Wellness Wednesday: Emotional Satiety - Life Itself Is The Proper Binge

My favorite quote by Julia Child is a reminder of the concept of emotional satiety. When we binge on life, there's no need to binge on food. 

Hallelujah! The site is finally up and running. My sincerest apologies to all of you for it being down for so long. I thought of it as just an inconvenience to me, but I received so many nice messages from my readers and clients. It really opened my eyes to how this little community plays a role in so many of your lives. So thank you. It's been a horrendously stressful couple of weeks and your kindness (and okay, a few generously poured glasses of wine) really got me through. 

For those who were wondering what happened, it's almost a funny story so many things went wrong. Or at least, it will be after a few therapy sessions. While on the airplane going to Chicago for my cousins wedding, my hard drive started to crash. Couldn't get it fixed until I got back home and then I had to drive up to Charlotte for the nearest Apple store (Cola-town FAIL). After working on a computer so old it still had aim installed for a couple days, I went up to Charlotte to pick up my computer and literally as I was in the apple store, I found out my website crashed. Since we were traveling to Philly for a wedding the next day, we stayed up crazy late working on it. The next morning at the airport, when I turned on my computer to work on it some more, guess what? It wouldn't turn on! Luckily there was an Apple store one block from our hotel and after they fit me in for an expedited appointment after learning what all had happened after I broke down sobbing in the middle of the store. Now it's fixed it (hopefully for good). Now, after spending a good chunk of my paycheck on malware removal and really simple fixes we just didn't know how to do, it's finally running. Phew. 

Okay, that's way more whining than is appropriate for a wellness post. Does your stomach feel like it's shrunken to a raisin from reading that? Cause that's how my stomach feels after typing it! Let's cheer ourselves up with some words from one of the most fabulous ladies to walk to walk this earth. 

“Life itself it the proper binge”

I’ve always loved this saying. Everything that’s come out of Julia Child’s mouth (and kitchen) is pure gold, but this quote in particular always stuck out to me. If there’s one thing we should take in with massive quantities all at once until we’re bursting at the seams, it’s life. I think of it as the foodie version of the popular mindfulness based advice to be present in every moment. By being mindful and taking in the opportunity presented with each moment, we’re able to figuratively suck the marrow out of life.

It also hints to a concept called emotional satiety. Bingeing and overeating is often triggered by an emotion rather than an uncontrollable desire to eat or a lack of willpower. When you’re satiated by life, you don’t feel a need to binge on food.

Eating is about more than food. Much of the work I do with my clients reflects that. You can learn how to bake cookies without added sugar and clean all the temptation food out of your kitchen, but if you don’t identify what’s behind your drive to binge or comfort yourself with food, then it’s unlikely you’ll make any real, sustainable changes to your eating habits.

Look to your food cravings as a clue to where you need more nourishment in life. Do you find yourself eating out of boredom? Try finding new hobbies or activities you find exciting. Stress eater? Maybe it’s time to build a meditation practice or work to eliminate your source of stress. Feeling lonely, like Ben and Jerry have become your closest friends? Try reaching out to old friends you’ve lost touch with or use sites like meetup to meet new people with similar interests.

Sometimes the clues aren’t so obvious. Eating issues can stem from a general dissatisfaction with life rather than one specific trigger. If you're trying to change your eating habits, also think about ways you can bring more joy into their life.

This quote could be easily mistaken to mean one should constantly do big, exciting, instagramable things. But while vacations and new romances and career changes are exciting, that's just part of life, and a much smaller part than runs to the grocery store, dog walks around the neighborhood and long commutes to work. To feel truly satiated, one most focus on bringing joy to the everyday.

So now I turn it over to you. How do you binge on life? What makes you feel satiated and joyful? Would love for you to share in the comments below!