Written by Jenn Hand, Holistic Nutritionist, Board Certified Health Coach, NBC-HWC

Here’s How to Forgive Yourself after a Binge

When I used to binge, I would go down a serious negative rabbit hole, which would leave me feeling stuck and hopeless for days.

Mentally, I would beat myself up saying things like “How could you do this to yourself?” and “You are such a failure.

Emotionally, I’d feel utter despair and heartbroken, convinced I’d never “fix” my food issue.

Neither of these were helpful, as they kept me stuck in this dark place for days. Over time, as I learned what to do post-binge and how to forgive myself, my binges got further apart until they stopped altogether. 

Here are 3 things that helped me forgive myself after a binge: 

1. Get curious about what happened

Curiosity and criticism can’t co-exist, so when we start to get curious about WHY we overate, that prevents the critical, negative spiral from taking over.

What was going on physically, mentally, or emotionally that triggered a binge? Did something happen during the day or the days prior that caused you to turn to food?

What were you hoping the food would “do” for you? Exploring the “why” can be helpful to learn what we’re really feeling, needing and wanting, so that we can try to get those needs met next time we’re experiencing something similar. 

2. Dig deep for extra kindness. 

In the diet world, we learn that motivation, discipline, and punishment is what creates change.In reality, we never maintain long-term changes by hating and punishing our way there. It’s always kindness and love that fuels lasting change. What would feel extra nourishing to yourself?

How can you show yourself some extra love? What could you do to take care of yourself rather than beat yourself up? Whether it’s having a good cry, writing in your journal, snuggling with a pet, calling a friend, or taking a restorative yoga class, find something to send a signal to yourself that it’s okay, no matter how much you ate.

how to forgive yourself after a binge

3. Repeat the mantra: I’m doing the best I can and forgive myself for not knowing what else to do. 

A part of my own healing was learning it wasn’t my own fault for bingeing. Growing up, those of us who have struggled with binges learned to use food as a coping mechanism. We learned to turn to food in times of comfort, to soothe stress, to alleviate a broken heart, and to smooth over any bumpy emotion.

As adults, this is the pattern we know and default to when life gets hard. It’s because we don’t know any better. It’s not that we simply love eating 7 bowls of ice cream; it’s that we don’t know how else to cope with the overwhelm, the feeling of drowning in to-do’s, the pain of a heartbreak, or any other hard life situation.

Forgiving yourself begins with realizing that turning to food is what we learned. Which means we can unlearn it too! Use this mantra (or any other that feels aligned) to help release the heaviness of shame and blame.

Read More:

🌷 My Top Book Picks about How to Stop Binge Eating

🌷 I Stopped Binge Eating – Here’s How I Did It

🌷 How to Stop Binge Eating – 35 Tips from a Holistic Nutritionist

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About the Author: 

Binge Eating Coach

Jenn Hand has been helping women like you become normal eaters since 2015.

She’s worked with thousands of women, helping them to balance their bodies, end bingeing, stop obsessing over food, and start feeling amazing again.  As a board-certified health coach and holistic nutritionist, Jenn knows how to support you in making real positive changes that last.

Her articles have been published on Mind Body Green, Tiny Buddha, Thrive Global and other local and global media platforms. She’s the author of How to Be a Normal Eater and the creator of The Normal Eater’s Club program. Listen to Jenn’s advice and tips on the Cake Doesn’t Count Podcast, or read more of her articles for free on the Food Freedom Blog.

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