The binge. This is cliché, however we have all seen the tired mom, eating a pint of ice cream directly from the bucket, after the tiring effort of putting her kids to sleep, which takes away whatever remaining willpower she has been mustering all day!
In his book, Healing and Recovery, Dr. David Hawkins describes what he calls the cycle of over-eating
“We get used to a cycle of over-eating; feeling guilty about overeating; and then trying to control it. Then comes hunger, and with the hunger comes the guilt, then appetite, then the expectation of satiation, followed by overindulgence, and guilt again, so there is an endless self-defeating cycle.”
What is happening here?
Recent studies on the brain confirm that the state of anxiety around finding food elevates the levels of Dopamine, a chemical that controls addictions, in our brains. When we continue to deprive ourselves from whatever we consider necessary (it can be chocolates in this case) it will stop us from registering the sensation of “fullness.” Because Dopamine is responsible for keeping you alive during times of famine, you need to be hyper alert in order to find food, and when you do, you need to eat and eat as much as you can as long as it is available.
Why are we anxious around finding food when there isn’t a famine?
We get anxious when we connect with a real or an artificial “need.” Some modern “famine” situations will include:
- Having to have this “delicacy” like when traveling or when invited over to someone’s home.
- Fear the food may no longer be available like when we decide to go on a diet or when worrying someone else will eat that cheesecake in the fridge.
- Holding off of a certain food for too long while feeling deprived.
So this continuous feeing of eating while anxious will keep us in the binge cycle, while taking away food (deprivation) will prime our brains further for the binge!
What do we do?
There are many practical solutions in nutrition therapy or energy psychology therapy, where we identify the emotional triggers, whether they are situations, food, people or even hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine, using a technique called muscle testing* and we “rewire” the brain and body, so they no longer respond with anxiety when in their presence.However, I found that using one simple common concept, right in the middle of or even after a binge episode, will instantly help calm the body and prevent future binging episodes. This concept is counter-intuitive to what we usually do after a binge, which is to guilt and shame ourselves as we feel the bloat from the aftermath of what we have just done, AGAIN!
However, I found that using one simple common concept, right in the middle of or even after a binge episode, will instantly help calm the body and prevent future binging episodes. This concept is counter-intuitive to what we usually do after a binge, which is to guilt and shame ourselves as we feel the bloat from the aftermath of what we have just done, AGAIN!
However when you understand that the binge is actually a result of anxiety, and that we need to calm ourselves in connection to the food and the situation, then it would make sense to instead extend LOVE and Forgiveness to ourselves, which will make us less likely to binge in the future.
I do this with a very specific technique that has a rather unusual name: Introducing HO’OPONOPONO
This is a Hawaiian prayer described in detail by Joe Vitale in his book Zero Limits and is based on the power of the spoken word. Remember simple is powerful and this is why I am choosing the simplest techniques for you in this series.
As soon as you catch yourself binging, sit down and take a deep breath and say:
“To me, to my body, to my mind and to God
For this situation where I keep doing this over and over again and eating and eating till my tummy feels like it is bursting and I feel so disgusted with myself
I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”
Then take a deep breath and note your feelings. Repeat, substituting your feelings for the second line (shame, disgust, sadness, anything that is surfacing). After that take a moment and breath again.
Keep repeating this with every emotion or body sensation that surfaces, until you feel calmer.
Post a comment below to let me know how this goes for you, and you are welcome to ask any question!
*Muscle testing is a method of analyzing the body’s energy field. It is a diagnostic tool used by practitioners of applied kinesiology and Energy Psychology.”