Sometimes, regardless of the craving, emotion, or habit that drives food thoughts and overeating, we can create new intentions, new habits, new behaviors, new brain pathways. Here’s an example of how I addressed binge eating at night …
Before bed, tired and fighting the day’s end, I often get that thought, “I want something sweet”. It’s still a vulnerable time of the day for me. So, recently, I decided to address that vulnerability with great determination and new intention. I decided to create and experiment with a new habit.
If I want something sweet before bed, I decided, first, I’ll reach for a cup of decaf tea. Personally, I lean toward fruity tea blends with Stevia. After much effort to get off the questionable Splenda, I found Sweet Leaf is the brand of Stevia I like best; it has the least after taste for me.
I like drinking tea out of a thick clear glass mug that can be ready on 90 seconds in the microwave. I like the way that glass mug looks and the way it feels in my hand. When my one clear glass mug developed a crack last week, I very deliberately set out to replace it. I found a set of six new ones on Amazon. Now, I’ll have six mugs I love…always a clean one ready for my use.
Yes, I put MUCH thought into this new habit I wished to create to help me reduce my emotional eating at night. I thought about what would feel SATISFYING and healthy, for me. I got clear that I wanted to create a new habit that is in line with the life I want to live, which does not include binge eating at night before bed.
Attention to detail is a big part of building my “buy-in”; the setting of a new habit and the creating of new pathways in my brain that support reaching for a hot cup of tea before bed, if so moved, instead of reaching for a box of cookies.
Also, when changing this particular habit, it has helped me to remember that I was not “born” to struggle with binge eating at night. It’s not my destiny to be an emotional eater, nor is it a sign of weakness or moral flaw. Turning to sweets was a habit that took hold because that routine addressed a craving; a craving to “self-soothe” at the end of my day. It was never really about the cookies.
I’m Ellen Shuman and I am developing all sorts of new brain pathways that help me stop binge eating at night. I am also a Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. I’m the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-321-4242. Need help? Get in touch!