Denial Creates Binging

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

Denial is the shock absorber for the soul. It protects us until we are ready to cope with reality.

- C.S. Lewis

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

We are three weeks into the new year. If you made resolutions, how are you doing? We’ve all heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. But, is this really true? My belief is that if and when you are trying to break an old habit, you must take into consideration how long it took you to develop that habit. It is unreasonable to expect if it took 3 months to form a habit, it will only take 21 days to break that habit. Likewise, if you desire to create a new habit, it will take some time (more than 21 days) to integrate that new habit into your life.

Have you ever wanted to create a new habit and it seemed like the Universe was conspiring against you? In the past, my goal has been to get up around 7:00 am every weekday morning. I would attempt, try and fail every time. Why? I finally realized that my morning internal clock did not like to be disturbed before 8:00 am unless it was to get up and go to the bathroom. There was something about 8:00 am that my body has regulated itself to. When I finally accepted this and leaned into it, my life became easier. Instead, I adjusted the time I went to bed and this was much, much easier! This was a habit that DID NOT WANT to be changed!

Then we have my belief that denial creates binging and binging creates denial. It is common that at the beginning of the year, some of us will say we want to lose weight, so we go on a diet.

See if this sounds familiar:

· Day 1

You’ve reached a point in your life where you’ve put on a few or more extra pounds. You decide a DIEt is the best way to proceed. You are fully committed to this process. You’ve given yourself the pep talk. You are ready to do this and lose those few or more extra pounds as soon as possible.

· Day 2

You commit to a DIEt to lose those few or more extra pounds. You’ve told your friends and family, you’ve replaced everything you love (the bad stuff that tastes good) with healthy choices (the good stuff that tastes bad). You’ve planned it. Maybe you’ve even identified an accountability partner.

· Day 3

The DIEt is a little harder than you expected. You have a busy life and it’s not always easy to plan a meal or make healthy choices especially in stressful situations. You’ve taken away all the things you love and replaced them with different things that are supposed to be good for you. You have no comfort food on your DIEt. You have no teeny tiny bites of chocolate or ice cream. You don’t even have the little bit of extra butter on your toast that brings you joy every morning.

· Day 4

You realize that this DIEt may not be so successful after all and start to cheat; sneaking a bite of this or a bite of that. After all, the smallest nibble isn’t going to hurt, is it?

You tell yourself you are willing to spend a little more time losing the weight if you can just have a little bit of the few things you enjoy.

· Day 5

By the end of the day, your brain starts playing tricks on you. You can’t think clearly or reason. Your body feels drained of energy. Your mind is foggy. The little bites you had yesterday now turn into a humongous portion and before you know it, you’ve eaten ALL OF IT! It tastes SOOOOO good! But because you denied yourself, you got carried away and went on a binge!

Now, please review how this word is spelled: DIEt. Is that how you felt? Like you were going to DIE? Why do we do this? To punish ourselves? Because we don’t think we deserve them? Our self-image has gotten so low that we can’t allow ourselves a little bit of joy and happiness? And we’ve gotten to a point where there is no moderation in anything anymore. We live in an instant gratification, supersize it, bigger is better, conspicuous consumption society. Our pendulums swing from one end of the spectrum to the other; from overindulgence to complete denial.

When you get ready to change a habit or create a new one, be gentle with yourself. Consider how long it took you to get to where you are and make reasonable adjustments. It is important to empower yourself with tools, resources and TIME! At my age, it hasn’t taken me 21 days to form any kind of habit. My current habits are the results of years not days. I know how to lose a few pounds in a healthy way that does not deny what I love. I know reducing portion size, drinking more water, adding a few more minutes to my exercise routine and only eating dessert a couple of times a week will help me reach my weight goal of losing 15 pounds in about 10 weeks.

Wake up in the morning and feel anything is possible!

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