Temptation is everywhere. Whether it be in the form of lusting over someone who is not your SO, sneaking snacks from the bins at the grocery store, cheating on a test, stealing an office workers work and passing it off as your own, it is a daily lure for many of us. Blame Adam & Eve for bringing sin into the world by heeding the duplicitous words of the snake, but it is here on earth and for millennia we’ve had to deal with it. So in How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For Over 25 Years: Part 7, we will discuss temptation.
How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For Over 25 Years: Part 7
So I won’t opine on ways to avoid stealing money from the donation bin at church or looking up answers on your phone during pub trivia. Today on How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For Over 25 Years: Part 7 we will discuss ways to reduce the temptation to binge eat.
Now you might think “Gregory, I don’t binge eat.” Chances are if you are overweight or obese you likely have some form of disordered eating. If not, you likely wouldn’t be overweight or obese. Please don’t get offended by my assertion. People who have a normal relationship with food know when to stop eating; those who don’t….don’t.
What’s the source of this disordered eating? As we mentioned in How I Lost Part 3, therapy is crucial for long-term weight loss and maintenance. You need to find out the cause of your disordered eating. Perhaps it was sexual abuse from the opposite sex and because of it you subconsciously wanted to eat and become large so you wouldn’t be seen as attractive to the opposite sex again. Perhaps you had an abusive parent. Perhaps you suffer from abandonment issues because you are the product of a divorce or negligent parents.
The point is that your chance of losing weight and keeping it off are GREATLY improved if you do the “deep work” to figure out from which this disordered eating originated. In How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For Over 25 Years: Part 7 we will talk about ways to disarm and dismantle the urges to overeat or binge eat until you can get to therapy to find the source of your disordered eating. Some of these are practical and perhaps a tad silly, some are not.
The most important point in How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For Over 25 Years: Part 7. Our eating stems from emotions, whether it be anger, sadness, or even happiness. In most cases it is the former two. So when you are sad and possibly self-loathing and you are running into the grocery store to load up on junk food on which to binge, STEP BACK and say “Why am I doing this?” Many times we subconsciously know what we are planning to do, but consciously saying it, even out loud, might help you snap out of it.
You might have an epiphany while in the grocery line or drive thru “You are doing this because you are sad. Binging will only give you temporary respite, but in the long run it will make feel worse and self-loath more, plus you will likely gain more weight which will lead to the same problems.” Stepping back is a hard one to do, because the temptation is so great to numb the pain with food.
Practice makes perfect. You might fail the first few times, but it will get easier. And once you get home you will feel happy that you didn’t succumb.
Don’t Take Money
I used to do this when my binge eating demons post-weight loss were very strong. When I would go to work, I simply would not take my wallet with me. No money….no temptation to buy food to binge.
Now you might be thinking “What happens if there is an emergency?” True, that is a legitimate issue. But look at this way, what are the chances your car will break down on the way to/from work on a given day? Very little. And if it does, you likely have family or friends who could help.
Keep your pantry free of tempting foods. Another practical tip. I do this daily still. If you have Cheetos or Ice Cream in your house all the time, naturally you will be more tempted to indulge in it. If you fridge and pantry only have foods which take time to prepare, you are less likely to overeat. So keep the pantry paltry on packaged, processed snack food. And honestly once the binge desire dissipates, you will be too lazy to drive to the store to get the junk food.
Exercise It Out
If the itch to binge eat arises, hit the gym. Once you get there even if you don’t work out at your optimal level will likely diffuse that craving to emotionally eat. Plus you will get the “feel-good” endorphin kick post-workout.
Just be careful, not to overindulge in eating post-workout. In general, it is pretty common to overindulge post workout. Click HERE to find out why.
Another practical one. Chewing gum is a great tactic especially for the more neurotic, over-analytical people. It keeps your mouth occupied and your mind busy.
Similar to Alcoholic Anonymous, having an accountability buddy does wonders. Anytime you are tempted to binge eat or indulge in some form of disordered eating, then call up your buddy. They can “talk you off the ledge” so to speak and similar to stepping back, they can help you identify the triggers of this particular episode and soothe that binge eating demon wanting to get out at that moment.
Consider joining an Overeaters Anonymous chapter. It is good to know that you are not the only person dealing with this struggle and in a free and confidential manner can share your pain. Now some of you might not feel comfortable divulging personal information. I get that, but please give it a shot because it might make a humungous difference.
Get the OA standard now on Amazon.
Once of the reasons we continue to have disordered eating is because we have so much shame associated with it. One part in releasing that shame is to tell people about your problem. Now you might say, “Gregory, I don’t want people knowing your business.” I get that. We are all wired different.
I will speak from my own experience. In Confessions of an Obese child e-book and podcast, I get very personal and vulnerable about my past. I’ve had people come up to me astonished that I would open up like that. To me, it isn’t a big deal. If anything it is cathartic and helps with the healing.
Now I’m not saying you need to start a podcast, but I feel it would help you immensely if you told your SO, close friends, and some family. Not only with they help keep you accountable, but you will have people who know you intimately well you can offer insight and love that strangers might not be to do.
Combine telling friends with OA AND an accountability buddy AND therapy will make a world of difference in confronting and abating your disordered eating.
Release the shame! There is no shame in your disordered eating. Remember that no one is perfect and don’t compare yourself to others who have seemingly perfect lives. Trust me…they don’t.
Keep a Journal
Again, it has to do with expression and release. Just like many of the aforementioned in How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For Over 25 Years: Part 7. Bottling the shame doesn’t serve anyone, especially yourself. Get all your anger, sadness, happiness of your current and past self off of your mind and onto the page. It is cathartic. Not to mention you can go back and read old entries to identify possible binge triggers and also to see any development you might have done in the past few years.
By a highly-recommended one on Amazon now:
I think the big revelation from How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For Over 25 Years: Part 7 is you must have is to admit to yourself that you have an eating problem. “Denial is not only a river in Egypt” as they say. Unless you have been taking anti-inflammatory steroids, take antidepressants, have a thyroid condition, et al, you are likely overweight because you have a disordered eating history. I did, so I speak from experience.
Once you can look in the mirror and admit that, you can take the next steps. Remember, identifying the problem is the necessary first step, even before other previous excerpts exhortations to change your paradigm and certain exercise.
Once you identify the problem, you can use some of the aforementioned steps to stymie the binge eating impulse that lies deep in you. Trust me, many of these steps WILL work immensely and you will reap the rewards of it later.
We do have a Confessions of an Obese Child episode on this topic if you are more of a podcast lover.
Lastly, if you enjoyed How I Lost Over 100 lbs. & Kept It Off For Over 25 Years: Part 7 and if you need a personal guru to help you on your quest of weight loss and maintenance, I’m here for you. I would be honored to be your personal wellness coach.
Click HERE to see my prices. If you are not ready for that sort of commitment, then consider purchasing my e-book Confessions of an Obese Child on Amazon or B&N Nook for only $2.99. Lastly, listen to Occult Health News and Confessions of an Obese Child podcast for other great weight loss tips. Until next time!
Read previous excerpts of How I Lost...