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“I just ate 5,000 calories! How can I possibly be kind to myself now?”
I get it.
But kindness, and these other four steps, are exactly what can help you recover from your binge:
1. Be as kind as possible
What you want to do is mentally beat yourself up so you don’t binge again, right? But how many times has being mad at yourself led to you changing your behavior?
Hating yourself doesn’t lead to doing the right thing. If it did, you wouldn’t keep binge eating. Hating on you only leads to more self-hate and more binge eating.
Live by the motto today, “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?”
Keep asking yourself that throughout the day and do what comes to mind.
Maybe the most loving thing you can do in that moment is run yourself a bath, or go for a walk to breathe in some fresh air. Listen to the answers your body is giving you every time you ask that question throughout the day and give yourself what you need.
2. De-stress and embody
I get it. You want to work off the calories you consumed last night. You feel like crap.
But consuming 5,000 calories puts stress on the body as it is. Exercising hard to get it off is only going to add stress to an already stressed-out body and further disconnect you from yourself.
What you want to do is get into your body, out of your stressed state, and into a relaxed state.
Meditate, spend some time breathing, take a long bath, light some candles, read a good book, do some writing, listen to one of your favourite podcasts, put on some relaxing music, do some yoga stretches, go for a comfortable walk, get some air into those lungs.
Spend some time being with your body, even if it isn’t in an optimal state.
Would you disconnect from your loved ones even though they didn’t look a certain way? Keep trying to stay connected to you as much as you can today despite not feeling your best.
3. Get curious and reflect
Get a journal out and reflect on the night before.
Here are some journaling questions to get you going:
>> What was going on around me that triggered me to binge?
>> What was I feeling at the time that led to my binge? Were you feeling: anxious, sad, angry, worried, scared, helpless, hopeless, frustrated, lonely?
>> Did I eat enough earlier on in the day? Enough fat? Enough carbs? Enough protein?
>> Have I been restricting foods lately that has caused me to binge on them?
>> What foods did I binge on? What attracted me to those particular foods? Are these the foods I tend to restrict or have negative beliefs around?
>> What emotions do I have a hard time being with that make me turn to food? What was I taught about these particular emotions growing up as a child — either directly or indirectly? Was I taught to push them away? Was I taught that I was not allowed to feel this particular emotion?
>> Where am I not showing up in my life right now that is making me want to turn to food?
4. Reach out and connect
I bet you’re feeling like you want to be alone, ashamed of what happened last night. I get it and I feel that pain.
What we need to do in these moments when we are feeling the most ashamed and disgusted is to reach out and connect. Our minds tell us that we should hide out and isolate, but we must get uncomfortable and do the exact opposite in order to rid ourselves of that shame.
Shame can only exist in disconnection. Reach out to somebody you feel safe in sharing your story and feelings with. Connection is the antidote to shame.
You will feel so much better for it.
5. Listen to your hunger
Today can be a weird day in terms of hunger. Sometimes the day after a binge we are hungry, even though we ate thousands of calories the night before. This isn’t a bad thing, it means our metabolism has sped up and it requires food.
Sometimes we may not feel hungry at all. This is okay too, as long as you are not mentally restricting because of the amount of calories you ate the day before.
All in all, listen to your hunger. There is no right or wrong here.
Food is the last thing you want to be worrying about or stressing about.
Worry instead about filling yourself up with love and kindness—it is so needed right now.