So what DO these two seemingly unrelated things (binging and Facebook stalking) have in common?
Let me explain.
Last week I wrote about emotions and food. Namely, that when you start to feel your emotions and not use food to numb out, escape, or forget about your feelings, it ain’t always pretty.
And one of my clients was confused. And so I launched into this crazy metaphor about Facebook Stalking and she had an a-ha moment. So I realized this was a must-share.
Because, c’mon…who hasn’t engaged in bit of harmless Facebook stalking? I’ve stalked ex’s, girlfriends of ex’s, friends of ex’s, ex-girlfriends of current flames, handsome guys at the gym, you name it, I’ve probably done some detective work around them. (I am a professional Facebook investigator, so if you need help, just lemme know 🙂 )
But I digress.
Back to the metaphor…
You know right before you binge? That frantic, desperate, must-eat-everything feeling? The one that is SO hard to not give in to?
Yep, that’s the one I’m talking about.
Let’s say you get home from work and you’ve had a rough day. Your company is doing layoffs and you aren’t sure you’ll make the cut. You begin to question your self-worth and the value you bring to your job. You aren’t even sure you like your job, but have no idea what else you want to do. On top of that stress, your significant other left the house a mess, the dog tore up the pillow he grabbed from your bed and there’s nothing to eat for dinner.
But then you think of the Girl Scout cookies you just bought from a co-worker. 3 boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas, and Peanut Butter Patties. They are in your purse calling your name.
I shouldn’t eat them, you think. I know I’ll just regret it. I know I can’t stop at just one. And I know the 3 boxes will probably be gone in the blink of an eye.
But that familiar compulsion starts to kick in. The more you battle yourself and try not to eat them, the more you want them.
The mental fighting reaches new heights. It’s like WW 3 going on inside your mind.
Don’t eat them, you don’t need them, you’re already fat, you are trying to be good, DON’T DO IT! (The voices are screaming louder).
But just have a few, it’ll make you feel better, they are so tasty, I really just want to eat right now, DO IT! (The rationale side of your mind reasons).
The pressure gets to be too much and so you give in.
You tear open the Peanut Butter patties and the gooey, delicious cookie instantly gives you a hit of goodness. You compulsively eat a few more and before you know it, an entire sleeve is gone.
Then you’re left with that familiar self-hatred, guilt, and disgust. How could you do this to yourself? You are a failure.
Let’s rewind to the beginning for a second.
You get home from work and are feeling awful. You feel stressed about work, uncertain about your future, resentful at your partner, and angry at your dog.
That’s a lot of stuff to deal with!
Of COURSE the cookies are calling your name.
Because if you eat the cookies, you won’t have to deal with the difficult, uncomfortable feelings that are going on inside.
So what does this have to do with Facebook stalking?
(Stay with me for a second!)
You know how when you break up with someone, it’s so tempting to still have contact with them? I remember ending a relationship with a guy I had dated for 3 years. He was an amazing guy, we just wanted different things in life. I broke off the relationship. Except we worked together…
So I would email him about something I “needed” and could he come up and fix it?
I would drive by to see if his car was there and if he was working.
I would plan to go to the same grocery store where we both got lunch when he took his lunch break.
I called him when I had too many glasses of wine.
And of course, I Facebook stalked him. I was furious when I saw him in a picture with another girl and called to talk about it. I investigated all of his new friends, any girl that wrote on his wall, and played detective on any new Facebook activity.
Where did this all get me?
Nowhere. Keeping in contact with him only caused more pain, more heartbreak, and more loneliness. I wanted to keep in touch because it was too hard to break it off completely. He had been a part of my life for 3 years. He was my best friend. It broke my heart to lose him, even if I knew it was right.
And so I guarded myself from pain in the best way I knew how: I didn’t cut him out of my life completely.
And yet, it only served to worsen the breakup, prolong the inevitable, and distract me from dealing with what I needed to deal with to move on.
I’ve always been the type to prolong breakups. Even though I know it’s easier to just rip the band-aid off at first, to make a clean break and cut them out completely. Delete their number, unfriend them on Facebook, take the photos down, and cut all ties.
But it’s SO HARD to do that.
And that’s what I want you to know about binging.
It is SO HARD to be in those feelings. To sit in that compulsion when you feel that desperate desire to eat. To allow the discomfort when your mind is screaming for a distraction.
It is SO HARD to feel those emotions. To feel stressed about your job, uncertain about your future, resentful at your partner and angry at your dog.
But when you can resist it at first, it is SO MUCH EASIER later.
One of the ladies in Healing From Within said on our group call this week that she actually felt her feelings for the first time instead of turning to food!
She said it wasn’t easy…it was uncomfortable and strange. But she was SO much happier later when she realized that she hadn’t eaten over it!
And that’s what I want you to know.
Just like a breakup, the intense pain of cutting off ties completely is immensely difficult.
And with binging, the intense discomfort of feeling exactly what you’re feeling is super hard.
But with both, dealing with the hard, intense stuff up front, it is SO WORTH IT in the long run.
Go through the hard stuff at first, and then have it be easier for you later on.
So, tell me…how can you apply this metaphor to YOUR life this week? Share in the comments below (Please tell me you’ve learned something from my crazy, off-the-wall metaphor 🙂 )