Binge Eating Disorder Help: Dealing with Fear and Doubt

By: Nadine Ann

I hear this from my clients all the time, "I am afraid of who I will be if I am not a binge eater", or "I am afraid to stop binging". Whatever you are afraid of could be making you binge more and more. Facing your fear and dealing with doubt is a major step in treating binge eating disorder.

Fear drives us to do many things and one of them is to find alternate sources of protection to hide from it. We use food to hide from fear. We are afraid we will get hurt again by someone. We are afraid of our boss. We are afraid of seeing the real person within us. We are afraid to stand up to our parents, significant other, children etc. Fear is behind it.

Try to make a list of what, or who, you are afraid of. Be honest. No one is judging you and no one will read your list so go ahead and do it. What are you really afraid of?

Now that you have your list you can begin to take some simple steps to reduce your fear. Here are 5 quick tips you can start right away.

1. Use a journal to write down your thoughts - By writing down what it is that you are afraid of and why, starts the process of becoming "aware". In order to change something you must be aware of it.

2. Become the Observer - Imagine that you are able to view yourself from a distance as if you are watching yourself on a movie screen. You are actually sitting in the audience and you can see yourself up there on the movie screen. You can see yourself afraid of (whatever it is that you are afraid of) and you can see yourself on the screen reacting in a very frightened way.

From the audience you can see the person on the screen and you can just view it without being involved in it. Does the person on the screen really need to be afraid of whatever it is that he/she is afraid of? By sitting in the audience and just viewing yourself up there you are able to remain calm and see the situation. Use your journal to write down what the movie was and how the person could be less afraid.

3. Understanding Doubt - Doubt and a lack of self-confidence can contribute to fear. They are also major factors in binge eating disorder. You can start right now to challenge your belief systems by asking yourself "why?"

Let's say I believe it is wrong to sit in the front seat of a school bus. Do you think there is anything wrong with sitting in the front seat of a school bus? The reason behind my belief is that my teacher told me it would make my legs grow shorter than the rest of the kids' if I sat in the front seat. So I believe I must never sit there. How am I going to know if that belief is true or not? Someone told it to me so I believe it. You are probably shaking your head saying it is not true right? But I believe it is. You are now trying to convince me that it is not true because you saw little Johnny sit there and nothing happened to his legs. In order for me to believe something different I would need to question my belief and find facts to back it up. Maybe my teacher told me that because his teacher told him that and that's what he believed.

Now if I were to say to you that you are worthless for having an eating disorder. Do you think that is true or false? If you answer "true" why do you believe that? Who is telling you that it is true? I happen to believe it is false. I know that because an eating disorder does not define who a person is. Challenge your negative beliefs.

4. Use the Law of Attraction - The Law of Attraction states that "like attracts like" so if you focus on fear, what will you get? More fear! That's right. But if you focus on being happy and confident, you'll get more of what you want. Try to state in a positive way what you want and focus on that, not on what you don't want. For example, if you said "I don't want to live in fear", you are still focusing on fear. Re-state it to, "I want to live in joy".

5. Meditation/Visualization - Imagine if you didn't have fear regarding a certain person, place or thing. What would that look like? What would it feel like or smell like? What would you hear or taste in your world without fear? Using your senses you can write in your journal exactly what it would be like to NOT have fear. Then close your eyes and truly see in your minds eye what you have written. Visualize every wonderful aspect of it.

One of the easiest ways to help you overcome fear is to surround yourself with positive people who are focused on the same goals you are. It's the Law of Attraction regarding people too. When you surround yourself with negative people you attract more negativity so make a conscious decision to meet new people and new support groups with a positive focus.

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