Many times, especially while overeating, a person might mindlessly shovel handfuls of food into their mouth, completely disconnecting from the entire eating experience ( this is what I call a "Food Blackout"). While the bodies of these overeaters are giving them so many signals to "STOP," they just keep going through the motion of eating. Whether they're stressed, unhappy, heartbroken, bored, they've disconnected from their feelings and have turned to food to get some instant good feelings.
For overeaters these good feelings quickly dissipate and turn into guilt, disappointment, sadness, self-hate etc. But feeling emotionally crappy isn't the only consequence. If you've ever experienced overeating, you also know that your body feels just as horrible as your mind does. You might feel over-full, heavy, tired, nauseous, etc.
When I was a teen, I would open the cabinet and literally "black-out" or, unconciously eat and eat and eat. I'd snap out of the crazed, hypnotic state and realize my body felt terrible. This physical discomfort is what eventually caused me to stop overeating because I felt more motivated to stop feeling physically sick all the time than to overeat.
The thing is, every single time I opened the cabinet, I knew I was about to overeat. I would usually grab some food and say to myself "I probably shouldn't eat this buuuuuut....." Then, food-to-face and blackout.
When you catch yourself in the process, whether you're about to take your first bite or your 100th, you have the power to regain consciousness and redirect your thoughts and behaviors. Strengthening your mind-body awareness will help immensely during recovery.
Next time you reach for food when you're not hungry, ask yourself this question:
"How will eating this make my body feel in a few minutes?"
If your answer isn't positive, it might be useful to find something else to do- talk to someone, go for a walk, pick up the phone, read a book, etc. In coaching world, we call this "breaking state." After some time, your need to eat will disappear, because every feeling is temporary.
If you can successfully stop yourself from overeating even once- you're doing better than before. This is a victory. Relish in every small victory you encounter during your recovery, because this positivity eventually builds momentum which makes it easier to stop overeating next time.