- ever wondered: What should I do after I binge?
- 3 easy steps to save the day after you binge
- adopting this mindset brings success in EVERY part of your life!
What should I do after I binge?
Should I skip dinner?
Feel super guilty?
Maybe run 8 miles…
Or plan a new diet?
Before I work with people one to one, we have a Discovery Call.
It’s just a chance to chat and see if we’re a fit.
In other words…
It’s how I gauge if you’re:
to STOP dieting and eat like you give a d*mn about your body
(reaching your H 🙂 PPY weight is about eating food your body loves)
to accept you don’t have to do anything unhealthy to look healthy
to understand that a healthy body is a REFLECTION of healthy habits
Like, I want to know if you’ll TRUST the process
Trusting the process is the #1 ingredient for working with me.
Then we can have fun while you unlock your H 🙂 PPY weight without punishing yourself!
Trusting the process means that you *want to* STOP:
- weighing yourself
- reading every nutrition label
- agonizing over everything you eat
- having a few scoops of Ben & Jerry’s… and then a few more—until it adds up to a big bowl
- thinking you’ve ruined everything so “I may as well eat that bag of Kettle Brand Krinkle-Cut potato chips”
- feeling guilty
- doing extra exercise and/or skipping your next meal
- and doin’ it all over again…
Trusting the process means unlocking your H 🙂 PPY weight while you:
What should I do after I binge?
So… Recently I was on a Discovery Call with a 14 year-old girl.
(Until just before the call I was sure she was 25 because she’s so d*mn smart!)
When I realized she was a teen I suggested we invite her mom to join us.
The whole time we were talking I kept thinking:
“What a cool kid
to realize a “stitch in time saves 9”.
“What a proactive person
for knowing that getting help isn’t about waiting until you have a BIG problem.”
(Asking for help is about PREVENTING a big problem.)
“What a go-getter
to want to get started on ingraining healthy (rather than unhealthy) habits.”
…I could go on and on.
I especially love how she saw asking for help as no different to:
- dropping your car off at the mechanics
- bringing your pet to the vet
- going to a hair dresser to get highlights (…in my 3rd year of uni I learned that one the hard way)
Stay in your lane!
The key to success in life, is to reach out to the experts outside your zone of genius, so you can keep investing in the things you LOVE to do.
This 14-year old got in touch with me because she realized she was spending too much time wondering, worrying and often regretting what she ate.
She wanted freedom from emotional eating!
I **loved** talking to this ready-to-improve 14 year old and was fan-girling on their beautiful and open mother-daughter relationship.
Then just before the call ended, the eager to kick-all-this-diet-nonsense-to-the-curb daughter asked:
What should I do after I binge?
Here’s the A to your Q.
For the 10 years I was caught in the starve-binge-purge cycle, after I binged I’d:
Feel super guilty.
…Then start a new diet.
I didn’t know I was trapped in a cycle. One that kept me 30 pounds overweight.
In my mind I simply lacked willpower.
And I was hellbent on trying again to prove to myself I could be disciplined.
The reality was that I was trying to fix the same problem with the same solution (that didn’t work).
Because probably much like you, I blamed MYSELF instead of my weight-loss method.
…I didn’t know that bingeing is a *normal* and *natural* response to dieting.
Read the above sentence again and really think about it….
But NOTHING in my life changed until I was finally open to try a new approach.
I had to accept what I was doing wasn’t working and I needed to:
- get good information
- some SUPPORT
- and (yup, you guessed it) TRUST THE PROCESS!
Nothing changes until you change.
So what should I do after I binge?
Losing weight or reaching ANY goal, is about moving forward after a choice you regret.
Like getting back on your bike (or helping your daughter get back on her bike) and trying again.
Here’s 3 steps that answer: “What should I do after I binge?”
What should I do after I binge? Step 1
Acknowledge you’re bingeing.
Label your actions and recognize that bingeing is an unhealthy habit.
Bingeing is also:
often secretive (which feels bad)
Ugh… I hated bingeing. It’s so physically and mentally draining.
And the more you binge the more you get used to bingeing.
What should I do after I binge? Step 2
Stop yourself from bingeing as early as you can.
Again this goes for any behavior you want to improve.
Like, do you ever go to a store (usually clothes or accessories!) and say to yourself:
“Ok, I’m not buying anything.”
Then you find something you simply can’t live without (!)
…something like this:
(When I saw this beautiful orchid made of scraps of leather, I simply had to take it home.)
And then you say, well, I already have my credit card out so it doesn’t matter if I buy other stuff.
Like what about these sock monkey earrings… I mean, come on!
Anyways… That behavior is called black and white thinking and it absolutely sets you up to fail.
(That’s how I used to think.)
But building healthy habits and reaching your H 🙂 PPY weight is about improvement NOT perfection.
So do your best to stop yourself a little bit earlier each time you binge.
It’s all about baby steps, baby!
Like buy that orchid broach since you need it… then put your credit card away!
If you really want those sock monkey’s you’ll come back another day.
(Which I did.)
How do I stop bingeing earlier?
What does stopping earlier look like?
It can be:
- leaving one Krinkle-Cut chip at the bottom of a Kettle Brand bag
- going back to the freezer for one more scoop of Ben & Jerry’s but putting that scoop down the sink (and reading a book to distract yourself)
- making a huge bowl of pasta to eat b/c you’re so hungry… but while it’s boiling deciding to cut up fresh veg to make it more balanced and only eat half the pasta
And the good news?
It gets easier and easier to interrupt a binge!
Soon one chip at the bottom of the bag is 3.
And then half the bag.
Pretty soon you learn to enjoy (and not feel guilty about) eating a bowl of chips (or crisps as they say in England).
Your body LOVES moderation and routine.
And it HATES wild extremes—like dieting and bingeing.
The first few times you interrupt a binge is the hardest. Then it gets easier and easier.
What should I do after I binge? Step 3
Keep moving forward.
Success in any part of your life isn’t so much about “the incident.”
It’s about how you recover from the event you’re upset about.
Champions become champions because rather than storm out of the gymnasium after falling off a balance beam (and telling everyone in earshot it’s the bloody beam’s fault!) They get up, brush themselves off and try again.
And think about Paris Hilton.
She didn’t get her first selfie perfect, did she?
She didn’t get all her angles or lighting right.
It took time.
It took practice.
She was patient and persistent.
And it took sticking-withing-it-ness.
Or buying a selfie stick?
Heck, I don’t know.
What I do know is that TONS of chiwawas (OMG that’s how I spelt it the the first time…) Um, all I know is that TONS of chihuahuas end up at The Toronto Humane Society here in Canada, shipped up from California because everyone wanted a tiny dog like Paris. And then they didn’t.
Back to bingeing.
So here’s a pic from Page 152 in my book that shows you what getting back on track looks like:
See, it gets easier and easier!
So don’t make a small mistake BIG by staying off track when you slip.
And don’t punish yourself by purging (via running, vomiting or taking laxatives).
Just get back on track as quick as you can.
All those extremes confuse your body which slows down your metabolism and puts it into survival mode.
Then it’s easier to gain weight and harder to lose weight!
Rather than sabotage yourself after you binge, salvage the situation.
Life is all about salvaging… whether it’s after a failed exam, broken marriage or sprained wrist.
Like, why not use a gorgeous, silk, cat scarf as a sling?
Focus on how you can make things better, not worse.
What should I do after I binge?: My Experience
The very last time I overate was the first time I didn’t give myself permission to purge.
So after eating more than I meant to, I didn’t binge or purge.
Like I said:
You gotta do something different if you want your life to be different!
One day near the end of Teacher’s College I’d eaten part of a big cookie after school. But suddenly I was like, “Kelly, you ate too much!”
But for the first time in years, rather than eat more, I said to myself:
“What’s my next best choice to get back on track?”
So I went “home” to my dorm room on Ensleigh Street in London across from Tavistock Square and ate dinner at the dining hall in the basement.
I had a salad, piece of chicken, glass of milk and some potatoes. (Balanced meal!)
Then I returned to my room and did a little homework and went to bed wondering if I’d done the right thing not to fully ruin the day (by bingeing) and then purging.
It felt so weird not to punish myself after making a mistake.
It felt too gentle… too kind.
I thought I had to be “hard core” (words from 1999!) to lose weight.
But here’s what I learned…
Carry on after bingeing – that’s when all the magic happens
The next morning my pants still fit!
I still remember pulling on these khaki trousers and a yellow long-sleeved t-shirt that had a tiny brown mouse at the v-neck and thinking:
If I eat most of a huge cookie… it’s no big deal.”
I never would have learned you can eat the occasional treat and be a healthy weight, if I’d binged after eating more of the cookie than I meant to… and then purged.
Genuinely I could feel my body thanking me the next morning for not stressing it out with the crazy extremes of:
- wasting more money buying food
- eating more
- feeling physically ill after (headaches etc.)
- feeling mentally unhealthy (guilt, shame, regret…)
- wasting all that time
- skipping dinner
- neglecting my school work, etc.
Instead I woke up and ate a ROUGHLY balanced breakfast made MOSTLY of whole foods and felt fantastic!
I was on cloud 9.
What should I do after I binge?
Get back to your regular routine as quickly as you can.
If that’s going to class… go to class, don’t skip it!
If carrying on means having your next meal, eat what you can eat comfortably. And, to quote my awesome client Lindi:
“Make sure 1/3 of your plate is plants!”
The faster you can get back on track the better you’ll get at not bingeing.
Like I said, even leaving one chip at the bottom of a bag is a triumph if you usually eat the whole bag.
It’s a small step that sparks a BIG change.
The first step is the hardest so just do it and don’t overthink it.
Why carrying on after you binge is magic
Carrying on after anything you regret and salvaging rather than sabotaging yourself is A-mazing.
I hope you said that with the “A” really pronounced, like: Ahhhhhmazing. You know, with a little-bit-o-Valley-Girl-lift at the end.
The magic happens when you carry on.
A few weeks ago I hiked myself up onto the thin counter ledge by the sinks in our kitchen to chop off any dead orchid leaves.
The counter rim is tiny and balancing is tough.
So I was perched over the sink by all these orchids we found on dog walks. And the ones we’ve had for a while are all synced.
They bloom from December to around April (so beautiful). And they look like this during those months:
But at this time of year all our previously-orphaned orchids are basically just leaves and some turn yellow.
So I was doing the old trim-back so the plants can conserve energy and opps…
I cut off a perfectly good stem that had two super-tiny buds ready to burst into the world.
They looked like this one:
See that tiny bud at the tip?
But it was hard to see as I was trying not to fall into the sink.
And as I balanced there on the edge, looking at the stem I felt awful.
Since I couldn’t turn back time or nail, glue, screw, duct tape, staple or will it to reattach, I wanted to throw the stem out and pretend it never happened.
(Or storm out of the kitchen and tell everyone in earshot… that’d be Rocky, Coco and Gunther… that it was the scissors fault.)
Then I thought I need to remember I did this so I’m more careful next time.
So I put the little branch with mini-buds into a tiny vase to confess to Alex about what I’d done.
We both agreed the stem was a goner…
But I kept it in the vase… I carried on anyways.
It’s actually blossomed into a big bud.
Here’s what it looks like now:
BTW, I sliced my Peter Pointer (do people say that anymore?) this summer.
Look how poofy it reattached. You can see it pretty clearly b/c I have the angles and lighting just right.
It was twice that size a few weeks ago!
Note to self:
Be more careful when opening a can of dog food.
And look how crooked my middle finger is. It’s like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This genetic quirk runs in my family.
Back to the bud.
I couldn’t believe it!
This whole experience reminded me how important it is to pull up your socks.
Or as one of my clients says… “Pull up your big girl pants” (aka be an adult) and keep moving forward after a choice you regret.
And wearing a tutu never hurts.
What should I do after I binge?
Oh, and the awesome 14-year old girl I’m working with now?
She’s doing Ahhhmazing!
And I love her.
At the time of this writing she’s on Day 23 of not bingeing. She’s normalizing her relationship with food and she’s exercising less.
Because she keeps moving forward.
When we first started she went 3 days without bingeing.
Then 3 again.
And now 23 in a row!!!
Does it matter if she slips?
Nope! As long as she gets right back on track.
I admire her initiative to nip disordered eating in the bud and ask for help so she can get healthy faster (vs. trying to reinvent the wheel.) And then she can redirect all that high-achiever energy toward the people, animals and projects she loves.
Which happens to be ocean preservation.
We came up with this thing that when you need a distraction, focus on your passion.
As I said to her last week… Eating isn’t rocket science. Saving the oceans is.
Whatever she decides to do, she’ll work wonders.
Are you ready to stop bingeing and blossom?
Alex always says that from what he’s observed, people with disordered eating are always super smart and motivated.
They over-complicate something that’s simple because they’re trying so hard.
If you’re reading this and feeling badly about your unhealthy relationship with food. Don’t!
The secret to lasting weight loss is being kind to yourself.
Make Today Count
What can you do today to carry on?
Is there something you can salvage—whether it’s:
- putting a prematurely cut stem in a vase?
- using a cheese grater to get rid of the burnt bit on your toast?
- or deciding to eat your next meal (with lots of plants on your plate) even though you binged?
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
If you binge or over-exercise after eating too much or count calories or do anything else that makes eating complicated, stop yourself as soon as you can and carry on! Get back to the next part of your day and focus on that project at work that will get you promoted. Go to class. Groom your cat who loves the attention. Or call a friend you haven’t talked to for a while. Let them know you think they’re A-mazing.
You’re A-mazing too!
Deciding to try something new, especially if it feels weird, just takes being a little brave.
I want to see you be brave!
Soon you’ll get over the hump of trying something new and it gets easier and easier.
You’ve got it in you.
I know it.
PS I love orchids. My Grandpa used to have a green house where he kept tons of them. And when he went on holiday to Bermuda he’d bring them back and graft all different kinds onto each other. A-mazing.
There’s so many questions I wish I asked him.
When the flowers fall off orchids people think the plant is done! It’s not. Don’t give up! Just give your orchid a shot of water once a week and it will bloom for months at a time each year.
We keep ours by our kettle and I think the steam does mystical, rainforest-y things. They’re all super healthy even though so many people have told us you have to fertilize orchids to keep them alive. We never have.
What’s your favorite flower?
Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it