Sooo you’ve been working really hard on not binge eating. On staying away from those pints of ice cream and trays of cookies at the office. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, you find yourself doing it again. Dinner is over, you know you “should” just clean up the kitchen and get outta there, but then you find yourself snacking. Cereal. Leftovers. Peanut Butter. The cookies you made with your kids that afternoon.
And then you feel like crap. Physically and emotionally. You feel like a failure, discouraged and angry that you just inhaled so many calories and set yourself back again. You wonder if this will ever stop, if you’ll ever figure out why you do this and be able to put these behaviors behind you.
You go to bed stuffed, uncomfortable, and upset. And then you wake up the next day feeling hungover, determined to eat healthy and make up for all the food from the night before.
And this is where I come in! I am going to teach you exactly what to do in this moment. The next day. When you wake up and you’re so upset with yourself, but you want to move on in a positive, productive way instead of just beating yourself up all day.
Here’s what you do.
1. Forgive yourself for the binge.
Remember this and repeat it to yourself over and over and over again if you have to.
There’s nothing WRONG with you because you binge. (tweet this!)
It’s happening as a result of years of dieting which have screwed up your mentality toward food. There are some wires crossed which cause this behavior, and we simply need to just uncross the wires. There’s nothing wrong with YOU, there’s just something funky about the way you think about food and yourself. So forgive yourself! You’re okay. You’re still awesome, promise.
2. Make a rule: only kind and compassionate thoughts are allowed.
After a binge, you’re likely used to beating yourself up. But, being mean to yourself only reduces your self-esteem even further, which is one of the main reasons you binge in the first place. Remember that you’re learning. You’re learning about yourself and your relationship with food, and it takes time to figure it all out. Bingeing sucks, and you probably feel uncomfortable and upset.
If a friend was uncomfortable and upset for doing something she wasn’t happy about, would you berate her? Probably not. You would comfort her.
So accept that you did something you’re not too pleased about, and offer yourself kindness and compassion. “Honey, I know you’re upset with yourself. It’s okay. You’re still learning. All change takes time. You’re still beautiful and loving and worthy just as you are”. Things like that!
3. Do “the hindsight exercise”.
I teach this to all of my clients because this is one of the most helpful things I did in order to pull myself out of my diet / binge days. I always found it virtually impossible to “stop the binge before it happens” and I think a lot of you probably know exactly what I mean. When you’re about to binge, there’s not much that can stop you. While I do teach “preventative” strategies to help people stop bingeing, sometimes you just get to the point where it’s going to happen.
So in that case, use the hindsight strategy.
The day after a binge is your golden opportunity to learn and grow.
The next day, once you’ve used lots of kindness and compassion on yourself and you’re in a more peaceful place, take an honest look at what happened the night before. Ask yourself these questions:
In hindsight, what did I really need in that moment that I binged?
What was the food really doing for me?
What was I feeling / what kind of thoughts about myself was I having?
Was this caused by an emotional trigger or something “diet mentality” related? (<– the two main reasons we binge)
If I could do the entire night over, what could I have done differently that I think would have prevented the binge?
4. Don’t “make up for it” by restricting your food.
Don’t try to make up for a binge by restricting your food the next day. It’s just perpetuating the restriction / binge cycle which is exactly what you’re trying to break free from. Instead, tune into your body to guide you. What does she want the next day? Soothing foods for her stomach? Water? Vegetables? Small snacks vs. big meals? Treat this day just like any other day that you’re tuning in. Wipe the slate clean from the night before and get back to being as intuitive as you can.
These four steps should really help you recover from a binge. But if there’s one thing I want you to take away from everything I wrote it’s this:
There’s nothing wrong with you because you binge.
You’re okay. And you CAN get past it. I have helped so many women heal this part of their lives, women who thought for SURE they would never stop binge eating. It’s so do-able for you! You just have to keep learning why it’s happening and uncross those wires. These steps will help.
Please comment below, what are your questions about binge eating? For those of you who have moved past this, what has helped you the most?
The most important relationship you have in your life is with yourself. Check out the Master Your Life group coaching program to learn how supreme self-care can heal your relationship with food and give you rock solid confidence and strength.
P.S. Exciting things ahead! My group program Master Your Life is coming out in September! Click here to get on the email list so you’re the first to know when we open for registration.
P.P.S. The 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge is ongoing and you can start at any time. Click here to join us!