HealthyGirl.org Book Club [previous posts]
One of my favorite parts of Cynthia Bulik’s book, Crave, is Chapter 4 where she explains the “eating profiles” she’s discovered over the years and tries to help people figure out which one they fit into.
Of course the reasons why we binge eat are complex, and can change over our lives, but what Dr. Bulik managed to do was really nail down some of the main emotions that typically trigger people to binge. She has 10 different types in her book, but I’ve quickly outlined four of them here that really resonated with me.
Which one (or more!) of these sounds most like you?
1. The Angry Binger
This is the type of person who might have a string of angry or resentful thoughts going through their head, but perhaps doesn’t know how (or doesn’t think it’s OK) to express them. So they eat to stuff them down and relieve them.
2. The Low Self-Esteem Binger
The motto for this type might go something like this, Dr. Bulik writes: “I already suck, so I may as well make myself feel worse.” Your brain is hurling insults your way when you mess up at work or go shopping and nothing fits and food seems to be the only thing that will make you feel better in that moment.
3. The Nail-Biting Binger
Anxiety! Ahhhh! You’re stressed, you’re panicked, you’re freaked out. It feels like things are piling up and about to bury you…and food calms you down.
4. The Running-on-Empty Binger
This is where those of us who yo-yo-dieted or binge and restrict might fit in best. You try to go for hours without food—or for days and weeks without your favorite foods—then eventually break down and inhale the contents of your entire refrigerator.
Like I said, at some point in my life, I have fit into all of the above. These days, I find that anxiety is usually what triggers thoughts of food. When I feel anxious, I know I’m at risk—and most times I take the actions necessary to process and relieve that emotion the healthy way: Telling my husband about it just to get it out of my own brain; doing a short meditation; going for a jog or doing Pilates; journaling; or, if it’s an unfinished task that’s making me anxious, sitting down and starting to tackle it.
What are your biggest binge triggers? And how do you fight them?