Before that next binge, asking these questions can stop a binge in it’s tracks, and empower you to resist overeating now and in the future.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our
response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Although I’ve successfully maintained my weight loss, I still have setbacks! There are still times when I choose to indulge my cravings over my plan. There are days when I choose indulgent to set boundaries. Sometimes I overeat to the point of feeling sick.
My latest binge included half of a package of wheat thins. Every time I opened the pantry those wheat thins stared at me.
I said to myself, “I should just eat the rest of that box. That way they’ll be gone and won’t tempt me anymore. I can have a fresh start tomorrow”.
How I justify my overeating behavior
It all starts innocently enough. I impulsively grab a snack that wasn’t on my plan for the day. Usually this is bread or tortilla’s. The mental game starts. Once I’ve allowed myself that small bit of rebellion, my mind starts to offer me reasons to keep going.
The difference now than when I was heavier is that now I’m listening to those excuses! Now I’m paying attention. Now I’m taking that pause between thinking about overeating and actually doing it, and how my mind is talking me into it.
Some excuses my brain is giving me to eat too much include:
When I feel impulsive, I ask myself these questions ONE question:
What is my brain or internal dialogue telling me to eat less?
These excuses for overeating include:
- I’m worthy to eat this. I’ve been “good”It has been so for so long.
- This is something I’ve never done. It’s been a long time since I had a spoonful of peanut butter.
- You can have crackers once. You can stop after just one serving.
- You are a master at getting back on the right track. Take this moment to enjoy it.
- You have exercised more so you should eat less.
- This afternoon is going to be exhausting so you need energy. You should eat more.
- It was delicious! I should have another.
- This is something you will never get to eat. You only live once so you should enjoy your life.
- I should finish off this box of crackers, then it can’t tempt me anymore (I used that one just yesterday!!)
- You made a mistake today. It’s okay to make a fresh start tomorrow!
- I don’t want to miss out.
The longer I can sit in these thoughts, the more I am able to notice what my brain is trying do. It is easier to see the flaws in the excuses.
Sometimes I eat outside of my plan. But, I’m more aware, and I know that The more I give in, the stronger the habit of giving in.
You reinforce a behavior by taking action on every impulsive desire. You are creating new habits every time you resist.
The more I practice saying no to me and living with intention, the more I will be able to say yes.The stronger that habit is, the better. Every day is practice to choose the intention or the impulse!
After you hear the excuse, poke holes! Refute the lie’s that your brain is using to make you overeat. Your brain wants to make you happy, easy, and comfortable.
Here’s how I’d refute these excuses to overeat.
- The brains excuse “I deserve to eat this”. It is not trueYour goals are what you deserve! What you deserve is the feeling that your food doesn’t control you. You deserve a relaxing bath. You deserve to live the next 50 more years than the last 50.
- The brains excuse “I never do this!” It is not trueIs this true? Can you be honest and say you NEVER eat whatever you feel like. hahaha
- The brains excuse “Just this once.” It is not trueIs that true? How many times has that happened?
- The brains excuse “Why not eat what I want and get back on track later.” It is not trueWhy not? Because you aren’t an impulsive human who should give into every craving and desire. You have amazing control over many other aspects of your life. Why let food control you? Food should be enjoyed, YES,.. but it doesn’t control you. 🙂
- The brains excuse I don’t want to miss out. It is not trueWhat are you missing? Is it a cookie? What about missing out on living your best??”
I’m an EXPERT in bingeing and messing up. I just heard a podcast that did a study. It stated that the more confident your are in your ability to follow through with your plan, then the better. “tomorrow”The more we binge, the better. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
When I have the urge to binge, or just following a binge, I ask my self some questions, and sometimes I’ll even journal it. (here’s a list of 40 food journal prompts)
The one question that will answer your overeating problem:
These are some things you can do next time that you want to eat off-plan, overeat or binge.
- Ask yourself these questions when you feel the need to eat. Is this an impulsive or deliberate decision to eat that?
- If it’s impulsive, I ask that ONE QUESTION from above:
What is my brain telling or my internal dialogue telling me that this is OK?
You might hear things like, I’ll start over tomorrow, or It tastes so good, I just want one more, or everyone else can eat these things, I should be able to as well!”
You can also ask your self: Am willing to break my plan, knowing that tomorrow I won’t reach my goals?
Once you answer those questions, you’ll be in a better position to be conscious before the next urge to binge.
Anyway, I hope this helps. Every time you make mistakes, you learn valuable lessons. Consider it information that will help you practice what you will do next time.
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has
changed but that our power to do has increased.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do you want to overeat or practice self-control?
What will make you proud? What will you do to create the life that you desire? Are these habits getting you where your heart is?
A Harvard study found that eating less food than eating it reduces cravings. (Source)