Storm eating, otherwise known as binge eating, is when you are fully aware that you are eating and want to stop, but you feel like you can’t. Shameful thoughts often follow storm eating, which tends to make it worse and can set you up for repeating the cycle.
Thought: I’m out of control
Action: Eat more to distract from feeling hopeless
Result: Repeat overeating cycle
Does this sound familiar?
The tools to use in this situation are awareness and compassion. There is a reason you were overeating and I’ll bet you can trace it back to a need to care for yourself in some way. You’re not bad. You’re not a loser. You’re not any of those names you call yourself. You’re just a person trying to make yourself feel better, but the action you’re taking does not ultimately work.
Here’s a tool to help stop the cycle. During a storm eat, you are already aware. Practice taking that awareness up one notch by actually tasting the food you are eating. Take a deep breath and actually taste the next bite you take.
Feel its texture in your mouth. Is it crunchy? Mealy? Smooth? Greasy?
Feel the temperature. Is it cold? Hot? Room temperature?
Taste the flavors. Is it Sweet? Salty? Bitter or astringent?
Notice how a sense of calm begins to wash over you within only a few bites eaten with this extra awareness. Don’t be surprised if you decide that you don’t want to eat anymore. Or you may still keep eating, but I invite you to continue practicing the tool of tasting the bites you take. This extra awareness seems to calm the storm. Try it out and see for yourself.
Either way, be sure to give yourself acknowledgment just for using the tool. This is really important! Let me show you why…
Circumstance: Practiced tasting bites during a storm eat
Thought: I just showed myself that I can totally do this!
Feeling: Confident, empowered
Action: Don’t overeat
Result: Cycle not repeated
Why does the eating cycle end when you think good thoughts? Because your thoughts create your feelings and when you create good feelings, you’re not going to try to numb out or escape from them, right? Good feelings don’t need to be pushed down with food, so cultivate as many good feelings as possible. If you need help in learning this skill, private coaching may be the next step for you. Click here to set up your free 30 minute mini-session with me. I would love to help you learn this and many of the other tools I have in my tool box to end the emotional pain you feel around food, your weight, and/or your body image. I look forward to hearing from you!