How can I get this two hundred pound monkey off my back permanently?
I honestly wish I had the easy answer to this. We could save a lot of pain and anguish in the world.
You must know by now that there is no easy answer to this question.
But I don’t want to give you a complex answer either. If you’re open minded – just for the few minutes it takes to read this post, I think I can hopefully re-frame the question and give you an answer that you can act on today. An answer that both makes sense and that is actionable by anyone right now, today.
To do that I’m going to need you to suspend judgment and ALL of your previous ideas about how to stop this destructive behavior for the next six or eight minutes OK? Trust me, you can’t “think” your way out of this – your best thinking got you here.
You made it here to BingeEating.com, so you’re pretty serious about this.
Why not open your mind, take a deep breath and let’s see if we can move you toward your goal.
The first thing I’m going to ask you to do, the one thing you’ve heard a million times but may have still not done, is to admit you have a problem. Not in the way that you’ve done in the past either. Not casually. Not like “Wow! This is crazy! I need to get this under control.”
I need for you to act like this is life and death, because it is.
Take a minute, stop reading and visualize this:
Massive weight gain beyond where you are now, obesity related diseases plaguing you and the pain and trips to the doctors and hospitals that goes with it. You need to see clearly the path that you’re on and where it leads.
Congratulations to those who did the exercise. I didn’t have you do it to shame you. I did it to scare you just a little. To be the tough love that you may not have in your life and can’t give yourself.
This time we are going to do another exercise – the exact opposite.
I want you to visualize that life you’ve always dreamed of. Playing with your kids in the pool, wearing those jeans you love, playing that sport you love. See yourself actually doing whatever it is you want for YOU. Feel how you would feel, see it clearly in your mind’s eye and feel the feelings of joy, happiness and contentment. Feel them deeply. Spend a few minutes here.
Great job. Remember this as we will use it going forward.
The next thing is another re-framing of the problem and the solution. We know for a fact, after almost thirty years working with folks to solve these problems, that today as you read this you are isolated with this problem. You are keeping it as a secret (or so you think). You are afraid, embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone else about it.
You binge alone and you research for help alone.
We need to change that. You need to tell someone about this.
But here’s where it gets dicey.
This person can’t just be any person. They have to know where you are. They have to be able to relate. They have to be solving the same problem as you – or have already solved it. And most importantly they can’t judge you. Not even secretly while encouraging you – and they have to keep your confidence 100%. There is zero room for leaks or gossip.
So where do you find these type of people? And what if you don’t want to tell anyone?
I know exactly how you feel. And so does everyone who has changed this behavior. It seems that this isolation, this fear, is symptomatic of people who find themselves struggling with binge eating. We don’t have time and can’t discuss the reason this phenomena exists here but remember you are suspending judgement for one blog post right? Let’s just say the research on this topic is correct (it is BTW).
So that brings us to just where do you find your support system to help walk you out of this?
Many folks are not ready to meet someone face to face. Even Internet forums seem weird. The complaint I usually get is: “What if someone knows me?” I understand at the beginning this it can be a little disconcerting.
So what if I could point you towards a phone line where you can be 100% anonymous and just listen to some folks who have been through all this and found peace with food? One where you could just lurk and listen, one that no one will know you’re even on, you don’t have to say a word and you can listen to how to walk your way out of this? A phone line that goes on all day, every day, from 6AM to 10PM and six or seven times during the day.
And all you had to do was listen…
Would you suspend judgement and fear for me (and yourself) just one more time?
Now if you want to talk or become so moved to participate you can but if not you can just listen..
OK I have to come clean here and tell you there is one more thing you are going to have to to be open minded about. You just need to be at that point…
You are going to need to be neutral on the term “food addict.” Just for a few days, please, I’m asking you to just suspend judgement. If in reading the words just now you said: “Could I be a food addict” then good for you. At least you didn’t dismiss it immediately. If you had a strong reaction to the words you need to take that deep breath again remember your promise to be open and your vision of the future.
I’m so excited for you.
Here’s a little more info on how to remain 100% totally anonymous.
When you call in, call just after the meeting starts. They usually start on time so up to five or ten minutes after. No one will ask your name if you call in a little late – so just listen. If you’re really paranoid then dial *67 before you dial in and it will block your number. Trust me they don’t do anything with the number anyway but I want you to feel 100% safe.
So here’s the link to the schedule. Calls are around the clock seven days a week.
Find one in the next few hours and listen in. Attend as many as you want or need. Listen to different folks as they describe what it was like to use food this way, what happened to change them and what it’s like today.
After you attend please leave a comment below and tell us if it helped.
As a short caveat, I want to add something important.
Some folks reading this may be having health issues and other crisis situations occurring and may seriously need a treatment center. Many need the 28 or more days to get away from it all and to regain their balance and health a little so they can continue. Most folks can judge if they are at that place but if you have absolutely ANY doubt I urge you to seek professional help in the form of treatment. Treatment saves lives and turns them around. If you’re like me you just need the rest and to have someone else drive the bus for a few weeks till your head clears.