Oh my gosh…. I binged again. One moment, everything is fine, then BAM. Just like that, you ate all the cookies, a bag of chips, some ice cream, and you’re still wanting more. You feel like you’re out of control, and as many times as you tell yourself no, you always give in to the binge.
“How on earth does this keep happening.”
“Just when I think I’m done with this cycle, it happens again.”
“I binge whenever I’m emotional, and then I hate myself.”
If this is you, you are not alone! Binge-eating is an incredibly deep-rooted emotional and physiological issue within a person. Simply telling someone not to overeat or “eat intuitively” will not fix the pattern. Here are the 7 DOs and DON’Ts to moving on past a binge,
1.DON’T allow yourself to believe that binging defines you
- So often I hear, “well you know, I just think that this is something I’m always going to deal with. I’ve always been this way.” I AM an emotional eater. That, right there, is a label that can and WILL define you if allowed. You are NOT your binge! You are a beautiful human being, and you will make it through this!
2. DO spend time recognizing exactly what triggers you to binge.
- Who are you? So many people say, “oh I eat when I’m emotional.” No, what triggers you to binge? What are the emotions you feel, and what situations surround those emotions. Do you feel rejected? Unloved? Forgotten? Maybe you don’t feel like you’ve been forgiven. Figure out if there is a specific feeling creating the binge tendency.
3. DON’T try to go work off your binge at the gym.
- This fuels the binge-eating cycle. The truth is, by going to work out after a binge, only a small fraction of the calories are used up. Not only that, but also it fuels the binge fire. By working out til you feel like death, you are creating a grueling cycle of self-hatred and defeat. DON’T punish yourself!
4. DO allow yourself to continue to eat normally.
- Naturally, if you eat 10,000 calories one day from binging, then the next day you’ll be tempted to eat a carrot stick or nothing at all. The problem with this is that the binge-eating cycle is typically fueled by prior restriction. When restriction occurs, the body is deprived of what it needs. Although, it seems like “common sense” to not eat for the following week, you are truly harming your body AND your brain.
5. DON’T step on the scale!!!
- This will fuel and escalate the hatred that you are already feeling towards yourself. You already know you’re going to weigh more after consuming xyz amount of calories. The reality is, the scale is one of the most detrimental tools when working towards freedom with food.
- The cycle: You binge, weigh yourself, freak out, restrict calories, and then repeat.
- The cycle is emotional. Perhaps you don’t restrict. If consist emotional eating without restriction is your issue, this also applies. Knowing that binging is triggered by emotions (whether sad, disappointed, angry), how is it going to help stepping on the scale after a binge? What emotion will be felt?
- Most likely, the sadness, the frustration, the self-hatred will drive you deeper into your cycle. This is exactly what you want to avoid.
6. DO allow yourself time to pray or meditate
- After a binge, most people do not want to spend quality time with themselves. No one wants to sit in the quiet and think about what they did. It’s difficult, especially when the negative self-talk is loud. Often times, it’s easier just to stay in a continual state of self-hatred without ever really sitting and thinking about what is happening. What is surrounding these binges? Why do I hate myself so much? Is there a reason I feel out of control? Studies show that people who allow themselves to process their emotions are all around healthier.
- If binging is something consistent even without emotional triggers, perhaps weigh whether or not you have a food addiction. Here are 5 ways to recognize food addiction. Allow yourself to stop, think, pray, and process about what’s going on. Shut down the self-hatred and just be still.
7. DO look into counseling
- My counselor once told me that the strongest people are the ones who seeks counsel. At one point in time, I was terrified of going to counseling. I thought that it would be weird and awkward. I knew they couldn’t fix me. What I didn’t understand was how counselors work. How they make you think and feel in ways you can’t yourself. If you cannot figure out how to escape the binge cycle. I HIGHLY suggest counseling!
When a binge happens, even if it’s been a long going cycle, the world is not over. Life goes on and you do as well. I understand the cycle. It seems impossible to escape, but I promise, it’s not!
There is FREEDOM from binge-eating! Keep walking forward, and give yourself immense grace! You will get out of this cycle.
As always, in MIND, BODY, and SPIRIT- Stay Anchored.