eat.
When I realized I needed to stop beating myself up for not being able to keep to a healthy routine was when I tried to stop the binge during a moment of extreme anxiety, and it turned into a complete emotional break down on my kitchen floor. I did not come back to a normal state until I figured out something to eat. It is super frightening the power food has over me, but it was then that I realized that this is a much deeper problem... so stupid that I realized that AFTER I was diagnosed with BED, but you know sometimes it takes a while for something this huge to sink in. Since that moment, where I felt I was abusing myself by trying to force myself to not binge without any kind of support or proper psychological tools, I decided to leave this stuff to a psychologist to do. To help me figure out how to heal this. Now I understood why, even when I saw positive results and felt so much better with the healthier food and portions I ate, I still fell back into the same unhealthy routine. I do not have the tools to properly stop right now. But I am working on getting them now :)
Step one to my healing could very well be just laying out the reasons to change and the reasons to not change, kind of a pros and cons. This helped when I was dealing with self-esteem, so it is a great exercise :) I plan on posting on that tomorrow, so please check back for that :)
I had a long beautiful talk with my bestie about a week ago, she is in a different city so it is hard for us to coordinate talks, but when they happen they are AWESOME :)
She told me about an exercise her counsellor explained to her, and it reminded me of an exercise I did in yoga and dance that always had a calming affect on me. I have actually tried this a couple of times and found it works really well to centre you, bring you back to now, and release tension and stress.
It is a breathing exercise, you work up your body concentrating on each part of your body with every slow breath.
1. Find yourself a quiet room in a comfortable chair, and make sure, if you can, that you will not be interrupted for 5 minutes.
2. Start with your toes, as you breathe in slowly and exhale slowly (3 counts breath in, 3 counts breath out) feel your toes melt into the ground.
3. Move on to your ankles and imagine the tension flowing out through your toes and your ankles relaxing, then move to your calves, knees, thighs, hips, torso, chest, shoulders, move down your arms to your fingertips, relax your neck, relax your face muscles, feel your face go slack like it does when you sleep, all the while concentrating on relasing the tension on each part with each breath.
4. Repeat a couple of times until you feel completely relaxed.
This really works! I just have to work harder to remember to do it.