Binges can last anywhere from one meal to one month. Regardless of the length, the outcome is always the same…you feel like the most disgusting person in the world once it’s over.
I always enter my binges blindly. It’s almost as though I’m in an alternate universe with no cognitive ability to make any sort of healthy choice. I can’t stop myself from going through with the binge because I can’t even think, all I can do is act…all I can do is stuff my face.
I struggled for over ten years with bulimia. The early years were the worst. I spent days in my apartment in New York City literally consumed with my disorder. I remember going back and forth all day to the deli across the street from me, buying boxes of cupcakes and ice cream. My eyes had dark circles under them. My skin was gray. I looked like hell — fighting against my body so hard — all in the name of looking beautiful.
Those days are long gone now, but I still have my moments where I struggle with my relationship to food. I still find myself blindly eating sometimes. I still have periods where I eat more chips and cookies than I know my body wants. Sometimes, I am able to get a grip faster than others. During the spells that last longer, it often is my feelings of shame and guilt that shake me from the “stuff my face” spell. In those moments, I have to stand back and look at myself. I must have the presence of mind to understand why my eating is coming from an emotional place rather than an intuitive one.
Binging comes from feeling like you don’t measure up. Whether it’s from a diet that you believe you can’t stick to or a relationship that is causing havoc in your life, it’s all branches from the same tree.
The tree of fear.
It cycles out from there. When we finally come to our senses, we hurt even more. Yet again we fell victim to our emotions. Yet again we were unable to control our cravings. We tell ourselves how pathetic we are, how weak, how undisciplined. We promise ourselves that, “tomorrow” we will be “better.”
My tomorrow would come and I would skip meals, skip carbs and exercise till my knees buckled. All of which was totally pointless. For as many days as I was “good,” I also would end up being “bad.” In the end, it wasn’t the weight that disappeared, it was my sanity.
Fighting our bodies is so exhausting!
A healthy relationship with food and with ourselves is the only way to regain peace in our lives again. The hardest part is being willing to give up your need to lose weight. You can’t find peace with your body if you are still trying to “fix” it. You have to take your eyes off of the physical and put it on the internal. The soul — that flicker of unique and beautiful light that is all and totally you!
You have to trust in that light again.
You have to start feeding that light and nurturing it like a newborn baby. Never let go of it. Never let it out of your sight.
The truth is, even while mothering the child in you, there will still be days where the fear in you speaks louder than the cheer in you. You have to have these days. It’s an integral part of the process of healing. Expect and accept mistakes rather than be blindsided by them. After all, you are only human. These stumbling blocks are little tests, not to see just how “good” or “bad” you are, but how forgiving and graceful you can be with yourself.
A joyful heart and a peaceful soul begins with these two things.
The way to love yourself after a binge is not to make promises you can’t keep. It isn’t to restrict your food or exercise for an extra hour a day. It is to acknowledge that you are on a new path, a very exciting path! A healthy path that you can trust. It is to give yourself the forgiveness you deserve.
Most importantly, it’s to bless your soul repeatedly with grace.
There is no journey more amazing than that of loving yourself. All the hurt and pain my food issues have caused me have all been worth the beautiful adventure of mothering my inner child. It is a gift that has shaped me continually. I believe that every struggle God gives us is an opportunity to strengthen us.
Within all of us is the power to love every inch of our beautiful mess.
Need steps on how to start loving yourself? Check out my list below!
- Surround yourself in something soft. Wrap up in a blanket, cuddle an old stuffed animal, put on some fluffy socks.
- Light a scented candle and put on some hippie music. I love listening to meditation sounds on youtube.
- Watch a comedy special. Laughter is the best medicine!
- Journal about what you are thankful for. This will help release negative energy in your body and restore perspective.
- Take a hot bath with healing salts or scented bath soap.
- Put on a face mask and practice breathing exercises while it dries.
- Do YOGA!
- Work on a coloring book.
- Exercise, but mindfully, not to burn calories but to let out internal emotion.
- Brush your hair. As a mom, I hardly ever even brush my hair. Most of the time I just toss it in a bun. Brushing your hair is a very soothing technique to restore calmness and well-being.
- Read a body positive blog — Virgie Tovar is one of my favorites!
- Say a prayer. Getting in touch with your spirituality is so important in healing. Knowing that you are not alone and that you have a God to look to for help is such a blessing. Value that and use it!
- Make a list of the sources of your stress and meditate on those. Try to recall them when you find yourself being led to destructive behaviors. A present mind is a progressing mind.
My number one step — Seek a Health Coach! Support is so important. A health coach can give you all the support and guidance you need to get your life back on track.