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If You Think that You Overate at Thanksgiving Please Read This

Overeating on Thanksgiving Does NOT make you a failure!

 

 

I have been getting emails all day from people telling me that they overate or binged on Thanksgiving and that they hate themselves, that they are failures, that they are worthless, that they are defective, that they will never be like their cousins look or the way the women in their office look, or the way that that their mother thinks that they should look like, that they can’t stick to a diet and that there is something severely wrong with them.

This breaks my heart severely. These hate letters that women are sending to themselves.

You are not defective. You are not flawed. You are not bad. Eating or overeating or eating off your diet does not make you a bad person. It’s not like you kicked a homeless person or set fire to your neighbors house — you just ate more than you had planned to. How could you not have? It was Thanksgiving. The holiday that is centered around eating too much. Diets don’t work because diets go against human nature and basic biology. You didn’t fail at dieting, you won at being human. And your human self deserves love and kindness most of all from yourself. When you plan to restrict your food – you are sure to crack at some point. Human willpower can only go so far. And when highly palatable food is all around you, it’s very difficult not to eat it. And if you try really hard not to and you’re able to – there is a big chance that you will wind up bingeing on it or something else later. Please don’t beat yourself. Please try your best to take a breath and remind yourself that it was Thanksgiving. That you are allowed to eat. And that today, even if you ate more than you wanted to or planned to, that you can still eat. You don’t have to punish yourself by restricting or bingeing or purging. You need to eat. You don’t have to earn your meals. Eating is a basic human need.

You also don’t need to look like anyone else. As women we have been taught to relentlessly compare ourselves to other women. If we see a beautiful woman, we think to ourselves “she is beautiful – therefore that means that I am not… I should hate myself…” and when we compare ourselves to others, we fail to see what is beautiful and wonderful about ourselves. We believe that what we don’t have makes us flawed. We have all been taught that, to focus on our “perceived” flaws… by the things that make us feel separate from ourselves rather than aligned with ourselves. But what if we thought about focusing on what makes us special? What if we thought about not comparing ourselves to others (we can’t be anyone else nor should we be) and instead thinking about the amazing things that make us who we are? Even if you can focus on one thing that you like about yourself (a self-gratitude list) I think you might find some peace. It doesn’t have to be about the way that you look, it can be about who you are and what makes you feel the most like yourself. And then you might spend some time focusing on that. For instance, if you like that you are a voracious reader – spend time reading, if you like that you are a great writer, spend time writing, if you like that you are a fantastic cook, invite people over for a cooking class, if you like that you are kind, go serve food at a soup kitchen… or whatever. What I mean to say here is that it’s important for you to be you and not to try to be anyone else. And when you get in touch with what makes you you and you truly align to that – you will begin to feel embodied and be able to revel in your own authenticity rather than thinking that you’d be better off being someone else.

I hope that you all had a great long weekend. It’s already December and so my GET THROUGH DECEMBER WITHOUT BINGEING will start in the next couple of days!

And don’t miss out on my black friday sale. Purchase ANYTHING from the Recover shopping page and get 25% off when you use the code “thanksgiving” – ends Sunday night at 11:59pm. This includes the 5 Week Step-by-Step Program to Stop Binge Eating for Good.

Friday Q&A- Thanksgiving Guilt

Question:

Hi there,

I’m a 20 y.o. girl and I’m on the heels of a Thanksgiving binge. It makes me feel a lot like I’ve failed; I know I went into this holiday hoping to lose a couple pounds (I’m at the highest I’ve ever weighed), and this slip-up makes me feel really bad about myself. I know how illogical it is, but I need some encouragement on this. I felt as though I’d been doing well with my eating before tonight (with a few slipups here and there), but I really want to: a) weigh my target, set-point weight and b) beat binge eating once and for all. I know purging won’t help, so that’s not an issue, but this is hard. How do I get over this guilt? How do I balance losing a couple pounds with fully relearning how to eat normally?
 
Thanks so much,
 
Hi Katherine,
 
Thanks so much for your question. I’ll bet that you’re one of millions of people dealing with Post Thanksgiving Anxiety right now.  Start by forgiving yourself. You just cannot go backward and undo a binge. It won’t work as you know, all it will do is get you into a vicious cycle of bingeing then trying to undo the harm, then bingeing again. You can’t go backward, you can only take a breath, remind yourself that this binge won’t do much harm if you stop bingeing immediately and make your very next meal a healthy one. The guilt won’t help you to feel better, but telling yourself that you have the next meal, the next hour, the next day to just do better, to take control of your binge eating. In 12-step groups, they say, “do the next right thing.”
 
What is your next right thing? What can you do to go forward instead of staying in the binge? What can you do to move yourself out of this instead of stay in this?
 
 
 
1.First off, let go of it. Thanksgiving happens once a year. It’s the holiday where the whole country winds up in a food coma. You’re so not alone!!!
 Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself.  Part of the eating disorder is extreme guilt and shame for doing something normal. Part of recovery is noticing the guilt and shame and naming it as part of the disorder rather than as something to really buy into. 
 
2. Tomorrow will be a good day. When you wake up tomorrow morning, nurture yourself with a  healthy breakfast. If you are just not hungry, let yourself relax and have some green tea with lemon, and a light breakfast like some fruit and eggs. Eat it very slowly and mindfully and allow yourself to eat without guilt and shame. You are eating for heath and nutrition. Drink lots of water throughout the day to help your body process your binge and let go of retained water. Whatever you do, don’t restrict your food on Friday to undo the binge. Trying to undo the binge only keeps you in it. Returning to normal eating as soon as possible is integral to getting back to yourself. 
 
3. Do some light exercise such as a long walk in a beautiful setting to help calm your mind as well as to help your body feel empowered and light.
 
3. Try some meditation for food and eating issues. It might enable you to slow down and think about food in a less anxious more peaceful way.
 
4. Check out the following posts that might be helpful:
 
 

 
I hope that this answers your question and you’ve found this helpful.
 
Warmly,
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.
 
On another note, I have an inbox full of Q&A’s that I’ve not gotten to. For that I apologize. I will be answering all your questions soon!