When people hear about my work facilitating the release of negative over-eating and dieting cycles, I’m often asked this: ‘What’s my first suggestion for someone caught in a habit of food binges?”
My answer is always the same: relax and enjoy it. Taste it, breathe through it, pull up a chair …. slow down the whole process. Have a go at changing the experience of over-eating from one of self-criticism, secrecy, absent-mindedness and rushed shame, to a slow and deliberate practice of connecting to your own senses – especially those of taste, sight, and smell.
Many people are surprised by this, assuming that my role is to somehow stop this behaviour (as if I could possibly control another human being’s actions!) Although I’m certainly not endorsing unhealthy or self-destructive acts, I also know from experience that, before any cycle stops, it first needs to slow.
And this is the way for that slowing to occur: through our bodies, and through bringing calmness to our breathing and thus to our minds: during the binge itself … in “the now” of the binge.
And this means having that inner-critic – you know, the one screaming in your ear, “No! We agreed not to do this ever again! Put that ice cream away NOW!!” to calm down and quieten down a little… just to relax its judgement for the moment and trust you are finding the beginning of your healing path in the very process of truly enjoying, truly relaxing with, and truly being present to that very most judged act: the binge itself. The whole habit will soften and lighten that way, both in your mind and in your life, until it is ready to be entirely released.