Archive | July 2013

Help! I’m Bingeing! How Can I Stop?


“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom!” –William Blake

Celebrate failures. They are our teachers. Choose to learn from them.

You cannot know what is enough except through going to extremes.

“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”–Japanese proverb

I have a PhD in “bingeing!”  I have binged thousands of times. The insights and suggestions below have helped me gradually transform my relationship with food. At first, I overate 4 – 5 times/week, then it went down to 2 – 3 times/ week, and finally every other week, and then—miraculously, less and less often. Today, I almost NEVER overeat. It is due to my learning about my patterns and myself. The PRACTICE of these ideas leads to peace and healing. Ah.

Bob Shares His Bingeing History: Windows Media File–Click Here

Understand Your Brain Chemistry and How it Influences Food Cravings and Your Body Weight

1.  Ask yourself, what can you learn from the experience? What triggered the binge? Tune inside. Evaluate. Writing in a journal is a powerful tool that can help you find answers. Bob’s Priceless Discovery! and Explore Various Types of Diaries and Overcome Your Obstacles to Healthful Eating: Discover Your Solutions!

  •  When a food idea comes into your mind, remember that it is just an idea. Ask yourself WHY do you want that particular item?
  • Are you hungry, tired, depressed, anxious, or bored? Do you feel stressed out or emotionally overwhelmed, or some other difficult emotion? Force of habit?
  • Do you need some time for fun, relaxation and connection with others? Is your schedule too full—do you need a break?
  • Will food solve your problems or make them worse? What do you really need?
  • Were you too: P-HALT? Too: P=Pressured, H=Hungry, A=Angry, L=Lonely, T=Tired?
  • What were you saying to yourself (your self talk)? How does your self talk effect your food choices? I have found that when my self-talk is mean and self-condemning it frequently triggers a binge for me.
  • How were you influenced by people, foods, places and things? What was going on?
  • What can you do differently next time so you don’t binge again?
  • What resources (program and outside support) could you call upon to help you out?
  • I encourage you to congratulate yourself for having the courage to pause and reflect.  As you practice this skill, you will understand your patterns (lifestyle and emotional) and then you can make more skillful choices next time.

2.  Food will NOT solve any problem—except HUNGER! If you are hungry, then eat something. It is not wrong to be hungry! Eat something that won’t make you ultimately unhappy with yourself. When you choose whole, healthful foods, you are caring for yourself. Respect and honor yourself. Choose foods that will properly nourish and maintain your body. Healthy Reasons To Eat and Self-Destructive Reasons To Eat.

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3.  Do you want to eat a certain food? Well, imagine getting a piece of it. Now imagine yourself eating it—how good it looks, how wonderful it tastes, the texture, the smell, how good it feels in your mouth. This process may take one or two minutes. Well, this is how long the pleasure would have lasted that would have been associated with eating that particular food item. Explore Self Care to Restore Balance During Hard Times and Discover How to Reclaim and Champion Your Inner Child & Heal Adverse Childhood Experiences

  • If you DID eat the food to anesthetize yourself from experiencing a difficult emotion or situation, did that situation or emotion permanently go away?
  • Notice that you now have TWO problems. The initial situation, guilt, and discouragement about your overeating.

4.  Do NOT have your particular binge foods in the house. Normally, when the idea of going on a binge strikes, it lasts for only a few minutes. If you don’t have the food item in the house, you will have to go to the store for it. Quite often, I find I am just too lazy to go to the store and the idea passes. These ideas of binging frequently occur before bedtime, when I may be undressed or just too tired to pull-off a trip to the store. But, if I had the food in the refrigerator or cupboards—all I would have to do is to walk over and get it and…EAT!

5.  If you DO have the food in the house (because other family members insist they NEED cookies, candy, pie, ice cream, potato chips, dip, and sugar pop) don’t lie to yourself and say, “I can handle just having one little bite.” Ha, Ha! Be honest. If you can’t handle it, then admit it. Don’t take the first compulsive bite.

6.  If you do binge (over do it), then forget it! You can’t undo what you did. Quit mentally kicking yourself. Forgive yourself and forget it. Pick yourself up and begin anew. If you have really forgiven yourself, then you have forgotten about it. If you’re still thinking about it, then you haven’t really forgiven yourself. FORGET the “if I hadn’t” syndrome. “If I hadn’t eaten that…I would be ‘X’ number of pounds lighter.”

Shine the light of loving self-care on you!

Break down inner walls

Practice Kind Discipline and transform the Self-punishing Inner Voice

7.  Give yourself credit for what you do. Notice what is right with you, not always what is wrong with you. Example: You may have had eight days of making healthful food choices and then one evening you blew it. Immediately, that is all you can think about. Notice that you DID have eight days of healthful meals. Accept the fact that you DID have forty minutes of insanity. Be grateful that the insanity (relapse) lasted only forty minutes!


8.  Don’t try to make up for a binge by NOT eating the next several meals. Continue on your normal food plan as if you had been eating normally. You ARE just continuing with your plan. Many times, if you try to “make up” for a binge (to reduce caloric intake), you will become so hungry that when you start eating again, you will overeat. After a binge, notice when you start to feel hunger pangs and just continue with your regular meal plan. Listen To Your Body- It Will Talk To You!

9.  Be prepared! Have a wide variety of foods in the house that are on your meal plan. “Treat” yourself. Buy first-rate fruits and vegetables, good quality breads, delicious beans and other low fat protein and dairy sources. Spend the money that you would have spent on binge foods, on food items, which will maintain your mental and physical health. Check out other articles on this BLOG for ideas.

State of the Plate-crop

10.  If you work, then take food items that are on your plan to munch on when you get hungry. Then you are not left at the mercy of your business cafeteria or snack food machines. YOU ARE WORTH the few minutes that it requires to assemble the food items, put them in a sack and take them with you. You WILL be greatly rewarded for your effort. On-The-Go Packed Lunches and Bobs Food Bag

11. Love yourself as you are, where you are. NOT just when you have made perfect food choices, when you are slim, when you get all of the housework done, when you don’t get angry, etc., etc. I encourage you to LOVE YOU, even if you do have faultsIt occurred to me that: If I had a friend that treated me like I treat me, I wouldn’t want to be around that friend! Forgive yourself. Love yourself as you are and as you are NOT.  How to Develop a Loving Relationship with You

 ASK: Am I eating to fix painful emotions or situations?

Am I Eating to Fix Emotions

Picture from Sandra Stoltz, The Food Fix, 1983.

Do you have options???

Discover FUN ways to get rid of your problem foods!

  • Mangle marshmallows? Burn them in the fire place? Light them on fire and give them a toss!!
  • Try a pizza Frisbee?! Whee!
  • Step on, crush, and obliterate cookies? Bonsai Cookies!!!
  • Put the ice cream down the toilet? Notice it floats–for awhile!!!
  • Plant the granola…see if the seeds will…sprout??!
  • Bring the peanut butter to the neighbors?
  • If the candy is “talking to you” out of the drawer or cupboard…go get it and…take it outside…and give it a…toss out into the street!!! I’ve done this several times! It feels SO invigorating to take control!

Check out:

Also explore the sections for insights about your habits:

A famous author has shared for her how her personal transformation around ineffective patterns of behaviors evolved:

autobiography in 5 chapters

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

As you try out the suggestions in this BLOG–watch out for self judgment! The only way you can find correct balance is by going to extremes and making mistakes (learnings), then you will come back to balance.

First, you try too hard. If you try too hard and have too high of expectations, you’ll become impatient and frustrated. This leads to disappointment and being discouraged–not getting the results you want quick enough. So, back off a bit. It’s important to know when to back off and blow bubbles! Frolic in Ideas for Self-Nurturing.

If you don’t make enough effort, then nothing seems to happen. Cultivate a moment-by-moment awareness. Just notice the results of your choices. Find a level of effort that is sustainable over time. It’s not a sprint,it’s a lifetime journey.



Small Baby Steps Lead to Success

See also A Daily Reminder.

Nurturing nibbles posters:

Eating With Awareness and Pleasure: Learn How to Eat Less But Enjoy It More!

Remember that it’s NOT your last meal. You will be able to eat again! Slow down and savor the flavor of food. Treat every bite as a gourmet feast! The more time and attention you give to food the more satisfying it is.

Eating Awareness Training

  Becoming More Aware Of Your Relationship With Food and Life

Eating an orage

Our body is precious—treat it with care.

When you eat, eat slowly and listen to your body.

Let your stomach tell you when to stop—

NOT your eyes, or your tongue, or your emotions

Become more aware of your relationship with food.  You can increase the satisfaction in your eating by exploring the sensual qualities of foods.  Notice WHAT…and HOW you are eating!

Frequently we are lost in thought or distracted with a variety of other activities like reading, watching TV, driving, or talking with others, and we barely notice what or how much we are eating. We may sometimes be surprised that the food is all gone and wonder where it went! Gee, the bag is empty!!! How did that happen? It is because we have developed the habit of not being mindful during our everyday activities. Perhaps explore how aware (or mindful) are you during your other daily activities: Mindfulness and meditation scale.pdf

Also it is important to explore our hungers before we eat. What are we hungry for? What part of us is hungry? As Jan Chozen Bays explores in her book Mindful Eating (which is in the resources at the end of this article) different kinds of hunger: eye hunger, mouth hunger, stomach hunger, body or cellular hunger, mind hunger, and lastly heart hunger. Upload here: Sacred Eating Workshop by Jan Chozen Bays.pdf

Also check out this site for Transform Emotional Eating and Addictions.

Explore Factors That Influence How Much We Eat
EAt too much!

Research Discoveries of How Our Environment Influences The Amount We Eat

  • As in the picture above, when we are served larger portions, we tend to eat more!
  • If you can see the food, and if the food is close to you, you’ll probably eat more! There is truth to the old adage, out of sight, out of mind!
  • Having a great variety of foods that are randomly arranged makes us want to eat more. Think of a potluck that you attended recently. So much food, so little time!
  • Eating from a LARGE bag or box of something. Have you ever noticed that when you eat from the whole bag of potato chips or other snacks that it’s easy to get “hand-to-mouth dis-ease” and end up eating way too much?

How to Get Control of Portion Sizes


  • Keeping a food journal can shed light on how much and what you eat and you’ll discover the factors that influence your food choices.
  • Pause for your cause! Whenever you feel an urge to eat, check in to see what you are hungering for. Is it emotional, soul nurturing, or food?
  • Set up your home, work, and travel environment to support your success.
  • Eating regular meals and snacks can keep you from getting over hungry.
  • Weigh and measure foods at home so that you get used to how a “portion” looks. It is helpful to use measuring cups as portioning tools to serve yourself. Also, you can get 1-cup or 2-cup plastic storage bowls to serve yourself. I do this at home with my yogurt and fruit. I take a 2-cup bowl, fill it half-way with yogurt, and put in flavorings and sweetener, I then fill it up with frozen blueberries until the 2-cup mark. That makes “food portioning” very easy to do. Most people underestimate what they have eaten by about 25 – 30%! You might think, “Oh, I’m just eating like a bird!” Watch out! You may be eating like an ostrich, not a robin!
  • Practicing eating slowly and with awareness will help you eat less.
  • Pay attention to levels of hunger and fullness and STOP eating just when you feel satisfied. It’s NOT your last meal, you will be able to eat again!
  • Eating veggies or salads first when you sit down for a meal will help fill up your stomach and you will eat less. I also do this when I’m having a late dinner with friends. I usually eat around 5:30 pm and if I wait until 7 or 7:30 pm, I’ll overeat. So I have a small snack (like some raw veggies or fruit) to tide me over so I don’t overeat.
  • I don’t eat from a “whole container” of anything. I always take a single portion out and then put the other away. For me, I LOVE salted peanuts. I keep them in the basement because I find it TOO easy to just grab handfuls of them if they’re in the kitchen, so I take a single portion (to mix with raisins) upstairs and leave the can downstairs! Then if I want another portion, I have to go downstairs to get it! This technique stops mindless eating.
  • Check out food labels to see the “reference amount” that is listed, serve yourself a “usual portion,” and then double-checking to see how many “servings” you are having.
  • Drinking adequate amounts of fluids can help you eat less. We may sometimes confuse signals of being thirsty with hunger and find ourselves eating food when what we really need is water!
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole M.S. , R.D. and Elyse Resch M.S., R.D. is an excellent resource on honoring your hunger, enjoying the pleasures of food and feeling your fullness. To explore her 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating and her website.

mindless eating book

Check out this really excellent book at:  You’ll discover many surprising facts about why you make the food choices that you do and how to make gradual changes that help you eat less.

mindful eating by jan chozen bays_

Also, Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays is excellent. as you explore and discover all of your hungers…not just for food! It includes a CD with audio mindfulness exercises too:

Additional links from my Website:

UNHEALTHY balanced-diet-plan-1

Be an expert about how food works in your body!


Mindful Meals: Re-learning how to eat with pleasure

To upload a PDF of this exploration: Sustainable Eating HAES.pdf from The Body Positive by Deb Burgard, Ph.D.

The Body Positive: boosting body image at any weight! by Debby Burgard, Ph.D. Looks at ways we can feel good in the bodies we have. Remember, your body hears and feels everything you think.  Explore for ideas to be healthy at any size. Also check out Health at EVERY Size by Linda Bacon Ph.D. She shares many insights at: 

Discover the Law of Life: Your Life is Your Garden. Over Time, What You Plant is What You Get!

Your Moment-by-Moment Choices Shape Your Life!

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You BECOME what you think, what you eat, and what you do!

Consider that You Create Your Life with Each Choice You Make.

Discover How to Be a Skillful Gardener In Your Own Life.

Choose to Cultivate Health!


Learn to Plant the Garden of Your Life With Seeds of Wellness!

Bob Wilson DTR and Megrette Hammond RD

When drops of water fill a jar, the first drop does not fill it,

Nor the last, nor each drop individually.

Yet, eventually, the jar fills up due to all the drops together!


The same is true for health. There is no single food or exercise that makes you healthy.If you want to experience health, you have to do many things that promote health. When we group these individual things together they form our intent. A person’s intent can be thought of as an invisible force that creates direction and helps generate motivation.

Part of changing our health is seeing how our daily actions are are like those drops of water. Over time they mold our bodies and minds into who we are, right now. So pause and reflect, not in a critical or harsh way, but with a loving curiosity about your choices today. Ask yourself “What am I doing to create a healthy intent?” Begin to explore any feelings of health and well being resulting from your choice. Awareness of the moment is the key to find out which choice helped you and which choice you can let go of. Over time this awareness helps you to make decisions for a life that is well lived!

See my beautiful garden on Facebook for this year and last: and Notice how the garden evolves throughout the year! It is always changing….just as OUR lives do! It benefits from focused attention, watering, pruning, and fertilizing….then it blossoms!

 If  you want the result (being more fit and healthier),

You have to create the causes (the daily lifestyle choices)!

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All things dependently arise due to causes—be it disease or well-being.

As a Man Thinketh

Notice in Your Life That Everything Is Interconnected!


Your moment-by-moment choices shape your life!

Be aware of cause and effect.

Everything we say, do, and think forms ourselves.

Essential Self-Care Nutrients

We are molding our minds (and bodies) into the shape we become.

Success = Problem Solving + Practice + Persistence +

Patience + Personal Kindness —> New Habits!

Success = Just Begin Again–No Matter What Happens!

The Nature of Mind: What is it? Where is it?

Cultivate Your Spiritual Well-Being!

The Five Mindfulness Trainings – Plum Village

Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind

Verses of kindness & compassion
(a.k.a. The Four Immeasurables or Brahma-Viharas) Thich Nhat Hanh Living Mindfully

Oprah interviewing Thich Nhat Hanh, and the movie the Dhamma brothers about a meditation project in prison). Inspirational!

Thich Nhat Hanh – On Letting Go:

Thubten Chodron Wonderful Dhamma Talk (Must watch!):

Life moves. There is no death. There is no birth. Life is like a river, moving without any stop.

– B. K. S. Iyengar

Daily Necessities: Tips & Pointers for Building a Spiritual & Balanced Life

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Approach each day as a celebration of living!

Joy and inner peace come from wholly entering

into the experience of life!

Be aware/Stay awake
Practice yoga
Chant and sing
Breathe and smile
Let Go/Forgive/Accept
Cultivate oneself/Enhance competencies
Cultivate contentment
Cultivate flexibility
Cultivate friendship and collaboration
Lighten up
Celebrate and appreciate
Give thanks
Walk softly/Live gently
Be born anew

from Awakening The Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das
Taken from Pearls of Wisdom Buddhist quotes

Buddhist quotes:

Life Always Gives Us…

Zen Habits-Live Simply

Don’t worry about it!

Meditations: Cultivate Daily Quiet and Introspection Time

The Three Sufferings

The Five Daily Remembrances

Remember your precious potential: Epilogue: The Tree Story

The whole self-esteem section of my website has many articles that I posted that contain the wisdom of how to change our relationship with ourselves as we make an unconditional commitment to meet our needs.

How did I break down my emotional walls?

Break down inner walls

I developed my own kind “internal mother” voice.

 Just like a baby or child crying, you pay attention. How did I learn to do this?

In the past I had learned to be an excellent caregiver to my family and classmates but I didn’t know how to love and care for myself!

One of the most difficult things for me to do was to love me—in practice. To admit I was emotionally unhealthy—that I needed help. To take care of MY NEEDS required spending time on me! I finally HAD to put my needs on the list—first things first—and slow downand stop fixing everyone else. THAT was hard to do.

A day at a time, I’m falling in love with myself AS I AM. I’m respecting myself and treating myself with gentleness. I’m no longer willing to harm myself for ANYone or ANYthing. 

When I find myself experiencing deep inner suffering, distress, or overwhelm, I pause and tune within and ask myself what is going on.  I use loving self-talk and ask myself, what do I need to feel better?

 When a baby cries, you pay attention.

Embrace Your Pain and Confusion

Embrace your pain and confusion as a loving mother would toward her child.

Talk with yourself:

A Diet of Self Love

Oh, sweetheart, what is the matter? What do you need? I am here for you.

I will not abandon you and I love you.

I hear that you are in pain. Can you tell me about it? Take your time.

Let me know when you are ready. I don’t want to rush you or invalidate your feelings.

I will always be here for you.

 So, let me know what hurts. Is there anything I can do to help?

To hear a Windows Media File of How to Develop a Nurturing Inner Voice for You, double click (quickly) here.

To find a printer-friendly version (PDF): Develop Inner Nurturing Voice.pdf

When no one is around and I NEED a HUG—I wrap my arms around ME and give myself a HUG!  I sprinkle dollops of delight and self-care towards myself. I tell myself, “I love you, Bobby Sweetheart. You are wonderful!”

Self Hug-CAROL

Sprinkle Dollops of Delight and Self-Care Towards Yourself.

Oh, Dearest, you are wonderful! I love you! (For a larger version)

 Shine the Light of Loving Self-Care

I love you as you are and as you are not.

This felt very odd and unnatural at first. But I thought that if I could hit me over the head and wish me dead—as I had done on many times before, then I could certainly give myself a hug and a kiss; just as I would to a loving friend.

When we find ourselves experiencing strong emotions remember, where we’re at is where we’re at! You or I can’t be anywhere else. So, just start there!

We start with touching our suffering—the things that hurt. When intense feelings come up, tune within and explore.

Part of the root of my depression and low self-esteem came from having delight deficiency syndrome. I didn’t take enough time to care for my soul and spirit in nurturing ways. I found that deep down I didn’t feel worthwhile.

For me, applied self-esteem was learning how to take time for activities that fill up my well of reserve; so from that well, I then take time to help others.

For me the daily practice of self-nurturing includes:

·        Preparing yummy meals and snacks,

·        Bringing a food bag with me

·        Taking time for loving social connections

·        Finding fun ways to be active on a regular basis

·        Taking time to provide a rich treasure chest of nurturing activities for me.

·        Making time for daily prayer and meditation and retreats on a regular basis

·        Keeping my life in enough balance so that I can regularly apply all of these ideas.

Learn the skills for emotional nurturing. They’re euphoric and non-caloric! Learning and practicing these skills will help to transform emotional eating.

Investigate Emotional Eating, Do You Experience a RAIN of Feelings?, Bob’s Story The Emotional Area and Life-Long Companion for additional suggestions for self-embracing and self-honoring. Also please visit links below!

Learn How to Prepare Quick and Delicious Meals and Snacks in a Hectic World!

Enjoy planning and preparing delicious recipes, meals, and snacksA new, healthful eating style is found one new recipe and new food idea at a time. Mouth fun, enjoying what you eat, is essential if you are to make your new choices a permanent part of your lifestyle and not just a “diet.”  I eat 16 – 18 servings of veggies and fruits a day (instead of eating that many sugar-laden desserts as I did before)! It’s NOT as difficult as it sounds. Just look at the recipes and snack ideas. Celebrate feeding your wondrous body!

How do you make it happen? Plan ahead. An ounce of preplanning is worth a pound of fat and keeps you healthy and frisky! Take time to plan meals and snacks for yourself (and your family). Make great tasting, healthy eating a priority–even in the midst of a hectic lifestyle. To help you, discover menu planning that celebrates vegetables and fruits! Use food to fuel your busy lifestyle and to provide energy for all the activities you enjoy.

      State of the Plate-crop

From State of the Plate at and



Jon Birthday Cake-smile Flowers, pineapple, and strawberries celebrationHPIM1974.JPG

Tabouli SaladHPIM0285.JPG

Cauliflower-PeasMarinated Cauliflower SaladCabbage-carrot steam

Join The VRG with $25 via our donation form, and receive the Vegetarian Journal for one year and a copy of Meatless Meals for Working People: Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes!

yummy foods flipped