Binge Eating aka Gluttony?
I've found myself in the last year making a concerted effort to be healthier. A hurdle to surmount was a tendency to dismiss a lot of health culture as self idolatry a symptom of materialism. A lot of what I did and consumed was though far from giving glory to God and far from the 'good' of creation. In trying to be healthier I find myself a lot freer now to devote myself to my duties and obligations to both God and my neighbour.


While I've had much success at this stage I find it hard to avoid "binging" on processed filling unhealthy food. I've looked at it from the psychological perspective and "binge eating disorder" etc, and some of that is helpful but another aspect dawning on me is the fact that it is/may be greed and gluttony.

I was wondering what spiritual exercises particularly against this vice there might be and what saints and writings might there be to consider and help combat this?

I found this for you, by John Cassian:

I can relate to the sin of gluttony. I've got a seriously big sweet tooth and could let myself go NUTS (and sometimes do) with the ice creams and pies and such. Very hard for me to resist! Same with over-using tobacco. I'm very, very bad with that one, God help me. Gluttony is my biggest spiritual problem, I think, so you're not alone with it...

Clare Brigid here at the forum talks about "intuitive eating" -- a way of eating that helped her lose -- I believe it was 140 pounds. Maybe she'll see this and chime in with some words of wisdom.

In any case, good on you for trying to take better care of yourself! I think you're right to be wary of some aspects of "health culture" and to think of the over-focus on the body and health as sometimes bordering on idolatrous. But our bodies are great gifts, and the temple of the Holy Ghost, so we're supposed to take good care of them (without getting goofy or going overboard, without making health or our looks or what have you a "god").
Thanks, Vox Clamantis.

Supercertari, eating nutritious food according to biological hunger cultivates the virtue of temperance, obeys the 5th Commandment and glorifies God.  It also feels wonderful.  :)

Please read about my experience and consider my suggestions in this thread:

In a nutshell, I recommend the book Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch; choosing whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible; taking some guidance from the Paleo diet, but without becoming obsessive or doctrinaire; and increasing your physical activity by doing something you enjoy, not punishing yourself or paying for your calories. Do not count calories. Do not let yourself go hungry, but do allow yourself to become hungry. There is a difference.

What matters is how you tend to eat over time, not any one particular meal or day of eating. There is no such thing as "blowing it." 

I'm happy to answer any follow up questions. I have in fact lost 140 pounds following this approach. I am 6'1". I weighed 330 pounds as of Holy Week 2013. By February 2014, I weighed about 190. I have maintained my weight since then, which means that this is my natural weight. But it is better not to set a strict weight goal. Rather, eat well, stay active, and allow your body to reach its natural weight..

For me, this is a spiritual exercise.
Gluttony is a big sin I struggle with... I think a lot of it is stress eating and looking to food for comfort.  I did Weight Watchers once and lost a lot of weight on it, years ago.  I need to get that Intuitive Eating book :)
Thank you for the replies and the book suggestions, I'm already looking into the Cassian one and investigating the intuitive eating one. I do like those 10 principles of intuitive eating.

I enjoyed reading the thread and see some similarities in the journeys.

I think I am at the maintaining stage of my process and thats where I find it difficult. Between September and March this year I lost approx 60lbs and got down to 210lbs, I am 6' 2" and from a BMI of 35 its now around 27. I cut down what I ate, became a fan of fruit and vegetables and started exercising and enjoying the world outdoors - from walking to jogging and cycling and getting a puppy in January certainly keeps me active.

In March I put weight loss on hold by stopping smoking. I smoked approximately 10 pipes full a day and having come to the pipe via a small cigar habit at university did inhale every one of those puffs!  I've done it cold turkey using education from sites like whyquit to do it and am now 115 days a non smoker.

During that time I didn't put on any more weight and maintained it well, but in the last month or so I have rediscovered the "delights" of take away food, and chocolate and eating lots. I'm trying again to watch my food but theres probably a degree of emotional eating to it, I think I need to keep a few of those principles more in mind.

Thank you again for your input and prayers would be appreciated in whats always a bit of a fight for me. My motivation was/is the same as yours Clare.

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