One of the most common things I hear from clients in clinic is that they struggle with the big, bad B word: bingeing.
For so many people, it is the dirtiest word imaginable. Binge eating can be a truly scary experience, and for many, it becomes larger than life.
It can happen due to stress, anger and even happiness. And in my opinion, it happens from having a complicated relationship with food – as well as not feeling good enough. You binge on food to fill those feelings of overwhelm.
And then the guilt, the anxiety and the self-loathing begin.
And it happens again out of guilt and anger at yourself.
A horribly vicious cycle.
Through personal experience and from talking to clients, I’ve developed some top strategies to help you recover and get back on track.
How to recover from bingeing
1. Let go of deprivation
A binge doesn’t mean you should now restrict. This perpetuates the cycle and almost guarantees another binge. You have to give yourself PERMISSION to eat your favorite foods, with joy. Incorporate healthy foods – you’ll quickly learn to enjoy them because they nourish and protect your body. Your body deserves this respect. Become a conscious eater – eat what you wish, but remember moderation.
2. Recognise that food is abundant
Clients often tell me they fear there is not enough food at meals. Perhaps as a child their mom didn’t cook enough at dinner time, or because they deprived themselves for so long they fear food is scarce. Remember you can always have more another time – you can! See, dieters tell themselves they can’t have it later – because “starting tomorrow I am going to be good – I am not going to touch one unhealthy thing.” The pressure that comes with that statement eventually leads to a binge.
3. Remember you are good enough
For many, it helps to see a counsellor to remind yourself of this or to figure out what you don’t believe you are. You need to make peace with yourself in order to have a peaceful relationship with food. My new book, The Healthy Life, goes into great deal about how to do this – be sure to give it a read!
4. Forgive yourself
Let go of what you ate yesterday or last weekend – today is another day and your body can handle an imperfect day! Trust your body will break the food down, and then get back onto your journey of healing
Granted, all of these tips take practice. Just as the outlet of bingeing becomes habit, so too does the act of doing something else in response. It will take time. But know that each time you utilize one of these tools instead of a trip to the kitchen to soothe yourself, the closer you are to being binge-free. And you really can get there!