What If I Binge During Recovery? Should I Start The 30 Day Reboot From Day 1 Again?Jan 25, 2023
NOTE: This article is for those doing the 30 Day Reboot course - my food freedom course that helps you break free from the binge-diet cycle.
I get this question about once or twice a month from women doing the 30 Day Reboot:
“I feel terrible! I binged yesterday and I’m only on day 5 of the 30 Day Reboot. What should I do? Should I start from Day 1 again?”
Of course, your journey is personal to you so do things how you feel work best for you, but here is my advice:
It’s Normal To Binge In Recovery
Firstly, I want to reassure you that it is so normal to binge early on in the 30 Day Reboot. You’ve likely been struggling with the binge-restrict cycle for at least a few months if not many years so it is unrealistic to expect that you will suddenly stop bingeing just because you started a course.
The 30 Day Reboot is good but it’s not that good!
Don’t put that pressure on yourself to do a 180 overnight. You need time to learn the new tools in the course and, more importantly, time to implement them.
You Will Slip Up During Recovery!
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again - healing is not linear. There will be setbacks, challenges, obstacles - like binges! While the end goal of this journey is to learn how to stop binge-eating entirely, another part of the journey is learning how to move through these tougher moments when they do happen (because they will happen!).
It’s about learning how to give yourself kindness and compassion in those moments when you feel like a failure. And importantly, it’s about learning from these moments - and improving each time.
One of my favourite parts of the 30 Day Reboot is how it teaches you to become more resilient to life’s challenges because whether it’s binge eating, a horrible day at work or someone ghosting you - life will throw things at you. It’s empowering to learn how to be resilient to these moments rather than needing a crutch like food to get you through every time.
Don’t Go Back To Square 1
To fully answer the question, in my opinion, you shouldn’t go back to square one on the course because of these reasons:
1. Starting the course over every time you binge/have a slip-up insinuates that you are going back to square 1 with your healing. That all of your efforts so far have been pointless. You are not back at square 1 though! Whether you’re 3 days into your journey or 29 days, you’ve already learned and improved. You’re not the same person as you were at the start.
2. Starting over every time also says that a binge = a failure. News flash: it’s not! A binge is simply a signal that something isn’t quite right and that you need to listen to your body/mind’s needs a little more closely and tend to them.
E.g. Ensure you’re eating enough throughout the day / getting more nourishing foods in / letting go of extreme dieting / tending to emotional needs. If you start over every time you binge, you don’t really give yourself room to learn from the binge - it’s almost like wiping the slate clean and trying again but not actually changing anything.
3. It’s giving “I got to start being good again on Monday to get back on track” vibes! In this food freedom journey, we’re trying to let go of perfectionism, black-and-white thinking, and catastrophic thinking too! It’s ok to not be perfect along the way! It’s about learning how to pick up, dust yourself off, learn, and get better over time.
4. That ‘start on Monday’ feeling might also justify ‘one last binge’. You might think, ‘well, I’ll start the course again on Monday, so this Saturday and Sunday I’ll just let loose and have a big binge for the last time!’. This ‘last supper’ effect is another mindset we’re trying to release in food freedom too. We’re moving towards a more balanced approach to food, where there are the highs (huge binges) aren’t as high, and the lows (extreme restriction) aren’t as low. We want to learn to move on after a bigger meal without needing to undo ‘the damage’.
That’s my view on what to do when you binge / relapse during recovery.
If you aren’t on the 30 Day Reboot yet and want help with your food freedom journey - learn more about this course here.
If you’re on the 30 Day Reboot and want a quick 30 minute 1:1 call with me to discuss any struggle in more detail - feel free to book here.
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