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“It takes one to know one.” A cliché, yes. But when it comes to bulimia and binge eating, it’s absolutely true. I suffered with an eating disorder for over 15 years, and now that I’ve recovered, I can spot it in someone else a mile away. There’s a big range within eating disorders.
There’s the occasional binger at a party – you know, the guy or gal who lingers over the food, preferring to eat vs. interact. Or the one who binges on Taco Bell or giant bags of M&Ms after coming home from a night of heavy drinking (that was me!). Or the person who purges on a daily basis…or refuses to eat at a restaurant for fear of gaining weight…or insists on organic everything….or the over-exerciser…you get my drift!
My point: we’re all human. And whether you consider yourself ED recovered or are beginning your journey, setbacks happen! For instance, you may have had an extremely stressful day at work where all reason went through the roof and you ended up inhaling an entire bag of chips. These things happen! It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean you’re defective. It doesn’t mean you lack will power or self-control. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re back at square one.
Here’s what it means: YOU HAD A SETBACK. That’s it. While we can sit here and analyze the emotional component behind the behavior – and that is certainly something I do with all of my clients —the focus of this article is about the aftermath. How to get back on track and feel your best post binge. And guess what? Even if you have a perfectly healthy relationship with food, there are times when we eat more than usual and just don’t feel as great. Personally, I think of the holidays. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, I go to town on food. That doesn’t mean I’m back at square one or that OMG, my eating disorder is back. It means I enjoyed food among company and savored every moment. Because that’s what a special occasion is all about! That said, I do feel “ick” sometimes. And if that’s happened to you, then here are my top 5 tips for undoing the post binge “ick” and moving forward.
So you binged – now what?
I hope these tips have helped. Have others that have worked for you? Share by leaving a comment!
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Love this post, Nicole. Really helpful tips. #1 is certainly easier said than done — any suggestions there? And #5 is likely both challenging and critical for many, especially given that EDs are so often suffered alone & in silence…
Yes! I move through it with affirmations and positive self-talk; no matter how cheesy sounding, it really helps me to say "I am not defined by food, I enjoyed my food, food loves me as much as I love food, I chose to enjoy, and now it’s time to let it go!"
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