In the old days, finding I had a dead car battery as I was headed to meet a friend for lunch, with not a minute to spare, would have sent me right to a binge. Instead, I called my friend, who was already at the restaurant, and gave her the option of rescheduling or coming to get me.
She was lovely about it. She picked me up. We went to a new restaurant close to my house. I was still feeling a little stressed (still had to deal with the dead car and I had many errands to run), and I felt embarrassed. That’s a funny reaction to a dead battery, but I just took note that the feeling was there, without judging it.
In the restaurant, when I took off my coat I knocked a cup w/sugar packets right off the table. It smashed on the floor and broke into many pieces. I had a moment of shame, thinking I was clumsy. I reminded myself that accidents happen. When I told the waitress, she said, “Oh, my!”. I had hoped she’d say, “No, problem”. I felt another twinge. So I gave voice to the feeling by telling my friend what was going through my head–instead of ignoring the thoughts and feelings or trying to “stuff them” with something from the menu. We had a laugh about the waitress’s lack of tableside manner. I felt better.
We had a lovely lunch. When the waitress said, “Any room for something sweet?”, I easily said,”No thank you”.
Instead of feeling vulnerable to a binge, I chose to feel grateful for my friend, for a delicious lunch at a restaurant I had wanted to try, for my friend’s news that now AAA will bring a brand new battery right to your dead car… and for the life I get to live…where I have the luxury of having a battery delivered to my garage. So I didn’t need to use food to self-soothe. Life is good, even with an unexpected dead battery!
Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating issues. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, email@example.com