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Did I Really Eat That? How to Quickly Recover From a Binge

By Jackie Stanley

At one time or another, we have all awakened to the sight of empty soda bottles, pizza boxes, candy bar wrappers, or ice cream containers strewn about our bedroom, den or kitchen and asked ourselves: "Did I really eat all that?"

Rather than accepting binges as temporary relapses, we tend to react by beating ourselves up for falling off the wagon and failing to follow through our healthy eating plan. Here are a few concrete actions you can take after a binge to successfully coach yourself from relapse to recovery in as little time as possible:

Go Ahead and Vent!

Give yourself 10 minutes to vent about your setback. Set a timer to make certain you don't get carried away, and then use this time to whine about why you can't eat whatever you want. Complain about how much you hate to exercise. Blame your mother and rave on about why it is not your fault that you like ice cream. Give voice to everything you are feeling and thinking - expressing anything that might be contaminating your brain. But when the 10 minutes are up and the timer goes off, stop venting and move on.

Focus on Facts, Not Faults

Writing a clear and objective description of what you ate during a binge can help you put an end to the blame game. Try to focus only on what you ate and not how you felt about what you ate. Focusing too intently on our feelings can sometimes interfere with out ability to move forward, because they can distort our objectivity. A written description can serve as a window through which we can assess our behavior without making judgments about ourselves. When we can begin to make distinctions between who we are and what and how much we eat, binges will lose their power to derail our weight loss and healthy living goals.

Reframe Your Binge

Reframing or putting a positive spin on your overeating incident doesn't mean that you don't accept responsibility for your actions. It means that you look at the experience with a positive, constructive attitude. For instance, rather than telling yourself that you have lost your way, reframe the incident by telling yourself that you merely took a detour. Remind yourself that no matter how much you ate, your binge did not cause the world to stop spinning. Life will go on, and so will your journey toward weight loss and healthy living.

About The Author

Jacqueline D. Stanley: Author, Speaker, Chief Encouragement Officer at Lettuce Is Not Enough University: The Place to Learn How to Live Well and Lose Weight.


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