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Dear Dr. Gould,

I am aware of how much I eat when I binge so I don’t know if printing the list out and reading it will really help me. I need more tips on how to control an urge to binge. I also tend to binge when I know I have a function coming up and I’m going to blow might diet anyway. I binge when I am bored as well.

RL

Dear RL,

You don’t necessarily need to print out lists of what you eat when you binge. What would probably be more helpful for you is to observe yourself, If you can catch yourself wanting to binge, stop, in a notebook, write down what was going on for you in the few minutes or hours before the urge to binge came on. Watch what happens when you don’t indulge the urge to binge. The hunger might go away, you might learn something about your feelings, you might be able to make a better food choice in the end.

Emotional eating is a pattern that took you time to learn and it will take you time to unlearn it as well. Emotional eating is an addiction. At some point in life you learned that when you were feeling something uncomfortable, if you ate you could escape the feeling for a period of time. What you are addicted to is the escape more than the actual food. All the pieces that you need to understand why you have been overeating, what you are trying to escape by eating and what you can do about it are in this program. You just need to be patient with yourself. You are only just beginning the program.

If you binge before an event where you know you are going to overeat anyway, perhaps you need to rethink it, what if the days before an event could actually motivate you to stay on track, so that when you eat more than normal at an event, it sort of balances out?

As far as your question about eating out of boredom. Most people who eat out of boredom would secretly like to be doing something else but they have accepted that they can never have the things that would really fulfill them. We, as human beings, are hard wired for passion and pleasure. If we don’t find constructive ways to channel our need for passion and pleasure it will be directed towards unhealthy things such as overindulging in food. The more you do the things that you are REALLY passionate about the less you will need food as a source of fulfillment.

I wish you success with the program. Remember, losing weight is not about being perfect, it is about treating your body with the love and respect it deserves. If you have failed in the past, forgive yourself, it is a new day. This could just be the time that you succeed.

Sincerely,
Dr. Gould

 

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