If you struggle with binge eating, it can feel like some unknown force takes over you and you find yourself unable to stop eating. You could even have periods of lost time, where you know you ate too much, but you don’t remember actually doing it. Experiences like these can be upsetting and leave us feeling powerless. But as Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, shares in this uplifting new video from IPEtv, when you can meet the impulse to binge with openness and curiosity, you can find a greater source of personal power than you ever imagined was possible. Like all of our eating-related challenges, binge eating can be an amazing teacher. All we need do is to learn to hear and understand its messages. If you or someone you care about has ever binged, you won’t want to miss this video. It’s full of practical ideas that can help you move from despair to hope.
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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Greetings, friends. Marc David here, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Let’s talk about what’s up with binge eating.
Now, let me give you a definition of binge eating. Binge eating is industrial-strength overeating. We all know what overeating is. “Oh, God. I ate too much.” When we binge eat, it’s industrial strength. There’s like a devouring wolf that takes over and we have no control. We lose control. And for most humans, that’s pretty scary because it’s like this whole other persona comes out in us.
Now, here’s what I want to tell you. Don’t be afraid of that devouring wolf. Huh, wasn’t there a fairytale about that? When you start to make friends with that wolf, we realize that that devouring wolf, you know what it is? It’s power. It’s unexpressed power.
It’s a power that you and I have not quite tapped into yet.
But once you start to own that power and use it in a conscious way, you become a more powerful person.
And the overeating and the binge eating and all the challenging relationships that we have with food begin to naturally resolve themselves.
Now, a lot of people think, “I binge eat because I have no willpower.” Here’s what I want to tell you: drop that. Leave it alone. It ain’t true.
Now, I want to give you some metabolic reasons, nutritional/metabolic reasons why many people binge eat. Not all people, but many people. If you’re undereating during the day, if you’re chronically dieting, if you don’t have enough fat in your diet, if you don’t have enough healthy protein in your diet, if you’re skipping meals because you’re afraid of body fat, you’re trying to lose weight, what happens is the body is having a nutrient deficit.
And the brain is smart. The brain is going to tell your body to scream for more food. The brain and body says, “Hungry!” And that devouring wolf takes over because our core primal imperative is to survive. So when we artificially limit the body, the extreme pops out. The devouring wolf comes in and says, “No, life will not be denied.”
So give up the endless dieting. Give up trying to control your appetite.
Give up trying to calorie restrict. And instead start to make friends with food because chances are if you’re binge eating, there’s a place in life where you think food is the enemy, where you think fat and food is the enemy. Or maybe you think, “Fat on my body is the enemy.”
Any time the central nervous system registers enemy, we go into fight or flight response, stress physiology, stress chemistry, which deregulates our appetite and which will drive us to do eating behaviors that don’t even make sense.
So the key here is to get into a new relationship with food, to begin again and begin fresh and start to love food, start to feel nourished by food.
And let food be part of your day, as opposed to trying to push it away or fight it because when we embrace the natural need to nourish ourselves, our relationship with food automatically begins to become whole. And that, my friends, is the magic of life.