Note: I wrote a response to this article
Having the willingness to let go of things that aren’t working: I’m seeing more and more how important this is for healing.
As I look through my journal and older blog postings I’m seeing obvious behaviors that I do which keep tripping me up on the road to healing my eating disorder; and I think it’s very important to honor them and take them seriously.
Letting go of old, unhealthy behaviors for me however is often much easier said than done. Why is this? I’m not a behavior expert but for me I think the main contributing factors are:
- I’ve used these behaviors as a (admittedly unhealthy) way to cope with my fear, stress, boredom and anxiety. They have been a crutch to help me “get through” life and situations that are uncomfortable.
- Habit. Habits can be notoriously hard to break, especially ones that have deep emotional links and strongholds. Despite bingeing being obviously bad for my body, health and soul I have kept coming back to it because in the moment when I feel stressed a binge can temporarily ease my pain. The old habit pattern over rules my better judgment because I know a binge, which lasts only a few minutes will bring me hours of pain including indigestion, inflammation, bloating and feeling really bad and shameful about myself.
- Weak faith and not trusting God enough that he loves me and is looking out for me.
So what am I trying to let go of?
- Sugar. Without a doubt this is my #1 battle. I could write pages and pages of the destruction my sugar addiction has ravaged through my life over the years. But that’s for another time.
Sugar for me is seductive, deceptive, deeply and profoundly harmful, and I can never, never, never get enough. I could practically eat sugar-rich foods; chocolate, cake, cupcakes, ice cream, white bread and pasta until I died.
Another level of difficulty I have with sugar is that much of the binge eating disorder literature I read does not advocate cutting a certain food out of your life because it’s not a healthy, balanced approach to healing and will almost always boomerang back at you in the form of a binge(s).
I have tried everything to make it work with sugar; for example just eating it in the form of fruit, just eating dark chocolate (you know, with 70% or more cocoa content); just eating it in condiments such as ketchup, bbq sauce and ketchup to add extra flavor to otherwise savory dishes, I could go on and on….
I can bottomline this quickly: none of it works for me. I am hopelessly and completely addicted to sugar. A well-intentioned apple will eventually lead to a binge. BBQ sauce on my chicken burger will eventually lead to a binge. One cookie will lead to eating twelve (or more!).
So I have decided to break up with sugar.
Now, please don’t hold me to this….because like in any bad relationship I might go back for more suffering to see if “maybe it will work this time.” But I am putting my very strong intent out to the universe. Sugar and me are done.
I intensely want to heal my eating disorder and finally become healthy, well and whole. As it’s said, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
What else am I wanting to let go of?
- TV. I am also hopelessly addicted to television. If I start watching it at 8pm I can easily watch until 3am and if I wake up, at say, 5am I’ll start watching it again. It’s pretty bad. And like sugar it’s just another way that I unhealthily cope with stress, anxiety, fear etc.
My tv addiction is not as bad as my sugar addiction and I think it is secondary to sugar. What I mean is the nights I watch the most tv are after I’ve binged.
But the two of them are part of the same vicious and terrible cycle. If I binge then I stay awake most of the night and watch tv because I’m way over-wired on sugar (and shame); then the next day I’m exhausted physically and emotionally….and what I often do to get myself going is….eat sugar. And the horrible cycle starts all over again.
So my goal is to have the willingness to finally let go of this self-defeating, self-sabotaging behavior. As I said before, if I slip and fall please don’t hold it against me. I am simply one vulnerable little person who very much wants to get well and finally be free.