When those addicted to substances like food, drugs or alcohol, make the decision to find help and abstain from imbibing, their impulse doesn’t automatically cease. Fierce determination and resignation are necessary to remain sober or clean. Those with food addictions like overeating however, have a different kind of challenge. Food is necessary for the body to sustain itself, and is a huge part of our daily lives. Food and food-like substances are offered for sale practically everywhere we turn.
There are a number of theories associated with why a person becomes addicted to food. Eating disorders can be a result of trauma, such as sexual abuse, incest or rape. The survivors of these heinous crimes can put on weight to protect themselves. Eating is also a method for stuffing one’s feelings. Using food as a means of self soothing or helping to deal with stress is also indicative of overeating.
Tools are available to help overeaters with what can be termed as unconscious habitual behavior. Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who through shared experience, strength and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating. Therapies for overeating include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. According to the Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing International Association (EMDRIA) the model, Desensitizing Triggers and Urge Reprocessing (DeTUR) is a new approach based on the information processing model of EMDR. It is used with EMDR as an integral part of a comprehensive plan for the treatment of addictions and dysfunctional behaviors, and includes overeating.
In addition, individuals can practice a simple distraction technique. When their mind signals an impulse to eat cookies or chips, for example, they can make the decision to set a timer for five minutes. During that time, they do something other than think about the food. When the timer goes off, they can determine if they still want the cookies or chips. Of significant importance to this technique is for them to figure out if a feeling had triggered the urge.
This technique allows the overeater to control their impulse. It puts them in the driver’s seat—in other words, they get to make the decision to eat or not. If they choose not to eat, they can walk away with a positive experience for impulse control. One positive outcome can beget many more.
“This is your body, your greatest gift, pregnant with wisdom you do not hear, grief you thought was forgotten, and joy you have never known.” – Marion Woodman
If you someone you know is struggling with drugs and alcohol, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can help to get you sober. Our 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy can show you how to adorn your soul in recovery.
Call us today: 844-720-6847