As long as I avoided experiencing my emotions, I resorted to addictive patterns. And even though I have maintained a 200-pound weight loss for nearly a decade, I still do. The reason is pretty simple - I am human and not perfect. I am not always in touch with my emotions and sometimes I only know that I am upset when I am halfway through what I call a mini-binge. I call it a mini-binge because my binges used to be eating for a family of five. Now it's just a couple pieces of pizza. And since I no longer always do black and white thinking (you know, seeing only the extremes as alternatives), I can stop and go back to eating in a way that works best for my body.
My last mini binge was a few days ago when I was feeling discounted. That particular button is a kicker for me, as it can be triggered not only by others' behavior, but also by my own as well. As a matter of fact, I'm probably much better at discounting myself than the world is at discounting me. I used to see people as divided into two categories (there's that black and white thinking again) -- the "what's wrong with me" people and the "what's wrong with them" people. For years I was a "what's wrong with me" person. Now I know it's a "nothing's wrong with anyone" world we live in, where we are all doing the best we can with what we have.
My little mini-binge was part of a process I call using fillers. As addictive behaviors go, ones dealing with food and eating are among the most complicated and complex. I'm not suggesting that alcoholism is by any means easy, but it is possible to stop drinking alcohol entirely and live a balanced life. The same goes for most drugs. Even sex. But when it comes to food and eating, abstinence is not a viable alternative. So those of us who deal with these particular issues have a pretty tricky row to hoe.
One of the tricks is learning how to deal with the fillers. First we need to recognize that the behavior is going on and then learn how to deal with the underlying emotional kickers and needs that the food or eating behavior is satisfying. This week we'll take a look at some of the ways in which we use food as part of addictive processes. Next time, we'll dig a little deeper into those you find the most interesting, so be sure to comment on your particular mini-binge trigger from the list below.
Either comment below or email at JanShep@aol.com