I think we have all had those moments where we are so committed to our “diet” and think that nothing can break us or we will never stray from the lifestyle we have until a single moment comes and the good streak is broken.
I have been battling with these moments for over a year now. I would go days to weeks to eventually months without bingeing and between those moments of weakness, I felt proud, yet each day I was still slightly scared that may that day would be the day that I would ruin it all. This year has got to be my best year since the eating disorder thing started. The gaps between the times I would binge weren’t traceable because they had been that far apart and I legitimately felt in control of myself almost every day. I knew in my head and my heart that I didn’t want to binge and so the craving was completely absent. However, this year I think I’ve had about 3-4 binges which isn’t bad for being for now being in the 9th months! I am still incredibly proud of myself for the position I am in now and yes I am still healing myself and my relationship with food, but I am so happy to know that I am not the girl I was over a year ago.
What I want to address however, is picking yourself up after you’ve had a slip up. My issue is that I would restrict myself the next day and work out like crazy to hopefully counteract the amount of calories I had consumed in such a small sitting. Because of this, the cycle would just continue. I wouldn’t give my body the amount and quality of food that it needed and so I would always find myself in the state of craving carbs and sugars and then bingeing out on them. If I were to just eat dense, healthy and proper meals + snacks each day, I wouldn’t have found myself in that state almost every single day. It’s as if your body stores memories of the times you haven’t given it enough food, even though I may have felt like I had replenished it’s hunger, it would reach back into itself and subliminally tell me “Jess, you’re hungry. You’ve starved yourself before and the past Jess wants that food back. You must each food in order to feel better”. But I wouldn’t recognise that every day. I went about eating my minute amount of food, feeling hungry and lethargic yet pushing myself to exercise and I never thought “hmm maybe if I start eating a balanced, whole food diet, I would feel good and my cravings would slowly suppress because I’m not depriving myself anymore”.
The point is, I have learnt not to restrict myself after a binge. Each time I had binged this year I wouldn’t punish myself the next day. I went about my normal life, ate the same amount of food, did the same amount of work and went to bed without bingeing again. I knew that my body would just eventually do it’s thing and sort itself out because bodies are like that! A treat once in a while isn’t going to change you overnight, especially if you maintain your usual eating habits the next day and for the following days!
Unfortunately though, I have only just come to fully realise this and feel like I can preach about it because I binged recently and restricted myself the next day. I told myself after I had done it “just don’t have breakfast” then I thought “don’t have breakfast and try not have have lunch either but just snack on a piece of fruit if you get hungry”. I was going to my boyfriends that night which I was happy about because I could control the dinner that I was going to eat. I decided to make plain steamed veges and have it with some greens and so I packed that in a contained and brought it with me. But, unfortunately for me at the time, his parents called and asked us if we wanted to go out for dinner. I broke down and told him everything and he just kept saying “today is a new day. You can’t punish yourself for what you did yesterday”. I wholeheartedly needed to hear this but in the moment I was so angry that I had to go out to a place where I knew I was going to have to eat pizza or anything that wasn’t my “clean” steamed vegetables. I sucked it up and went out to dinner in a starving state and both Matt and I shared a pizza together. I felt so much better but couldn’t wait to have my bowl of oatmeal for breakfast the next morning to start the next day fresh and on the right foot.
You can’t punish yourself for what you did yesterday. You can’t punish yourself for what you did last week or last month or an hour ago, because it has happened and it has passed. You can’t take it back or counter act the damage so you may as well keep living your life and moving forward otherwise the damage, the terrible thoughts and the guilty feelings will continue.
I am seriously vowing to never restrict myself again. Especially after a binge or even after a small treat. I will live happily, freely and confidently. I will enjoy myself and enjoy treating myself and continue my life as per normal because everything that happens in my life is normal so there is no reason to make it a terrible experience for myself.
I have learnt SO much over these past couple of years and I want to help other people (like you reading this who is or has possibly experienced the same thing as me) to know and understand what they need to do in order to heal their bodies and their minds. Anyone is capable of success! You can be where you want to be if you just try and persevere. You won’t get anywhere if you dwell on the past and dwell on your mistakes. Pick yourself up and keep going because you know you are only helping yourself and bettering yourself in doing that.
Love Jess xx