Ever get angry about everything? Have you been walking around with a case of the grumps? Has that been affecting your appetite? Are you craving chips and pretzels and anything crunchy? Or maybe you’re gnawing down on Milk Duds, biting down on bones, pulverizing hard candies?

No matter what your food drug of choice is, it’s your body’s way of saying that you’re under pressure and you’re upset about something. No judging–just pay attention.

Basically, to your body, stress in your life shows up as your emotions going out of whack. It’s kind of like a short in a circuit. What’s actually happening in the moment is all the blood is rushing to your forebrain making it impossible for you to think straight. So you go on autopilot and do what you’ve done a million times before. If you’re an eater and you find comfort in eating, you’ll eat.

The Body/Mind Connection At Work

The thing is your body and your thoughts are really like two different sides of the same coin; what affects your mind, affects your body and vice versa.  When you find yourself getting upset and irritable and just plain ugly, then you want to take a look at what’s really behind that. Now let’s look at this in the context of your relationship with food.

What’s Your Food Saying About You?

The type of food that you crave during a binge will give you clues to let you know how you’re feeling. Sweet treats will make you feel good and lull you into a relaxed state. In fact they may drop your blood sugar so much, that you’ll find yourself falling asleep and needing to catch a few ZZZZZZ’s after a plunge in the chocolate bin.

Cravings for nuts and crunchy or chewy foods are often signs that you’re wanting to chomp down on something to make your feelings of anger go away. For many people who binge, communicating their feelings and feeling safe enough to be honest about them is a particularly difficult challenge.

A Binge Is a Temper Tantrum

In her book, “Binge Eating: How to Stop It Forever,” Psychotherapist, Gloria Arenson, MS, MFT, D.CEP says, a binge always has to do with feelings– usually resentment, frustration and rage. There are two kinds of temper tantrum binges; food anger and emotional anger.”

Food anger is the fallout from years of feeling deprived as a dieter or someone watching your weight. Have you ever been on a diet for a long time and when you ended it, you couldn’t seem to stop eating everything that wasn’t nailed down. You’re not alone, that’s a natural consequence of deprivation. There have even been studies on it, but that’s for another post.

Back to thinking about your binges as tantrums. Have you ever waited so long to eat during the day that when you got home, instead of having a regular dinner, your meal turned into an all night bingefest? Waiting too long to eat will trigger a binge. That’s another form of food anger.

During the years when I was a dieter, I used to be terrified of eating in public, always assuming that I was being judged for what I ate. I would fill up on water or iced tea and pick delicately at a salad or politely finish a bowl of soup, spoon by spoon. I used to do this fake out eating because I was terrified of people seeing me eat. Then once I got home for the rest of the day and night, I would ravage my fridge and cabinets in search of anything to stuff down.

Then just at the stroke of 12, I stopped eating everything, and went to bed. The next day I was the first person to enter the Weight Watchers center to be weighed, preparing to atone for my fat sins. That was my ritual when I was trying to be good on a diet.

When I wasn’t in that space of mind, I went the “what the hell” direction and disappeared from my meetings and weigh ins for months at a time.

It’s that all or nothing thinking that is your worst enemy. Deprivation leads to binging and the guilt and shame that comes as a doggie bag with that overeating wears down your self-esteem.

The second type of temper tantrum binge relates to your emotions. If you’re a binge eater, I’m going to guess and say that you’re probably a really nice person who is very likeable and friendly. As Gloria Arenson says, binge eaters are usually nice people, nonassertive and accomodating.” A binge is a way to “swallow” anger. Take it from me, you can stuff down anger so long that you leave yourself numb and unable to feel. That’s what makes it possible to smile when your heart is aching.

But you can’t fool your body. It talks in its own language. As I mentioned recently on my Blogtalkradio show,  “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” the way that you feel about your body is the way that you feel about your life.

If you want to stop being overcome by your binges, and feel more comfortable in your own skin, you have to begin to understand that your binges are your body’s way of crying out for help. Let me help you to decode your FAT chat and save you from falling down the rabbithole.

Want to know more? I invite you to listen to the recording of my “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” radio show. Check out the episode entitled: Body Bashing: What’s Really Behind Your FAT ‘n Uglies?