“When much of our lives is filled with worry, shame or guilt,” Breaking Up with Binge Eating Podcast, 4/3/2021–My Brain is a Liar (But It’s Ok, So is Yours)

In this week’s podcast conversation, I wanted to take a moment to go back to a “classic” episode of the Breaking Up with Binge Eating podcast, to highlight some of the wonderful content Georgie Fear is putting out there.(1) The purpose of this podcast is to provide practical tools for folks struggling with unplanned overeating, binge eating, or problematic levels of emotional eating. I’ve been following Georgie in her various iterations on the internet for nearly a decade, and I’ve found her to be scrupulously evidence-based, compassionate, and a trustworthy resource for information on the connections between our thinking and our eating behaviors.

This episode is a quick 12 minutes on how just because we think a thing doesn’t mean it’s true. There are some funny examples about how we are able to show skepticism about some thoughts and ideas but may struggle with keeping perspective with others. She notes challenges (cognitive distortions) like name-calling, fortune-telling, and personalization (blaming ourselves for things that aren’t our responsibility), which can make it harder for us to feel good and to believe in ourselves.

She then makes the connection between our thinking and our eating behaviors. Cognitive distortions can magnify negative emotions and nudge us to overeat, creating a kind of self-sabotage when we’re trying to improve our eating behaviors and then think ourselves out of following through–there’s no point anyway, I’m never going to be able to change, etc. She ends asking us to look for moments of fortune-telling and mind-reading in our own thoughts.

Whether or not you experience problematic levels of emotional eating, I think we’d all benefit from noticing these kinds of thoughts when they arise. It’s easer to get along with others when we’re not assuming we know how things will go or what other people are thinking. Working on noticing these tendencies in ourselves helps us to live healthier lives, not just influencing how we eat but how we connect with others and ourselves. I know I would feel better understood if the folks around me regularly checked in to determine if they were mind-reading! Something like, “Hey Marjorie, I hear you saying X, is that what you mean?” And I try to notice when I’m potentially reading too much into a situation and to clarify it before I let my feelings get out of hand, too.

If these are skills you think you’d benefit from learning, the next few episodes of the podcast go into more examples and skills to learn to help reduce the challenges brought on by cognitive distortions. Of course, it’s unlikely that listening to a few podcasts will be enough to fully integrate this sort of change into our thinking, but I think it’s a great place to start, to get used to noticing these sorts of patterns and to begin to grow in understanding our own psychologies (and the eating behaviors they can induce).

Breaking Up With Binge Eating Podcast

(1) And to give myself a break from keeping up with Iron Culture and the other podcasts I usually discuss each week. I promise, I will get back to them soon!

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