4 Ideas For The Morning After a Binge

Each day is a new one. Leave binges where they are: in the past!

Jenn is a 23 year-old recent college grad from Canada who is a recovering bulimic, but still struggles with binge eating. Today she’s here to tell us about how she deals with what to do the day after a binge. xo…Sunny

“I am so bloated from my head down to my feet.”
“I am so full. Why did I just do that?”
“It will all be okay if I subsist on only protein and veggies today and burn 2000 calories working out.”

I am embarrassed to admit that all of the above thoughts are things that I have thought after a binge and even into the next day. Anyone who is a binge eater knows that the next day you wake up feeling like you have the worst hangover possible. The physical repercussions are not what makes the day after a binge hell, the mental battle with yourself is challenging because you feel like there is no point to what you are trying to do because you’re bound to fail. A cloud of negativity follows you around all day and constantly berates you, making you feel like you are less than. I have found a few tricks that help me feel better about myself I hope will help you repair your self esteem and will help you get back to normal.

1) First and foremost, you must forgive yourself. This is so much easier said than done and I am sure you are looking at your computer saying “Easy for you to say, buddy.” Well friend, why would you not want to forgive yourself? A few times, I have tried to list all of the reasons why I deserve to live in agony because I had a binge, but I was left staring at an empty paper. The first step in this process for me is telling myself that I am forgiven, then displaying it to myself in my actions.

2) Forget the restrictive diets and the cleanses. These regimens are unhealthy and deny our bodies of valuable nutrients. It is imperative that we don’t restrict ourselves because by forcing ourselves to follow a restrictive diet, or we will set ourselves up for another binge; when you “can’t” have something, it is all you think about. I went through a period this past summer where I was experimenting with a popular,  low carb diet and when I finally did give in to my cravings I binged. I am working on finding a middle ground with my wellness regimen and have to constantly remind myself that wanting a cookie or a piece of fruit is okay. It’s also been important to find some form of exercise that I enjoy and that manages your stress. I like Crossfit because it helps me feel strong and like I’m able to do anything I set my mind to.

3) Find meaning in the binge. None of us binge because we like food or because we are particularly hungry. This is obviously really tough to do because it hurts to acknowledge your weaknesses. When I was 19,  I had my first official boyfriend and my first real physical relationship. When he broke up with me in the middle of my exams, and gave me no reason why he had to break my heart, I was devastated. I felt like there had to be something wrong with me as a person because if only I was prettier, skinnier, or a better girlfriend maybe he would not have broken up with me. I am 23 now and since then I have sought out relationships with four men not looking for anything but a physical relationship (they were all single! I didn’t go down that road just to make it clear). After having my heart broken royally this last year, it finally dawned on me that I sought out companionship from men that wouldn’t give me what I wanted because I believed that I deserved to be rejected. Obviously this is completely untrue, but it is something that I know has had a dramatic effect on my self esteem. It’s helped to look at my life and see if there are any patterns that I am repeating. If you can bring positive intention to your future actions and awareness to your weaknesses you can help figure out ways to fight a binge or to distract yourself. When I find myself feeling anxious, I get out of my house and go to the library or to the bookstore and look at novels I would like to read. I have a handful of friends I can talk to that I feel comfortable venting to.

4) Last, but certainly not least, go out of your way to feel beautiful. When I take an extra 10 minutes in the morning to apply eyeliner, put on lipgloss, put on my pretty earrings and my long blue scarf, I feel like a princess. I am not my eating disorder, I am a girl who has struggled but has made the decision to triumph and not let anything get me down.

Thanks again, Jenn, for sharing what works for you! For more smart ideas for what to do the day after a binge, check out this previous post from psychologist Ashley Solomon. Have ideas to share of your own? Please do! xo…Sunny

[photo: whologwhy]

13 Responses to 4 Ideas For The Morning After a Binge

  1. Emma says:

    I love this post, i’m bookmarking it! :) xx

  2. Melis says:

    Beautiful! Excellent, excellent advice. Great to read your important, and realistic solutions to that horrible feeling of Bloat. #1 is key … but all 4: Awesome!

  3. Sarah says:

    I love the theme of forgiveness and it’s one I always go back to…we’re too hard on ourselves sometimes!

  4. I am a huge fan of discovering the reason behind your binge. You can develop specific plans to prevent future binges if you become more aware of your binge triggers. For example if lonliness is a trigger, make a phone date with a friend, or log onto Something Fishy to post messages. If stress is a trigger, find other ways to handle stress (going for a walk, taking a bath, read a book, craft). One trick that has helped me is that when I really want to binge, I have to write for five minutes about what I’m feeling and why I want to binge. I give myself full permission to binge after those five minutes and sometimes I don’t binge afterwards and sometimes I do. But those notes really help me understand my frame of mind during a binge craze and help me create solutions to avoid those mental states.

  5. Jenn says:

    Thank-you ladies for all of the feedback on my article.

  6. Hilary says:

    Jenn - this was so comforting to find this morning. I am 24 and read Sunny’s book a little while back while I was in a relationship with my boyfriend of 5 years. We moved out to California together and I was really unhappy and just had gut feeling he wasn’t the guy for me. It tore me up inside trying to decide what to do and I would binge eat a lot in secret. I finally broke up with him and moved out 2 months ago (and it turns out he had cheated on me the whole time). I have now been dealing with being ok being alone and knowing I didn’t deserve that.

    I just binged last night and have been binging on and off all week leading up to this “juice cleanse” my friend wanted me to do. I did it for two days and then binged last night. I am in such a routine of looking for the next healthy way to eat, the next healthy fix.

    I was a DI collegiate athlete and I never had any eating issues. I wouldn’t say I ate super healthy all the time but I always ate what I wanted and stopped when I was full. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to eat super healthy and my boyfriend’s brother told me about primal/paleo diet. Well I took to it hardcore and was super strict and lost a lot of weight. I tricked myself into thinking I was really happy on it but I wasn’t. I do have to admit that I slept better, my body felt good, I had more energy but I isolated myself because I didn’t want to be put in a situation where there was bread or alcohol or anything. I had so many rules for myself. Well, I got off that for a while but then I just recently though about going back to it. I don’t think I should for these obvious reasons but I just can’t get my mind to think its okay not to diet. Was this the diet you were on by any chance? I just know the close relationship between cross fit and eating “paleo”. I have been thinking about doing cross fit because I want to train to play my sport again but I get nervous about getting back into the paleo thing too.

    I guess I just wanted your thoughts and I am new to this site so I don’t know how to directly send you a message! This post was exactly what I needed this morning though. So thanks for your insight : )

    • Jenn says:

      I didn’t want to tarnish Crossfit and Paleo when I wrote this, but Paleo was the diet I was following. I followed for a while but I found it much too restrictive (honestly who cares if an apple has 22 carbs? not gonna hurt me:). Crossfit has many positives (feeling empowered within the community, great support system) but the diet it tells people to follow is really bad for someone with an eating disorder. There is definitely something cathartic to me about doing a wod or doing olympic weightlifting. I decided that when I go away to school I will check out the box in my new city (the box where I live now is not very well kept) and get a feel for it and it I decide to join maybe have a conversation with the trainer/ owner about my eating disorder and how I really like crossfit for its fitness/ empowerment aspect, but I know that paleo/ primal is not for me because I am recovering from an eating disorder.

      Sorry Hillary to hear about your your boyfriend. Sometimes people just don’t really turn out to be who you want them to be. I look back on all of my past relationships and I can see that I wanted them all to be something they were not. In the end, you are better off because you will find someone who loves you for who you are and what you have to offer.

      if you want to message me privately, my e-mail is [email protected].

  7. Alissa says:

    I wrote a post a while back about healing from Binge Eating Disorder and going out of my way to feel beautiful was one of my ideas. For me, it was crucial. Just as you deserve to take a long shower, apply make-up and pick out a nice outfit, you deserve to be choosy about what food you put in your body and how you feel after you eat. It is so very connected.

    Thank you for writing this!

  8. j says:

    Thank you sooooooo much for posting this. I’ve gone through some major changes in my life lately
    (which I’ve used binging as a coping mechanism) and I’ve binged for as long as I can remember. In fact I just finished one a few hours ago…..
    I agree and can relate to absolutely everything you said. What really hit me was that the wrong type of men were attracted to you because of how you felt about yourself, they subconsciously knew this. I’ve had this happen to me recently, I see it now, and it hurts, big time. I know I need to learn to love myself and it’s a huge lesson but girl, you deserve it too!


  9. […] 1. 4 Ideas for the Morning After a Binge (from Healthygirl.org) -> This really speaks to me and it gives four steps to make ya feel better, which you need since as the article says, the day after a binge is yucky. “Anyone who is a binge eater knows that the next day you wake up feeling like you have the worst hangover possible. The physical repercussions are not what makes the day after a binge hell, the mental battle with yourself is challenging.” […]

  10. Sam Bangs says:

    LOVE this. reposting with link back :-)

  11. Cait says:

    THANK YOU for sharing these ideas and for your honesty!!!! I have been binging all the way up to a medically supervised retreat (7 day water only fast) that am about to leave for. This is nuts, I know it. I have been eating this way to give into my cravings yet control the weight by various restrictive diets. I finally faced up to the fact that I have a disorder and need help. I wanted to beat myself up, but your post has REALLY helped me and is just what I need to get out of this week long binge.

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.