You did it. You placed your order, tipped the delivery guy and inhaled an entire pizza to yourself. Followed by a few mouthfuls of whipped cream. And...a german chocolate cupcake. Now what? The damage is done, it's 10 pm on a Wednesday and you have a 6 AM wakeup call the next morning. If you are anything like me, this is when you take it upon your own hands to give yourself a good mental beating. Usually you will mentally fast forward to the next day and grimace at how shitty future-you feels, then you will remind yourself of all of the goals that you will never attain because of your inherent failure as a human being. This is about the time when you decide that your future is shot and going to bed will only propel you into the aftermath of your bad choices. So you opt out, pour a glass of red and get lost in True Blood until 2 am.
Can anyone relate to this? I know I have lived out this scenario time and time again during stressful seasons of my life. Some of the variables of this scenario change, occasionally I'll swap out True Blood for Sex In The City reruns and the chocolate cupcake is exchanged with a pack of Newman O's, but the underlying theme of me attempting to make a run from my life, perhaps even from myself, has remained the same.
One thing that has changed, however, is the way I approach these patterns. These days I see this behavior for what it is, a sign that I need to give myself a break. The days leading up to these night binges are usually days where I have been bouncing from task to task, bearing the weight of my own expectations, with little time to myself. If I can remain self-aware, I can usually catch these binges before they come and swap them out with some much needed R&R.
I no longer beat myself when I'm down. I've let go of the all-or-nothing mentality that used to drive me to binge and can now see each moment as an opportunity to move forward. As soon as you can recognize that there is no such thing as perfection and straying from your ideals does not mean that the day is ruined, you are empowered to move on and make choices that better serve you.
If you find yourself in the midst of these bingeing cycles, don't be too hard on yourself, more often than not that is what led you to binge in the first place. Let go of rigid expectations of how you should look, act and feel and take a moment to inspect how you are measuring up against the most important success marker of all- happiness. Are you happy and fulfilled in your life? If not what can you do to lead a more satiating existence? Seriously stop to ask yourself these questions and take some time to ponder over what it is that leaves you feeling most satisfied in life. Often times with binge eating, it is less about what you are eating and more about what's eating you. When you can pinpoint what it is that is robbing you of satisfaction in life, you can often do away with these self-defeating cycles.