Friday Q&A- If I Can’t Diet, How Can I Lose Weight?

how can i lose weight if i don't diet?Question:

Submitted via email by Jen in Glasgow, KY

On your site, you say that dieting is a bad thing. But what about those of us who actually have weight that they need to lose? How the **** am I supposed to lose weight without dieting?

Answer:

Hi Jen,

I understand why you are confused. On one hand, the whole world is encouraging all different kinds of diets, yet a small contingent are telling you not to diet. My question is, how do you know that you need to lose weight? Is it because you believe that you weigh too much as, or is it because you feel that your weight is negatively impacting your health or your quality of life?  These are questions to think about.  I think it’s important to reframe the concept of dieting to lose weight to the idea of going toward health to improve your quality of life. Your body is your most valuable possession and therefore it deserves to be cared for impeccably. This doesn’t mean spending hours each day at the gym and polishing your muscles and kissing your biceps in the mirror. This does not mean spending money on plastic surgery or botox or liposuction desperately trying to change what you have. This is about embracing what you already and  have and taking really good care of it.  It’s like, if somehow you had possession of an original Picasso, would you paint over it to make it look like an Andy Warhol?  Or would you make sure to get it insured, keep it out of sunlight, store it in a climate controlled environment, and really truly allow yourself to enjoy it?  Taking care of it will keep it beautiful for a very long time, despite how much it ages. In fact, age enhances its beauty. It’s the same thing with your body.  Rather than trying to change it into something different, rather than disliking it the way it currently is, let yourself love it, no matter what size and shape it is. Your body deserves love no matter what it looks like. It’s your body, the only one you got. So take care of it. Feed it healthy food, don’t feed it too much and don’t feed it too little. Give it healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables and limit the amount of processed foods that you put in it. Exercise it, stretch it, wash it, floss your teeth, drink your water, be kind to it, rest it, give it adequate amounts of sleep, take it outdoors to get fresh air and sunlight, bring it into nature, be grateful to it for whatever it gives to you, limit alcohol, tobacco, diet sodas, and other “foods” made with chemicals, but don’t freak out if you eat them every once in a while, relax your mind, listen to music, dance, be kind to yourself and to others.  Rather than going on a diet and actively trying to lose weight, go toward health. When you do, you will find more peace and happiness than you will when you are actively looking for it from a scale.  When you take care of your body and your mind in a deliberate and loving way, you will find that your body weight naturally finds its right place. This isn’t a diet, this is thinking about the rest of your life and your body in a positive way. Strengthening it for the long haul!

So, in a nutshell, my answer is, try not to focus on the weight loss, it’s hard to focus on losing something. Change your focus to health, it’s much easier to gain something, in this case being health and well being.

Be Well,

Leora

Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location.

Binge Eating When You’re Tired

i always binge when i'm tiredWe are a chronically sleep deprived society. And with sleep deprivation often comes binge eating. For several reasons. First off, our defenses are down, so we can’t think about what we need, so we grab at the thing that always nurtures us immediately and consistently. Another reason is that we are so spent that we are looking for quick energy and we hope that food will do that for us. Another reason is that people tend to be more anxious or depressed when they are sleep deprived, so those who use food to manage emotions will find comfort in binge eating.

Next time you find yourself going toward food in the afternoon, check in with yourself. Is it food you need, or a nap? Even resting your head on your desk for 15 minutes of sleep will help you immensely. And making an effort to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night will be rewarding in all aspects of your life. You will have more energy, more focus, more motivation, and more physical strength as well as improved immunity and physical health.

End Fat Talk Week

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKPaxD61lwo]

It is End Fat Talk Week! YAY!

Once upon a time, a bunch of sorority girls from Delta Delta Delta decided that they were sick of the question, “do these jeans make my butt look big?”  and decided to take action by promoting positive body image to all women.

What is fat talk? Fat talk is what happens when women get together and begin to bond and seek reassurance from each other with conversations that revolve around diets, how much weight they want to lose, how fat they are, how fat someone else is, whose body they wish they had, who has lost weight, who has gained weight and anything else like that.

So often women will great each other by saying things like, “You look tiny!” “You look great, you have really lost weight!” or they’ll sit around and discuss how fat they are, how fat they feel and wait for reassurance from each other, “Oh no, you’re perfect, your body is great, I wish my body looked like yours…” Or, there’s always “did you see what she was wearing? She really shouldn’t be wearing that. Did you notice how much weight she has put on in the past few months?” or “Have you tried the ***** diet? I think I’m gonna try it. I hear you can lose like 10 pounds in a week…”

And this isn’t unique to teenagers or young women. It happens across the spectrum from 9 year old girls to 90 year old women! What is that about? Don’t we have more important things to talk about without perpetrating ourselves and our sisters?

See if you can go just one week without engaging in any fat talk. If someone tries to engage with you, tell her what you’re trying to do. It can actually be relieving to people to stop talking about that stuff and just be with each other and enjoy one anothers’ company without all that pressure of having to discuss who is and isn’t fat and constantly reassuring one another.

You can check out their facebook page and take a pledge to end fat talk now!

Friday Q&A– What is a safe food to binge on?

Question:

Submitted via email by Monica in Eugene, OR.

If I’m going to binge anyway, what foods are safe to binge on?

Monica L.

Hi Monica,

Well, I guess that the short answer is, there are no safe binge foods. If it’s a binge food, then it’s not safe.  If you are wanting to binge eat, then there is clearly something going on with you. Perhaps you’re hungry and actually need to be nourishing yourself with a meal. Perhaps you are sad, anxious, lonely, or bored. Again, check in with yourself and see what is going on for you both emotionally and physically and tend to that. Eating 10 pounds of raw vegetables in a sitting rather than 10 pounds of chocolate is still a way to avoid feelings, which always rebound with a vengeance.

I worked with another client who suffered from binge eating and would binge on broccoli. She would eat between 5 and 10 full stalks of raw broccoli compulsively on a regular basis. She really wanted to be binge eating and thought that this was a safe food. Of course it was unsafe for several reasons. Physically, she became sick because she couldn’t digest all that food. She was also  restricting all other food and compensating by binge eating broccoli. Eventually, she suffered from major gastrointestinal problems, not to mention  the fact that she began to lose her hair and her organ systems began to suffer.  Emotionally, she was avoiding her feelings by alternately restricting and bingeing.

That being said, it is important to know what your non binge foods are and to have those on hand. I had a client who suffered from bulimia, and felt unsafe around most foods. However, she knew that she would never binge on apples and hard boiled eggs. For her, those were the only non binge trigger foods that she could identify. She used to carry a large purse with her so that when she began to feel hungry, she had healthy food on hand to eat to satisfy her hunger. For her, being either too hungry or too full would trigger a binge and purge episode, so keeping herself satiated gave her a clear mind to know what she actually needed to be eating.

Be Good To Yourself,

Leora

Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location.

Friday Q&A– How do I get rid of negative emotions?

how do i get rid of negative emotionsQuestion:

Submitted via email by Sarah in San Francisco, CA

Can you tell me how to get rid of negative emotions? Like, first off, my boyfriend and I broke up over 5 months ago, but I can’t stop thinking about  him. He doesn’t want to get back together but  I can’t stop calling him. I’ve been  drinking and binge eating almost every night. I’ll get totally trashed by myself, then order a whole pizza or Chinese Food and binge on it, and then  I call my ex and sometimes I don’t even remember doing it, I just know from the phone log each morning. It’s really embarrassing and he’s even asked me not to contact him anymore. He blocked his number and unfriended me from facebook. And I still can’t stop thinking about him.

I really don’t want to be drinking every night and I don’t want to be binge eating and I don’t want to be obsessed with my ex. But I can’t help it. Can you tell me I stop feeling so in love with my ex? Can you tell me how to stop wanting to drink every night? I don’t know how to make myself feel different than I feel. I just want to know how to feel differently so I don’t do these things anymore.

-Sarah T. – San Francisco

Hi Sarah,

Wouldn’t it be so great if we didn’t have to deal with these pesky feeling thingies? You ask how you can not feel what  you are currently feeling, but it seems to me that all three of these issues are intertwined. You say that you don’t want to feel so obsessed, and I think that when you use alcohol, you are attempting to mitigate those very challenging emotions and the feelings of rejection. You actually have found away to not feel your feelings. But we’ve got a Catch-22 here. You don’t want to think about the ex, so you begin to think about drinking to numb that pain. There’s a part of you that doesn’t actually want to drink but the pain of obsessing over your ex makes it feel too hard not to.  Once you’ve been drinking, you begin to lose all control. Your emotions get too big and you can’t stop yourself from doing things like binge eating and contacting your ex.

So, back to your original question, how can  you stop feeling those awful feelings that you don’t want to be feeling.  The answer is that you don’t. The crux of the issue here is that you’re still hung up on your ex. But just because you have these uncomfortable feelings doesn’t mean you have to act on them. When we think about mindfulness, we think about watching the feelings without carrying out the behavior that we need to carry out to lessen them. We just watch them without judgment and with compassion. For example, you begin to miss your ex. The feeling becomes so overwhelming that you have to do something to make it go away. You believe somewhere (even though rationally you know the truth) that calling him would make you feel better, or that drinking would make you feel better. But of course these things all build on themselves and create a vicious circle.

Think of ex—–> Feel sad, anxious, desperate, want to call him—–> Drink to make feelings go away so you don’t call—–> Feelings get bigger and you lose control——>Call ex——> Feel Worse——> Binge Eat

And on and on. But what if you could stop it right at the beginning? Right at Feel sad, anxious, desperate, want to call him. What if you could sit with those very, very hard feelings without acting on them. This is like strengthening a muscle. When you begin to sit with uncomfortable feelings, you increase your capacity to feel them without acting on them. Feeling them enables you to work through them. When you quickly do things to make those feelings go away, they don’t really go away. They get stuffed down and build and build and build and of course come back even worse. But you don’t have to be with your feelings alone. That can be very frightening.  You can ask for support. You don’t have to come home alone at night and face the takeout menus and the bottle and the cellphone and facebook by yourself. You can always get out of the house and spend time with a supportive friend or family member. You can talk to a priest or a rabbi or a minister or a counselor or therapist or someone that you might feel safe with. You can go out and do volunteer work . You can also sit with your journal or your blog and write about what you’re feeling. If you don’t know of anyone to talk to,  there are  lots of great groups such as LAA or AA. There are also online support groups and message boards to help you work through these feelings.  Don’t let yourself be alone with your feelings. Feelings aren’t bad, but when you don’t acknowledge them through talking about them or writing about them, that’s when you will act out in harmful behaviors. When you stuff them down and let them sit inside of you, they fester and grow into monsters. Talk about them, write about them and let yourself be with them. I don’t know how to get rid of them, but I do know that you can choose to manage them in a healthy way. Eventually, as you begin to take care of yourself, you will return to tending to your own needs and you will pull yourself away from obsessing over your ex and begin to think about yourself and take care of you. Taking care of yourself is crucial in dealing with challenging feelings. When you are feeling bad or sad or angry or lonely or depressed, remember to be good to you. You need to be treated gently, especially by yourself.

Good Luck,

Leora

Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location.

Postponing a Binge

There are times when you will be about to binge or trying to convince yourself that you won’t binge if you just let yourself have this one thing that has historically been a trigger food. Stop. Before you do anything, ask yourself, “am I hungry?” If you are, let yourself eat a protein dense food. If you’re not, if you’re just wanting to eat, tell yourself that you are absolutely allowed to go and binge, but you are going to wait 20 minutes before you do anything. Set an ordinary kitchen timer for 20 minutes and in those 20 minutes before you get your binge food, let yourself engage in some kind of relaxing activity. If you’re at work, get outside of the office and take a walk. If you’re at home, take a hot bath or do some light stretching or yoga, or call a close friend and chat for a while. For other ideas on what to do while you are delaying, check out 101 things to do instead of binge eating. At the end of 20 minutes, check in and see if you’re still wanting to binge. You might at that point have enough distance from it to make a choice that’s less compulsive and more calm. When you postpone the binge, you take the compulsive behavior out and put mindfulness in. It’s easier to make an informed decision when you are conscious. You might still binge, but each time you give yourself some time to postpone, you are strengthening the part of you that is learning to care for yourself without abusing food.

An old school mechanical kitchen timer is a great tool because it’s something that you can just keep there in your kitchen, it’s easy to just grab and turn without sitting and messing with your timer on your phone. Having something to grab and touch and use your hands with is a great way to interrupt a binge compulsion and pull you out of it without pulling you into your phone. 

Understanding Hunger

In order to carry out the processes that keep your body alive, your body needs to be fed (given fuel). Thus, your body is in a continual state of hunger  which can be quickly relieved by  eating. Having food present in your GI tract neutralizes the feeling of hunger which helps you to feel calm both physically and emotionally. Once your body metabolizes this food and utilizes it to carry out the functions that it needs to survive,  you feel hungry again and it’s time to eat. Simple. But not really, right?

If hunger were such a basic biological process, then no one with access to food would ever starve or overeat, right?  Well clearly that’s not the case. Somehow, along the way, when food became plentiful and a doctrine of thin became dictatorially pervasive, our minds and bodies began to disagree on what we should eat and how much we should eat.

We have more access to food and we have more rules about what our bodies are supposed to look like. Food is everywhere, it’s advertised all over the place, but so are promises of an ultra thin body if you follow this one diet- the very last diet you will ever need. It’s not uncommon to be watching TV when a commercial for the Olive Garden’s never ending pasta bowl comes on followed by and advertisement for NutriSystem. Wait. What? It’s kind of insane. It’s like the media wants us to have  eating disorders because it’s the only way all sides win. EAT! EAT! EAT!  STARVE! STARVE! STARVE! EAT! EAT! EAT!  STARVE! STARVE! STARVE! EAT! EAT! EAT!  STARVE! STARVE! STARVE! EAT! EAT! EAT!  STARVE! STARVE! STARVE!

It’s incredibly confusing and messes with our ability to understand what we need or don’t need physically.

No wonder our cues for hunger and satiety are so out of wack. We are told at some young age that we need to lose weight and so we begin to deny our hunger. Then, of course we binge because we are biologically predisposed to overeat after times of restriction to keep our physiological processes going. This is a survival mechanism, just in case we are restricted food again, we must binge to stay alive. But then, our neurosis kicks in, full of guilt, full of shame, full of anxiety, and we either start some kind of new diet to gain some control (thus denying our hunger which ultimately backfires) or we eat compulsively to stuff the feelings of stress and anxiety.

We begin to confuse real physiological hunger with cravings or we begin to deny our hunger and confuse the feeling of hunger with virtuosity, self control and willpower.

When you don’t eat enough, your body begins to shut down. You become tired. Your body tries to conserve what it has to carry out basic functions such as respiration. When you go long periods of time without eating, your organs shut down and you die. This is what happens with anorexia and unintentional starvation.

When you eat more than your body needs, you are overloaded with energy and your body has to work extra hard to process that food. This is why people often feel sluggish and tired the day after a binge. For you biology nerds out there, check out this more in depth piece on the pathophysiology of digestion.

But so how do you know if you’re hungry or not?

1.)When you think that you are hungry,  ask yourself how you know that you’re hungry before you eat anything. Sometimes people think they’re physically hungry, but they’re actually bored, procrastinating, tired, anxious, lonely, angry, stressed, sad, happy or thirsty.

2.)Check in with your physical cues for hunger. These signs might be your stomach growling, pain in your stomach, a feeling of emptiness, a lack of energy, fogginess, lack of concentration, headache, dizziness, obsessing about food, or other feelings. Your body will let you know when it is ready for more food.

3.)If you are not having any physical cues of hunger, see if you can wait 10-15 minutes and do something else. Set a timer and walk around the block. If you are still obsessing on food, think about what it is that you actually need. Sometimes it’s easier to just eat than to deal with the real issue at hand. Food is always there if you need it, but push yourself a little bit to tend to your other needs. Eating can be a way of neglecting our other needs.

4.)Don’t neglect your body if you are hungry. Feed yourself.

The hunger and satiety scale can be helpful here. This is a scale that helps you to relearn your hunger.

Hunger & Satiety Scale

0- Beyond Hunger

At this point, you have denied your hunger for so long that you don’t even have any symptoms of hunger. Your body is in starvation mode. Your metabolism is slowing down. You probably feel low energy, tired, and empty.

1-    Ravenous

At  this point you feel like you’re starving. Your body is just looking for nutrients before it shuts down and you begin running on adrenaline. This is this place where many people binge. Your body needs food now and will eat as much as it possibly can to get the nutrients it needs to run without you having the power to intervene.

2-    Very Hungry

You are thinking about food a great deal now, unable to focus on work or conversations.

3-    Hungry

You notice that your stomach might be beginning to growl, you begin to lose your focus a bit, you are becoming distracted easily.

4-    Almost Hungry

This is when your first thoughts of food begin, or, if while you are eating, you stop too soon, still feeling as though you need more food.

5-    Neutral

At this point, you don’t feel hungry, nor do you feel full. You are not fixated or even thinking about food.  You are able to be productive and focus on work or conversation.

6-    Satisfied

You have eaten enough to feel content. You have fed yourself what your body needs. You are no longer hungry, yet you are not feeling too full. You are able to stop eating at this moment if you want.

7-    Slightly Full

You are a little more than satisfied, you aware of the feeling of food in your stomach, possibly feeling as though you’ve had a few bites too many.

8-    Very Full

You are feeling your belly pushing out, you feel like you’ve had too much.

9-    Uncomfortably Full

Your body feels uncomfortable. You just want to go to sleep at this point. You might be feeling depressed or regretful.

10-Completely Stuffed

At this point, you feel like you might throw up. You have eaten so much that you are in pain. Your belly hurts and you can’t focus on anything else.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

When using the hunger and satiety scale, you should try not to let yourself get lower than a 3 or higher than a 7. Meals and snacks should be slow and mindful to allow you to understand what your body needs.

It’s not easy to get this after spending years dieting, restricting, bingeing or comfort eating. I suggest starting by checking in with yourself a few times a day. Am I hungry? Where am I on the hunger and satiety scale? When you find that you are at a 4, you know that you are going to need a snack fairly soon.

And then, at meal times, before you eat, ask yourself where you are on the scale. If you consistently notice that you are at a 2 or lower when you begin your meals, you are waiting too long to eat. This can of course lead to bingeing because your survival instincts are kicking in and storing up food for the next starvation cycle.

When you are halfway through, put your fork down and ask yourself again. If you are at a 5-6, try and put your food away for a couple of hours then let yourself return to it rather than finishing everything on your plate. This is to help you remember that you do have more food coming to you when you need it and that you don’t have to compulsively eat what’s in front of you.

As you begin to understand what you personally need, you are able to take care of yourself better. There is no set time for how long you should wait between meals. We are not all built to scale. We are different sizes, different shapes and have different structures, and thus different needs. Some people need to eat every 2 hours, some people can go longer periods of time without eating. Find out what you need, don’t look to someone else’s plan to tell you.

Send me your questions!

I will be starting a Q&A Friday. Send me any questions you might have about eating disorders, recovery, therapy, binge eating or compulsive eating, body image issues, bulimia, or anything else that falls into that category. I will do my best to answer. Email all questions to:

leora (at) leorafulvio (dot) com.

Just a reminder of why you shouldn’t diet…

watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0
Today I spent the afternoon at a presentation by Andrea’s Voice author Doris Smeltzer.  Ms. Smeltzer lost her 19 year old daughter, Andrea,  to bulimia 11 years ago and now has a book and foundation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of eating disorders.

Andrea’s eating disorder began as a regular old diet that lots of 19 year olds wind up doing when they start college. Diets, of course can be deadly. And for so many reasons. There’s the obvious reason, where one can take a diet too far and become anorexic, but then there’s the other (and more common) reason.   When people diet, they deprive themselves. Eventually, they will binge. And sometimes they will purge. The majority of binge eaters are also compulsive dieters. They always think “Oh, this time, this will be the diet that changes it all…” It’s not about willpower. Our psychological makeup doesn’t want us to restrict food. We are built to survive. So, when we go on a diet, willpower won’t help us to resist food. We are predisposed to find what we need when we have a belief that food is restricted or hard to come by. When we diet, we have the mentality, “can’t eat this, can’t eat that…” and a survival mechanism kicks in and we begin trying to eat everything we can get our hands on because we don’t know the next time we’ll let ourselves eat. Most people have a lot of black and white thinking about it. “I am going on a low carb diet starting tomorrow, so night, I should really eat everything I want since I won’t be able to for a long time.” Usually after 2 or 3 days (and often after 2 or 3 hours into the first day), it backfires and you’re bingeing again.

Andrea had only been exhibiting bulimic behavior for a year when she died. We forget how quick and deadly bulimia can be.  Not only are you depriving yourself of nutrition, but when you purge and/or drink excessive water,  you are changing the balance of your electrolytes. When certain electrolytes go out of balance (when your potassium levels drop) your heart can stop. It can happen in a moment and it can happen to anyone. Purging, starving, overexercising, or hyponatremia (O.D.ing on water) can cause it.  I knew a woman who had a heart attack at the age of 26 from abusing laxatives. Fortunately, she lived through her trauma and recovered from her eating disorder.   Many people aren’t that lucky. Remember Terri Schiavo? She was another casualty of an eating disorder. She suffered from cardiac arrest at the age of 27. The primary assessment was an electrolyte imbalance most likely due to purging and food restriction.

So, how can you become healthy? Go toward health! But what if you believe that you need to lose weight? You might, but you might not. Let yourself eat! But let yourself eat healthy, without forcing yourself to go hungry. Exercise! But not in a punishing way, do things that are fun for you. Go outside, play frisbee, basketball, go for a walk or a run on the beach or through your town, go on a bike ride. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Go to farmer’s markets, find new produce, give your body what it needs to be strong.

For lots of  people, giving up dieting also ends bingeing. Not for all people, but for chronic dieters who also happen to be compulsive binge eaters, ending the diet ends the binge. They are different sides of the same coin. Let go of one and the other goes away.

What’s really sad is that for every one person who is trying to be healthy and go toward healthy balanced mind and body, there are another 1000 people who are trying to push a certain diet plan. There is always some kind of promise of doing some kind of new revolutionary diet plan and finally becoming thin and therefore happy. There are all those commercials on TV with before and after pictures of people. In their before pictures they are large but miserable. In their after pictures they are slim and happy. They do testimonials about how they weren’t hungry at all on their diets,  how they used to be miserable when they were large, but now that they are thin, their marriage is great,  they are back in school, and they are rich! Whatever it is, each new diet not only promises a slimmer body, but a wealth of riches that come with it. A veritable smorgasbord of every jewel that life has to offer waits for you at the end of this diet.

It’s not true. You won’t find happiness in a diet. But you might find some more freedom and happiness in letting go of diets and going towards health. When you empower yourself to eat what your body needs when your body needs it and to exercise it enough, your body will reward you with energy and strength. Will you be thin? Maybe, but maybe not. When you go toward health you go toward the positive. You are trying to achieve something. When you go toward skinniness, you are going toward the negative, you are trying to lose something.  Your body deserves love, no matter what size it is. Love comes in all different forms. Feed it lovingly with life affirming fresh food – don’t starve your body or  punish it, don’t stuff it uncomfortably with artificial, unhealthy food. Exercise it lovingly and gently (and sometimes hard when you have the compunction). Don’t  punish it by pushing it to exercise when you are tired or sick or injured. Give it kind words and send it loving messages instead of telling it that there is something wrong with it. This is yours! It’s the only body you get! It’s a gift and itt deserves to be cherished,  treated with respect, love, and kindness.

You are beautiful just by the nature of being human. You might not look like Gisele Bundchen, but nobody does except for Gisele. You look like you, and that’s pretty great.

Do The Next Right Thing

do the next right thing“Do The Next Right Thing,” a phrase borrowed from 12 step programs is an invaluable piece of advice. We can’t always do the right thing, but we can sit down, take stock of where we are, and do the next right thing. It might have been a terrible night. You might have drank a liter of vodka, ate 2 entire pizzas, drunk dialed your ex and cried to his voice mail multiple times. It might not be so dire, your house might just be messy and you’re aggravated. These are all parts of life and being human. We all mess up, we all suffer at some point and we all You can’t change the past, but you can take stock of what’s happening in the present and do the next right thing. What might that be?

Maybe it’s to choose to prepare a healthy next meal for yourself. Maybe it’s to make your bed. Maybe it’s to send out your resume. Maybe it’s to do one those simple things that you’ve been putting off, like sweeping your kitchen, or changing your light bulbs, or watering your plant.

We just can’t be perfect. We just always mess up as human beings. All of us. All the time. It’s just part of it. And when it comes to food, well, we mess up with food all the time too. You can’t go back and time and undo it. But you can go forward and do the next right thing. Don’t think about the next right thing as being a compensatory behavior for the binge, such as purging or over exercising or fasting/starving/restricting. If you do that, you are still contributing the binge rather than having it be over and doing the next right thing.

Stop. Take inventory. Think about what you can do next and do the next right thing.