It’s tempting to restrict or skip meals in an effort to counteract what you ate the day before, but restriction of food will only fuel bingeing and overeating, and keep you stuck in exactly what you’re trying to escape from.
I remember during my disordered eating days (let’s be honest, years) I was constantly “making up” for something, whether it be a binge, eating a “bad” or forbidden food, going over my calories for the day, or even missing a workout.
Unless I’d had a “good” day prior, I’d wake up thinking,
“I should skip breakfast”
“I’m only allowed to eat egg whites”
“No carbs today”
“More cardio everyday this week”
Little did I know that this mentality was only perpetuating the binge, shame, restrict cycle and fueling my eating disorder.
And for those of you who have spent a good amount of your life restricting food, either through dieting or an eating disorder, you’ll understand that overtime that window between being “good” and bingeing/overeating, gets narrower and narrower; ramping up the obsession and feelings of being out of control around food.
And it’s not due to a lack of willpower or discipline, or even a defect in character, it’s simply because our bodies’ rebel against our trying to control them.
Bingeing is a natural and adaptive response to real or even perceived physical or emotional deprivation.
Because our bodies have evolved to survive, they view restriction as threatening and as a result, often trigger a binge. Therefore, it’s essential to challenge and ultimately eliminate any restriction, as part of recovery from binge eating.
The only way to break the cycle is to change it
Repetitive behaviors create habits and the longer we act upon those habits, the more we reinforce them. So, no matter what you ate yesterday, in order to interrupt this loop, not only do you have to eat today, but you have to eat food you enjoy, when you want to eat it.
Skipping breakfast or starting your day off with a hardboiled egg, when what you really want is a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana, is like pulling back a bow and arrow. You can hold that tension for a little while, but eventually that arrow is going to fly hard and fast in the opposite direction.
You cannot recover by staying the same
This shift, while it will likely feel challenging or even counterproductive at first, may be one of the most transformative in your recovery.