Self Sabotage Binge Eating – How To Stop
Self-sabotage binge eating is a tricky topic to tackle. When I first qualified as a personal trainer, one of my first ever business coaches said to me that the idea of self-sabotage doesn’t exist.
I’m just going to take a moment to explain that and then explain how I think it can relate to self-sabotage binge eating.
What Do You Mean Self Sabotage “Doesn’t Exist”?
What my business coach meant was that the actions we see as self-sabotage are basically our brain or conditioning or habits – whatever word you want to use there – making us choose a short term, immediate payoff or reward over a longer-term, bigger payoff.
He used the example of someone dealing with substance abuse, who is on the road to recovery.
That’s a little bit darker than the kind of tone I aim for, so I’m going to go for something a little bit lighter.
A pretty good example would be procrastinating when you’ve got some work to do, or you need to study for something. Especially if it’s something that, you know you’re going to want to, or need to do eventually.
But it’s going to take some work and some effort, whereas it’s much easier and it kind of numbs that thought of discomfort to just sit there, open your phone and go on Facebook or Instagram or open Netflix or something like that.
So we end up automatically or subconsciously, I guess, choosing that instant payoff rather than going through that discomfort for that longer-term goal.
How Does That Apply To Self Sabotage Binge Eating?
In terms of applying that to self sabotage binge eating, and as someone that has binged regularly, I think we all know that we’ll feel better mentally and physically if we don’t binge in the longer term.
But when you have a craving it’s incredibly uncomfortable and I cannot emphasize enough how uncomfortable I find it.
And the thing is that cravings are impulsive, persistent and really nagging.
I can walk out of the house. I can go somewhere else, but those cravings will mean that I’m still thinking about the food that I could be having.
When you look at it from that point of view, that giving in to your cravings for that short-term reward or resisting for the longer-term reward, you can see where I’m going with that.
Getting Comfortable With Discomfort
I think the toughest part is just getting comfortable with that feeling of discomfort.
For all the tactics and strategies to distract yourself from your cravings or deal with them head-on, there’s no instant fix.
It’s not like you can snap your fingers and that craving will suddenly disappear.
It needs some thought. It needs some positive action.
And it does unfortunately also need you to get comfortable with being with that discomfort for a little while.
We need to learn to embrace that feeling of discomfort, accept that it’s there and accept that it’s okay to feel it as well.
Once you’ve done that, it’s much easier to take action and it’s much easier to set yourself up to do something more positive. That’s not going to send you into a binge cycle.
How I Have Been Stopping My Self Sabotage
Here are a few things that I’ve been trying, which I’d recommend experimenting with as well.
And I’m not going to say some definitely work better than others because we’re all different.
Number one is “directed” meditation.
When I get a craving, I obviously have to get “comfortable” – in quotations – with that feeling of discomfort, with that craving.
But then I need to close my eyes, focus on how I’ll feel if I don’t binge or if I don’t give in to those cravings.
And then also I started experimenting with some affirmations when I meditate. I’ll come onto that in future, but it’s something to bear in mind as well.
Part of that directed meditation is focusing on that bigger satisfaction you’ll get from not bingeing. When you have a craving and you give in, it satisfies an immediate urge.
But try to get your mind to focus on those future feelings, which you’re not actually feeling yet, but you know that you’ll feel if you can get past those cravings.
And while you’re going through that thought process, you’re also not immediately giving in to the urge. So you’re already kind of giving yourself that feeling.
Change Your Environment
You can also try changing your environment if that works for you. Get in the car and go for a drive, go for a walk or just do something to get out of where you currently are.
Your Physical State
You can try changing your physical state.
My business coach, if he felt himself slipping into a procrastination cycle when he was working, he would just get up and do five pushups or five burpees. And just to kind of shake himself out of that funk, he was in.
I’ve actually tried that with kettlebell swings and it does seem to work well for me.
And most recently I’ve also been trying aromatherapy.
It’s not really proper aromatherapy I guess, but here’s the backstory behind it.
I went on vacation recently and there was a shop which had a really, really nice fragrance in it.
For some reason, something about that smell made me feel completely relaxed and completely at ease.
And unfortunately, it was a clothing shop and they didn’t actually sell that fragrance. But I’ve read before about how retail places use smells to create sensations in your mind. In this case, it worked.
When I got back, I found a very similar scent at a local shop and started using that in my bedroom, in my studio, in my office, in the kitchen.
And it’s still very early days because I’ve only been doing it probably about a week or so, but early signs are good.
It’s just giving me an extra sense of relaxation. If I start to feel those cravings building up, I can spray that fragrance, embrace that scent, and just start to feel relaxed again. And it seems to take the edge off those cravings quite well for me.
The Final Word On Self Sabotage Binge Eating
To wrap this up, when you’re dealing with binge eating disorder, cravings suck – they are incredibly uncomfortable.
But you have to get comfortable with that discomfort at least for a little while until you can find something else to do to take the edge off those cravings and start to manage them.
For me, what’s working at the minute is changing my physical state and the aromatherapy. That’s what I’m playing with.
But for you, it might be something else. Just to emphasize it again, it does mean needing to get comfortable with that discomfort.