Much of my 35 years of binge eating, yo-yo dieting and everyday emotional eating was done in private. I would eat leftovers when my guests had gone home like a crazed starving person. When I had any relationship challenges, I felt like I could get some kind of revenge by eating everything decadent out of the fridge. It would nearly always be out of sight of the world. When stressful situations had passed, I would impulse buy a ton of cookies, cake and chocolate and have to down them all by morning.
I knew bingeing was not serving me. Even as a child, I was told it was wrong. Family and maybe friends would call me a pig, a dustbin or someone with eyes bigger than her belly.
So I did it in secret.
Let me give you some scenarios that you also might identify with…
Over to you
Are you thinking about a bottle of wine you can crack open when a painful conversation is over?
Do you find a confrontation so uncomfortable, that the only thing that holds you together is the thought of that box of unopened chocolates left over from your birthday?
Perhaps you are having some family troubles and you feel powerless to help, console or control a situation. So you look forward to the quiet times when the house is empty so that you can indulge in whatever makes you feel yourself again
Maybe you’re so racked off with your job that the one thing you have to look forward is that bar of chocolate you seemingly automatically pick up at the counter in the petrol or train station and eat in peace on the way home.
You feel like you bust a gut to make your family and/or friends welcome at your house. They never seem to show any appreciation. When they leave, you find yourself finishing off your favorite leftovers until you are so stuffed, you might burst.
Why am I bingeing?
You may not know what is wrong. But you just know that a part of you is missing. There are some awful memories from your earlier life that you really don’t want to recall, let alone work on. You know on some level that they have influenced your life choices now. Sometimes you feel resentment for what happened to you. Occasionally you get angry and neither you nor those around you know why. But something hurts. Food offers comfort. But you save it for your quiet time.
The memory of a loved one who has passed is so raw. It’s like they only left yesterday. You feel such despair that the loss seems like it’ll be with you forever. You feel embarrassment to get upset in front of others. But when the tears flow and the pain emerges, it is food that soothes. Lots of it.
These are just some examples, taken from my life.
I’m sure there are many in yours too. Times when you just want to be alone. To eat.
But you know, it’s not such a bad thing, this eating in secret business. It’s the perfect opportunity to witness, without the distraction of others.
And it is the perfect time to tap!
Emotional Freedom Technique is as good as its name suggests. It frees you from the overwhelming emotions that take you to food.
Let’s see how this works…
- Think about your typical, private binge times for a moment. Write them down. Familiarise yourself with your tendencies.
- The next time you crave to be alone, notice why you wish to be alone. What food are you planning to devour? How are you intending to comfort yourself?
3. Whether you go on to eat some food, a lot of food or binge eat or whether you feel inclined to stop before the food, start tapping.
Don’t forget to identify the emotion and take a score 1-10. Here’s a video to help you. It may seem complicated in the beginning but it’s really not.
After a round or two, take a score again. Repeat if necessary.
4. See the positive about being alone in this situation. It’s really difficult to tap when you’re in a restaurant or at the buffet table of your friends’ing.
Remember that freedom from emotional eating is an inside job.
Tapping helps you with the driving force behind emotional eating.
If you would like a 1-hour breakthrough coaching session with me (just $37 including my book for FREE!) to practice this technique and ask me how you can apply it to your eating habits and struggles, I’d be delighted to help. Book an appointment HERE
I devote a whole chapter to EFT in my book BodyMAGIC! – a Happy Ending to Binge and Emotional Eating. And EFT is just one of many techniques that helped me find freedom with my emotions around food. You can find out more about my book HERE.