How Do You Soothe Yourself Without Food?

Back in my binge eating days, I’d often hear a soothing little voice in my ear.

If I was having a tough day at work, the voice would whisper: “it’s OK, pick up some food on your way home”. Like co-conspirators, the little voice and I would plan the binge I’d have later.

Planning was part of the bingeing ritual and looking forward to it helped me get through the day. I’d feel excited as I imagined all the food I was going to eat. All those “bad” and “naughty” things I felt I wasn’t allowed because I was firmly entrenched in the diet mentality.

But the little voice gave me permission. After all, it told me I was having a difficult day and food would make me feel better.

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Food for Thought: Finding the Sanctuary Within You

“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse

If we’re so used to experiencing inner turmoil rather than inner peace, it’s hard to believe there might be a calm place within where we can find refuge.

A major reason for binge eating is to gain relief from the chaos inside.

We turn to food to quiet our fretting minds and soothe our jangled nerves. Eating offers us a time out from feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

But it’s only ever a temporary vacation from our troubles. And what follows – physical discomfort and self-loathing on an epic scale – ensures the holiday wasn’t enjoyable.

Food can never give us the peace we crave.

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Gentle Reminder: Dreamers Who Do

When I meet clients for the first time, I usually end the assessment by asking how they’d like their relationship with food to be.

“Just normal” is the almost universal response.

They then explain they don’t want to think about food all the time, they just want to eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’ve had enough. They don’t want to binge or overeat. They don’t want to obsess about food from the second they wake up until their frazzled heads hit the pillow at night.

It’s a lovely goal.

It’s an achievable goal.

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