Back On Track After A Binge

 Well, the intentions were good, but the circumstances were overcoming.  You had good intentions of eating right, but somehow the plan just did not work!  Or to put it in the words of Scripture, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."  

Matthew 26:41

As much I set out to follow healthy eating habits, there are definitely those times when I fail.  Sometimes it is just one overindulgent, poorly combined meal.  Sometimes it is a full on binge of a particular food - "it looked so good when I started, but left me feeling so disgusting at the end!"  Sometimes it is a period of several days of just too much food and beverage, most often after a trip whether for leisure or for business.  


Whatever the cause, after times of such bingeing, I have discovered a plan that helps to get me back on track to healing my body and once again feeling great.  

If you have had any sort of binge lately and are feeling like you might need to get back on track to healthy living, here are a few simple ideas that I hope will help you to get started.

1.  Ditch The Guilt - The first thing that happens when I overindulge is I feel terrible about myself.  Even more than the sick feeling in my gut is the sick feeling in my gut!  That is to say that the emotional feeling of guilt in my gut is worse than the actual physical feeling of bloating in my gut.  

"How could you have done that?  What is the matter with you?  Could you not have enforced a little self discipline?  Have you not learned by now that you are not going to feel good when you do that?"  

Before the last bite is even finished, the guilt begins.  And if I am not mistaken, I am not alone.  BUT, one thing I have learned (be sure to see point 5!) is to Ditch The Guilt when I overindulge.  

A portion of one of my favorite verses says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…".   You did it, it is done, it is not the end of the world, it is not the first time nor the last time you will do this, you can be forgiven, learn from it (did I mention to see point 5), now move on in a positive direction.  Right away, after a binge, Ditch the Guilt!

2.  Simplify - The second thing I aim to do after a binge is to simplify.  After I have let the pendulum swing too far in a negative direction, I try to let it swing back to the opposite positive direction of eating something really, really good for me.  For me to simplify means to do something like have a mono meal consisting of one particular piece of fruit that I love and enjoying just that for a meal.  

It is similar to following the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) that doctors recommend after a bout with a stomach bug.  You know you will not stay on this diet forever, you are just allowing your body to come back to a more normal swing of the pendulum so to speak, a more balanced approach to your lifestyle.  Choose something simple you love to eat and just enjoy that for a meal or two.

3.  Recommit - As mentioned in point one, there is a lot of emotion that runs through the process of a binge and part of that consists of throwing in the towel on our goals and desires.  When I find that I have been on a binge of sorts, an important step in my recovery is recommitting to those goals and returning to my go to habits.  

Healthy living and feeling great are lifetime commitments.  It is much like the story of a monk who was asked what monks did all day.  His response was, "We fall down and we get up again, we fall down and we get up again."  Recommitting is simply getting back to the habits that contribute to your healthy lifestyle, even if you must take baby steps to get you there.  

My own go to habits are to take a walk or sit on the floor and stretch.  Simple, but such baby steps are always a great help for me to feel better.  My go to habits for eating are to avoid dairy, fried foods and sweets.  After a long binge, it can be hard to recommit to avoiding these particular foods (those are the ones for me, you may have others), but again my goal is to take baby steps to get me there.  

Recommit by setting a goal in the future for you to look forward to with positive success - a doctor's visit, a special occasion, or a certain number of days that you "stay on the wagon."  Get strong, challenge yourself & recommit to you!

4.  Visualize - This tip can be a bit more time consuming but I find it to be a great aid for me after a binge.  Over the years, I have collected pictures of people that I think look fit and healthy and keep them in a notebook.  I also have collected pictures of healthy, simple foods that I find appetizing.

When I need motivation to get me back on track, I spend some time looking at these photographs.  They inspire me and help me with tip #3 to recommit to my goals.  Now with the convenience of cell phones, you could also keep a journal close at hand of photographs that can quickly inspire you to get back on track!

5.  Learn & Grow - The final step I take to get back on track is to see what I can learn from my downward spiral - and for me personally, this is an ongoing, lifelong learning process!   But to my amazement, I have actually learned and implemented from my mistakes over the years.

My learning process consists of questions like:  Why did this happen?  What were the circumstances that led up to this?  The time of day?  The environment?  What kind of mood I was experiencing?   

And as I answer these questions, I seek possible resolutions to make the next time that I face these circumstances have a better outcome.  As I mentioned, I am still definitely learning!  But as a popular quote states, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  If we don't seek to learn and grow from our binges, we will never see different results!

Hopefully some of these steps will help, and for further assistance, click here for a prayer to pray over your health.  

© margaret young