Disclaimer: I am not an eating disorder specialist or professional. I am not stating that I think that this is not a big enough deal to just have some quick easy tips and that's the end of it. I know it's far deeper than that. However, from my own personal experience, I have used some of the tips below and feel that they can really help to make steps in the right direction. If you are having issues, there are many professionals and counselors who are trained to better help you and I definitely recommend seeking those if needed.
Now, isn't that a loaded title?
"But, I can't.
But, this is something that I'm stuck with forever.
But, once you have a problem, you will always have a problem.
But, this is my crutch.
But, I have bigger issues in life than anyone can understand. This is my escape."
I know that little voice in your head, but you know what else I know? I know I have a God who is the Great Physician, and I know that He is bigger than you are. He is bigger than that, and if He healed me, then he can certainly heal you. However, I know it's deeper than that and maybe you don't believe in that so don't stop reading now. I have valuable information to come.
I feel as if the word "binge" gets thrown around WAY too often. Binge eating is not where you just slightly overeat. Binge eating is actually where you physically feel as if you cannot stop. You feel as if you have been taken over by these emotions and you keep eating and eating past the point of overeating. It's eating to the point of nauseous which leads some to purge. It's eating to the point of literal pain. So, can we be PC and stop calling something a binge when it's not? It rides me the wrong way.
I actually get asked a lot some advice on how to stop. Here is the best advice I know to give you.
1. You've GOT to get carbs, fats, and proteins (ALL OF THEM) into your daily diet.
Your body needs all of those things. If you are deficient in one, then your body is going to feel like it's not getting what it needs which can lead to cravings and then things get out of control.
2. You've also got to get ENOUGH of those macros.
It is MUCH better for your body and metabolism if you are eating 2000 calories per day then if you are eating 1200 calories and then 4000 and back and forth. The body needs homeostasis as I ALWAYS talk about, and gets so confused when you do this. It absolutely WRECKS your metabolism.
3.. Take the smallest baby steps in the world.
Give yourself praise if you make it 2 hours, then give yourself praise if you make it one day. Baby steps turn into adult steps. You've just got to commit to this very second.
4. Give yourself a little more credit.
If you used to do it every day and now you are doing it every other day, that's a step. If you used to do it every half week and now you do it once a week, then that's progress. And you've GOT to praise yourself for that. You can't look at the one episode and think "I was doing so well and now I've ruined everything." You have to change your perspective and think "You know what? That is the FURTHEST I've made it and that's freakin awesome. Let's see how long I can go this time."
5. Stop making it such a big deal.
My husband was the one who mentioned this to me. It's so true. The bigger weight that you give to the binge, the more that it's going to affect you. If you just let it roll off your back when it happens, then you aren't thinking about it as much. This is a mental shift, and it's hard but let me tell you, you can convince your mind of anything and you CAN do this. Think about if I binged and you were on the outside. You would care for me, but you wouldn't really care. Think of yourself that way. Look at things from the outside looking in and how you would see it. That can change your perspective.
6. Keep a journal.
I have a journal that I'll always have that let me vent. I got out of all my feelings, but I also was able to watch them turn into prayers of praise. I looked back the other day and thought "Oh my goodness, that used to be me?" So insane! Every day that you have a successful day, mark that on your calender with a star. The next day, mark it again. When you look back, and see that you have 7 stars, or 10 stars, or 20 stars, you just want to keep the trend going.
7. Stop telling yourself it's the very last time.
I know that sounds weird, but I think that it leads you to those guilty feelings of self hate. I think that it makes you think that you absolutely suck because you made such a huge commitment to yourself, and then you broke it. Again, everything with this should be done in that very moment. You don't have to think about it in such big terms. You don't have to think of this in time frames of your life. Think about THIS moment, RIGHT now. That makes it seem less huge and able to conquer.
8. Eat sugar everyday.
I wrote a blog post about the science behind a binge, and it is the truth that if you don't have sugar, then your body is going to have an insulin spike even if you have just one piece of something tiny and that's going to send you into a whirlwind of emotions that are REALLY hard to fight. I think that IIFYM is life changing for those struggling with this. It stops the restrictions, and I think it helps many recover.
9. Know your triggers and get rid of them.
You know what I'm talking about. I want you to have sugar every day and I think that IIFYM helps, but I also think that there are certain foods that you know are going to make you want to binge, and you've GOT to get rid of them. When you are fully done with all your habits, you can bring those foods back.
10. Have an action plan.
You've GOT to have a plan and a person that keeps you accountable. If you are in one of those moments, it's very hard to fight (it's been compared to heroin addiction) but if you have someone who knows you enough then that's wonderful. If not, then you need a plan of what you do whether that be duck taping your pantry door shut ( I'm so serious) or if that means taking a walk outside, you need a plan.
Last but not least, know that this is possible. Maybe I'm patting myself on the back, but when I say 100% done with all of this, I mean it. Like, I never think about it. I never talk about it (unless to help someone). I literally am 100% done with it. I am moving away from talking about those experiences in my life because I think it sheds a bad light on what I'm trying to do in the fitness industry but I want to let you know that it IS possible. You are capable. You are worthy and you CAN ABSOLUTELY 100% DO THIS!!
With love and recovery,