Is My Restricted Eating Causing Binge Eating?
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation that uprooted some feelings and set off some alarms…I still have difficult days, but overall I thought that I was on a steady path. But I left that conversation feeling uncertain.
And yet, it was exactly the kind of uncertainty I needed to feel at that moment — as I continue on my individual path toward preventing my binge eating triggers.
An important question that I had failed to ask myself had all of sudden raised to the surface:
Have I been restricting?
Most days I don’t eat anything until between 1 and 3 in the afternoon. I felt like this was becoming my new normal. I didn’t feel like I was waiting to eat until the afternoon on purpose.
Read This Related Article:
Your Pathway to Overcoming Binge Eating
I truly believed that this schedule of eating worked for my body and worked for my brain. I hadn’t been noticing any hunger pangs until later on in the day, and I was no longer associating “food” with “morning.” I didn’t see a flaw in my system because it felt right for me.
But now I’m not so sure – as soon as I heard the word “restricted” spoken out loud during that conversation… I got anxious. (Restricting all day before bingeing at night used to be a big part of my life.)
Fear May Lead To Restriction
And that’s when two thoughts came up for air – nearly taking my breath away…
- I’m afraid of starting to eat too early in the day for fear that I won’t stop. Once I start chewing, my “bingeing brain” still never wants to stop.
- I love looking forward to being able to eat when I get home at night. If I eat too much too early in the day, what is there to look forward to?
Even though physically bingeing on food hasn’t been a part of my life for a while, I didn’t realize how actively my brain was still bingeing on “food thoughts.”
I felt like I had found a strategy (a timeframe of eating) that was working for me. But subconsciously, I think I’m still scared…
Sometimes It’s Scary Distinguishing Physical From Emotional Hunger
I think I’m scared that it’s still hard for me to differentiate between:
- Physically feeling hungry
- Emotionally feeling like I want to eat
- Socially feeling like I’m supposed to eat because it’s “meal time” (says the clock or my coworkers).
Even after all these years – finding a balance that makes me feel balanced is tricky.
And finally, those fears spilled over into my conscious mind. Just when I thought I was “safe” and on the “right track” here I am questioning everything… AGAIN. But as scary as these “aha!” moments can be – for me, these fears are also comforting.
How is that even a possibility? Because awareness is power!
[quote]I am aware enough to evaluate my eating patterns.
I am aware enough to dig a little deeper into those scary, familiar places.[/quote]
Awareness Is Empowerment
And this means that I have the power to make positive changes.
I know that personally without hard work, a support system, and confidence in my own journey, food could slide through the cracks and reclaim the throne when difficult challenges arise. But the important thing is that I KNOW – I am aware. And now, because of a single conversation, I have become even more conscious about my eating behaviors, habits, and feelings.
Read This Related Article:
To Get Unstuck, Step into Possibility
I’m not saying that my eating pattern of late has been wrong. There is no “right” or “wrong” – there’s only right for you and right for me. But being able to think about our individual situations objectively can help us put things into perspective. This way, we can make small alterations to our eating patterns – one bite at a time.
Finding A Safe Space Between ‘Eating’ And ‘Bingeing’
None of this is easy…I know that I’m not going to wake up one day and suddenly find myself with a mended “food friendship.” But every hard moment encourages me to keep fighting this battle.
I’m human. It’s hard. There is no formula. There is no answer. But there is hope. There is support. There is a safe space between “eating” and “bingeing.” There are choices.
My Next Choice
Listening to my stomach more closely during the day. Beginning to eat earlier if my body is hungry and if it feels like a safe, proactive, healthy decision for me.
Now…What do YOU choose?
Until Next Time,
P.S. I hope that you feel that it is a safe place to openly or anonymously share your thoughts and feelings about your food struggles, emotional eating, or binging as well as your triumphs and successes along your personal path. You are welcomed, and encouraged, to comment and join the conversation. And as always, thank you for stopping by, reading, and sharing my journey with me!
Read About Our Eating Program For Binge Eaters