I binged . . . now what should I do? I recently slipped on my eating disorder recovery and binged. It’s a difficult thing to admit to the world, but I did. It can be extremely hard to bounce back after a binge. It can feel like total failure and like it’s the end of the world. Guess what, it’s not. Here I share the lessons I’ve learned from my recent slip.
I Binged, But Relapse Is Part of Recovery
Unfortunately it is often said that relapse is part of recovery. I really believe in the truth of this saying. Each time a slip or binge eating disorder relapse occurs, we are given the chance to gain insight from our behavior. If we are able to analyze the events leading up to it and our feelings, there is so much perspective that can be gained.
When I binged recently I barely even realized I was doing it. It was like my brain completely shut off and I was in a different world. This world consisted solely of figuring out a way to calm my system down.
I’ve been stressed and tired lately which causes me lots of anxiety. This anxiety is what I needed calm from. I felt overwhelmed and didn’t take the time to develop a proper plan to cope. Because I didn’t have a proper plan, I turned to an automatic behavior, eating, and I binged. This obviously only aided in temporary relief. After the binge, I felt terrible.
However, through all of the terrible feelings and disappointment, I’ve gained new knowledge of how I need to take care of myself.
What To Do After A Binge Relapse
You just binged. You feel like a failure. All you want to do is hide from the world. These are the actions/feelings that need to be combated. Remember this binge is not the end of the world, it is simply a sign that some things in your life may need to be shifted.
Go back through the day or even the week and look for moments that stick out to you. Did someone make a comment that upset you? Were you not eating an adequate amount? Were you overtired or overwhelmed? These are a few things that could have potentially triggered your binge (Causes of Binge Eating Disorder).
Once you have uncovered the root of your binge, think about an alternative plan for next time these things happen. In my case I feel as though I’ve taken on a bit more then I can handle. A solution for this would be cutting back on some things and allowing more time for relaxation.
I truly hope you all are doing fantastic and do not let a small step back make you feel like your progress isn’t valid. Always remember to breathe and find insight from the behaviors that may surface. You are strong. You are capable. Keep fighting.
I’m in recovery from binge eating disorder and I always find people asking me whether I consider myself recovered from my eating disorder. My answer is always no. I will always view myself in the terms of “in recovery” because I believe that the eating disorder healing process is a journey without an end point. There are people that do not side with my viewpoint but this is my belief system: Recovery from binge eating disorder will last my lifetime.
Why I Consider Myself In Recovery From Binge Eating Disorder
Because I have been abstinent from my behaviors for a substantial period of time most, would think I am fully recovered and my eating disorder days are behind me. I disagree.
I consider recovery from binge eating disorder to be a lifelong process. I believe that the minute we stop working on our recovery is when our eating disorder starts doing push ups. In simple terms, I think of my disorder like some sort of disease in remission. Yes, I’m doing well now but there is always that chance that my illness will begin to show its face again, probably when I least expect it.
I in no way mean to be a downer or am trying to discourage you from recovery. I think recovery is an absolutely possible thing to attain. I do, however, believe that an eating disorder is something that needs to be constantly kept in check (Symptom Switching: When Your Eating Disorder Wears A Costume).
Why Your Recovery from Binge Eating Disorder Needs Constant Attention
Like I stated before, once you begin to ignore your recovery (even if you’re doing great) your eating disorder can appear out of nowhere knowing you are not actively fighting it. I’m not saying you need to work on recovery every moment of every day, what I’m saying is you need to check-in with yourself on a regular basis.
My experience is that when I think I’m doing amazing and nothing can ruin my wellness is when things begin to go awry. When I am not journaling, using movement, or seeking support, I start to use negative coping skills that are not so beneficial for healing. This often leads to the eventual use of eating disorder behaviors.
I am staying strong in my recovery but will never consider myself recovered from my eating disorder. I have learned from experience that my behaviors can come back at anytime, without warning, if I am not keeping tabs on my emotions.
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to comment below. Keep working hard, keep checking in, and keep practicing positive coping skills. Stay strong.
Eating disorder support keeps you from feeling alone in the world. Connecting with others who are experiencing or have experienced the same things as you is a great way to get through these feelings of loneliness caused by the eating disorder.
Eating Disorder Support by Connecting with Others
Sharing Experiences with Eating Disorders
The first time I was really able to connect with others who shared the same illness as me was in eating disorder treatment. This was also the first time I was able to stop feeling alone in my disorder.
Talking with people who understood my feelings and experiences left me less ashamed of my eating disorder. It also gave me hope for recovery when I met individuals who were further along their healing journey than I was. It helped me to see that recovery was possible.
When we associate with individuals who share the same feelings as we do, we begin to feel less alone within ourselves and the world. I understand that making connections can be difficult in our time of struggle, but I promise pushing yourself to do so is absolutely worth it.
Stay strong. Always remember you are not alone in your fight. There are many others going through the same thing you are. Hang in there. Sending you all my best.
Finding Connections During Binge Eating Disorder Recovery - YouTube
Remember this binge eating recovery tip for the new year: Small steps every day. The dawning of the new year tends to make us feel that once midnight strikes we need to make big changes right away. The issue with this can be that it is all too much, too soon. This is the same when it comes to your binge eating disorder recovery. Small steps every day will help achieve the lasting changes you desire.
Why This Binge Eating Recovery Tip Over Any Others?
“Small Steps Every Day” Relieves Pressure to Progress Too Quickly
When we put pressure on ourselves to change and do it right away, we are setting ourselves up for disaster. Trying to move yourself into recovery too fast, at a speed that is not your own, is never a good binge eating recovery plan.
Yes, it is important to challenge yourself but once you begin to set unfair expectations a natural feeling of failure will undoubtedly set in when things do not work out the way we planned. With this said, it is essential to go at your own pace and set realistic expectations for yourself.
Importance Of Realistic Recovery Goals
“Small steps every day” is a binge eating recovery tip that emphasizes the importance of realistic recovery goals. Your eating disorder did not develop overnight so we cannot sanely expect that once the clock strikes midnight we are simply going to be healed.
Begin slowly. I like to use the saying “small steps everyday” because it helps me to remember to take things at a realistic pace. I know from past experience convincing myself that on January 1st I am miraculously going to be better is the worst thing I can do.
When we set attainable goals, we are more likely to progress at a pace that is comfortable for us. When we progress as we become ready, we are more likely to find sustainable recovery, one that is built on a stable and not rushed foundation.
Remember, just because the new year is upon us does not mean we need to be fully better in an instant. Set realistic goals for yourself and take small steps every day.
You are strong. You are capable. I’m here rooting for you and your recovery. Happy New Year.
Often times we become so entrenched with stress during the holidays that we forget to celebrate what’s really important. When we get caught up in the superficial parts of the holiday season, we completely ignore what truly matters to us. Celebrating your recovery, your body, and your progress is just as important as all the other good stuff this season has to offer.
Why We Need To Celebrate Our Recovery
I understand that it may seem silly and slightly selfish to celebrate yourself. I also understand, however, that if we do not take the time to acknowledge our accomplishments that we may forget about all the wonderful things we are doing.
Taking time for yourself and your progress helps to continually fuel the fire to keep on the recovery road. When we look back and see our progress it helps us remember that we can continue to strengthen ourselves and feel all the wonderful things that come along with growth.
When we are able to take a moment to honor our body for all it does for us or our recovery for how much better it makes our life, we become more appreciative of all the hard work we have put into freeing ourselves from the enslavement of an eating disorder.
Ways To Celebrate Your Recovery
You by no means need to have a huge party acknowledging all your hard work. You do not need to alert the news. You don’t have to tell everyone around what you’ve been doing. If you want to go for it, sing it loud and proud, but it is not a necessity. There are other ways to celebrate yourself.
Small things can do wonders. An hour devoted to self care is a wonderful gift. It gives you a chance to slow down and give yourself what you really need. Whether that be a nap, a luxurious bath, or a walk on a nice day all depends on what feels good to you.
Whatever you decide to do this season in regard to celebrating yourself and your accomplishments, make sure, above all, you do it for you. You are more than deserving of taking time to remember all the great things you have done. It is not selfish, remember that.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this holiday season, are able to let go of the stress, and get to take some time for yourself. Sending all my best to you and your recovery.
My name is Brittany Roche, and I am thrilled to join the HealthyPlace blogging community as an author for Binge Eating Recovery. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 14, and have struggled with anxiety and disordered eating (mostly binge eating disorder) for as long as I can remember. I know all too well binge eating is often a difficult subject to talk about which makes communities such as this so vital and powerful for those of us on the path to binge eating recovery.
Getting Into Binge Eating Recovery
For the past six years, I have been in recovery from binge eating disorder (BED). This recovery hasn’t always been pretty. In fact, it’s been chaotic and messy and full of lessons learned the hard way, but with small steps and a lot of perseverance, I’ve been able to make significant improvements to my relationship with food and the control it used to hold over my entire life.
With newly-acquired coping mechanisms, I feel stronger every single day; but, this is still a journey. Through this blog, I hope to share that binge eating recovery journey in all its beauty and ugliness.
You Are Not Alone in Binge Eating Recovery
Above all, I hope this blog helps you realize you are never alone in your binge eating recovery. There are so many people out there struggling with the same habits and behaviors. I hope this community helps us come together in support and healing.
More About Brittany Roche of Binge Eating Recovery
Please always feel free to leave a comment below if there’s a topic you want me to explore. Learn more about me here:
A Look at Recovery from Binge Eating Disorder by Brittany Roche - YouTube
I believe that slips are part of the eating disorder recovery process. Setbacks in mental health recovery teach us important lessons as well as prepare us for challenging times in the future. If you use slips in binge eating disorder recovery as a tool for learning instead of something that brings you down, there is important insight that can be taken from what initially feels like a setback.
My Recent Slip in Binge Eating Disorder Recovery
About a week ago I had a moment which had the potential to lead me into a full-on binge. I have been free of my binging behaviors for almost 3 years and have not come this close to acting on my urges in a very long time. As you can imagine, this experience was quite scary for me.
As I began what was intended to be a binge, my mind snapped me back into reality. I looked at what I was doing and knew in that moment I had the power to make a choice. I used my recovery mind and was able to stop my binge cycle before it began. I immediately turned to positive coping skills and was able to get through the challenging emotions I was feeling.
How To Deal With The Aftermath Of A Slip
Having a slip can make you feel like you are failing at the recovery process, this is absolutely not true. Slips are there to alert us of the things we are not fully dealing with elsewhere in life.
In the aftermath of my recent slip, I reached out to a friend and my therapist to talk through what happened. While unraveling the events leading to my slip I gained a lot of perspective into things going on in my life that I was having a tough time dealing with. I then worked through these things. I have since felt better and less defeated by my “almost binge” moment.
Remember slips are part of the recovery process and contain valuable information as well as, the potential for learning. Try not to be hard on yourself. Keep fighting and stay strong. You have the power to make the choice to not binge.
Food is often out into two categories, good and bad, but food is not good or bad. Having these judgmental thoughts around food leads us to believe we are either good or bad for eating certain foods. This disordered eating pattern of thought leads us deeper into our disorders. I have been working a lot lately on seeing food as a neutral party which does not have a good or bad label attached. Here I share the importance of not judging food as good or bad for successful eating disorder recovery.
Trouble with Labeling Food Good Or Bad
When food is given a value or judgment we then begin to feel like we are that value for consuming it. We view kale as good and ice cream as bad which means if I eat kale I am a worthy person but if I eat ice cream I am a failure. Doesn’t this sound silly when laid out that way? As silly as it may be, I, and many others struggle with this pattern of thought.
Learning to see food as neutral translates to food not be rated or placed in boxes in our minds, it simply means that food has no charge whether it be positive or negative, food merely exists.
Seeing food as neither good nor bad takes tons of practice but it is absolutely possible to obtain. Each time your eating disorder makes you believe the food you are about to eat is bad, stop for a moment, breathe, and re-frame.
Ask yourself questions such as:
Why am I eating this food?
Why should I deprive myself of the food my body is asking for?
Are there any emotions I am experiencing that are causing me to base my worth on what I am eating?
Using medication in binge eating disorder recovery can be a wonderful tool that helps your recovery blossom. There are those who are against the use of medication in eating disorder treatment and I believe these people have some valid points. In the end, I think that the use of proper medication in binge eating disorder recovery can be a really big help.
I Chose to Use Medication in Binge Eating Disorder Recovery
I have been taking medication to aid my mental health for the past seven years. I am currently solely on antidepressants, which I am extremely grateful for. There was a time when I was prescribed a total of eight different medications and felt like I was completely reliant on them for happiness.
Through the years the unnecessary prescriptions have been filtered out and I am taking only what I absolutely need. To be honest, getting to this place was extremely frustrating but now that I am appropriately medicated I could not be happier.
For this post I wanted to focus on a particular experience I had with a drug I was given to help with my urges to binge, Topiramate. This drug is generally used for other purposes but can also be used in aiding binge eating disorder recovery. Unfortunately in my experience this particular medication set me back instead of helping propel me forward.
While taking Topiramate I almost completely lost my appetite. This cut out most of my binging, yes, but what it also did was feed my eating disorder causing me to fall back into a very restricted eating pattern. Because I was eating in this restrictive way I still did binge on occasion from my lack of nourishment. All in all, this medication was not right for me and my recovery.
Beginning New Medications for Binge Eating Disorder Recovery
Awareness of how a new drug affects you is probably the most important thing when it comes to starting a medication. Really pay attention to how your behavior and thoughts are being affected. You can even journal about it at the end of every day so you have a time line of your emotions right in front of you to refer back to.
Also, always follow the instructions of your doctor. I’ve had times when I thought I could skip days of meds, take more of less than prescribed, and just completely stop taking my medications cold turkey. None of these were good ideas and none of them helped me in the long run.
The last piece of advice I have is to be patient. Finding the correct medication and dosage for you can be an extensive process. It can involve trying many different drugs before you find the one that is right for you. As frustrating as this process is, it will be worth it when you’ve found a good psychiatric medication combination for you.
I hope some of this advice is helpful. Know that taking medication is not a form of weakness, it is simply another way to help get you well. Stay strong. You can do this.
What do you do when the flu attacks during binge eating recovery? We know that recovery is challenging enough on its own, but throw in having the flu and binge eating disorder recovery gets even tougher. Being ill can effect your appetite and mood, among other things. Both of these components are important when it comes to staying on track with your recovery. Here’s the good news, having the flu doesn’t have to hinder the binge eating recovery progress you’ve already made.
I find that when I experience an illness like the flu, I have a much harder time sticking to my meal plan. This is in part due to physically not feeling well but it also has to do with what happens to me mentally. I have a tendency to use having the flu as an excuse not to eat according to my binge eating recovery guidelines. This type of thinking is extremely harmful and, if not watched, can follow you long after the flu goes away.
We all know what happens when we don’t stick to our meal plan; we generally become deprived and find ourselves back in a binge cycle. This is exactly why challenging the eating disorder thoughts while sick with the flu is particularly crucial.
How to Remain in Binge Eating Recovery When You Have the Flu
There are two main things I remember when I get the flu here in binge eating recovery: How important it is to use self-care and stick to my meal plan.
In order to feel better we need to listen to our body. This goes for anyone, eating disorder or not. If you feel like you need to lay in bed all day, do it. Try not to let judging thoughts make you feel like you don’t deserve to rest. If we become tuned into what our body needs we are more likely to stay out of misery.
The second thing to remember is to stick with your meal plan as much as possible. Properly nourishing your body is essential for multiple reasons. It is especially important if we want to stay away from old behaviors. I am in no way saying you absolutely need to be “perfect”. I am simply stating that we need to remember to feed ourselves in a proper manner so we do not get stuck in a binge cycle once we are feeling better.
I hope some of these tips are helpful and I hope you remember how important it is to listen to your body and keep yourself well, mentally and physically. You don’t have to lose your binge eating recovery progress because of having the flu.
Stay strong. I’m rooting for you.
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