This ONE Trick Helped Me & My Clients During Bingeing RecoveryFeb 27, 2021
Hello! Today I’d love to share one tip that truly helped me along my recovery journey. It’s helped my 1:1 clients too and might just be a game-changer for you too!
Let’s talk about how you view a binge.
If you're anything like I was, for me, a binge was this horrible, big, bad thing that I wanted to avoid at all costs. I knew it just made me feel so shitty, made me gain weight, which I was desperately trying to not gain and trying to lose and it would just make me feel so bloated the day of the day after. I would feel physically uncomfortable and sick. I could hardly take in like a drop of water after a binge because I just consumed so much.
And more than the physical side. I just felt so guilty and, more than anything, frustrated because I was just like “God damn it! Come on. You're so smart. What are you doing?”. I had already promised myself I'm never going to binge again. I'm never going to have cookies again or whatever my binge food was at the time. And yet I still did it and I knew the after effect was horrible.
I knew it was harming my physical and mental health but still I was doing it. It was just so frustrating - my actions and my logic just could not line up.
So for me the way I viewed a binge was this big, bad thing to avoid at all costs and after it would happen, it would be this terrible aftermath. My next day was a waste because I would - if I could, if it was practically possible - I would sleep in pretty late to sort of give myself an excuse to skip breakfast. Also just because I felt straight up depressed after binges.
HOW TO REFRAME “THE BINGE”
Basically the way I viewed it was it was a terrible thing and I was terrible for doing it. So what I want to propose to you today is to reframe this whole narrative around a binge. Instead of seeing as this terrible thing that you’re scared of happening - let’s reframe it. I challenge you to look at it as if it’s no big deal.
“Oops! I over-ate today. It's more than my body needed. I'm being realistic. I know it's more than my body needed, but I'm going to move on. And I'm going to live tomorrow as if it's a normal day, so I'm not going to restrict myself and I'm not going to be really down on myself.”
At first this might seem pretty unrealistic or just difficult to even fathom doing
because how can you go about the next day feeling normal when you might still be feeling so stuffed and uncomfortable. But it is a process. I know for me, it was actually a really big thing that helped me in recovery. No one told me to do it. I didn't consciously do it but I just started doing it.
It particularly became a useful technique a little bit into my recovery - once the binges started to become a little less frequent. That way it was easier to say, “Oh well! Oops!”. Because I knew I wasn’t bingeing most days at that point - it was more like once or twice a week. So use this tool when it feels right for you.
I think there's no harm even trying to use it when you are deeper in the struggle. Because what it does is it takes away the roller coaster of emotions that you feel after the binge. That guilt that you feel towards yourself, the shame of “I am bad. I did something bad. There's something wrong with me. I have this terrible flaw. I am out of control. I am so messed up!”. It takes away that because you're just like, “Okay, let's move on! Whatever, next day. Let's start again.”
So you don't get trapped in that cycle of feeling those difficult emotions - and then off the back of them, the cycle keeps happening. When you feel that guilt, that frustration, that sadness whatever comes for you - what do you do? You start ruminating. You start planning. You start strategising. How can I fix this? How can I do something drastic so this never happens again?
That’s where these fear-based actions kick in - the quick fixes, the desperate behaviours. Like restricting the next day or the days after a binge. Or skipping meals or trying to purge. So we want to avoid perpetuating the cycle and the cycle is perpetuated by having those big emotions after a binge.
These big emotions won't necessarily come up as strongly or at all if you shake it off. Shake off the binge a la Taylor Swift!
“Okay? You know, I had a bit of a slip up or a hiccup!”
VIEW IT THROUGH THE LENS OF CURIOSITY
Let yourself know there’s nothing wrong with you! You can even view it through a lens of curiosity. So instead of the go-to judgment, be curious. The binge is a clue. It is a signal that something is a little bit off. So whether that is physical signs like you've been restricting too much or maybe it's something emotional
but deeper down that's being suppressed that you're trying to get rid of using food.
Food is an amazing soothing mechanism. Maybe it is something that's a bit deeper to look into like is their anxiety, is their sadness or loneliness that I can dig into and tend to so I don't need to go to food to do that job of soothing.
Not only did this technique work for me, but it’s working for my 1:1 clients too. I have two clients at the time of writing for whom things have recently really clicked. There’s been a big turning point in their recovery. I did ask them once things had started to get better - “What do you think were the big shifts?”. Both of them said that one of the things for them was seeing the binge as not this really big, bad thing.
Just even not using the vocabulary of a binge can help. I know it did for one of my clients and I actually did for me too. I stopped using the word binge in my head and six months down the road after I was completely binge-free, one day it just appeared in my head. I was like, “Oh my God, I haven't even thought of the word binge or said it out loud for months!”. It was gone from my vocabulary!
One of my clients is doing the same thing. She's just seeing it as overeating a little bit too much or just as “I just ate too much today”. It's not this specific thing that we place so much emphasis and focus on.
And that’s it! That’s the simple trick that truly helped me during recovery and with my own clients too.
Allow yourself to let go of this idea of the binge monster that you’re scared of. Take back your power. Don’t let yourself jump on that roller coaster of emotions post-binge.
Start your food and body healing journey with the FREE masterclass
"Why You're Still Binge-Eating & How To Stop"