You guys know that I rely on a few key tools to help me manage my stress, connect with my feelings in a healthy way, keep my mind clear, and keep me sane about food: exercise, meditation, and support. (Getting eight hours of sleep goes a long way toward helping me stay on an even keel, too.) The more consistently I employ these tools, the more stable, happy, and effective I am—I also I feel better about my body and don’t obsess about food.
Well, lately I’ve really been letting these super important tools slip. And a couple of days ago I realized something: If I don’t do something about that, I could be on my way to a binge. What exactly has thrown a wrench in my healthy routine? I started a new job, one I’m really excited about at a magazine where very cool changes are taking place. I have lots more responsibility than I did at my last gig, which is awesome and energizing—I wake up and want to get to work early to get a head start. But it’s tough to turn my brain off at night because thoughts are swirling, and the change itself—new office, new coworkers, new job description—is also pretty stressful. (We binge-eater types aren’t exactly the most amenable to change…I, for one, used to be desperately afraid of it.)
The result of all this excitement was this: As of last week, I hadn’t worked out in four weeks, I hadn’t meditated in about that long either, and I was averaging just six hours of shut-eye a night. But I didn’t realize how dangerous this month-long slide was until I was telling my therapist about it. The look on her face basically said, “Uh-oh.” That’s when I stopped and thought, What would I tell a HealthyGirl.org reader who was in my shoes right this instant? How important consistently using stress- and life-management tools is, and how exercise, meditation, and sleep have been key to my recovery from binge eating disorder!
I’m happy to say that I woke up on Friday morning and, instead of going into the office early, went for a short jog—and felt amazing for it. I also meditated on the subway on the way to work, and have plans to do the same today.
I’m so glad that I didn’t have to have a full-on binge or have to slip into an emotional funk in order to recognize this food-sanity tipping point. Have you ever had a moment of clarity like this one in which you recognized the signs of impending trouble (with food or just life)? What were the signs, and what did you do to turn things around? xo…Sunny