In Dr. Christopher G. Fairburn's book, "OVERCOMING Binge Eat

In Dr. Christopher G. Fairburn's book, "OVERCOMING Binge Eating," Dr. Fairburn prescribes a six step plan for recovering from a binge eating disorder. Step 1, Getting Started....Self monitoring and weighing once weekly. In this step he recommends starting a food journal and beginning to monitor the journal for similarities or patterns of thinking and eating behaviors. Step 2. Regular Eating. He recommends eating three meals daily with three planned snacks, trying to avoid eating between each feeding as well as stopping vomiting, and misusing laxatives, enemas, or diuretics. Step 3. Working on alternatives to unplanned eating by establishing a list of alternative behaviors to help you through binge urge situations. Step 4, is problem solving and taking stock, and that's what I want to introduce today: If you've been following this program, you've already prepared a list of alternative behaviors to food and hopefully, you're using that list during binge urge crises. As described previously, binge urges are often triggered by unpleasant events and circumstances. Stress is often a common reason for binge urges. It is therefore important to deal with these unpleasant events/stresses specifically in our recovery and to effectively do that, we need to become problem solvers. Dr. Fairburn offers six steps for our problem solving task: 1. Identify the problem as eary as possible. It's the ole "get them before they get you routine." By quickly identifying your problem and effectively dealing with it, you prevent the challenge from overwhelming you. Perhaps you notice that you're suddenly having more binge urges. Perhaps there's a problem or even multiple problems that have reared their heads in your life. You might consider having a written dialogue between your eating disordered self and healthy self to explore the nature of a problem(s) that have caused your binge urges to increase. Step 2. Specify the problem accurately. It's important the real issue so that you can deal with that issue through your solution to the problem. You might feel that the problem is that you're having an urge to binge, but with some self-exploration, you find that you have nothing to do all evening and the real problem is that you're bored. Step 3. Consider as many solutions as possible. Do not censor yourself at this stage. try to think of all kinds of solutions. You might come up with a list such as: Watch t.v., go to bed, go for a jog, call some friends to see if they are free, clean the apartment, and go for a drive. Step 4 Think through the implications of each solution. Let's evaluate each potential solution. Let's assume that you've had a tough day at work, you've eaten your evening meal, your tired and there's nothing to do for the rest of the evening: Possible solution 1. Watch t.v. I don't know about you, but unless there's something that I really want to see on t.v., it can really be a trigger to eating as browsing through the channels creates boredom and so I'm going to say watching t.v. isn't a good choice for me. 2. Go to bed. A possible solution for the present binge urge but what happens when I fully wake up at say 4:00 A.M. and have nothing to do. Therefore going to bed has to be ruled out too. 3. Go for a jog. A 30 minute jog will definitely get me through my binge urge but it's getting late and will the exercise impact my ability to get to sleep tonight? I won't cross this idea off yet, but hopefully there's a better solution to my boredom. 4. Call some friends to see if they're free. Not a bad idea. Even though I don't feel like leaving my apartment at this time, I know that I always enjoy talking to my friends and my boredom issues will be solved. 5. Clean the apartment. It's late and I've had a tough day at work. Cleaning my apartment definitely doesn't appeal to me. 6. Go for a drive. Driving aimlessly around could end up at a convenience store and me buying something to eat. I'm going to say a firm no to that idea. As I've evaluated my choices, only two ideas remain; going for a jog, which could impact me getting to sleep on time and calling some friends to see if they're available for a social. My best choice is calling some friends. I don't have to wait for them to call me and if they're not available, they'll tell me. Once you've decided on a solution to your real problem, all that's needed is to act on your decision but you're not through yet. On the next day, you need to re-evaluate your choice to see if it worked out for you or if you believe a different solution would have been a better choice. Now it's up to you. Each time you have a binge urge, before beginning to eat, try to evaluate the "real reason." Go through the six steps of problem solving and select the solution that best fits the situation. Finally plan a review to see if your problem solving skills dealt with the real problem. At first, this may seem burdensome, after all, the "house is on fire" with your intense binge urge and sitting down for a problem solving session doesn't match the situation, however in time, your knowledge about yourself and problem solving will evolve to an almost automatic ease. In step 4, it's also a time to "take stock" of your program thus far. By this time, you should definitely see improvements with your thinking and eating behaviors so you can evaluate certain outcomes of your program thus far. 1. Your frequency of your binges and intensity should have decreased significantly by this point. 2. If you've been doing your best, you should have an increased number of "good days." If you don't see such improvements, it's time to seek help from outside professionals.

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Thank you for posting this !!

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