Forgive yourself after a binge

The ability to work through your "all or nothing" thinking

You have to remember that recovery happens very gradually over time. It is impossible to “just stop” binging and there will be times where you experience relapses and episodes of binging, especially when you are very new to recovery. 

You have to remember that when you binge it will not instantly change your shape, and a relapse does not mean that you have failed at recovery. It is a natural part of the process. 

By learning to forgive yourself after each binge, and making a plan of action to use the next time binge urges strike, you are taking positive, recovery-focused action.

The best thing you can do is learn from every binge relapse. 


Step 1

Write down all the negative thoughts and feelings you have after your binge
After your binge sit down with pen and paper and write down all of the negative thoughts and feelings that are going through your mind. How you feel about yourself, about binging, anything at all that is playing on your mind. 

Step 2

Positively challenge your negative thoughts and feelings with "recovery-logic"
Opposite your list of negative thoughts write a list that positively challenges the things you have written. For example, If you wrote that you felt "greedy for binging" then write down "binging is a natural part of the recovery process" and then perhaps write down what you learned from this episode of binging - or why you think you were binging in the first place.

Step 3

List your usual post-binge behaviours

Think about the ways you usually deal with a binge/purge episode, for example do you devise a strict diet or exercise plan to stick to, or do you run failure thoughts continuously through your head for days? Write down the reasons why these methods of dealing with binge/purge episodes are not helpful and go on to list better ways of dealing with the aftermath of binging.

Step 4

List things that may help you to avoid future relapses
For example you may plan to eat every three hours to stop the binge triggers coming on, arrange to contact a support buddy if your feel your urges to binge building, or anything else constructive that may help you.

Step 5

Go for a little walk
After a binge take a little walk (not a power walk) just a gentle walk, the fresh air will make you feel better and the gentle exercise can relieve stress that you feel associated with the binge.

Step 6

Be nice to yourself
Be nice to yourself and treat yourself with respect instead of beating yourself up.  Use something that is not food related like treating yourself to a nice relaxing bath, new nail varnish or do something else that will cheer you up.

Step 7

Do not restrict food to compensate
Remember the more you restrict your food intake the more likely that you will end up binging. By not restricting you are getting rid of the main binge trigger culprit: ‘physical hunger’.

Tips & Advice
  • Forgive yourself for the past binge and let it go.
  • Acknowledge that you are worth taking care of.
  • Remember there is no such thing as a "perfect" recovery, everyone experiences binges and relapses along the way.
  • Start making a note of all your thoughts and feelings and binge situations, overtime you will be able to easily recognize the triggers.
  • Question yourself before you eat every meal and snack, ask yourself are you really hungry for it or are you eating for another purpose.
  • Do not starve yourself, this will lead to another binge, by saying ‘I am never eating again is only feeding your next binge’.



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The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.


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