In order to stop binge eating, there has to be a major willingness to use SKILLS.
We throw the word skill around Beacon a lot. And, the truth about skills remains true – if we don’t have them in our arsenal, and use them in lieu of the harmful habits we have with food, change is pretty much impossible. Shorthand? Nothing changes, nothing changes. #truth
We come up against a lot of resistance in our pushing of skills to stop binge eating. “Molly, are you seriously telling me that reading a book, listening to music, or calling a friend is going to be better than eating a cupcake?” Short term? No. Long term? Yes. And herein lies the problem.
When life goes awry, which it soooooooo often does, and we turn to food. We create a truth in which food is the only, and best, thing to soothe us and fix our problems. And, short term, that can be very true.
Long term? Not so much. It’s sort of like making a deal with the devil: while food can provide a quick fix to help to make you feel better when times are rough. Long term, it reinforces your sense of failure, shame, and demoralization. Pretty crappy “skill,” right?
So, cue our HARD SELL of using skills that aren’t food. Consider today that you have a skills deficit – a deficit in learning and using skills effectively.
I know I sound like every diet you’ve ever been on and every professional you’ve ever seen when I am saying that you should read a book, or use an adult coloring book, or put some ice on your neck, or call a friend, or listen to some music, or, or, or … instead of binging. The problem is, these skills have a boatload of evidence behind them. Also, they will NEVER leave you with the sense of failure, shame and demoralization that comes with misusing food. Until your “skill” of using food comes off the table, this swarm of skills can’t come your way and help you to navigate life’s challenges with ease.
Skills deficits are our specialty at Beacon – and, as we say, a problem to be solved. We all have skills deficits – the trick is learning where you need some skills bolstering.
Using food instead of a skill keeps us from using and integrating the skills that we know work. What to do? Here are some ideas to help activate your amazing arsenal of skills:
Put on your Beginner’s Mind … TIGHT. I get it. After all of the time you’ve been suffering, it’s hard to believe a bubble bath, a journal entry, or a Pinterest board might help. But have you ever really tried it? Repeatedly? We are usually very quick to scoff at using skills, especially when the option of food as a skill is on the table. Quick question: what if these skills worked? And better yet: what if they were one of the keys to your freedom? #justasking
All I Want for Christmas is … SKILLS. Write down a list of skills you might use when times get rough. Are there things you always wished you could do? Needlepoint, watch all seasons of The Americans, get into Reggae music. Are there things you know you love? The movie Love Actually, the sound of babies laughing, hot showers, the smell of lavender, @adultingishard on Insta, your Snuggie. Be thorough and be brave.
Practice when things are EASY. If you aren’t practiced in using skills when things don’t suck, it’s very unlikely you are going to use them when things do suck. Especially when you’re conditioned to use food. Practice. See what skills really float your boat and then repeat, repeat, repeat! No one ever complained of having too many skills or being too skilled to tolerate life’s tough times, and stop binge eating. #ninjastyle