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Binge Eating, Shame and Guilt

If you find yourself caught up in periods of binge eating, it's very likely that you are experiencing emotions that you are trying to stuff down.

There are many reasons why binge eating can feel good in the short term but long term it leads to immense feelings of guilt and shame.

Think about the last time you felt guilt or shame, maybe it was related to food, maybe not. What did that guilt or shame feel like in your body? Not good I'm guessing? So, guess what you try to stuff it down again with more binge eating which in turn leads to even more feelings of guilt and shame. How does it feel to be caught up in this cycle? Pretty terrible right...? Perhaps overwhelming? It can very easily led to a complete emotional tornado and of course, reaching for food can be a temptation to quieten the winds. Of course reaching for food again increases the feelings of shame and guilt perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Some people try to fix this cycle with compensatory behaviours like dieting and exercise. However, these compensatory behaviours aren't the answer, they don't address the roots of the problem. It's a bit like putting a bandage on a wound that keeps bleeding and telling yourself that it's ok now because you can no longer see the wound...the wound will still be there, it will keep bleeding. The reason for your binge eating will still be there even if you engage in compensatory behaviours.

If you can identify with the above have a look at how you might be speaking to yourself. In my experience people give themselves an awful hard time for their relationship with food not being perfect. This negative self- talk leads to more shame...see where I'm going here?

Has punishing self-talk ever helped you before to resolve your issues? Would you speak to a friend the way you speak to yourself? Why not? do you value them more than you value yourself?

If what you have being doing hasn't been working, why not try something new?

Try identifying the emotions that trigger you, what would it be like to sit with these emotions and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling?

If that's too much ,can you release the emotion for now by doing something else? For example if you are angry would it help to walk it out?

Watch how you are speaking to yourself internally, is this helping or fuelling the cycle?

Ask yourself what you really need right now. Food might seem like the answer but it's not what you are really hungering for.

Healing the binge eating cycle means addressing all of the elements of the cycle not just focusing on the food element.

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