Binge Banishers – The start of a series

…because Excuses Won’t Cure You!

I’ve decided to use this blog to throw in, every few entries or so, an  “excuse- buster” for every reason for bingeing that I have either heard, read, or experienced, or if I happen to come across any interesting  information related to EXCUSES (sorry,  reasons….) for bingeing, because there are a heck of a lot of them out there, and boy oh boy they are very effective at keeping you in from moving on, so I’m hoping that when you read them   you can consider them,  be honest with yourself and if they apply to you, use the strategies to STOP them,  and banish them forever because you don’t  need them in your life any more, do you?

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit of late, and while I was working up in London today I was reminded of a lady who pioneered (in my opinion) some really excellent programmes for bulimia sufferers back in the 1980s.  Some of you will have heard of her, or have read her books, (long out of print now sadly) or you might have even met her, as I did. Her name is Paulette Maisner and she founded and ran a centre for eating disorders in the Brighton and Hove area for some time. Today, the dietary approaches she used would make sense, as she believed that substances such as sugar were highly addictive and a protein- based diet was helpful for bulimics, as it regulated blood sugars, settled things down and reduced cravings. She used a lot of behavioural approaches too of course, but when I first read her books and was introduced to her programmes  I was a bit……well…cynical. At first anyway.  Protein? Every meal? A tin of tuna for breakfast? Bluuuurgh.  (This was in the era of low – fat, high carb diets;  it all felt a bit “out there” )..but at the same time I knew that she was on to something.  And of course she was; she was a lady ahead of her time for sure.

One of her books was called “Excuses Won’t Cure You”. It came to mind because I happened to be in the location where I first met her today and I was reminded of her as I had been thinking about items for this blog.  I remembered her books and as I was jotting away on the train home  I started to list some of the reasons I’ve come across that people use to stay where they are, that is, a cycle of bingeing, sometimes starving or dieting in between, and bingeing again- and here’s the thing- it might seem a strange thing to say but it can actually feel too scary to stop something that has been part of your life for so long  that it kind of feels as though it’s an integral part of you- even if it’s a negative part (same as with any addiction really) and so… all sorts of EXCUSES creep in and your brain will rationalise them……making it OK to continue…..and  so you have a “reason” for not getting that fantastic job, a hobby, friends and a social life, a partner / husband, etc.  Yes, yes, binge eating is to blame for all of it.  And of course, many binge eaters are perfectionists, so until everything is “perfect” – perfect diet, perfect weight, perfect body- well, life just can’t start, can it? And is a “new life” perhaps a bit daunting? No excuses left if things don’t go perfectly for you?

So- you know what? I happen to agree with Paulette- these  “reasons” might all appear to be valid to you- but as long as you let them in to your brain and allow them to stay there, they become excuses that keep you tied to your current life, making you miserable and therefore excuses  will NOT cure you – you need to have a strategy for getting them OUT OF YOUR LIFE!

Oh and by the way- you know that life that you are waiting to get? It’s actually happening NOW- binge eating or not- so why not start enjoying it even though (whisper it)…it might not be perfect?  Perfect’s boring anyway!

So, it’s partly in a homage to Paulette Maisner that I’ll be using “Excuses Wont Cure You” as the title for these Binge-Banisher blog entries, and hope she won’t mind!

Number 1 coming soon!