One of the most powerful tools I ever developed for recovering from a “bad binge,”
was simply learning how to separate whatever physical pain I experienced post-binge,
from the emotional pain I experienced post-binge.
When I took the time to notice, I realized that the physical pain of bingeing,
even the kind that leaves you in bed in the fetal position for hours,
is really not much more uncomfortable than having to pee really badly, or having a bad rash, or hangover, or some other arbitrary physical irritation.
The true bulk of my suffering at the “hands of a binge,”
was actually the result of emotional pain—
that is, my shame at having failed,
my fear of gaining weight,
and my belief that there was something deeply wrong with me for not being able to “control myself around food.”
(It didn’t occur to me that most people can’t “control” —aka restrict— their food for very long, and that most people binge when they try.)
While there’s no safe way to eliminate the physical discomfort of a binge after-the-fact (other than wait it out, listen to your body, and take care of yourself like you would a hangover),
our emotional discomfort,
which is the much more painful part of bingeing in my experience,
can be alleviated in an instant,
through challenging our weight-normative beliefs,
our morality of food and eating,
and developing compassionate understanding of what diet-culture has put us through.
(And don’t worry, the physical discomfort part goes away pretty quickly on it’s own once we get back to listening to our bodies–just like a hangover).
Also, if you’re looking for a quick scan of my approach to helping women stop binge-eating, check out this post.