“I’ve been BAD today…so I may as well just give in/ binge/ pig out/ etc……..” (insert your own personal reason (EXCUSE) here) …..”I’ll start again tomorrow”
Every morning, you wake up thinking that this will be IT- NO MORE BINGEING. NO MORE OVEREATING. NO MORE SECRET EATING. NO MORE BAD FOODS. NO MORE……..
…..fast forward to later on in the day. Any of these vaguely familiar?
Maybe it’s a mid morning slump because you have skipped breakfast or you ate insufficient to see you through- or your choice of breakfast isn’t ideal for you…
Maybe something has thrown you off your “plan”- an argument, a stressful day. A birthday. Friday cakes in the office.
You are late home. You are STARVING. Nothing in the fridge. Oh God, you are so hungry that actually, you could eat the damn fridge. Too tired to cook. Oh, look, there’s a loaf of bread. Suddenly, the loaf of bread has been eaten.
Bread is not on your list of good foods. It may be a binge trigger (in which case why is it there??? – that’s for another post though so hold that thought for now). Oh well, you’ve blown it now, so you may as well just eat up that piece of X/ Y/Z……and THAT, and THAT TOO…..leading to…any or all of the following, plus many more besides:
I have no willpower. I’m destined to be fat and pathetic forever
Why did I do that?
I feel stuffed and so sick.
I can’t sleep now because I can’t digest any of this.
OH GOD HOW many calories? I need to work it off / throw it up/ take a massive dose of Dulcolax/ start over TOMORROW……yes, tomorrow I will start again. That’s the LAST time I do this to myself…
If this is common for you, you aren’t alone, but maybe it’s time to think about what you say and what you mean when you say that you will start again tomorrow.
Are you TRULY committed to this or are you almost habitually telling yourself inwardly that you aren’t? What????? Of COURSE I’m committed, you say.
Yes, you might think that’s absolute rubbish! Why would you choose to do this to yourself? Well…..I hate to break this to you, but ultimately- you ARE! No one else is.
Here’s an idea.
I would like you to think about this and your thoughts around “starting tomorrow”
If you really COMMITTED to starting a binge-free life tomorrow, what would you expect of yourself? What would you actually be committing to?
Would it be something like:
100% “allowed” foods ONLY. For GOOD!
NEVER overeating again
BANNING all (insert your food choice/s here) for GOOD
Stopping eating as an emotional response EVERY TIME.
What would your rules be?
Think about them.
AND then write them down. All of them. All these rules that you would set yourself.
And then, think about this:-
If you told someone close to you to do these things, would they agree?
Would they say you were being realistic?
Or maybe rather too rigid?
Black – and –white, all – or-nothing thinking is pretty common amongst binge eaters you know. Such perfectionism is pretty difficult to maintain and sets you up to fail.
When your expectations of yourself and your outcomes are unrealistic, you set yourself up for giving up and caving in. No one can keep extreme regimes up forever. And really- do you want to when it comes to it? No. Life is actually meant to be fun! And do you think this might also be the reason that you give in and binge at times? The rules are broken and….now I can RELAX….the rules are temporarily out of the equation and it’s a food- fest until the next set of rules, which of course come in to effect from tomorrow.
If I asked you as a first- time gym-goer to do a tough ultra- event in three months’ time, would you be really capable of doing it? Would you think it impossible?
But if you broke it down in to several chunks, each with a challenge that is within reach- they push you towards your goal BUT they are still doable, would that motivate you more?
If you recognised that sometimes little slips can teach you and show you a better way, would you be able to use that to your advantage?
If you focused on NOW and not TOMORROW all the time, how would that make you feel? One hour, one day….a sense of achievement perhaps?
Think about this. Think about this the next time you are about to reach for something that is not on your long list of “allowed foods”. And instead of advance panicking/ berating yourself/ giving in/ starting again because you have “blown it”…
Just…STOP for a minute.
Focus on the NOW.
Look closely at the food in front of you or in your hand, whatever.
Think about what it is you are feeling RIGHT NOW.
Describe what you see, smell, hear, to yourself
FOCUS all your attention on this food.
Look at it. What does it look like?
Take a deep breath and inhale the aroma, if there is one. What does that food smell like?
Do you still want to eat it? Why? Are you physically hungry? Craving sweet things? Feeling stressed and actually not hungry at all really?
And then yes- take a bite of it. Don’t do it with any negative emotion- just – take a bite. What does it taste like? What is the texture? Chew it slooooowly and really take it in, all this information.
Is it actually what you wanted? Does it “hit the spot?”
If NOT, what are you looking for instead?
If YES- eat it, sit down, relax and enjoy it. You haven’t binged or broken any rules, you have just enjoyed something that you wanted to eat.
Practice this regularly even if it seems weird. It probably will. But how often do bingers taste the food they are bingeing on?
That’s a great step forward in itself!
Whatever- don’t let this derail you; use it as a really positive piece of binge- avoidance and a step closer to losing the fear of food. Above all, don’t think that it’s all screwed up and go on a bender until tomorrow. Because all you have is the now. Right now. Start to enjoy!