Binge Eating Dilemma…are you selfish or selfless?

I may have been guilty of mis-leading you.

Making yourself the star of your own show is a fundamental step in overcoming binge eating.  In my view, it is one of the  Three Simple Stepsyou can take to stop binge eating for good.  But  we’ve been here before, haven’t we?

If you are a binge eater, and you’ve read or listened to what I’ve said before, then you get it….or you think you do.  But I may have been guilty of mis-leading you.

In my online programmes and webinars, I’ve deluded myself into thinking this was all clearly laid out – and made the mistake of forgetting (I should know better – as a hypnotherapist) that we all have our own unique way of  interpreting things differently.

It’s such an easy trap for my clients – and I see usually see it when they do it; but it seems I’ve fallen right into it myself.

You see – when you make yourself the star of your own show, it is true, you do need to start re-introducing more things in your life that are pleasurable, enjoyable, rewarding (and aren’t about food).  These can be small or large things.

You know that, by now.

However, what I appear NOT to have made clear is this:  what so many binge eaters seem to share is a powerful inclination to meet other people’s needs; to care for others, do things for them, to be indispensable (at work or at home).

Which all sound like a selfless, generous thing to do.  And it is.  In fact, you might well ask – ‘what harm could there be in that?’.

Well, none..if you are a Mother Theresa and feel not the slightest, smallest sense of being taken for granted, of sometimes wanting to be listened to, noticed, cared for, respected..more than you are.

So am I advocating a culture of selfishness – of me, me, me?  Is that my proposed answer to binge eating?

Yes (contentious!) and NO (intriguing).

Sometimes those things you do aren’t entirely about caring (which is not to say you don’t care).   Sometimes it’s about being convinced that it (whatever IT is) won’t get done unless you do it (or it won’t get done as well as YOU like unless YOU do it).

So you make the proverbial rod for your own back.

The more you do, the more there is to do…and the less people notice you doing it.  And the more they just take it for granted.  And the lazier or more demanding and ungrateful they become.

And you convince yourself that it can’t be helped.  There is no other solution.  There is no-one else who would do what needs to be done – or who would do it the way it ‘should’ be done.

Except that ‘should’ and ‘must’ and ‘have to’ and ‘ought to’ are all words that have a sting in the tale.

They take you down a path that moves way beyond caring for others – and towards thinking that any thought or action that isn’t preceded by ‘should/ought/must/have to’ isn’t one you are entitled to have.

What you have instead is guilt – and is there a part of you that is now seeing some similarity between what you do with binge eating (and what you do in other areas of your life?).

If you ignore what you want and, instead, do what you think you should; you end up feeling guilty or resentful – and that makes you miserable…and, eventually, that makes you….binge eat.  Doesn’t it?

You  may be struggling with this – or you may be getting chills of recognition.  I may have crossed a line for you – that says I don’t know what I’m talking about – or I may have made you listen and think.

What you do with the thoughts you have is your choice; but let me share this story of success with you.

The people I work with who completely overcome binge eating – for good – are the ones who start expressing their own needs with others; who start asserting their needs (without anger or aggression – and in their own personal way); and who keep on doing it.  They start listening to what they want for themselves – and slowly believing that they are entitled to it.

They realise that it isn’t about being selfish.  It’s about valuing themselves and their points of view.

And do you know what amazes them the most?  The fact that when they start calmly expressing their needs, those people who used to take them for granted, start behaving differently too; in very surprising ways.

Suddenly, those former ‘binge eaters’ benefit from a new found respect, and co-operation from others.  They realise that, when you value yourself enough to calmly state your needs, you are merely stating that you are a person of value.

And people notice it; and recognise it; and act on it.  And you give them the opportunity to be better people too – to give back, to take some responsibility.

You all get to benefit.

(Even Mother Theresa knew that.  She had no qualms about calmly asserting her needs and demands to those who were in a position to help.).

And there you were, thinking it was just about the eating!

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