If you binge and purge, you may feel like you’re trapped in a cycle that you can’t get out of, no matter how hard you try. You may have exhausted yourself fighting against old patterns, only to find them taking over when your resistance is down. But no matter where you are at in your journey with binging and purging, there are some simple yet profound things that you can do to give yourself some breathing room and enhance your chances of making changes that last. In this powerful new video from #IPEtv, Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, shares 4 ideas that may give you a new perspective this eating challenge. If you or someone you care about struggles with binging and purging, you won’t want to miss this.
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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Hi, I’m Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Today we’re going to talk about 4 Things to Know if You Binge and Purge
If you binge and purge, you’re not alone. According to a 2003 study by the Renfrew Clinic, 25% of college-aged women have engaged in binging and purging. That’s 1 in 4 women who try it. Many people start the behavior as a weight management strategy. A significant segment of people learn binge and purge behavior from sports, especially sports that require weigh-ins such as wrestling, boxing, and gymnastics. A majority of people will discontinue the behavior when they realize it’s dangerous or unhealthy for them. But for some, it can turn into a serious challenge called bulimia. Here are a 4 ways to help transform this eating concern:
#1 Stay Nourished
The best biological way to shore yourself up against a binge/purge cycle is to stay well nourished throughout the day. Starving yourself just sets you up to feel ravenous and out of control with urges to eat way more than a normal amount of food later on. Don’t skip meals. Get enough healthy protein and fat. Avoiding food only makes us crave it, and intensely so.
#2 Slow Down
Carve out some time to eat in a relaxed and pleasurable way. Stop and sit down. Breathe. Taste and chew your food. Enjoy. Tap into your senses. Be present with the food in front of you. Believe it or not, it’s hard to binge when you’re completely present, when you eat slow, and when you stay present to all the sensations of the eating experience.
#3 Put Space Between Urge and Action
Use the restroom before you eat so that you have no excuse to use it after to purge. Decide to refrain from using the restroom for at least 2 hours after a meal. Keep any other purging receptacles out of reach. Have a plan for what you will do instead—create art, work, take a walk, journal, talk to a friend, listen to relaxing music, and do whatever you can to stay in a positive frame of mind.
#4 Find A Way to Help Others
In general, serving others and helping uplift them is a great way to get out of our own internal craziness. Find a purpose, a way that you can regularly be of service to people you can truly help. It’s one of the most powerful antidotes for self attack and harmful behaviors. When we nourish others, we magically find a place of inner peace and our problems find a natural and more effortless way of healing.
I hope this helps you understand more deeply how to work with this important-to-understand eating concern.
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This is Emily Rosen, Chief Operating Officer for the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Thanks so much for your time and interest!
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