How to Handle Binge Eating Guilt
The guilt and shame in the aftermath of a binge can often leave you back in this redundant negative cycle all over again. You eat an entire four slices of pizza when you meant to have one, you feel really guilty about it, then you end up eating two more.
Why are you feeling guilty? It’s not the food itself or even the amount of food that’s leaving you feeling guilty. If that were the case then we would all feel the same levels of guilt for eating the same foods. But your coworker can down three cupcakes at the office birthday party and go on the rest of the day just fine, while you could do the same and obsessively think about it for the remainder of the work day.
If it’s not the food itself, than it could be you and the way you think about the food you’re eating.
Circumstances trigger thoughts, thoughts drive actions, and your actions create the end result. Your guilt comes from circumstances. If you’re feeling guilty, you may be feeling “I did something I shouldn’t have done/something bad/something wrong”. Feeling guilty about what you eat is optional, and typically it isn’t useful. That guilt is fueling regret and self sabotage, which may ultimately lead you right back to the binge.
SO, what is useful? It starts with honestly accepting what you did. You ate what you ate, you ate it and it’s okay. What does this do? It keeps your mind clear, and enables you to do better for yourself moving forward versus going to this place of self-hatred, or falling prey again to the restrictive/binge cycle. When you’re coming from a non-judgmental place, rather than a place of guilt, shame or self-loathing, than you can accept what happened and gain a deeper understanding of why it happened.
Ask yourself what you’d say to a young child who ate more than he or she intended. Would you tell them they’d done something wrong or bad? Doubtful! You wouldn’t want them to take what they’d done then cultivate more negativity for themselves. You’d say “it’s okay” and offer words of encouragement, not words of despair.
Feel okay, and then do better. Change a thought, then change a feeling.