“I’m afraid of the empty spaces that will exist
if I am not filling my head with food thoughts and drama.”
These were the insightful words shared by one of my clients as she began a recent coaching session. These words marked a critical turning point; an opportunity to change the course of her life. She now understands the role her food and weight obsessions play in her life. Her focus on food and weight loss, and the drama that resulted when she thought about her lifelong pursuit to stop binge eating, along with her associated feelings of “failure”, kept her distracted from her real life.
How many of us have a history of filling our head with food thoughts, diet thoughts, weighing thoughts, “the struggle”, so we don’t have to think about anything else… like our life…or how uncomfortable we feel in our own skin?
If throughout my day, in my mind, my go-to struggle is always food, weight, body dissatisfaction, am I effectively distracting myself from other things I’d rather not think about; like trouble in my relationships (or my loneliness), issues with my mother or my job, bills that need to be paid?
If I could stop binge eating, what struggles would I focus on, instead? Do I need drama to keep me distracted from my inner most thoughts and feelings? I did!
My focus on food, weight, and body hatred served a purpose. It helped me survive some really tough times growing up. But that focus became a habit. And, over time, even when I was out from under my immediate family’s dysfunction, and my life was getting better and better, I was still creating drama; all over the place.
When I look back on my own struggles and recovery, I’m clear I created all sorts of drama in my own life…and not just food and weight related. I made big hairy deals out of all sorts of little things just to give me something to focus on; to keep me safe from my innermost feelings and thoughts. I didn’t think I could survive being alone with my thoughts and feelings. But back then, when I was creating all that drama, I wasn’t aware I was doing this. So, I didn’t know why I was such a mess, nor did I feel like I could stop. Until I learned how…
I literally learned how to stop binge eating. I learned how to identify, manage, and shift my thoughts and feelings, even the uncomfortable ones…and I discovered that doing so wasn’t really that hard, once I knew how. I learned that being mindful and confident was certainly easier than being mindless with food and always feeling insecure; worrying about being out of control with food and hating being in my own body. When I learned how to match what I say I want with the practices that will get me there, I discovered the life I was meant to life, free from all that food and drama. I found my life was waiting for me…
Want to learn more? Register for my Free Phone Seminar about how to stop binge eating.
Ellen Shuman is a pioneer in the field of Binge Eating Disorder; a Life Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), A Founding Member and Past President of BEDA; The Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”. For information about Coaching Services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-321-4242.