You did it. You knew it was a bad idea, but you did it anyway.
As you look around the room, you see the evidence of your poor choices: empty candy wrappers, piles of dirty dishes, a lonely pizza box with just a tiny clump of cheese left inside.
Maybe you don’t see anything at all. Maybe you’re too good at hiding the evidence so no one else will know what you’ve done.
But there’s no escaping the fact that you just binged. There’s the unmistakable weight in your stomach that feels like a brick of self-loathing.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
About 7 years ago, I was binge eater and feeling like my stomach was going to burst was a common occurrence. It was very fat, and I was miserable.
I’d make detailed meal plans and workout schedules, but I’d get so overwhelmed during the day that I’d end up eating tons of snacks or eating enormous dinners when I got home from work.
Around this time, I joined Weight Watchers and slowly started losing the 30 or so pounds that were dragging me down. Weight Watchers is great program, and I even worked for the organization as a group leader when I reached my goal weight.
I learned a lot about healthy eating, portion sizes, and keeping up my motivation. But there’s one piece of advice that helped more than anything else, and I come back to it whenever I feel myself turning into a binge monster.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
This isn’t earth-shattering news, and I’m sure you’ve heard it before. But what exactly does it mean to check yourself before you wreck yourself?
Well, we’ve all felt “wrecked” at one time or another. It’s when you’re completely stuffed, uncomfortable, and feeling lousy about what you’ve just eaten.
For me, this was binging. I’d come home from my job feeling super stressed out, and then I’d eat an entire pizza and half a carton of ice cream.
But that’s not all! I’d figure since I ruined whatever diet I was on at the time that I might as well keep snacking all night until I went to bed.
Here’s how “check yourself before you wreck yourself” changed my destructive binging pattern.
Let’s say I’m feeling like I want to eat a ton of food, maybe 4 cups of pasta smothered in a creamy high-calorie sauce. Eating that will certainly wreck my diet and wreck my self-esteem.
Before I eat a bite, I pause and assess how I’m feeling.
Do I really want to eat all that? Am I actually hungry for that amount of food? Is there a better choice that would satisfy me?
It often helps if I make a cup of tea and go sit someplace away from the kitchen. Sometimes we’re thirsty and don’t even realize it! Thirst can make us think we’re hungrier than we actually are.
The simple act of pausing for a minute or 2 before I dive head first into a plate of cookies is enough to get me back on track. When I was fat and miserable, I didn’t want to examine my feelings even though that’s precisely what I needed to do.
I also check myself before I wreck myself in the middle of my meals. I put my fork down between bites and take a sip of water. Slowing down gives my body time to register that I’m satisfied before I get to the “bursting full” feeling.
Want a really powerful motivator? Choose a check-in goal and think about that goal when you’re pausing before doing something you’ll regret.
I have this gorgeous pair of strawberry pink jeans I’d like to fit back into this summer. When I get that binge-y feeling, I pause and think about my future self struttin’ around town in those crazy pink pants. I don’t want to wreck that future!
Here’s your challenge for this week: when you’re feeling like doing something that isn’t in line with your health and fitness goals, take a minute to check yourself before you wreck yourself.
How do you check yourself before you wreck yourself?
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