Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

The Gift in the ‘What-ifs?”

Last weekend I had a great evening out with close friends…dinner and then we saw ‘Second City’ perform at Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park. During intermission I ran into a man whom I had not seen in about 19 years. I’d met him when I first moved to Cincinnati. We became friends. He expressed an attraction at some point. I did not share the attraction. Sadly, the friendship ended.

You know how sometimes you look back and wonder, “what if”?  This man was one of the loveliest men I’ve ever known…solid family man, caring, honorable. But back then, my type was “arrogant ass#&#”.  (Please pardon my french, but it’s true. It was a father thing. My Dad was sort of an arrogant ass.)  So, in my younger years, I let a few great guys pass by.  Last friday night’s man moved on and married a lovely woman. I saw them together that night. I could see how happy they are. I’m very happy for them.

But on the way home from the theater I found myself SOOOOOOO food focused…I wanted to stop at a convenience store so badly. Thank goodness I have a hard and fast rule that says, “I don’t do convenience stores” !!!!  (As I tell all of my coaching clients, nothing good has ever happended to me in a convenience store!)

I don’t get stuck in the “what-ifs?” for long these days.  Instead, I look for the information and gifts that come with the feelings and the food thoughts, like those I experienced last friday night.  Am I at a point in my life where I’d be open to attracting a nice man with whom I could share my life? I’m not sure. But I am asking the question for the first time in a long time.

No matter what I decide about dating or not dating, here’s what I know to be true. If I don’t pay attention to the feelings, the food thoughts, the “what-ifs”, and the new questions that come with the “what-ifs?”, I’m left vulnerable to a binge…and another…and another.

Funny, I used to think if I got in touch with the feelings and the questions, that would make me binge. Turns out it’s exactly the opposite!


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”, ellen@aweighout.com


  1. Your last statement is so true – its the out of touch feelings that bring on a binge not the tuned in ones – they bring clarity and peace of mind! Thanks for sharing!

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