Learn How to Mindfully Lessen or Avoid a Binge - PDF Version

William C. Shearer, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Robin L. Shearer, M.A., M.P.H., R.N., M.F.T.

The following five point self-questioning strategy has been developed to help you avoid or lessen a binge. This results from clarification of your innermost needs and feelings and removal of obstacles to direct, positive, and mindful action.

When focusing on food, ask yourself, “Is it my stomach or my head that wants food?”

  • Whenever it is your stomach, relax, eat, enjoy, and skip the guilt. Take it a step
    further. Now that you are free to choose, ask yourself, “What is it that I really want to eat?” When food is legal and you can comfortably feed yourself on demand, you may find that beneath the deprivation and guilt driven cravings for forbidden chocolates there is a long hidden craving for fresh fruits and vegetables. You can only make that discovery if food is legal. Only then can you choose healthily and not feel deprived.

What if it is your head . . . ?

  • Ask yourself, “How is my balance?” “Are areas of my life being neglected?” “What
    do I really want or need that I am not getting?” “What am I for rather than against?”
  • Ask yourself, “What are my feelings?” “What would I be feeling if I was not focusing
    all my time and energy on food and weight issues?”
  • Ask yourself, “How do I block myself from getting what I need or expressing how I
    feel?” “What am I avoiding?” “If I was not into food, what would I be focusing on
    and doing?” “What would I have to deal with that the food and weight problem now
    protects me from?”
  • Finally, ask yourself, “What direct action should I take to get what I need or express
    how I feel?” “Am I willing to take responsibility for me?”

Struggling to find honest answers to these questions is vital. Once answers have been found and acted upon, the food-emotion connection is broken.

© 2006 William C. Shearer, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Robin L. Shearer, M.F.T., M.A., M.P.H., R.N.

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