How to Undo a Binge
An alternative to restricting and purging
You just want to rewind. You binged again and you just want to go back in time and do things differently. You feel frustrated because you have been there so many times. You feel angry because you know what you could have, should have, would have done. You feel helpless because you are afraid that a setback means you will never move forward. You feel stuck and you worry that bulimia will be with you for the rest of your life. You want to make things better. Now.
You can make things better now because at each moment you choose whether to listen to your body with kindness and compassion, or to condemn and run from it. You binge when you choose to escape the uncomfortable sensations you feel when you resist an urge rather than remaining still and allowing yourself to feel them. You purge and restrict when you choose to reject and control your body, rather than accepting and allowing it to be the way it is. You can make things better by choosing to listen to your body with kindness and compassion. Now.
I know this is not easy, but trust me when I say that it will help you drop the hundreds or thousands of calories you just consumed quicker than purging ever can. Purging is a quick fix, you see, an escape from discomfort, just as binge eating is. It’ll help you lose weight no more than eating a pound of chocolate will help you become a happier person. Sure you might feel a sense of relief for a moment, just as you feel relief the first moment you give in to a food craving, but in the long run, purging only further upsets your appetite, causing the urges to binge to keep resurfacing. It is impossible to quit bingeing as long as you continue restricting and purging.
So what then is the answer? How do you keep your body under control when you find yourself succumbing to powerful urges to eat huge amounts of food time and time again?
The answer is compassionate endurance. The kind of compassion you direct at a child you love when they cry, or a pet that whimpers when hurt. You hold them and comfort them while remaining calm yourself. And then soon enough, they too begin to calm down.
So do it now.
Close your eyes for a moment. Scan your body and bring awareness and acceptance to every sensation that you feel. The bloating, the tension, the heaviness or fatigue. Offer comforting words to the part of you that feels lost and disappointed. It is OK. You are OK. Let the excess calories stay inside you for now, and allow yourself to eat a nourishing meal the next time you feel hungry. You may want to use a structured food plan for the time being, because it is likely that your hunger and satiety signals will be upset or deregulated. You can heal them, heal you, by offering yourself and your body kindness and compassion. Now.
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