How to fight the urge to binge eat

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Binge eating is one of a number of eating disorders that may demand professional help. Psychotherapist Joanna Poppink shares ways to help yourself fight the urge.

Transcript If you really want to binge the urge is upon you. You think you can’t bear it and you haven’t done any preparation work. You haven’t done any work yourself. You are still unconscious. You will binge. But if you are watching this interview right now, you are doing some homework; right now you are helping yourself in preparing for that urge that will come at some point. You’ve got some background. Let me tell you a little bit about binge and who you are. You have emotions. You have urges. They come like waves. Watch the ocean for a while. Sometimes there’s a stream of small waves, sometimes there’s a stream of huge waves, sometimes they are even. Sometimes they are mammoth. Your emotions are like that. You can deal with the small waves, sometimes the large waves, you can’t. The old ancient Buddhist saying is, be the ocean, not the wave. Because every single one of those waves that you watch, passes. If you can wait it out long enough, if you can breathe and wait that urge to purge or binge will stop. It doesn’t mean that it’s gone. You are going to get another one, but you don’t have to act on it. So here’s the story if you are the wave - if you are the wave, I am fine. I am small and I am fine and I am getting bigger and I am getting bigger and I am getting so big I love getting bigger. I am so big now I am at the top and I can see the world that I am just fantastic but I am losing my space and I am losing my place and I am slipping and I am falling and I am going to get swallowed up and I am getting smaller and smaller and I can’t stop and now I can’t control and I am gone. That’s the wave and it will happen again. You don’t have to identify with that part. You identify with the whole sea that’s got many waves. And you can bare them if you know that. If you don’t know it and you have the urge to binge you are going to go right into the binge but if you do know it you can hold on to it. You can hold on to that knowledge. You can draw a wave. You could write down your feelings. You can draw a wave and then write down your feelings on the line of the wave and watch your feelings. It gives you a little bit more distance and you don’t have to act out and you will be so surprised at the end when that feeling has gone and the Oreos are still in the package – what a great feeling that is.
meet theexpert
  • Joanna Poppink M.F.T.

    Joanna Poppink M.F.T. Psychotherapist Joanna Poppink, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Los Angeles. Joanna has more than twenty-five years of experience specializing in treating adults with eating disorders. She suffered from bulimia for many years, found recovery and uses both her professional expertise and personal knowledge to support her clients. She studied journalism at Northwestern University, psychology at UCLA, Antioch and the Saybrook Institute. She corresponds with women throughout the more about this expert »

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