BINGE EATING/INNER CONFLICT: A universal internal battle bet
BINGE EATING/INNER CONFLICT: A universal internal battle between you "Healthy Self" which wants you to be successful and recover from binge eating and your "Eating Disordered Self" which urges you to binge can be a challenge that each of us who suffer a binge eating disorder must confront and deal with. The problem is: you don't feel that desire to recover all of the time, ESPECIALLY at times when you feel you want to binge. During those times, it can be tempting to give up altogether, or at least temporarily -- to get what you think you want: a binge. To help understanding this dilemma, you have to understand that there are TWO TYPES OF WANTING: Through repeated training episodes, of restrictive dieting, eating for comfort or other emotional reasons, you have trained your brain that you have to binge for your very survival. I'm calling this part of you your "Eating Disordered Self." As these disordered activities have continued, you have slid into a full blown binge eating disorder and without realizing it, your healthy self, that part of you that wants to recover and eat in a sane and rational manner has been hijacked by that part of you that we'll call your eating disordered self. Your Eating Disordered Self is heavily associated with the brain region that deals with rewards. The reward system drives us to perform pleasurable activities, survival based behavior, and encourages us to avoid pain -- whether that's emotional or physical pain. The reward system makes us "want" to do things that aren't pleasurable or that we perceive might be painful in some way. When our reward system is working properly, disordered eating isn't a usual problem. Rather, it drives us toward natural and necessary behaviors and stops us from getting hurt. However, those of us with a binge eating disorder have activated that same reward system by our destructive eating habit and as a result, we have strengthened our eating disordered self to the point that it has literally taken over our lives, pushing our healthy self into a state similar to hibernation. We must see the "wanting" of our eating disordered self as "false wanting," because it tricks you into believing you want something that you really don't have. When it comes to bulimia, the reward system becomes conditioned to react as if binge eating is vital to your survival. When it is triggered, it gives you that strong feeling of wanting to binge, but your healthy self tells you that you don't. Note: If you are still dieting restrictively, you might need more food, but you don't need to binge. A second kind of wanting, the wanting of your healthy self is based on "cognitive/rational wanting." This wanting arises from the more rational part of your brain, which I'm referring to as your "healthy self." Your healthy self often wants to see you working towards a goal, or at least or at least helps you to wait for what you want. Your healthy self doesn't become affected by the thoughts of immediate pleasure without regards to the long-term consequences of your actions. Knowing that you have two types of wanting, driven by two distinct selves helps you to make sense of your inner conflict. In summary, your Eating Disordered Self is often very persuasive, making you feel that you want to binge--while your healthy self is the rational part of you that truly wants recovery. This explains why your urges to binge feel like such an intrusion--those urges get in the way of your goals, your real desires, and the person you know you can be.. Knowing that the binge urges are just an expression of irrational, false wanting gives you a clearer picture of why you have this inner conflict. Tomorrow I'll discuss how to deal with this inner discord. Have a healthy day.
That actually makes so much sense to me now. Thank you for sharing.