Beating Binge Eating with Mindful Eating

A photo of the author sitting at a table in a cafe with a bento box lunch and green juice drink on a graphic with the blog title above her.

I am happy to share my journey but it is lengthy and I have not gotten a good short version yet! What I will say right here, right now is that it was years before I even thought I needed help and even then, I need different kinds of help at different times. As the layers got pulled back, something else came up for me in my journey. I am grateful that my first “therapist” who was a clinical psychology grad student (and friend) needed a subject and that she was really great (and well-guided by her professor). I am also grateful that as we were both learning, we were into mindfulness and that led us to choose to learn and practice Mindful Eating.

On this blog, you can read about the basics of Mindful Eating here or here so I am not going to explain that now. Instead, I want to share a little about how it helped me and then offer a free resource that might help you or someone you know and care about.

For me, much of the work of conquering my binge eating disorder was about healing from traumatic and formative events that had essentially stunted my emotional growth and maturity. I lacked some serious coping skills and filled in the gaps with food and disordered eating patterns. Once I named the event, accepted it and was able to process it completely and safely, I was able to replace eating in response to that sensation. There were a couple of events that triggered the urge to binge and with time, I was able to not feel the urge to binge mostly.

I say mostly because as a Black woman I am still triggered by acts of race-based violence and injustice. This is because one of the big traumatic events for me was race-related. It wasn’t until I started healing that I had to grapple with the fact that this trigger would likely be a part of my life and I had no way to control its occurrence. I could only cope with my feelings.

Enter mindful eating. This practice helped me to learn what physical hunger felt FOR ME. It helped me learn what satisfaction -and the difference between being satisfied and full–felt like FOR ME. I learned that it was different from day to day, from meal to meal.

Mindful eating helped me take “mental” learning and “feel” it in my body and this was a game changer when it came to putting a little space between the urge to binge and the actual binge event. I won’t lie. In the beginning, the space created or delay wasn’t always an effective deterrent. But as I healed and learned about what I needed most in those moments of feeling triggered and compelled to eat, it was enough to ask myself about what I needed and gave me time to get that or do that instead. Mindful eating worked in tandem with my healing as a key tool to delay and disrupt that binge cycle. I had the chance to learn a new behavior that was centered on my needs and rarely was eating what I did.

This is why it can be a powerful tool for others. So, I am giving away a free guide for those who join my mailing list (you can expect periodic emails that are like a roundup of tips and resources and funny things and valuable info for eating disorder recovery. There is sometimes info about a promo I may be doing!) right here! There is NEVER an obligation to buy anything but I would appreciate not sharing the guide but instead sharing how to get the guide from here!

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