Marcia's Blog is a lifestyle change and dieting blog written by a beloved and respected nutritionist/weight loss counselor/lecturer Marcia Bodenstein. She has helped thousands of kosher consumers achieve and maintain weight loss.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Have you ever had a binge?
Do you think a binge just happens?
No way.
First, behind every binge there is an attempt at self-care. The mistaken notion that this food is going to make me feel better is very much in play here. So, rather than beating yourself up for having that unplanned binge, understanding it and all its' stages may help to make a better judgement next time. Every binge has a TRIGGER. The TRIGGER is usually an emotional feeling. "I just had an argument with my best friend and I am angry", "It's raining outside and my plans have been cancelled and I am disappointed", "My son is late coming home and I am frightened"....those feelings and the full gamut of emotions are the TRIGGERS. The triggers feel like hunger and it is difficult to differentiate emotional from physical hunger. It would seem that we go from the TRIGGER to the binge stage, but there is an important step in between - DECISION. I once heard a Rabbi say "between thought and action there is a moment to choose", and sometimes that moment between the thought and the food is so fleeting, and the voice that says "don't do it" so small that we choose to ignore it, but it is definitely there. That decision may be made right before the binge takes place, or it may be hours before when you "prepare for it" in the supermarket, as you purchase the problem food. The third stage of the binge is ACTION, when the actual eating takes place. Most of us have our own ritual - alone at the end of the day, go to an ice cream parlor with friends, middle of the night - shoveling the food in or savoring every bite. After the action (and the action may last for minutes or hours) there is a HANGOVER.

There is no binge without a HANGOVER, and there are two types. The physical HANGOVER - headache, sore muscles, nausous, stomach ache, gas, belching, bloating, sleepy, weepy and/or_______________(you fill in the blank); then there is the emotional HANGOVER - guilt, self-hate, embarassment, and anger. These are uncomfortable but they do pass. And then the LETDOWN - the food didn't solve the problem, you are disappointed in yourself and everything is as it was except you have gained some weight and lost some dignity. And, the last stage is BACK WHERE YOU BEGAN. You are no better off than before and those TRIGGERS are all around you again. Do you recognize any of these stages? Can any of them be short-circuited? be continued


Myra said...

I'm not a member yet, but I will be one soon, because I see you understand me perfectly. It's as if you see my thoughts.

I have a question- is a week before Chanukah "the right time" to start a diet? I am afraid it will be too hard and I'll lose the motivation...

Anonymous said...

I think everyday is a new chance to "start fresh". Maybe if I start my new lifestyle eating plan now, I can learn to deal with Chanukah - whether I actually succeed in eating properly at those Chanukah parties, or even if I stray from my original plan I can immediately catch myself and go right back to what I know is a good sensible way to eat forever.

Every day gives me an opportunity to choose - so it's the right time all the time!

Oy, if only I could be so smart with that bad food in front of me....

Eli said...

Hi Marcia,

Finally, there is a website that meets the needs of kosher keeping dieters. Thank you for your hard work and motivation. With your help I hope this Channukah will bring "light" to everyone.

lost15sofar said...

I think the best way to get through Chanukah is to be PREPARED!

I bring along salads and other foods I can eat as my contribution to any party I attend.

Trust me, it gets eaten faster than all the fried things being served!