As I write this, my neighborhood just escaped severe weather; tornadoes, 75 MPH winds, flash flooding, power outages, 3 people confirmed injured in the state next to mine and deaths further west.
I have been glued to the TV since I finished my Sunday Emotional and Binge Eating telephone seminar at 5:30pm. Our weather forecasters are still on TV live, but it looks like we’re out of danger.
Two hours ago, at 5:30pm, when I first started watching the weather reports, I could feel my anxiety rise. I was sitting on my bed in a sweat shirt and sweat pants.Would a tornado or inline winds hit here? Would my dog Emma and I have to go to a safe place in my basement, as we have had to do before? It has been a while since that was necessary. Last time all of the gutters were torn off my house and we were without power for four days. And about two years ago, neighborhoods to the east of my home in Cincinnati had severe damage and deaths when tornadoes touched down. I know this is serious business.
So, here I am, no emergency kit prepared; I’m not even wearing a bra! I could feel my anxiety rise. Frankly, I did not feel like getting dressed, packing a bag, gathering all of the flashlights and LED lanterns I have positioned strategically in different parts of my house. I was having trouble tolerating reality and acting like a responsible adult. I just wanted to ignore the whole thing!
Then the food thoughts started. I wanted to grab something sweet! Yes, I was hungry. It was dinner time. But this felt like old binge eating thoughts. The binge eating thoughts started because I just wanted to avoid everything and go numb.
That’s dangerous territory for me. I know that. So, I made a choice to practice self-care. I made a choice to avoid a binge. I grabbed a canvas bag, filled it with several portable lights, changed the batteries in a my emergency TV, grabbed spare batteries and a large bottle of water. I put some dog food in a bag for Emma and a few granola bars in there for me, along with a change of clothes. I got dressed and put Emma in a collar and leash. It took me about 8 minutes. Then I could relax. The food thoughts, the feeling that I needed to binge eat, just stopped.
Tonight, I’m feeling grateful. No tornado for me; weather-wise or emotional…no aftermath…no regret…because I did what I needed to do to head off an avoidable binge eating episode…
My heart goes out to those less fortunate than I am tonight…
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.