Wednesday, April 22, 2009

14 Things To Do Before You Binge

I have a confession to make. And it's not an easy one to admit.

I binged a couple of weeks ago. April 4th to be exact. I know because I just checked my food journal. Yep, that was me, standing at the counter shoveling food into my mouth. I didn't even take the time to sit down while I ate - perhaps I was thinking that as long as I wasn't sitting at the table, then it didn't really count. But it definitely counted. Remember how I told you that the company I work for makes pre-packaged food? Since it's a weight-loss plan, the meals are rather small but that's not really an excuse. Somehow I found myself eating six breakfasts at once. Dipped in butter and sugar. And a fat free yogurt. And all in the span of about ten minutes. It was a Saturday night and I had known since I got home that this was going to happen. I kept ignoring it, trying to nudge that niggling binge monster away. I turned a cold shoulder to it and stared at the TV, hoping to distract myself.

But the binge monster wouldn't go away until I gave in. Afterward, I wallowed in the age old guilt, and wondered why I had let that happen. It had been so long since I'd done something like that. The terror crept in that it would keep happening and I would find myself back in the binge-cycle and gaining weight at a rapid pace. But I did a few things this time that I wouldn't have done years ago when I was binging. First, I admitted it to my boyfriend when he got home and talked my fears out with him. And second, I used the lapse as an opportunity to learn how to do something different next time.

I know that when I'm in that frame of mind, I feel overwhelmed by the need to eat, and have trouble thinking of anything else. Common sense flies out the window, and I pace until I finally give in. But what if I had a list of other options? Not just a vague idea that I should do something else, but a concrete list in front of me telling me exactly what to do! So I made myself a list, and I posted it on my fridge. I promised myself that the next time I wanted to eat when I knew it wasn't hunger prompting me, I would read that list before opening the fridge or cupboard door. Here it is:

  1. STOP! Try everything on this list first.
  2. Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath. Take ten more.
  3. Brush your teeth. You can always eat more after. Just do it!
  4. Go to the gym or do a workout video.
  5. Go for a walk outside.
  6. Call a friend to talk or meet up.
  7. Write in your journal, paint, or draw.
  8. Clean your house.
  9. Put on some soothing music and lie down, or put on some fun music and dance.
  11. Reframe your self-talk. Change "I should" to "I deserve. For example, I deserve to feel good about myself.
  12. Give yourself a spa day. Do it yourself or get pampered at a salon. It's hard to eat when you have a goopy mask on your face.
  13. Call someone and admit that you want to binge before you give in. You can still binge after you've told them, but fess up first!
  14. Finally, if all else fails...make better choices. Fat free yogurt, sugar-free jello, popsicles, fruit, vegetables...a bag of grapes will make you feel better than six breakfasts dipped in butter and sugar.
This list is a little more general than the one on my fridge. Mine includes a few ideas more specific to me, plus the names of certain friends that I should call to talk to. There's nothing vague to allow me to make excuses. I urge you to make your own list and put it on your fridge. Go ahead. What do you have to lose? A pound?

1 comment:

Liz said...

Very useful thank you


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