How to Recover from a Binge FAST…
If you make a food mistake, your Inner Pig(tm) will immediately attempt to turn it into a full-fledged food orgy: “You cheated! You cheated! You cheated! You cheated!!! See? Your Food Plan doesn’t mean anything! The Hell with this ‘Never Binge Again!’ stuff. You’ll have to try something else to control me. You’ve blown it so i am now totally free to binge at will from now on!!! Yippeeee!!! Yippeeee!!! Party Time!!! Let’s Do It!!!!” (What your Pig says after a Binge)
We call this the “Screw It, You Already Blew It” Squeal and it’s the single most damaging thing most people’s Pigs ever say.
Even on its surface, it’s patently ridiculous in the same way that while accidentally breaking a tooth IS a serious event, it does NOT follow that you should immediately go find a hammer to bang the rest out!
OK, you made a serious mistake. But you did NOT have a brain operation which disabled your ability to make good food choices or control your hands, arms, legs, mouth, and tongue. You have not had a mysterious curse laid upon you which prevents you from eating well. Space aliens have not abducted you and implanted electrodes which force you to eat Pig Slop. You have NOT lost control of your ability to decide exactly what does and doesn’t go in your mouth!
Your Pig will also try to confuse you by mixing up the appropriate mindsets before vs. after a Binge. BEFORE a Binge, the only possible approach is perfectionism. AFTER a Binge, the only possible approach is analysis, forgiveness, and resumption.
BEFORE a Binge, your Pig will say perfect adherence to your Food Plan is impossible: It will say “Progress, not perfection”, “You can’t possible expect to remember your silly vow forever.” But I’ve never heard the following vow at a wedding, have you? “I promise to love and be faithful…until an inevitable moment of weakness. I promise I’ll do the best I can, but nobody’s perfect and there sure are a lot of attractive people out there. I’m 80% sure I can be faithful forever, but anyone who promises you 100% is an unrealistic liar. A ‘pretty good’ promise is the best anyone can ever hope for, because you can’t possibly know who you’re going to sleep with next year, or in ten years. Just being honest. You want me to be honest, right?”
That’s the wedding vow your Pig wants to make, and it would have you take the possibility of Binging just as casually. The Pig’s vow is a plan to forget, but a vow is a plan to remember. Either you commit 100% or you’ve committed to nothing at all. “I think I can” is nothing more than “I’ll try for a while until it gets too hard.” Perfectionism is the ONLY possible attitude about your commitment, not matter what’s happened in the past.
AFTER a Binge, your Pig will work hard to demoralize and weaken you, so you won’t have the strength it says you need to put it back in its cage. “Either you’re perfect or you’re nothing. Either you can perfectly control your food intake or you can’t control it at all. You made a mistake and are therefore not perfect. Obviously, you are now completely out of control. I get to go on a big giant hairy Binge. Yippeeee!!!”
Knowing the Pig’s motives, why even consider what it has to say? Just analyze what happened, put the Pig in its cage, and resume with 100% commitment, determination, and certainty.
Your Pig would prefer you did NOT analyze what happened, because it knows there are only two possibilities (a) either you simply failed to heal it Squeal (something we call a simple “Pig Attack”) or; (b) there’s something in your Food Plan which genuinely needs changing to ensure it’s nutritionally complete and satisfying enough to sustain you indefinitely.
If it’s the former, you’ll just resume exactly where you were before the Binge. If it’s the latter, you’ll follow the detailed analysis instructions in the “How to Change Your Food Plan” worksheet to ensure the Pig is not influencing your thinking. Either way, bringing the problem to the light of day removes all the Pig’s power.
Your Pig’s final efforts after a Binge will involve convincing you that you’re an inherently weak person, with defects of character, a lack of willpower, and the essential inability to EVER control your eating. But making a renewed effort to eat more constructively is evidence of strength, not weakness!
Even if you’ve repeatedly fallen down for years, continuing to get up until you succeed is a mark of fortitude and perseverance, not weakness. A weak person just listens to the Pig and gives up. A strong one resolves to lock the Pig back in its cage forever. Making a renewed vow of adherence proves your strength. How pathetic is it that the Pig would attempt to use your renewed vow against you?
Your Pig may also say ridiculous things like “I just got out, so of course I’ll get out again.” But it’s extremely unusual for prisoners to break out of jail twice without help from their jailor. Or it may say “I can’t beat you right now but it’s only a matter of time until we Binge again.” But you have full control over what you buy, open, take out of the package with your hands, put in your mouth, chew, and swallow, so you’ll will always have the 100% ability to keep the Pig in its cage. You don’t have to worry about “later”, only the present, and it is always the present.
After a serious analysis of what caused the mistake, promptly forgive yourself and make a 100% confident, renewed commitment to perfectly follow your Food Plan forever. You are a fallible human being. You were practicing a particular Food Plan, but now practice is over and it’s time for the big leagues. You analyzed what went wrong, and made the necessary adjustments. You Will Never Binge Again!
And ALL you need to do to never binge again is never binge again. You don’t have to do a spiritual chant, fast for 2 days, or repeatedly smack yourself in the head with a spatula. Just resume. Your body will recover from the poison in your Pig’s Slop in just a few days, and along with it your confidence.
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