Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Different Kinds of Binges

Hiya Ladies,

Hope you are all well. If anyone has tried to get into www.breakawayprogram.com and was unsuccessful, so was i today. Their server was down almost all day, but i've finally gotten back in.

Here is the next teaching that i am up to. I think it is immensely powerful to be able to look and see what we do...and figure out WHY we do it. I had never contemplated that there were different kinds of binges, but upon reading this and really thinking about it, i agree there are.

I hope this helps anyone suffering to gain more clarity. You'll read an excerpt from the teaching on binges and then read my homework journal regarding the teaching.

"Different Kinds of Binges" from www.breakawayprogram.com

With understanding, things becomes clearer. Understanding allows your brain the ability to become clear so there are no wrong or misdirected beliefs about something. Just as there are many influences that lead to binge eating, there are also many types of binges. You may experience one, some or even all of them at some point during your experience with eating disorders. We also know that anyone can be affected by this eating disorder.

Dr. Joyce D. Nash wrote “Although dieting that leads to hunger and stress – which in turn produces negative emotions – is strongly involved in setting off binge eating, binges are also caused by a variety of other factors. These include feeling deprived, having the opportunity to binge, wanting to extract retribution for wrongs, wanting to feel good, or bad eating habits.”

The Hunger Binge – this type of binge is triggered by physical deprivation. The brain is trained to seek out food when it thinks the body is being starved. It’s a primal instinct that will never go away. Your brain will act as if it is the last task on Earth to complete and will hunt down any and all means to food. When it finds food it will binge to make sure it ‘stocks up’ in case famine comes again.

The Deprivation Binge – this binge is similar to the hunger binge but is psychologically driven rather than driven by physical hunger. For example, when certain foods are restricted because they are ‘bad’ or ‘forbidden’, tension builds up and a breaking point is eventually reached with a binge.

The Stress Binge – this type of binge occurs when a person’s ability to cope with certain stressors is too great for them to handle. Another term for the Stress Binge is Emotional Eating. Better coping skills are required to help reduce stress.

The Opportunity Binge – this binge usually occurs even though there is no hunger or stress, although it can mirror a deprivation binge slightly. The Opportunity Binge occurs when there is plenty of time and privacy. Boredom can influence this binge as can continually dwelling on food.

The Vengeful Binge – this binge is greatly generated by anger and the binger could be angry at herself or another person or situation. Anger could be toward the person’s body and thinking that they cannot ‘control’ themselves. It could be a form of self-punishment.

The Pleasure Binge – this binge is designed to enhance pleasure and stimulation. When outside sources of pleasure are minimum this binger goes to town eating as a source of entertainment and reward. The Habit Binge – this binge consists of grazing all day long and eating automatically without much thinking to it. Food is readily available and most bingers in this category binge out of the pure habit of it.

Binging takes on a life of its own after a while and it is common to feel ‘lost’ and ‘out of control’.

The binge cycle looks something like this:

1. Feelings of unease and dissatisfaction

2. Desire to cover over those feelings

3. Use of food (abstention or consumption) as chosen method

4. Feelings of guilt, shame, self-hate, and hopelessness after the binge

5. Renewed self-hatred over weakness

6. Emotionally predisposed to repeat the behavior

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Wow. It's like seriously important to analyze the types of binges i fall prey to.

The "hunger" binge, i suppose, happens when you are truly ravenously hungry. This may happen occassionally, after a performance, but i don't usually let myself get THAT hungry from day to day, and if an eating session from hunger keeps going on and on and on, say, after a singing performance, i'm guessing i'm somehow releasing pentup energy, or stress, or had been feeling deprived. I think a 'hunger' binge is not something that frequently happens to me. Perhaps this is more appropriate to an anorexic, who routinely starve themselves, so that when they DO eat, they can't stop, as physiologically, they are storing up energy for the next famine.

The "deprivation" binge, however, happens when food has been restricted severely and foods are labeled as bad or dangerous, and YES, I succumb to this type of binge frequently, as i've been dieting 80-10-10 as a means to stop binge eating. Unfortunately, i wasn't emotionally able to stay on 80-10-10, or perhaps just unwilling to give up so much pleasurable food, but after being on 80-10-10 for a time, i WANTED a treat, a gourmet treat. The only PROBLEM was, i couldn't STOP with just a little and the eating would get out of control and escalate and i was binging and then binging went on for days because i knew soon enough i'd have to diet again and i'd not be able to eat this or that so i'd better stuff myself with it, now. Deprivation binge eating has STOPPED since i've been feeding myself more pleasurable foods, not counting my fats or restricting salt. I think there is hope here.

The "Stress" binge is also a HUGE part of my repertoire. The place i binge repeatedly and habitually is at work in a busy, stressful kitchen. Stress binging also happens when i am under emotional stress, which is quite frequent as well. Emotionally, i tend to want to EAT instead of face my fears, my discomforts, my nerves. Lately i've been singing alot and if i have a singing engagement, i'm nervous, i'm worried, i'm scared, perhaps i'm not feeling well, or i'm ill prepared. My first instinct is to EAT. Binge eating because i feel sad or upset about something happens i'm sure regularly, but i'm much less aware of it, isn't that interesting? I think there is a general disconnect between how i feel emotionally and how this leads to using food to calm or comfort myself.

The "Opportunity" binge is like something that happened to me the other night when i had bread in the car and I was in a bad weak place and was having bad food thoughts and the opportunity to binge was right in front of my face with leftovers in the car. I wasn't necessarily in stress and i had just eaten a wonderful meal so i don't think i was feeling deprived. I think the opportunity was there, and had it NOT been, i may not have binged.

Eating at work, non stop, is also the "Pleasure" binge. As a cook, there are chores that are tedious. Chopping veggies, doing dishes, peeling bananas. There is so little pleasure sometimes in these chores that i'm often bored, so I snack continuously, which affords me alot of stimulation and sensational pleasure. This is something i really have to guard against. One just has to be strong and find the pleasure in tedious tasks. Find the pleasure in anything. And resist eating for excitement or diversion or pleasurable sensations.

One of the most interesting things to me, is the binge cycle. Before there is ever a binge, there is a negative emotion, uncomfortable feeling. I have been long disconnected from this. I usually see bingeing as a reaction to EATING something i shouldn't have, instead of as a reaction to FEELING something i obviously don't want to.

In being more aware of this, i can really allow myself to FEEL instead of eat, and you know what? It's not always so pleasant, feeling.

For instance, I have to sing tomorrow and i'm quite nervous. I'm not feeling that great physically and i'm worried on many levels about tomorrow's performance. So, today, i found myself experiencing random food thoughts that had dissappeared the last few days.

Now, usually, i would have experienced a food thought and i would have ACTED upon it. Today, however, i saw it, and just saw it. And then i realized how my nerves are really bad today and how i'd love to eat to FORGET because i feel scared and feel not so great physically actually.

This is a big learning lesson.

Really, what does binge eating do, but make us feel better, temporarily, until we feel WORSE??? Look at the binge cycle...remorse afterwards, always.

I've often been aware that i use binge eating to ALLOW myself to FEEL BAD. After i binge i always feel bad. But, now, instead of feeling badly over what i really feel badly about, i feel badly about binge eating. It's a way to distract ourselves from our real feelings.

It's good, though, to be aware enough to have caught it BEFORE it happened today. I SAW the thoughts. I felt the discomfort. And i didn't respond.

Instead, i studied. And i wrote. And when i got truly hungry, i ate a Honeycrisp apple.


xoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I've always known that I was an opportunity binge but it's nice to see it in words. I eat when I'm bored. If I'm busy I don't even think about eating. Thanks for the info, Debbie