Exerting Control

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

Bingeing isn’t always about exerting control over my life. Sometimes it’s about comfort. Sometimes it’s about protection. I have found other ways to give myself protection and comfort, but I have been pretty clueless about the fact that I binge when my life feels out of control.

The worst part of it is bingeing makes me feel MORE out of control.

Sure, I feel good when I’m bingeing because I am the one who gets to choose what I eat, not my grandma or the USDA. I get to pick the restaurant. I get to order whatever I want on the menu. When I’m bingeing, I feel a control over myself that is hard to describe.

Unfortunately, afterwards, I feel like my whole life is spiralling even more out of control. When I have to deal with the aftermath of a full stomach and pants that are too snug, my mood darkens and then I find myself bingeing again.

How can I consciously exert control over my life without resorting to food?

I don’t know…

Honestly, I really don’t know, but here are some of my ideas to prevent this type of bingeing in the future:

  • Notice it: Most of the time, I don’t know why I am tempted to binge. Sometimes it’s actual hunger, believe it or not. Sometimes I’m thirsty. Sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I feel threatened. Now, I have to add “Do I feel out of control in my life?” to the list. The list I have to go through before I binge is getting longer and longer as I discover all the reasons I turn to food inappropriately.

  • Create a list: I need a list of things that I can do to exert control over my life. Some ideas: cleaning up the clutter, organizing my computer, cleaning out my email inbox, or creating simplicity in my home. It doesn’t need to be as labor intensive as all that, even. It could be as simple as being able to choose which movie I want to watch without having to think about the tastes of others.

  • Exert Control on My Life Without Food: This is the part that’s hard. It’s easy to have a list of things to do. Eventually, it might even be easy to recognize that the reason I want to binge is because I’m feeling out of control in my life. The hard part is actually doing it. Consciously choosing to exert control on my life without resorting to bingeing is the choice that will make the difference between hovering near obesity and enjoying life at a healthy weight.

When I learned that bingeing was related to comfort, I lost about five pounds and they have never come back. When I learned that bingeing was related to protection, I lost about twenty pounds and they have never come back. Now that I am able to see that bingeing can also be about control, maybe I’ll be able to get my weight down to a healthy weight and never have to worry about it coming back.


One Response to “Exerting Control”

  1. Helen Says:

    That’s what I call eating consciously. It’s amazing how much less one ends up eating if we just ask ourselves questions like: Am I really hungry for this food? Am I focusing on this food to avoid facing my problems?

    I think getting bingeing and emotional eating to stop being a problem is a key to permanent weightloss.

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