In Part 1 of this series on unraveling binge eating, I admitted a problem. I also started noticing, as judgement free as I possibly could.
I noticed I’m afraid. I noticed lots of emotions show up. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Resignation. Actual physical pain – I noticed my right shoulder from the neck and down into the muscle on my back hurts.
I noticed a lack of connection to my body, which makes sense considering that I don’t want to feel or that I’m afraid to feel whatever it is I’m feeling.
I noticed how I wanted to punish myself for not being “better than this”.
I noticed I tried to find something or someone to blame so I wouldn’t be responsible for making myself this way.
I noticed that I have two answers, I just don’t use them nearly enough.
This past Friday and Saturday for example, were two days where I didn’t binge eat. I don’t know how many calories I ate, but I didn’t binge.
I noticed that after my morning breakfast of nut butter, toast and coffee around 6:45 am, I didn’t really want anything else to eat until almost 11 am.
I got curious about why that might be.
Curiosity is always a good clue, a welcomed sign.
I noticed that while I eat the food rather quickly – 10 minutes or so, my eating experience started about an hour before then.
Each morning I do almost the same thing. I have a routine.
I’m sure you do too.
After some basic morning release and grooming I make the coffee first thing. Then check the dogs and open the door for them.
The coffee brews and the smell fills the room. I wash any overnight dishes while enjoying the scent of freshly brewed coffee.
I then go the back of the house and check the older dog and help her outside. I do my Qigong.
By this time I’ve been awake easily 45 minutes.
This routine creates space for and practice of anticipation.
But something I noticed this morning (Sunday) was a slight giddiness as I gathered my ingredients.
I “know” what I need. I know where to stand. I know how far I need to reach into the refrigerator for almond milk, bread, sunbutter.
I take a step back and the door closes. Before I hear the soft pfft of the seal, I’ve pulled off a paper towel and I’m putting my ingredients down.
I skip, step, spin and grab a butter knife from the dish drain, reverse the steps and open the cabinet reaching for the honey.
My hands wrap around the milk carton and I hear the sound of marachas chckssh chckssh chckssh as I shake the milk.
The crinkle of the bread bag opening makes me smile. My hand reaches through the layers searching for contact.
I savor the texture of Ezekial bread with my fingers as they slide it from the bag. Rough yet pliable, not some delicate extra soft mushy thing. Slightly moist. I notice it’s clear shapely breadly curves.
With precious cargo cradled in both hands, I dance the 10 steps to the toaster and reverently slide the bread into one of my two favorite slots.
My fingers depress the lever and I turn and pull the coffee carafe from it’s base. I breathe deep. The coffee steam hits my face as the coffee pours, melding into the milk.
I dance back the way I came.
The scent wafts up from the toaster, deep breath – toasty nutty.
The cinnamon miraculously appears in my hand and with 4 hearty shakes lands on top of the steaming coffee. The clink of the spoon as it stirs doesn’t hide the pop of the toaster.
I barely notice the glide from the kitchen and back again.
The toasty nutty smell is in my hands and enhanced by the sunbutter as the jar lid lightly slaps the counter.
The scents mix and merge as the sunbutter meets the warm bread. The knife dips into the raw honey. The honey glistens and fascinates my eyes as it slowly drips from the knife.
The eagerness with which the sunbutter and honey combine as I spread it on top of the bread is magical.
It feels choreographed. I can honestly say I feed all the hungers through the dance of breakfast making.
And what I also notice is that I have absolutely zero desire to binge in the mornings.
As I sit here typing this, I realize I find it rare to be able to describe any of my other eating experiences with this level of detail.
Curiouser and curiouser.
Sure every now and again I’ll eat a piece of fruit or a meal that evokes and involves all my senses, but the rarity of it. I notice the rarity.
The other answer is in the celebration of this routine.
I have to thank Nia Shanks for pointing to this the idea of celebrating every win when it comes to eating well.
There is more noticing, play with curiosity and celebration all the wins to do.
What other answers will be revealed in my noticing?
How does my eating normally compare and contrast with my binge eating?
Do you still have more questions than answers?
What other answers are out there?
I’ve found a few others whose answers are working for them. Of course the caveat is that yes, it’s worked/is working for them and may or may not work for you or me.
We won’t know until we test them out.