I too battled this problem for many many years and I know exactly what you are talking about...
Now, I have been 100% binge free for almost a full year....
Now, everybody is completely different, but for a long time, I used to try to psychoanalyze myself, taking the approach of trying to sort out my feelings, and I never got anywhere. I am kind of an introspective person, I guess, and I analyzed the causes and reasons absolutely to death and still kept bingeing.
What finally helped me was to learn to ride out the tide. I don't binge on salmon and vegetables. I made a short list of foods that I was going to avoid at all costs: salty snacks, baked goods, sweets, anything that can have butter slathered on it... Then, whenever the craving hit, I just told myself NO, and what's more, what was important for me, I did not feed myself anything else-- no low cal jello, no diet bread, no food at all. I just white knuckled it out.
That was extremely uncomfortable for me. And, in retrospect, it was rather like quitting smoking (I smoked for a few years, way back when...) I felt like I wanted, needed, and had to have something. In the past, when trying to lose weight, I had always tried to substitute a "legal" food for the one that I really wanted-- that always eventually backfired and set me back to binging.
This time, I learned to cope with the wanting feeling by relaxing, distraction, anything but eating. My only "crutch" was sugar free gum. It got MUCH easier over time, and now, I really don't battle the craving. I don't really think about it much any more. I still get that "want something" feeling, but I don't immediately think "feed it".
At the same time, I REALLY did have to revolutionize my life. Somewhere in the process, I realized that NO WONDER I was "rewarding" myself with treats. It was because I was so incredibly self-sacrificing in almost every other area of my life. I did not spend money on myself, I did not carve out time for myself, I did not buy myself clothing, or nice hair cuts, or bubble bath, or time out with friends. So whenever I was feeling sorry for myself I rewarded myself with the old familiar: food.
And, ironically, all that binge food was actually time-consuming, and expensive, so I might as well have rewarded myself in other ways.
I hope you find some of this helpful. I struggled alone and helpless for so long that I was convinced that I was stuck forever, and ironically, it was not as hard to get past it as I thought it would be.
We are here to help.
End of 2014 Challenge
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.--Winston Churchill
SUCCESS WITHOUT KRYPTONITE!
First Mini-Goal: 260 by vacation.
240.5 Half of regain gone.
Third mini-goal below 230 by the end of 2014