This is the second post in a new series, where I discuss my top tips for quitting binging. These are things that have worked for me and for many others in long-term recovery. In the first post, I talked about how CRUCIAL it is to eliminate food-related guilt (click here to read the first tip). This second tip is also very important:
Put weight loss on the backburner.
“Huh? You can’t be serious. I can’t forget about weight loss … I NEED to lose weight. I’m unhealthy, my clothes don’t fit, and I hate my body. I HAVE TO lose weight as soon as possible.”
This is the typical reaction to this tip. And this was MY reaction many, many times … until I finally realized that desperate desire to lose weight was only KEEPING me binging and making me gain more weight. At some point, I realized things simply weren’t getting better with my constant quest to lose weight. If I was going to keep gaining anyway, I might as well try something different. So I stopped trying to lose weight for a while. I focused on listening to my body, rather than to the scale, my jeans size, or calorie trackers. Surprisingly, I stopped gaining weight. And after a while, it became a lot easier to stop binging without the pressure and dire need to lose weight.
So, this is my advice to anyone who is struggling with binging: forget about weight loss goals for now. I know this is hard … believe me, I know. But it will be so worth it. You can always revisit your weight goals after you have been binge-free for a few months, when both your body and mind are in a better place.
What are your experiences with dealing with weight issues and recovery? Did you also find that the goals of quitting binging and losing weight had to be tackled separately?