Why am I binge eating on sweets?Nov 03, 2021
From a very early age I discovered that anytime life got uncomfortable for me, I could bite into something sweet and chewy for INSTANT relief from “something” that was bothering me.
I would take that first bite of a Little Debbie snack cake or Hostess Cupcake, for example (I had many others) and as I began chewing and swallowing, I would feel almost like an instant “showering” of subliminal “relief” from whatever was weighing me down in my thoughts and feelings. It was like….”aaaaahhhh”. A forcefield of instant “relief”.
And this worked. Every. Single. Time. Sugar became my reliable, consistent “friend” who never let me down.
Unfortunately I relied on this habitually, as evidenced by my expanding little girl body who could then only fit into the Pretty Plus section of the Girls clothing department.
I did not know how to stop “bolting” to my sweet, chewy therapists for instant relief of all things uncomfortable in my life. I had no idea I was "emotionally binge eating". No one really talked about that concept. I simply thought I had a gross, shameful problem that no one else could possibly suffer from.
Sugar was everywhere and it had a celebratory essence to it. Look at holidays and Birthday parties. Sugar was the honored guest that was mainstream for anchoring the essence of the celebration. EVERYBODY ate it and this was socially expected.
I began to notice that “no one else” like me polished off all their cake and then asked for more, or maybe even would “sneak” a few slivers when no one was noticing (except maybe my Mother…yikes!).
I could NEVER get enough of the sweet stuff. Did no one else have that “warm and fuzzy” feeling when they ate THEIR cake? It seemed preposterous that anyone could have just a few bites of dessert and walk away, not WANTING or NEEDING the rest.
There MUST be something wrong with me.
My inner critic grew like a beast alongside my chubby self, revealing my secret gorging on the sweet stuff. Shame built like a forest fire as well as the rebel in my mind the harder I tried to “restrict” my escape with my sweet treats and heaven forbid, “moderate” the stuff.
Does this resonate with you? It feels ADDICTIVE…..and current research shows that there is reality in that. Sugar triggers the dopamine receptors in our brain like fireworks, sparking that “aaaahhh” showering feeling of “relief” that is experienced upon chewing and swallowing that first bite.
These drug like reactions make us crave more and more to the point that we just need to go to sleep. That is not nourishing or loving us. That is sabotage and deception.
Some of us are more sensitive to this than others. ME! YOU? You are not alone.
How do we “manage” or “moderate” or “control ourselves” with sweets? Many of us simply cannot do this! So how can we break free from bingeing on sugar when we feel heavy emotions and need to "escape" ourselves? How do we make SENSE of this?
Consider the power of SELF INQUIRY.
STOP in that uncomfortable moment when you begin noticing that triggering emotional spiral that prompts you to crave sugar. STOP. Feel that emotion and ask yourself the following four questions:
What am I feeling?
What is going on?
What do I really NEED?
What will I do RIGHT NOW?
Allow wisdom to speak from our hearts as to what we need to “chew on”, escape or fill up on that is missing from our lives. I used to believe I really NEEDED the sugar. That it was my only place to go for comfort and joy. Until I became curious about this. Was that true? What ELSE in my life brings me comfort and joy? A time out on the couch with my dogs works. So does taking a short drive with my Charlie Brown piano music playing in my car.
It takes practice to be mindul, open and curious as to identifying true needs in a heavy moment. Most of the time, I just needed a break in my day and quiet my head. To just sit with myself and breathe, to allow the heaviness to just be and to find space for our thoughts to come and go....to give true inner wisdom a chance to be heard as to what our needs really are in that moment. And friends, you just may discover, as I did after decades of bingeing on sugar, you really don't WANT that sugary treat that provides relief in the moment but bloated and yucky belly later. You WANT something else to fill the void you have identified. What is feeling "off" and how can you fill up on that need to take best care of yourself?
What is YOUR choice? Can you TRY a self inquiry? Can you give yourself a chance to see what clues as to your true needs might show up for you?
Have you ever TRIED this?
Will this happen after one try? No. Will this happen if I give this concept a one day at a time chance?
You are worthy. We are worthy. Together we ignite an intentional SHIFT choose self inquiry founded in loving curiosity. We allow our inner wisdom to reveal what is TRULY needed.....and it's really NOT sugar. Let's love ourselves instead of stuffing our feelings away.
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