What is buffering?

I wrote in an earlier blog about what I learned when I stopped buffering so let’s go into what it is. When we are buffering, we use something that is happening to us such as an external thing or a situation to control how we are feeling, but then we deny, avoid or numb out that feeling. We do this so we don’t have to deal with it, to not experience that feeling because it doesn’t feel very good to us and it maybe even causes us pain. Our brains are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain and expend the least amount of effort possible. We feel that we should be happy and have pleasure all the time but guess what, we need to have negative feelings to then have positive feelings. Negative feelings, or those bad feelings need to be there, they need to be felt. The food industry loves that we buffer and that we seek pleasure because doing one of those will lead us turning to food, shopping and drinking. They have us convinced that those things will solve our problems, avoid pain and give us pleasure, the two things our brains are wired for. Also turning to any of those is something we can do right here and now and it gives us instant gratification. Having everything right now at our fingertips got us into the situation where we are. Food, shopping and drinking are all false pleasures. They provide an outlet for us so we don’t have to deal with anything that comes at us, or anything that is happening in our life that makes us feel uncomfortable or pain. 

 

Just think of that commercial where Jan and Marsha from the Brady Bunch are angry and they are not themselves. Then they were given a snickers bar and everything was great again! So many of us are using food to buffer what is going on and yes, it may feel good in that moment. In the long run, you still have that feeling to deal with, and you feel crappy for eating the food that you really didn’t need. 

 

Are you willing to give up those false pleasures? Yes, when you stop turning to food, shopping and alcohol it will feel like you are going through withdrawal and feel like you are being deprived. All you will then be left with is those feeling you’ve been unwilling to feel. Are you willing to del with what’s left?

 

Life is hard and sometimes you must come to accept and not resist it because then you will only have more pain. So why not just buffer, who cares if you don’t feel what is going on? Well then you would be eating as much as you want, drinking as much as you want, buy everything you want. If you did that you will have all those pleasure and you would think you have no consequences. You would think, who cares, but there are still consequences. Buffering does cause pain and will only give you temporary relief from that negative feeling, when usually it comes back at you even harder then it started out. Just think of when you run to the kitchen, grab that bag of cookies and eat them all because of that hard day at work, all the while knowing you are trying to lose weight. You had the rush of eating them but then when you are done, you beat yourself up and when you step on the scale you have gained weight. 

 

When you stop with the buffering and pursue wellbeing, you will be able to move to where you want to be going. Having gone thru this process, I now understand myself in a deeper way. I can see what it is that I need to learn and grow from and am no longer running away from it. This is a big part of how I Iost 100 pounds and am keeping it off. I no longer keep the blinders on to what it is that is bothering me and deal with it, so it does not affect how and what I eat. There really is real pleasure in feeling all my feelings. 

 

Yes, I still get upset but I deal with it so differently now. I no longer head for the bucket of ice cream every time something happens, thinking it will make me feel better. I no longer need that food to make me feel better because that feeling is dealt with and no longer causing me pain. 

 

-Karen

karenschaible.com

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