I still have urges to binge.
Not as frequent as I did and rarely do I engage in satisfying them, but the thoughts of checking out, disconnecting from my feelings, and mind-numbing to a box of donuts, still comes up from time to time.
I used to panic when the urges came. I’d immediately fill up with anxiety and try everything in my power not to take part in the act I knew I’d regret moments later.
So I’d resist the temptation to soothe with food, but without a proper strategy, I’d eventually give into all the cookies, chips, and ice cream that called my name.
What I didn’t know then, but know now, is that I needed to P.A.U.S.E.
The PAUSE method is an acronym I created in effort to help guide my clients recovering from feeling like food controls them, rather than them being in charge of their food–something I had to teach myself to get past the disordered eating behaviors that harbored me.
Here’s how you can use the PAUSE method the next time you have the urge to binge:
PAY ATTENTION—What’s happening? Where are you? What are you doing/not doing? Who are you with?
ASSESS HOW YOU FEEL—How are you feeling? Why are you feeling that way? What’s bothering you?
UNDERSTAND WHY YOU FEEL THAT WAY—How was your day? How are your relationships? Were you triggered? What did you watch/see? What did you hear? Did you overbook your schedule leaving little time to destress?
SET UP A PLAN—What has worked well for you in the past? What hasn’t? Where can you go? What can you do?
EXECUTE THAT PLAN—Call a friend, take a shower, write in your journal, meditate, brush your teeth, drink tea, go for a walk, eat a balanced meal you know will satisfy you, and/or give yourself permission to have the cake if that’s what you really want
With Lots Of Healthy Love,
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