Ice Cream Sundae

Binging or Expressing Needs

Ice Cream SundaeWithout a doubt I know that my bingeing was a way for me to handle the pain of feeling abandoned, unloved, alone, criticized and thinking I was not enough or defective. It soothed the anxiety that all of these emotions stirred up that were too much for me to handle. Maybe you can relate to this. I would love to hear from you. I wrote this passage in my book Freedom From Food.

“Food is the glue that holds my fragmented parts together so I look whole and no one can see I am really in pieces. Part of me knows that I am hiding in the shadows of my isolate world, where things are not as they seem on the outside. Inside I’m loathing myself. I feel defective and just not good enough.

The outside world is beating me up emotionally. I don’t feel that I have a buffer strong enough to shield me from the onslaught of predatory comments and critical judgments. There is so much fear inside of me. I feel shaky and nervous. My feelings have to go underground to make certain I don’t get hurt anymore. I am too sensitive, too open and to raw. At the same time, I realize I have to be tough in this world if I want to survive. Food is my protector…”(continued pg.27)

I have found over 30 years that these feelings seem to be an emotional thread in all eaters, bulimics, anorexics etc.. I have discovered that a major part of my healing in these last few years has come from learning to express my NEEDS as well a my feelings. In my experience, I have always known what I am feeling. It is very common for eaters to feel angry, not cared for, stressed, giving too much, disappointed, not enough, rejected or abandoned but few understand how legitimate and important their NEEDS are. Some examples of NEEDS are needing to: matter, be included, respected, supported, listened to, nurtured, appreciated, communicated to, listened to, be loved, mutuality, etc..

Somehow in the chaos, anger and competition that permeated my family, I was too busy taking care of others needs so I wouldn’t feel their anger or disapproval of me. Now I know that expressing my own NEEDS in a non-reactionary way is essential to me and to my relationships. I find that most often others will hear me which takes away that urge to binge. Try this with friends and relationships and let me know how it goes!

FOR EXAMPLE: “I am feeling uncomfortable because I am Needing more COMMUNICATION ( this is an example of the NEED I chose) between us



2 thoughts on “Binging or Expressing Needs”

  1. Tom Taylor

    Can you comment on developing conscious awareness as a tool for making better choices, that is, not just responding unconsciously and automatically to feelings but developing an understanding of your own patterns and feelings as they relate to eating habits and then making deliberate choices out of a commitment to the values you are trying to establish in your new lifestyle…


    1. Dear Tom,
      Thank you for your comment. Developing conscious awareness is the way to make better choices in food selection. I do strongly feel that diets and deprivation leave no room for tapping into your own innate wisdom and listening to what your body is needing. Since all food addiction is caused by emotional pain, the first step is to become aware of what you are feeling and needing right before you make a choice to eat something. A person must develop a way to connect with the part of themswelves that is feeling inadequate and send that part love and nurturing. That is the real food they are needing. When they get that love, then they can see what kind of food might give them more energy and aliveness and have more conscious awareness to make better choices.

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