Ep #142: Acceptance and Forgiveness vs. Excusing

You’ve probably heard that food rules are bad and you need to drop them. But what if they’re not all bad?

In this episode, I’m exploring the idea of having food rules, why you have them, and what to do about them. There might be some that you want to keep and some that you want to let go of. I’m going to help you figure out how. Listen in as I help you drop what isn’t helpful and keep what is.

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  • Why you have food rules
  • Why some of your food rules aren’t useful
  • Why not all food rules are bad
  • How to create food rules that will be helpful for you

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Hi! Hello. I’m so glad you’re here today. Let’s just jump right in talk about accepting and forgiving, and excusing binges.

This topic comes up every now and then as I’m coaching in my group programs so I thought it would be a good one to address here on the podcast.

One thing that I teach in the process of stopping binge eating is to accept binges when they happen.

You accept that it happened, forgive yourself for your mistake, and be kind to yourself.

Your other option is to be upset with yourself and beat yourself up about it.

Now, I think it’s normal to be upset if you binge, most people feel disappointed after a binge but, how long you stay there is up to you.

I suggest you shift into forgiveness, acceptance, and kindness sooner than later because staying in disappointment and beating yourself up isn’t going to be useful.

It’s just going to make you feel bad.

I know some of you think that beating yourself up will somehow stop you from doing it again but, that’s not how it works.

Beating yourself up only affects you in the moment when you’re beating yourself up. That next time you binge, it’s a completely separate moment with completely different thoughts and feelings going on.

Do you ever feel an urge to binge and think, “Because I beat myself up last time I’m not going to binge right now?” I don’t think so.

I beat myself up many times for bingeing and those beat ups didn’t even cross my mind when I felt an urge to binge.

So there really isn’t an upside to beating yourself up for bingeing.

That’s why I suggest acceptance and forgiveness.

But sometimes when I do, people are a little hesitant.

They’re concerned that if they accept the binge and forgive themselves then they’re giving themselves permission to continue doing it.

They think it will make them complacent about bingeing and therefore they’ll keep doing it. It’s like there’s no negative consequence so why stop.

But you know that’s not true. You have all kinds of negative consequences without you beating yourself up.

You don’t need to add you berating yourself to all that’s going on with your physically.

When you bring acceptance and forgiveness into the picture, what that does is release the anger, resentment, and frustration you may feel toward yourself.

You can be okay with yourself.

You can accept your mistake and move on from it rather than holding on to it and holding on to all kinds of negativity toward yourself.

Where people get confused about this is that they associate acceptance and forgiveness with condoning and approving.

Those are separate things.

Acceptance here means that you’re simply agreeing with your current reality.

You binged, it happened.

Forgiveness here means that you’re okay with yourself. You’re letting go of anger toward yourself.

The acceptance and forgiveness you experience in the moments after you binge are so you can be at peace with yourself.

That is what will allow you to move on from this mistake more quickly and get back to what you want to be doing rather than staying upset and maybe punishing yourself in some way.

But then the question becomes, if you’re just forgiving yourself every time you binge, will that lead you to just keep on bingeing?

The answer is no.

It’s just like I talked about before with beating yourself up.

That moment of beating yourself up doesn’t affect your future moment when you’re feeling an urge.

And that moment of accepting your mistake and forgiving yourself doesn’t affect the future moment when you’re feeling an urge.

What will affect that future moment is what you’re thinking in that future moment.

You can forgive and accept after you’ve binged and then the next time you feel an urge, not binge again because you’re going to choose to allow the discomfort of the urge instead.

Or, you can forgive and accept after you’ve binged and then excuse bingeing the next time you feel an urge and then give in and binge.

What you do the next time you feel an urge is up to you and depends on what you’re choosing in THAT moment, not what you chose to do after the previous binge.

Before a binge and after a binge are two totally separate moments with separate thoughts and decisions happening.

There’s a difference between being okay with yourself after a binge and being okay with bingeing right before it happens.

One is accepting and forgiving yourself and the other is excusing a behavior that you’re wanting to do but you also know it’s not what you want to do.

One is you creating peace for yourself and the other is you being sneaky and justifying a behavior so you can do it.

Know the difference and separate those moments into their own entities.

Just because you forgive and accept doesn’t mean you also excuse.

So choose forgiveness and acceptance because it feels better and will allow you to move on sooner.

And don’t choose to excuse and justify bingeing when you’re feeling discomfort, emotions, or urges because it’s not what you really want to be doing.

Choose to be kind to yourself simply because it’s a better option than beating yourself up and berating yourself.

And then choose to allow the discomfort you feel the next time you feel an urge to binge.

You’re always making decisions about what you’re going to do and what thoughts you’re going to tell yourself.

Make decisions that align with how you want to be for yourself.

Talk to yourself in ways that align with how you want to be talking to yourself.

If you were talking to your best friend you’d probably be accepting and forgiving of their binge and help them to not excuse a binge next time they’re feeling an urge.

Do that same thing for yourself.

Alright, talk to you next time. Bye bye!


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When you feel an urge to binge, you may think eating is your only option. But it’s not. In 3 simple steps you can get through your urges without eating and feeling empowered and proud.

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