Recovering From a Binge Episode

One my least favorite things to face when I was recovering from disordered eating was dealing with the occasional binge episode.  When I was healing my relationship with food, I thought my bingeing would go away because I was actively trying to heal.  Turns out, that wasn't the case.  Sure, I was working towards bettering my relationship with food but it was not healed overnight.  I was still learning how to trust my body again and look at food as just food.  When a binge episode occurred, I had to learn how to not let it send me into a downward spiral.

Below are a few steps that I think are helpful to take when dealing with a binge episode.  In my opinion, these steps will help you to face it and will help you to become more aware so that they can occur less and less.

First, I think it is important to understand why the binge happened.  Did you restrict yourself too heavily prior to the binge?  Were you using food to avoid feeling an emotion?  Was a comment made by someone that made you feel bad about yourself?  Did the binge happen because you are finding the healing process to be too difficult?  No matter what caused the binge, it is important to understand the reason behind it.  Maybe your binges are strictly due to physiological reasons (your body needs more and more food because you were too restrictive throughout the day).  Maybe your binges are strictly because you are not allowing yourself to feel something and your way out is through food.  Maybe your binges are a combination of all the above.  Figure out the reasons for your binges so you can become more aware and prepared the next time one is about to happen.

After the binge episode, you will probably be facing all kinds of negative emotions.  The best thing to do is either talk to someone or write out what you are feeling.  Don't hide from your emotions and do not bottle them up.  Face what you are feeling and remember to show yourself grace.  You are a human trying to recover from years of restricting and bingeing - give yourself a break and remember that recovery is a process.

When you binge, it is easy to go right back into a restrictive mindset.  You automatically think that if you restrict heavily the next day, it will make up for your binge episode.  DO NOT fall into this trap.  If you continue to restrict, you will more than likely have another binge episode not so long after your last one.  After a binge, eat like you normally would so you do not fall back into the habit of restricting and bingeing.

Recovering from disordered eating is a difficult journey.  I hope that you will continue moving forward on your journey so that you can live a life full of food freedom.