How do you stop yourself from binging and purging, if in that moment you WANT to do it?
This is a great question. The funny thing is, IT IS a choice, it may not feel like a conscious choice all the time, but ultimately it is a choice. I remember the times when I would consciously choose to binge and then purge, I even consciously planned when I could do it. So for example, when my partner was out for the evening, I knew that that evening I could binge. So it's definitely a conscious choice and it's weird, making that decision to do something that you know will ultimately make you feel worse, so why do it? And how do you stop yourself from doing it?
Well the why is complex, it's VERY complicated. An aspect of binging or binging and purging is habitual, but the other MAIN aspect of it is, that there is something inside of you, a feeling, no matter how subtle, that is making you want to binge to distract yourself from this feeling.
I know that strangely enough, it's a difficult choice to make, but it is a choice and the choice is yours.
But how can you stop yourself from doing it? First you need to bring awareness to it, by bringing awareness you can actually choose differently - you can choose NOT TO, instead of choosing TO DO. I know that strangely enough, it's a difficult choice to make, but it is a choice and the choice is yours. First of all, you can remind yourself of just how bad you'll feel afterwards and remind yourself of how that "good feeling" is so short-lived, it's not going to last, and ultimately, it's going to make you feel way, way worse, and you WILL regret it. Then remind yourself of all the consequences of doing it - the consequences to your physical and your mental health, your self-worth, your happiness, your finances, even your relationships, just remind yourself of all the negative consequences.
If you want, you can also journal on it. Below are some journal prompts that you can start with:
So these are some things that you can write in your journal, and obviously this takes commitment, and it does take some internal strength because I know that the easiest thing to do, the least path of resistance, is just to go and continue with the binge. But if you want to choose differently, then sit down, get super present with yourself and ask yourself, what am I feeling right now? Like, what am I actually feeling? What is it that I need to feel good from? Why do I think this will make me feel good? And then ask yourself, how do I want to feel? Where am I right now, and where do I want to be? And then ask... why do I believe that binging will make me feel good? Will it actually make me feel good? And then if it won't make you actually feel good, then what will it actually make you feel? And maybe it will make you feel good, but for how long? Then you can ask yourself, what are the negative consequences of doing this? And list them all, every single one of them, no matter if you're having to do the same thing every single day, multiple times a day, list them all and keep listing them and ingraining them in your mind. Then you can ask, well what could I do instead? And then finally, am I still going do this?
If it's still a yes, well then, okay, you've gotten present and you've made that choice. And maybe next time you'll choose differently because you'll remember how that choice you made before was a pretty bad choice. But hopefully you'll choose to say, no, I'm not gonna do it this time. I can see all the reasons why I shouldn't do it and I've got some other things that I can do that I KNOW will make me feel good. So instead of behaving out of reactivity, you're coming into the moment with objectivity and sound, wise reason.
I know that it's hard. I KNOW IT IS. But what's even harder is living your life with this dis-ease, experiencing these symptoms day in and day out and feeling like you've got no way out it.
I know that it's hard. I KNOW IT IS. But what's even harder is living your life with this dis-ease, experiencing these symptoms day in and day out and feeling like you've got no way out it. And I'm telling you from experience, if you address the root cause, these urges will be gone and you won't even have to choose anymore. You won't have that feeling anymore. I promise.