Monthly Archives: October 2011

Friday Q & A – Everytime I smoke Pot, I binge eat- Help!

Question: Everytime I smoke pot, I binge eat. I really wish that I didn’t, is there something I can do to prevent this?

Answer:

Your brain contains cannabinoid receptors, which are specialized proteins that react to particular stimuli to produce results such as pleasure, pain relief, and hunger. The THC in marijuana is the number one stimuli that acts on cannabinoid receptors. Your body produces endogenous cannabinoids, receptors inside your body which send a signal to your brain that it’s time to eat. Those endogenous cannabinoids are abundant in your hypothalmus, which is the part of your brain that regulates appetite.  So, when you smoke marijuana, you don’t just think you’re hungry, you are really, really hungry and you really want to eat. And, because your inhibitions are suppressed, using your tools to deal with binge eating is close to impossible.

So, that being said, you might want to limit or quit your marijuana use. As with binge eating, you might want to look at why you are choosing to smoke. Is it because you are trying not to deal with some very difficult feelings? Are you hiding from something? Is it recreational- done for fun? Is it social- something that you do to bond with friends? Is it something that you believe you need for a medical purpose?

So, the quick answer is, if you want to prevent the binge eating that comes with smoking pot, you should probably not introduce the binge eating trigger. Some triggers are hard to avoid, ie: talking to you Mom on the phone, passing by a certain bakery that’s right next to your apartment. Some are easy, ie: smoking marijuana, looking at your ex-boyfriend’s facebook page.  If you decide that you want to stop using marijuana, but are finding that it’s hard to avoid it, even if you want to, you might want to check out an MA meeting and get the support that you need from others who have gone through it.

Magically, I have several clients who suffered terribly with binge eating and found that as soon as they quit using weed, the bingeing just stopped. They later realized that it wasn’t the binge eating that was a problem, it was the marijuana. Best of luck to you.

Another Study about Why Diets Don’t Work

This article,Why Dieter’s Tend to Regain Weight showed up in yesterday’s  LA Times.  A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine has proven that certain hormones stay active in dieters to keep them exceedingly hungry for at least a year after weight loss has been achieved. 500 people were put on a very low calorie diet. After a year, most of the dieters had a rebound in weight gain.  ” 52 weeks after subjects had completed their crash diets and were struggling to maintain their loss, that cacophony of hormones was sending a single message, loudly, clearly and after every meal: Eat more.”

It’s funny because there have been several different studies out there that disprove the efficacy of dieting, and for so many reasons, diets trigger binges, they trigger eating disorders, they slow down metabolism, they limit nutrition, they create food obsession and psychological distress… but this study proves that they actually work against your body and cause rebound weight gain, so the dieting cycle becomes vicious. It becomes addictive. You wind up right back where you started.

But so then what should you do if you feel that you need to lose weight for health reasons? Seeing a board certified nutritionist  to help you learn proper nutrition and appropriate portion sizes is a start. Working with a group or therapist to help you deal with stress eating and emotional eating issues can also be helpful. Read through this blog for several tips on dealing with binge eating, emotional eating, stress eating, etc. Give your body love and respect without trying to punish it for simply being what it is. Care for it and nurture it without depriving or punishing it with either restriction or bingeing.

 

 

Friday Q&A- My husband doesn’t know I have an Eating Disorder, what should I do?

Question: I’m 34 years old and have been suffering with bulimia on and off  since I was 18 years old.  I’ve been married for the past 7 years and we have two kids, my husband doesn’t know that I binge and purge. I am really good at hiding the evidence. I can go weeks sometimes months, and in one case over a year without bingeing and purging. I’m afraid that if my husband knew he would look at me differently, and I don’t want him watching over me or monitoring me. At the same time, I feel like I’m living a double life and I hate it. I’m miserable and I feel like a liar. What should I do?     -D

Answer: Hi D, I’m sorry that you’re struggling so much.  I understand what a challenging position you are in. There’s a lot at stake here, by telling your husband you might potentially:

1.)Change the image that he has of you.

2.)Leave him to feel betrayed and depressed.

3.)Have to give up your eating disorder because he will know.

These are all valid points, but, in my opinion, not enough to warrant keeping this secret. First off, if you are in a loving, sharing relationship, you are there to support each other. Ideally your husband will to help you through your recovery process. We all enter marriages in sickness and in health and allowing him to support you is important not just for your recovery but for the long term health of your relationship. Many people want to try to recover by themselves without telling their partners, however, eating disorders thrive in isolation. By keeping them secret, you keep the fire going that continues to ignite the eating disorder. Think about some of the reasons that you don’t want to tell him. Perhaps you are afraid that by telling him, you will no longer be able to hold onto your eating disorder any longer. Perhaps you are afraid of the way he will act around you or that he will monitor your food intake.  You might want to bring him into couples counseling with an eating disorder specialist to help you explain to him what’s going on. He might have the instinct to fix it.  It’s your responsibility to let him know that it’s not his issue to fix, but to tell him what you do need.  Getting this secret out will help you to feel less anxious and stressed out about it. Often, partners do know that something is going on and the longer it goes on, the more it can drive a wedge between the two of you.

If you don’t have faith that your relationship is loving and supportive and you don’t believe that it would survive this disclosure, I would definitely recommend couples counseling.

Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy  at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location.

How do I Stop Binge Eating? – Top 20 Ways to Stop Binge Eating

Here is a quick little round up of different ways to heal from binge eating. Several of these tips are longer posts in other parts on this blog, so you can bookmark this page and come back and read more when you are ready or just go through the tips quickly. Enjoy!

1.)Eat a balanced, healthy breakfast with protein every morning. Starting your day off with a solid meal will stave off hunger and mindless eating during the day that can trigger binge eating.

2.)Give up Dieting. Diets actually cause binge eating. Instead begin to adapt healthy eating patterns by adding a healthy habit instead of subtracting a kind of food or food group.

3.)Get Support. Binge eating is a disease of isolation and secrets. When you attempt to recover in private, you perpetuate the isolation that drives the disorder. Getting support helps you to be accountable and helps you to talk it out with other people who are going through the same issues. Good places to go to for support: A therapist, a 12 step group, an online support forum, online or telephone meetings.

4.)Don’t let yourself get very hungry. When you let yourself get very hungry, your blood sugar drops which in impairs cognitive skills. Your body just needs glucose and it needs it now, so instinctively, you will start to grab for anything you can to raise blood sugar. Instead, use the hunger and satiety scale to help yourself eat what your body needs.

5.)Learn intuitive eating. This is the opposite of dieting, where your body is the wise one that lets you know what, how much, and when you need to eat. Your body wants to be healthy, so learning to listen and respond to it, will help you to find peace with food and with your body.

6.)Exercise Daily. This doesn’t mean spending arduous hours at the gym or running 5 miles a day. This is about moving your body. The more you move it, the more aware of it you are, and the better you begin to treat it. This can mean anything from 30 minutes of walking each day, to doing yoga, or going on a jog, or lifting weights or even just window shopping. But moving and being out in the world is crucial. Need some motivation to exercise? Try this. 

7.)Learn Mindful Eating. Mindful eating is the act of slowing down and actually noticing, tasting and being with your food. Mindfulness is about being in the here and now. Binge eating is about chasing the taste. You don’t necessarily taste your food when you’re bingeing because your waiting for the next taste, the next bite, and this hunger is insatiable. When you incorporate mindful eating, you learn how to stop and interrupt a binge. Mindful eating is peaceful, yet it is an amazingly effective tool in fighting binge eating.  Check out a guided visualization to learn mindful eating. 

8.)Add more protein. Nutritionally, protein will feed your brain, keep you feeling fuller longer and it will help your brain to function better so that you can make better choices about what kinds of food to eat.  This doesn’t mean eschewing carbohydrates, but eat your protein first so that you can make better choices about the next bite.

9.)Set a timer. When you feel the urge to binge, set a timer for 20 minutes, in that time, do something different other than binge. Let yourself know that you can binge if you still want to in 20 minutes. Often the very act of interrupting the compulsion will stop it.

10.)Meditate. Daily meditation will help you to slow down so that you can think about what you’re doing. You don’t even have to do it every day or make a big deal about having a practice. You can spend a few minutes each day breathing. Even in the middle of a work day, you can escape to the bathroom, close your eyes and breath for a few minutes to help slow down and ward off stress. You might want to download meditations to stop binge eating.

11.)Eat by the clock. If you are too entrenched in binge eating, the when part of intuitive eating might be difficult. So, at the beginning, when you are first starting to recover,  you might want to set some parameters around when to eat. Example. Breakfast 8am. Snack 11am Lunch 1pm. Snack 4pm. Dinner 8pm. Or whatever feels right for your. Don’t forget to include at least three meals per day.

12.)Give Up Diet Coke.  A lot of people who suffer from Eating Disorders are addicted to Diet Coke. There are some theories that postulate that diet drinks cause weight gain. That may or may not be true. But what is true is that many binge eaters attempt to substitute food with diet soda. This causes bloating, discomfort and lethargy, all of which contribute to body disconnection making  binge eating more palatable.

13.)Remind yourself “I can always have it later.” Because binge eaters view food as so black and white (this is a special occasion, I have to eat it now) they tend to justify their binges. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to eat Pumpkin Pie. Seriously. You will not stay up all night regretting what you chose not to binge on. This isn’t the last time that you can eat ice cream, it’s not black and white, it’s not all or nothing, that pumpkin pie will always exist. But do you need it right now? Can you have it tomorrow instead? Think about what your body needs in the moment.

14.)Know your triggers. Does going to the movies make you binge on popcorn? Does Halloween make you binge on Almond Joys? Does going to your parents house make you binge on bread? Does looking at facebook cause you to binge on candy? Does looking at fashion magazines cause you to binge on pasta? Get to know why and when you binge and intercept these events at the pass. Find ways to deal with the binge before it happens. For instance, if you know that going to the movies causes you to binge on popcorn, get there without time to go to the concession stand.

15.)Get more sleep. Being tired can cause binge eating. Again, being more cognizant and mindful of what you are doing can help you to extinguish these behaviors.

16.)Treat yourself with Love. Remember to do nice things for yourself at least once a day. This could be showering, taking care of your nails, your hair, your skin, making your bed.  Being self nurturing will remind you of your own value so that you can feel better about yourself.

17.)Don’t compare yourself to others. You have your own path and your own dharma. Comparing yourself to others takes you off your path and stunts you. Try to look forward and move forward on your path rather than stopping yourself by looking longingly at other people’s paths.

18.)Be kind to your body. Learn how to love your body.  Don’t say mean things to your body, don’t call it fat. Don’t engage in fat chat with other people. Don’t bond with others by discussing how fat you are or what different diets your going to go on. Don’t talk about other people’s bodys’ no matter what they look like.

19.)Learn how to fight the urge to binge eat. Remember that wanting to binge isn’t enough of a reason to binge. Even if it feels overhwhelming. Remember that you are stronger than the urge to binge.

20.)You are not perfect. If you have a slip, just start again. You don’t have to wait for the next day, you have millions of moments to start over. Start over immediately. Wash your hands, wash your face, take a shower and just recover from the binge. You can do that in any given moment.

 

How to Be More Patient

What even is patience? We spend so much time quoting the virtues of patience, yet most of us find ourselves extremely impatient.

According to wikipedia, patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, and is studied as a decision making problem, involving the choice of either a small reward in the short term, or a more valuable reward in the long term. When given a choice, all animals, humans included, are inclined to favour short term rewards over long term rewards. This is despite the often greater benefits associated with long term rewards.

No wonder it’s so difficult to avoid compulsive behaviors when we are evolutionarily inclined to choose instant gratification over long term happiness.

But how much better would our lives be if we were all patient? Compulsivity is mixed with this primal fear of “I’ll never have this opportunity again. It’s now or never…”  Which is why so many people fall prey to compulsive spending, compulsive eating, compulsive sexual behavior, get rick quick schemes and all sorts of compulsivity. This is a very  animal behavior.  Patience is a learned, newer, evolved behavior that is not instinctual.

Of course patience (or lack of) and eating disorders go hand in hand. For compulsive dieters who alternately restrict and binge,  there is the inherent fear that we only have that one single opportunity to have that ice cream sundae, because come Monday, we can never have anything like that again. And on the flip side of it, comes dieting. The belief is that we need to be thin immediately, so if we do something drastic, like cut out all carbohydrates for 2 weeks, we will lose a dramatic amount of weight in a very short period of time. This is rather than taking time to get to know your body, understand what it needs and cultivate mindful eating and intuitive eating and healthy exercise.  This takes patience.

So as animals, if patience is not instinctual,  how do we cultivate patience?

1.) Patience is a learned trait, so first off, tell yourself that you are going to be patient with this learning process. It’s not going to come instantly. So every time you lose your patience, forgive yourself and accept that you are working against human instinct.

2.)Decide what patience means to you. How are you choosing to be patient? What does that pertain to? What kind of patience do you want more of in your life?

3.)Try some patience exercises. My favorite is washing dishes. Rather than loading up your dishwasher (if you have one) make a plan to wash your dishes slowly and mindfully. As you do, allow yourself to actually savor the experience of washing the dishes. Feel the warm water on your hands, enjoy the satisfying feeling of completion as each dish is cleaned, try to enjoy the time as it passes. Listen to music, breath, let yourself relax into the chore rather than waiting for it to be done. When you begin to allow yourself to melt into your world in the present and enjoy your time moment-by-moment, you are learning patience. The opposite of patience is trying to quickly reach the end.

4.)REMEMBER TO BREATHE! When you are feeling impatient (either standing online or waiting in traffic, or running late or wanting to exercise or eat compulsively) take a break and turn inward and just breathe. Bring yourself into the present and get away from the future.

5.)When it comes to food and weight, remind yourself of all the diets you have tried and where it’s brought you and all the time that you’ve wasted. Take it day-by-day  and even moment-by-moment (rather than  saying something like “i’m cutting out all fat, sugar, and wheat for the next 30 days”) and each day make an intention about finding health and well-being. And if for some reason you find that you’ve had a slip, forgive yourself and move on to the next moment. Each moment in your life gives you an opportunity  to choose the behavior that you want.

6.)Keep the big picture in mind. Remember that the opposite of patience is impatience and compulsive behavior. When you find yourself ready to act out compulsively, slow down and think about what is really important to you. For instance, if you all of a sudden find yourself wanting to return a text message but you’re driving, either pull over to do it, or wait. The safety of yourself and others around you is more important than reading or returning a text.

7.)Figure out what people and what situations trigger your impatience or compulsive behavior. Try to make it a game. Practice patience around these people or situations.

8.)Visualize the future the way you want it to look and then just let it go. Know that you can have the life that you want but not instantly, that the journey is important as well.

9.)Laugh a lot. Especially when things aren’t going as planned. Having a sense of humor about yourself, life, the world around you can help you to relax into it. Life is too serious to be taken too seriously.

10.)Let go of the impatience and anxiety in your body. When you are feeling tense and impatient, notice where you hold it in your body. Breath into those tight spots and try to let them loosen up.

11.)Eat something delicious very, very, very slowly. Take a half hour to sit and eat this thing that you love. Don’t scarf it down, let yourself savor it, taste it, feel it. Engage all your senses. When you are finished, don’t immediately grab more. Know that you can have more at a later time or another day.

Hypnosis for Binge Eating

Download Hypnosis  for Binge Eating MP3 Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a therapist who also utilizes hypnotherapy in my practice, I often receive phone calls for people wanting hypnotherapy to help cure their binge eating.

Many people want long term Psychotherapy to understand and heal the family dynamics and past wounds that contributed to self esteem issues, binge eating issues, or eating disorder issues. I find this kind of work to be very valuable and I do encourage anyone who is grappling with an eating disorder to try and do weekly depth psychotherapy.

Hypnosis and meditation can be a wonderful complement to any recovery program. It is relaxing, peaceful, calming and effective in helping you reach your recovery goals.  Many people find a single hypnotherapy session to be incredibly helpful. They often leave a session feeling  refreshed, relaxed, and feeling more in control of their behaviors.  Even though I’ve been doing hypnotherapy since 1999, I’m still always impressed by how much better people feel when they leave my office after a hypnotherapy session.

Because I’ve seen it help so many people, I want to make it more accessible. I’ve decided to run through what a hypnotherapy session would look like and offer an MP3 of hypnosis for binge eating on this blog.

Okay, so if you were to come into my office for a hypnotherapy session, the first thing I would ask you is to tell me what your binge eating looks like. So, for instance, answer these questions:

1.)When do your binges occur? What time of day?

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2.)How often do you binge?

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3.)What do you binge on? (List your binge foods)

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4.)Are there certain situations that cause you to binge? (You might figure this out as you go along)

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These questions are used to help you bring awareness to your binge eating. So, as we establish patterns, you can begin to think about how to break those patterns. For instance, if you notice that you binge each night after work, create a list of alternatives that you can do each night instead of binge eating. Some people like to go to a cafe and work on their computer, catch up with their emails, or talk to friends, some people take walks, or go to the gym, some people opt to go home, but choose not to have binge food in the house and instead use the time for just relaxing in a hot bath. This post gives some alternatives.  Binge eating often occurs as an unconscious response, almost a Pavlovian response. So if you can bring some awareness to it (knowing that the end of the work day = binge eating) you will have the foresight to create some consciousness. This way you have more of a choice as to whether or not you want to binge. Often it feels as though you don’t have a choice. It’s just an unconscious response. Bringing awareness will create a choice for you.

Knowing what foods you binge on is helpful as well. I’ve had many, many people come in and say, “I’ve thought about just getting rid of all the peanut butter and cereal in my house because I binge on it, but I realized that it’s unhealthy to do that, lots of people have those things in their house and don’t binge on them, I can learn to do that. ”  To that I respond, “No. Don’t keep binge foods in your house right now. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s about keeping you safe.”  If you were a recovering alcoholic would you keep vodka in your house because other people can drink vodka? If you were a recovering cocaine addict would you keep cocaine in the house?  Of course not.  Don’t compare yourself to others. If there are foods that you binge on, don’t keep them in the house. It’s not fair to you. If there are other people in the house who want them in there, negotiate with them to either keep the food out of the house or put it in a place like high up in a cabinet that you cannot reach, so you’d have to think about it (bring consciousness) to it  before eating it, or you can get a lock for the cabinet that your binge foods are in. This is all okay. It’s important to keep yourself safe. This isn’t for always, this is just for now as you decrease and heal from your binge eating.

There might be certain situations that cause you to binge eat, for instance, visiting your parents, or talking to your boss, or seeing a certain friend put an update of Facebook— think about your binge triggers. Beginning to find connections about what causes you to binge eat rather than just trying to have the willpower not to binge eat will make this journey easier. So, if you know in advance that certain people on Facebook trigger your symptoms–  hide those people. If you know that going to your parents’ house triggers a binge, line up a group of people to call before you go, and after you come back. In 12-steps, this is known as “book-ending.” You talk to someone before you go to your parents’ house and tell them that it’s your intention not to binge while you’re there or after you come back. You call them on your way home from your parents’ house to tell them your intention and ways that you plan on taking care of yourself without food after you come home. If you need extra support while you’re at your parents’ house, you can always call the support person/people that you’ve lined up ahead of time.  If you know that talking to your boss sends you right to the vending machines, either walk outside your office building to go for a walk, or head to the phone to talk to a support person and decompress from your meeting with your boss.

It’s about knowing what your triggers are and making plans ahead of time to not let these triggers bring you to a bad place.

Binge eating can be such an unconscious behavior. What we are trying to do here is make it conscious. Many people say that they feel as though they don’t have a choice in the matter, they just wind up “waking up” in the middle of a binge, almost unsure as to how they got there. The goal of hypnosis is to keep you conscious. For you to be aware of when you’re thinking about binge eating, to know that you are stronger than the urge to binge eat. To know that you are in charge, not the binge. To know that this will just pass. As the days pass, you will find that letting go of binge eating becomes easier and easier.

Next is utilizing an Alternative Choice Journal. Every time you feel the urge to binge, use this tool:

Feelings: Describe what you are feeling right now- happy? sad? anxious? angry? tired? lonely?:
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What led to this feeling? Can you pinpoint the trigger?
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Describe what kind and how much food your are fantasizing about:
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How do you hope that this will make you feel? What outcome are you looking for?
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How do you think this will really make you feel? What are the negative consequences of acting out on this urge?

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Is there something else that you can do that might be able to give you a similar feeling as you are trying to achieve with food?

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Use this device each time you want to use food. By use food, I’m referring to those times when you’re not hungry and it’s not time to eat a healthy meal, but when you want to go and rip into something. Often, it’s hard to catch these times at the beginning, so use this journal every time you do binge. It will help you begin to draw parallels between your feelings, the situations that got you there and the binges.

And finally, the hypnosis. This should be listened to in a quiet place. You can download it to your computer, but I suggest using headphones, or listening to it on an ipod. Find a place where you can have total peace and quiet for 25 minutes. Lay down, relax, close your eyes and allow yourself to listen. Listen as often as you like. Many people like to listen at night before bed because they find that it helps them relax very deeply. Many people find that it’s very easy to fall asleep after listening.  I often receive many emails and phone calls telling me that after a hypnosis session, people really feel as though they just don’t have the urge to binge eat anymore.

Hypnosis is really just very deep meditation. You will close your eyes and relax deeply. It helps you to bring awareness and consciousness to your everyday actions while allowing you to go very deeply inward and find peace and calmness within.

The download is available immediately. Click here to download hypnosis for binge eating

 

For additional hypnosis downloads for eating disorders and body image, click here!

Would You Rather Be a Mermaid or a Whale?

via: Delphine Fieberg on Facebook

the photo is French model Tara Lynn

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

“Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?! ”

 

How amazing are you? Do tell in the comments!

How do Deal with People Who Trigger your Issues

One of the really challenging things about recovery is being out in the real world,  around other people who either aren’t aware of or working on healing their disorder, or who don’t actually have a problem with the behaviors that you must stay abstinent from.

Some examples:

A bunch of people (presumably men) get together for a bachelor party and, as is traditional with American bachelor parties, they go to a strip club. But let’s say one of those men is a sex addict and one trip to a strip club has him spending the next several weeks going to strip clubs daily, spending all his money, ruining his relationship, and feeling unable to stop.

A group of ladies go out to Sunday morning brunch and all order Mimosas with their omelets. One women has a problem with alcohol and after brunch spends the rest of the day at bars drinking,

A woman has spent the past few years recovering from anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive exercise. She moves into a new apartment with a roommate who eats very little and exercises constantly. She begins to think that she should be stepping it up on her exercise and reducing her food intake, this then triggers a binge-purge cycle for her and she relapses into her eating disorder.

Recovery is hard. And when you are surrounded by people who have behaviors that trigger your own very dysfunctional behaviors, it can seem impossible. You might begin to feel angry and resentful. You might begin to wonder why it is that other people can do these certain things, but yo can’t. You might feel that it’s unfair. You might even begin to think that their behavior is normal and that it’s okay for you to do the things that you had spent so long trying not to do. It’s a trap.

If you are allergic to mangoes, you cannot eat mangoes no matter what. Even if you are at a party and everyone else is eating mango and talking about how great the mangoritas, and the mango salsa, and the fresh mango juice is, you cannot go near those mangoes because your throat will close up, you will break out in hives all over your body and you will wind up in the hospital being pumped with epinephrine.  Are you resentful of those who can enjoy mangoes?

That’s the way you need to think of your eating disorder. “I just cannot go there. I know that everyone is sitting around eating Halloween candy, but if I eat a couple of Almond Joys, I will spend the rest of the week bingeing, possibly purging, and being depressed. It’s just not worth it. Just because she can doesn’t mean I can. I’ve been there before and I don’t want to go back.”

The best way to deal with this kind of pressure is to get support from those trying to heal themselves. You cannot kid yourself into thinking that because everyone else can handle it (supposedly and you don’t know what others are dealing with) that you can. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap.  It’s so easy to become resentful and angry. That’s okay and it’s normal, but don’t allow yourself to get pulled into the false belief that because others can diet, can snack on Halloween candy, can drink a glass of wine with dinner, can look at porn (whatever!) that you can. You are a perfect individual with your own individual issues.

When you find that others are triggering your issues, it’s important to either extricate yourself from the situation or to grab some support. For example, you’re at a party and you get into a discussion with a woman who begins to tell you about her latest diet. You don’t have to engage. You can excuse yourself from the conversation. You can change the subject, or you can even say, “I don’t believe in dieting,” or you’re at a party where everyone is overindulging in food and alcohol and you find that your self control is running out. Leave the party. Or find a private space and call someone else who is in recovery so that you don’t feel so alone.

Remember, everyone has their own issues, and just because people can seemingly do things that you cannot, doesn’t mean you have to give it a try. You know yourself the best. If going to an all you can eat buffet will hurt your recovery, don’t go. If you are being triggered, leave the situation and get support. If you can’t beat ‘em, don’t join ‘em. Leave ‘em.