You just finished binge eating and you feel miserable. Physically, the feeling after a binge can be hard to put into words. Your stomach is extended, you don’t’ want to sit down, you have a headache, you feel exhaustion and nausea. But nothing compares to the emotional toll a binge takes on you. The guilt, the shame, the clean up after you just ate, the negative self-talk. Here’s some simple guidelines for how to help your mind and body heal after a binge:
- The most important thing to remember after a binge: Don’t beat yourself up. This also happens to be the hardest thing to do after binge eating. Watch your thoughts, how you talk to yourself after. Often you’ll think ” I’m such a failure, I can’t believe I just ate that much, I’ll never get better, I have no will power”. Accept that it happened, you cannot change that and let go. Try to shift your focus on how to aid your mind and body post-binge.
- Help the body digest the food. Go for an easy walk around the block. If you can’t get outside to walk do a light restorative yoga video on youtube. Sip on some hot tea (ginger tea helps in aiding digestion) or coffee. Something warm helps soothe the mind and helps with digesting.
- Don’t start planning on how you’ll “even things out” by not eating anything tomorrow or restricting calories. That is a deadly cycle that does not help your mind or body heal. Restricting calories later is the FASTEST way to guarantee you will binge again. Eat regular, scheduled meals after the binge. Eating what you can at the next meal will help you feel better physically and emotionally.
- Journal: Write a letter of compassion to yourself. Here’s an example:
Dear Danielle: I know you’ve been having such a hard time dealing the stress that this is causing your mind and body. You’ve been doing such a great job trying to get help and improve your health and wellbeing. We all make mistakes and it’s okay that this happened considering all your going through. You are so smart, funny and beautiful. You have so many good things going for you and you’ll definitely get through this. It’s okay, you’re okay.Love, Danielle
Binge eating, emotional eating and disorder eating can be very isolating. Trying to fix it on your own is often what we try to do but it’s not the solution. Reaching out to supportive family and friends and getting professional help will be the fastest way to recover and develop a healthier mind & body. Reach out to a therapist and/or dietician in your area that specializes in eating issues and start your journey to heal.
Danielle Swimm, LCPC: Danielle is a licensed psychotherapist that specializes in eating issues. She has a passion for mind, body health and intuitive eating. She works with clients struggling with emotional eating, disordered eating, and anxiety. She offers psychotherapy at her Annapolis office to adults and adolescents.