Susan Weiss Berry, MS, MFA, CNS, CHC is a holistic nutrition professional. When she is not running her website, Evolved Eating, she is writing and contributing to Runners World, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, The Detroit Free Press, The NY Daily News, Columbia University Newswire Service, and numerous online publications.
I’ve often said–the first steps I took were to the refrigerator.
I was a highly sensitive child, living in a home with little softness, solace, or safety.
I learned that if I ate, if I ate a lot, if I ate mostly carbohydrates–
I would start to feel sleepy. I would start to feel calmer.
Eventually, I would become numb.
What a revelation! I liked it!
And yet I always felt badly–physically and emotionally–after I over ate.
I felt sick. And I felt sad. I knew at a very deep level
That something in this repeated scenario was not loving or kind.
The more I binged,
the more I starved.
In Middle School, often, I would only chew gum.
All day, I would feel so light and virtuous, making up for the previous night’s sins.
But later, when I arrived home, exhausted, starving,
I would gorge myself on cookies, cereal, whatever I could find (if no one was home)
and then fall asleep on the couch (also forbidden).
Once I had “ruined” my plan for the day by overeating, I felt I had to keep eating.
And so I would continue stuffing, until bedtime, until I was hating myself,
vowing tomorrow, I would “be good.” I would be strong,I would starve all day and all night.
I stayed stuck in this extreme pattern year after year for over a decade.
Starving, restricting, delaying eating, hating myself, without realizing that—
if I did not eat all day, if I did not allow myself the foods I loved, I would of course be craving, starving, I would be more anxious/depressed,
and when I finally “gave in” and ate, I would find it very hard to stop!
ღ Here’s What I’ve Learned–If You Want to Stop Bingeing:
1. EAT. Eat everyday.
2. EAT regularly, each and every time you are mildly hungry–at least every 3-5 hours.
3. EAT enough. No dainty “diet” meals. Eat nourishing, wholesome and substantial foods.
4. EAT until you are comfortably full. Don’t end the meal having just taken the “edge” off your hunger. Don’t graze on little bits of food all day.
Each time you eat, eat until you feel comfortable fullness.
5. EAT what you want. Include lots of different tastes in the meal: sweet, salty, sour, astringent, dry, oily. Include different textures and temperatures.
Experiment. Allow everything even if The Mind screams: “You can’t have that!”
6. Just EAT. Shred your good/food, bad food/list. Eat all foods unless your body says this does not work for me.
7. Put your weight on the back-burner. I know this is challenging. Remember: You do not earn the right to eat based on your weight.
Be kind and loving and feed yourself what you really want when you’re hungry and see what happens 🙂