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Sharing everything from my personal struggles, advice from my therapist and ways I am overcoming my eating disorder

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Binging can often be mistaken for a loss of willpower, a setback in achieving your ‘dream bod’. But a lot of the time – the binging episode is actually serving a purpose. Often it’s your body’s ways of saying “I need more energy to survive!”.


Naturally, after a binge it can be easy to feel inclined to punish yourself by restricting how you eat for the next few days. You may be successful with this … or you may not be. Even if you manage at first – what you are really doing by undereating to ‘compensate’ for the binge is proving your body right.


When we overeat, more often than not it is because that is fuel that our body needs. By undereating to compensate, you are programming your brain to believe that binging is the only way to get enough energy and ultimately it will happen again.



My Experience & The Vicious Cycle


Personally, I have experienced years of this kind of fast + famine cycle. Sometimes I would go a month or maybe longer with no binge and convince myself that what I was eating at that point was OK. However, as long as I held onto my restriction – the binges ultimately always ended up coming back with a vengeance.


REMEMBER: This pattern of behaviour is probably quite hardwired into your brain – especially if you have been struggling for a while. Don’t feel hopeless if you binge again! It can be a great moment to think about what the triggers for you are & work on how you can alter your behaviour next time to begin reducing the frequency of these events.


So, how do we break the cycle? Below are a few of the techniques I have been finding the most effective during my recovery...


Tip #1: Try writing down the feelings you experience before, during & after the binge

Tip #2: Make sure you are getting the right nutrients into your diet

Tip #3: Routine as a powerful tool to overcoming the binge


 

Tip #1: Try writing down the feelings you experience before, during & after the binge


I know that it is probably unrealistic to try to write down your feelings leading up to/mid binge. Instead try recording your feelings when you start to feel better but while the thoughts are still fresh in your head. How has it made you feel? Did you notice any behaviours prior to the binge? Might something have been stressing you out which may have caused it? How can you make small changes to remove these triggers/how you deal with them?


Noticing patterns in your behaviour can make it easier to make small adjustments in the future. For me, I noticed that prior to a binge I would spend a lot of time looking at recipes, spend more time planning my meals & weighing food. By realising this usually resulted in a binge, I learnt that this meant I had been undereating and was able to increase the amount I was eating while maintaining in control before the bingeing urges took over.



Tip #2: Make sure you are getting the right nutrients into your diet


An important tool that has helped me to reduce the frequency of my binges has been to ensure that my diet includes food that gives my body the right nutrition. Doing this ensures that I stay fuller for longer and do not experience such great urges to overeat.


This link will take you to my post explaining which nutrients to include for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This was something given to me by my therapist early in my sessions & helped me to become less focused on calories and more on what the food was actually doing for my body.


A good starting point the day after a binge is to ensure that you eat a good breakfast. As I said at the start of this post, restricting will only reinforce to your body that bingeing is the only way to get enough food. Here are some of my staple breakfast recipes!


I find it helpful to remind myself when I am about to compensate that by eating after a binge, that I am actually going to end up eating less because I won’t end up bingeing in the future.


Tip #3: Routine as a powerful tool to overcoming the binge


By building a routine when you are in a more positive headspace – you can create good foundations which will make recovering from a binge much easier. Often a binge will not only throw off your eating habits, but can also affect your social life, hygiene & motivation for life in general.


Try to start introducing a simple morning routine into your day. If you can practice this on days when you are feeling stronger, you will be able to fall back on this routine when you need a bit more support and structure. Click here for more information and tips for structuring your morning routine!


With love,


A b i x x

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Eating a balanced breakfast is one of the most helpful tools I have found for preventing bingeing. This post aims to explain why and also gives some examples of breakfasts that I enjoy making :)



When I was heavily restrictive with my eating, I often tried to avoid breakfast so that I could “save up” calories for my other meals in the day. I used advocates of intermittent fasting to validate my mornings of feeling really hungry.


What no one told me at the time was that by not eating breakfast, my brain was going into survival mode. The brains job is to protect your body, and this includes ensuring that there is enough food available to keep all the parts of the body functioning. My prolonged period of fasting indicated that this wasn’t the case.


I often found myself thinking constantly about food until lunch time, saving recipes, watching wieiad videos on TikTok and looking at menus for restaurants I wanted to go to. By the time lunch came, I was starving!


As I was still restricting myself, I would then also not eat enough to honour my hunger at lunch. Sometimes this restriction would last all day and I would feel that I had been ‘successful’, but often come mid-afternoon I would feel hungry again. This was typically when my first binge cycle would begin, lasting until I found the ‘discipline’ to start the process again.


Benefits of eating a balanced breakfast:


· Helps to encourage healthy eating for the rest of the day

· Starts your metabolism

· Curbs cravings later in the day

· Enhances focus

· Improves energy

· Prevents irritability and mood swings

· Balances blood sugar levels

· Stops constant thoughts about food


If you need a little inspiration


Here are some examples of breakfasts that I often eat. Remember: these are just foods that I enjoy and it’s important that you eat what actually tastes good to you.


"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast" – John Gunther

1. Yoghurt Bowl



3tbsp Natural Yoghurt Handful of Blueberries Tsp Honey Topping of your choice (Chia seeds, flaked almonds, walnuts, homemade granola etc.)





2. Avocado on Rye Bread



Slice of Rye Bread

Mashed Avocado (mixed with salt,

pepper & chilli flakes)

Drizzle of Olive Oil

Option to add your favourite sort

of Egg and/or pumpkin seeds or seeds of your choice!





3. Overnight Oats (my fave<3)


Half Cup Oats (if you’re feeling brave – try doing it by eye) 150ml milk – I usually go for almond/oat

Tsp Cinnamon

1 Banana (1/2 mashed in and ½ for topping)

1 tbsp Peanut Butter (plus extra for topping)

Pinch of Salt

Optional Extras: Tsp Cocoa Powder, Chia Seeds


This is also great cooked in a saucepan until you reach your desired consistency – I usually cook it until it’s pretty thick!


A good tip for deciding what to eat for breakfast is to think about what nutrients are important to include in the morning. In general, a good breakfast may include:


- Calcium portion (milk, cheese, yoghurt, almonds)

- Complex Carbohydrate (rye bread, oats, fruit)

- Fruit (fairly self-explanatory )

- Protein (egg, salmon, cottage cheese, peanut butter)

- Fat (olive oil, avocado, seeds & nuts)



If you are reading this and you feel like you need permission to eat breakfast, this is it!


Go & enjoy food in the morning and in time see how this might impact how you eat for the rest of the day.


With Love,


A b i x x

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Most people suffering from BED or any restrictive ED has probably experienced strong binging urges after dark. Everyone else is in bed so you don't to feel judged about how much you are eating, and you’ll sleep after anyway, so you don’t have to sit with the thoughts of guilt.


Below are 3 steps that have helped me to finally ditch over-eating at night



If you’ve been restricting all day – you are hungry. Your mind will be preoccupied with thoughts of food. Although you can push these down for a while, eventually your brain will go into autopilot to make sure that you get some. It’s a basic survival instinct and nothing to be ashamed of. Just your brains way of telling you it needs fuel to keep functioning.


If you’ve already experienced a binge that day – you may be feeling guilt and high levels of stress. You’re probably feeling panicked that it might happen again.


I would sit and think about everything I had consumed and try to think of how I could counteract the damage I had done over the next few days. But this also puts your brain into alert mode. Instead of accepting what has happened you are telling your subconscious that it isn’t safe. If you are already in the habit of binging and these episodes of overeating have overtime become a way to numb other feelings of stress or discomfort – you are likely to end up binging just to quiet the thoughts.


A counterproductive process!


So how do we overcome the night-time binges?


Tip #1 - Phones and Laptops at night


One of the most useful techniques I have used so far is not bringing my phone and computer into my bedroom at night.


For a long time, I wanted to do this but found comfort in scrolling social media or watching TV until I fell asleep – it helped me to shut out any negative thoughts.


When I started to leave my devices with my sister at night – I would find eating at night less appealing because I would have to actually focus on what I was eating, rather than distracting myself with my favourite comfort shows (‘Friends’ - of course). Being more aware of what I was eating made it easier to decide to stop eating and instead choose to get a good night’s sleep.


I know this one may be hard, but try asking whoever your living with to take you devices when you are in a good mood and this will help you to feel more accountable and stick to it when the time actually comes to part with them.


Tip #2 - Night-time Routine


Be it a nice shower, getting a pair of PJs you really love, taking off your makeup or writing a diary – having some structure in the evening will help your body to know that now it’s time to sleep.


If you have struggled with night-time binges for a long time – your brain might associate night-time with eating. By introducing new habits into your night-time routine your brain will start to instead associate going to bed with these positive habits that you would prefer to include.


Doing these things will also help your mind to unwind and hopefully make you slightly more tired when you get into bed. Rather than trying to sleep straight after staring at a TV or phone when your brain is very active, after doing something more relaxing you will likely fall asleep faster and have less time lying in bed awake thinking about food.


“Eating disorder recovery becomes possible when you keep making the next right decision over and over. With time, these decisions become automatic.” ― Brittany Burgunder

Tip #3 - Set boundaries with eating in your bedroom


The brain is great at learning habits. If you often eat meals/snacks in your bed, then your brain will come to associate being in bed with food. This means that when you go to bed – your brain will find it easier to go into autopilot thinking – yep, now is the time I usually get to eat.


Try eating your main meals at a kitchen table or on your sofa. This allows you to instead associate that place in your home with eating and overtime your brain will naturally begin to understand that your bed is for sleep.


By not turning on the TV and maybe putting your phone to one side for your dinner – you can also focus more on what you are eating, really enjoy it and then move onto the next part of your evening.


Remember - one binge doesn't mean you have failed.


All these steps will take time to become a part of your routine. Don’t feel disheartened if despite following these steps a night-time binge still occurs. You have probably had this habit for a while, and it is going to take a few tries to break it.


Instead, if you do end up binging, as hard as it may be, try again the next evening. You may be surprised to find that by building in these new positive habits, your old more harmful ones begin to become more infrequent and even go away altogether.


With Love


A b i x x

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