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The Power of Starting Over in Binge Eating Recovery

December 21, 2022 Emma Parten

In the time I've spent recovering from binge eating disorder and disordered eating, I've learned how to start over in recovery. I've probably had to "start over" in binge eating recovery a thousand times. Starting over so many times has taught me how to forgive myself and look at myself with eyes of understanding.

When I experience a day (or weeks) full of struggle with food, I know in my core that my struggle will not last forever. I will bounce back. I can and will decide to start fresh, not just tomorrow when I wake up,  or next week, but right now in the present moment. 

Today I am thinking about the idea of starting over because I am, again, starting over. After some weeks of eating in a way that has made me feel tired, depressed, and anxious, I am here writing and starting fresh as I breathe and type. 

Tips for Starting Over in Binge Eating Recovery

After a binge, the discomfort of emotions is so heavy, it feels like I'll never feel good about myself again. Dramatic, yes, but it does feel like a crumbling of my self-esteem after years of dealing with the same issue. Maybe you've felt the same way. 

After so many years of learning how to start over the day after a binge, I have a few tips that help me bounce back faster.

  • Learn your fresh start rituals --  What helps you feel like you can start over? I always shower, "wash off" the guilt I feel about the day before, and practice yoga afterward to inhabit my body positively. You could take a walk, lie down and let yourself rest, record your thoughts in a journal, or tell someone who cares about you what you're experiencing.
  • Every moment is an opportunity to start over -- For a long time, I felt like if I overate, then the entire day had been ruined. In reality, with each passing moment, we have the opportunity to start over. We can forgive ourselves and make room at any time of day to start over. To signal to yourself that you're going to start fresh, you could step out of the room, sip a glass of water, stretch, feel the air on your skin, or pay attention to your breathing. Do something out of your usual routine to disrupt your habit patterns.
  • Acknowledge how you're feeling -- What tends to stick around for too long after a binge is the residue of a feeling. Eventually, the feeling I'm experiencing will pass. When I acknowledge that I'm feeling an emotion, I can give it space and separate from it. My mood will shift when I acknowledge the exact emotion(s) I'm feeling. 

This morning I did not want to look at myself in the mirror, but I did, and I practiced looking at myself with eyes of compassion and understanding. Only we, ourselves, know how we struggle. May we be kind and acknowledge our little victories and opportunities to start over again.

Every time you start over in recovery, you are training an essential muscle needed in every aspect of life. The more we practice starting over, the more resilient we become. I hope this post encourages you to think of starting over as a powerful tool as opposed to a sign of failure. Take good care.

APA Reference
Parten, E. (2022, December 21). The Power of Starting Over in Binge Eating Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/bingeeatingrecovery/2022/12/the-power-of-starting-over-in-binge-eating-recovery



Author: Emma Parten

Connect with Emma on her personal blog.

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