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Posts Tagged ‘binging’

Just as Maggie in Runaway Bride made a new life for herself, so must people who recover from eating disorders. The funny thing is, eating disordered people have spent so much time obsessing about food that it can be hard to figure out what a normal life is.

Today I learned more about myself. I slept late, and skipped breakfast, because I had snacked heavily late last night. Those snacks I labeled “early early early breakfast.” It totally worked with my (lack of) hunger this morning.

As I lay in bed, I figured I’d better sleep late so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat, since I’d already eaten breakfast, and was definitely not hungry. But I couldn’t sleep any more, and I wanted to do stuff, so I took the chance and got up at 8 a.m.

It paid off, because the next thing I knew, it was lunchtime, I hadn’t eaten, and I’d spent the whole morning doing fun things like recycling and sewing. I’m very proud that I practiced normal eating and self-correcting, just like a naturally slender person, and I didn’t even have to avoid food by hiding in my bed.

As the afternoon progressed, life got more complex. As the evening came, I recognized that I hadn’t gotten as much done as I’d hoped during the day. That triggered not a binge, but rather a steady eating pattern throughout the German version of Idol. More than I preferred to eat, but not so much that I can’t self-correct tomorrow.

So, all in all, a pretty good day. 50% normal eating, 50% not going overboard.

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Did you ever deny yourself a food until you simply couldn’t stand it anymore, then eat it way past full? Yep, me too.

What I’ve noticed, however, is that denied foods often disappoint, and I eat them way past full because I’m not willing to acknowledge that the denial was worth it.

You may have starved yourself in the days before Thanksgiving, so you could stuff yourself like anyone else. Pay attention while you enjoy your meal today, and ask yourself occasionally if you’re really still enjoying the bites you’re putting in your mouth. If not, then take a break. You don’t have to decide to stop eating, or declare Thanksgiving over. You can just say to yourself, “Ick. This doesn’t taste good anymore. I’m going to do something that’s more fun until I want to eat again.” Then honor that decision.

You don’t have to make up for a lifetime of deprivation with one Thanksgiving meal. You can eat anything you want, when you want, in any quantity you want. Give yourself the enjoyment you deserve, even when it’s not food. And thank yourself for it.

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Thanksgiving is in just 2 weeks, and it’s a minefield for those of us who want to be eating intuitively, especially anyone who is concentrating on portion control at the moment.

Here are some coping tips to make it easier to keep to your intuitive eating goals in the holiday season.

  1. Make it and enjoy it now. If you love pumpkin pie, but also love turkey and stuffing, make some now and eat it consciously before the big day. When Thanksgiving comes, it will be easier to say, “I just ate that recently, so I can easily take a smaller portion today. I know I’ll always give myself this when I want it.”
  2. Learn what comforts you about comfort food, and practice assigning that comfort to other things. If stuffing yourself silly makes you feel comforted, try curling up with a favorite blanket and a cup of tea or mulled wine. Give yourself the space to enjoy it for what it is.
  3. Practice savoring the taste. When you deeply enjoy the flavor of a food, it’s easier to notice when it doesn’t taste good any more, and therefore to stop. Close your eyes, smell it, taste it, feel the texture, breathe deeply, describe the taste experience.
  4. Eliminate foods you don’t like, but think you “have to eat because it’s the holidays.” Do you hate your Aunt Erma’s lumpy potatoes? Skip them without making it a big deal. If you have to, put them on your plate and push them around until you’re finished.
  5. Bring something new that you’ve learned to love. Has intuitive eating turned you on to sweet pepper salads? Bring them. Enjoy them. Start a few new traditions.

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