In food recovery, we talk alot about triggers. When one of my best friends was recovering from bulimia, she ritualized the act of cleaning out the cabinets, cupboards, refrigerator of all her binge foods, or “triggers.”
While getting food out of the house is can certainly be a helpful ritual– the cleansing of the surroundings, the control and empowerment involved in that action; it is not the one act alone that will put an end to the food issues.
First off, most people who binge don’t really have binge foods in their house. In fact, most binge eaters and bulimics don’t have any food in the house other than the bare basics. Why?
a) They don’t trust themselves. — They are afraid of the binge, so they remove the temptation.
b) Most are black & white thinkers– because of that rigid thinking, they believe that if it’s in the house, they have failed and they must get it out so that they can start their day fresh and new.
If a binge eater wants to binge he or she will usually leave the house to buy their binge foods. Many supermarkets are open all night, so this really isn’t a problem in most urban areas.
So, does getting the trigger food out of the house work? Maybe a little. But not really.
Beacause food is not the trigger. You can’t get rid of the trigger. The trigger will happen nonetheless.
Some common triggers:
FEELING FULL. — this is ironic, but often, when someone with food and body image issues is feeling full, they will binge. The feeling of being full is so uncomfortable that they need to numb themselves to it.
Some possible help for this trigger.
a.) Taking a walk
b.) Calling a supportive friend
c.) Doing something to distract yourself and reminding yourself that the feeling will pass as you digest.
Why? We’re not allowed to be angry. As children many of us were given food to shut us up, which in turn brought us comfort. What else can we do when we’re angry?
Cry! Get support! Throw a good old fashioned temper tantrum.
More on Triggers later…