Originally Posted by magical
I read your following post and looked into it further.
There have been some studies that show that there are two types of cravings - physical craving and psychological craving.
"Craving for food" falls into the psychological craving territory because food is not an addictive drug. Apparently, cigarettes are not true addictions as well as they fall within the group of items that people crave for out of habit.
Since it is merely a psychological craving, most who crave for food find it pleasurable when they eat. That's where the emotions come in. If they don't eat (or if they don't stop eating), the body releases stress hormones that causes pain unless the person start or continue eating.
The studies go on to say that the brain can be "trained to find pleasure and reward in almost anything". To do this, they should create competing motivations so when their brains crave for something, they can properly weigh it against what they really want or perhaps need.
Really interesting thoughts here. I agree that the brain can be trained to find pleasure in anything. I also believe now, after the trimpey books, that all my triggers are only triggers because of conditioned responses. Because I binged on cookies when i starved myself and it felt good and was rewarding to my brain, and then repeated this action when I again restricted in response to my first binge (and then did this several times); my brain is wired now to associate cookies etc. with the reward of bingeing. Therefore when I am faced with cookies I get an urge. The cookies never caused it; i caused it by bingeing on them when I was starving. I am not starving anymore, but my brain still wants that reward.
I went out to dinner with my friend last night. I have been basically telling my brain "lets go" and am subjecting myself to situations I have considered triggers. There was fresh bread on the table before the meal. I took one bite, felt the rush of the urge wave over me, and said "f--ck you brain" and didn't have another bite. I did this again with dessert. One bite. So I am trying now to weaken those brain connections. I did it again today; went and bought a whole tray of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (major previous cause of binges) had one bite of one cookie, left it sitting beside me for 4 hours, could feel the intense anxiety and urge, and again said "f--ck you brain". It gets me so giddy I actually laugh. I know it seems extreme, but I finally totally get what the author of brain over binge was meaning. I don't know why it didn' click the first couple times I read the book. I thought it did but it didn't, becasue I get it now. I am just like her in the book where I am looking forward to triggering situations because now I WANT to feel the urges. Just a week or so ago I as disturbed by having an urge come out of nowhere telling me to binge for fun. It scared me. It was panick invoking. I can see now that OF COURSE I had an urge. That is how my brain is wired.
But like Pavlov who did the famous dog experiment, I believe I can weaken these connections due to neuroplasticity. He rang a bell everytime he gave the dogs food. After a while, he could just ring the bell without food and they would salivate expecting food. After sometime of ringing the bell without food, the dogs stopped salivating in response.
I know now (in my case), to stop bingeing I have to simply stop bingeing. I know it seems stupid to say that considering the 12 plus years I've been doing it, but it is that simple I think. Now that I am laughing in the face of the urges and know they will die down considerably, I feel my only risk of bingeing again would be if I starved myself again bringing on intense urges. But I think even then, becuse I know what's going on and no longer fear urges and don't see them as even a tiny fraction as powerful as my higher brain (like a 2 year old having a tantrum trying to tell an adult what to do), I wonder if I could quite possibly and easily starve myself to death. I think I could (of course I do not want to).
Kathryn (Brain over Binge author), talks about how anorexia is tougher and deadlier because it is in fact their higher brain that is succeeding in controlling themselves, not their primal brain. Anorexics feel the intense drive to eat early into their starvation but they override it/ignore it. They then don't binge and never form that reward connction (however if they do cave even once they will often end up with bulimia which is a common occurance). The only way really to cure them is to convince them they don't look good that thin. Often they can't see that though. Sometimes they will reluctantly eat knowing they will otherwise die. But it is always their higher brain in control. Often after starving themselves for so long, their signals to eat will stop because the brain sees it is useless, just like when a child throws a tantum and is never rewarded, they eventually stop.
I don't think everyone will feel the same way I do about this, but honestly I can't see myself bingeing anymore; overeating yes, but not bingeing.