I used to be the queen of the ‘I’ll just be better tomorrow’ club. You know the deal – promising myself that I’d get back on track the next day. But guess what happened every single time? I’d find myself spiraling into a full-blown binge. It was like a never-ending loop of self-sabotage. 🌀
Now, let’s break it down and see why this ‘I’ll be better tomorrow’ thing isn’t as helpful as it might seem.
Picture this: you’ve had a day where you might’ve deviated from your usual plan – maybe you had some extra snacks or skipped your regular routine. In response, you throw yourself a lifeline, saying, “I’ll just be better tomorrow.” Seems legit, right? Well, not quite.
When you tell yourself, “I’ll just be better tomorrow,” you’re actually saying that what you did today was wrong or messed up. It’s like putting a big ‘X’ through your choices and labeling them as ‘bad.’ You start dividing your actions into ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ with no middle ground.
This all-or-nothing thinking can be a bit of a slippery slope. It cranks up the pressure to be ‘perfect’ and triggers feelings of guilt and shame when you don’t meet that standard. You end up creating a world where perfection is the goal, and any slip-up feels like a massive failure.
And that’s the tricky part – the “I’ll just be better tomorrow” idea becomes a double-edged sword. It might seem like a way to regain control, but it also sets you up for self-criticism and self-doubt, even when you didn’t do anything ‘wrong.’ Remember, your worth isn’t tied to your daily food choices, and no day is a complete loss because of what you ate.
The key to breaking this cycle? Embrace a kinder, more balanced relationship with food and yourself. Every choice is a chance to learn and grow, not an excuse for self-punishment.
Now, onto the next part of this rollercoaster ride: the trigger. When you say, “I’ll just be better tomorrow” you set off a chain reaction of emotions. And the first domino to fall is a big one: shame.
Shame is a heavy, distressing emotion. It’s not just feeling like you made a mistake; it’s feeling like you’re flawed as a person because of it. When you label your actions as ‘wrong’ or ‘bad,’ you’re drenching yourself in shame. It’s like you’ve tripped on the path of self-improvement and now feel unworthy.
You might start thinking, “I should’ve done better. I should’ve had more self-control.” Those thoughts crank up the shame, and it feels like you’ve disappointed not only yourself but everyone around you too.
Then comes disappointment. You set an expectation for yourself, and when you think you fell short, disappointment takes the stage. It’s like missing a chance to be your best self, and it can weigh you down.
Here’s the kicker: shame and disappointment don’t just hang around quietly. They demand attention, and the more you try to ignore them, the louder they get. This emotional turmoil often pushes you to seek comfort, and for many, food becomes that comfort.
In this emotional storm, binge-eating becomes a way to soothe the painful emotions. It’s like a temporary escape from shame and disappointment, providing a moment of comfort. But it’s not a lasting solution.
Breaking free from this cycle starts with understanding that no single choice defines your worth. It’s about showing yourself kindness and using every choice as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a reason for self-punishment.
Now, let’s talk about the next part of this rollercoaster: the reaction, which often takes the form of a last supper feast. Why? After saying, “I’ll just be better tomorrow,” you might be gripped by guilt, disappointment, or even a dash of rebellion. It’s like a storm brewing inside you, and the urge to binge is its thunderous roar.
It might seem counterintuitive – you’ve labeled the day as ‘failed,’ but instead of trying to fix it, you end up making it worse. You might eat everything you promised yourself you wouldn’t, maybe even empty out your entire pantry. It’s like there’s an urgency to eat it all, as if you won’t get another chance.
This reaction is a mix of emotions and psychology. Binge-eating offers a temporary escape from emotional turmoil. It’s like a band-aid for your feelings, providing momentary comfort.
There’s also the psychology of it. If you believe you’re starting fresh tomorrow, you might think, “I might as well enjoy my favorite foods today because they’ll be off-limits soon.” It’s a paradoxical sense of urgency to consume everything now, as if it won’t be there tomorrow.
But, the binge doesn’t bring the relief you hoped for. Once the initial indulgence wears off, you’re left with physical discomfort and guilt. The self-criticism only deepens, creating a cycle of shame and binge-eating.
In the end, binge-eating reinforces the ‘I’ll restart tomorrow’ cycle, trapping you in a cycle of self-sabotage. The solution is understanding that there’s no ‘failed’ day. Food choices are part of life, and they don’t define your worth. Instead of responding with binge-eating, you can choose self-compassion and see each choice as an opportunity for growth.
So, you’ve rolled with the “I’ll just be better tomorrow” mindset, ridden the emotional rollercoaster, and fell into last supper feasting. But what’s the outcome? More often than not, it leaves you in a state of increased misery, a raging stomachache, and amplified the very feelings you hoped to escape.
When you decided to ‘be better tomorrow,’ it might’ve seemed like a way to regain control. However, it’s clear now that this mindset sets you up for misery.
Binge-eating, brought on by shame and disappointment, provides momentary comfort. But it’s short-lived. You end up not just emotionally distressed but physically bloated and uncomfortable. Guilt and self-criticism follow the binge, creating a vicious cycle of shame and overeating.
Hindsight might show you that if you had paused to question that “I’ll just be better tomorrow” thought, things could’ve been different. By embracing self-compassion and understanding that food choices don’t define your worth, you can break free from the cycle of misery. It’s about learning and growing from your choices, rather than punishing yourself.
In the end, remember that no single day or choice defines your overall well-being. It’s not about ‘restarting’ tomorrow; it’s about embracing each moment as a chance for self-improvement, growth, and self-acceptance.
Now, let’s talk about how to break free from this self-destructive cycle. It all starts with your thoughts and reframing your mindset.
🔄 Reframe Your Thoughts: “I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong Today!”
The first step is changing the narrative. You didn’t do anything wrong today, and food doesn’t make you a bad person. There is no ‘wrong’ when it comes to eating. Once you challenge that notion and let go of shame and guilt, you’ll set yourself free. It’s not about ‘restarting’ tomorrow; it’s about embracing each day with kindness and understanding. There are no failures, only opportunities to learn and grow.
So, say goodbye to the ‘I’ll restart tomorrow’ club and welcome a new mindset that allows you to break free from the binge-eating cycle. You’ve got this!
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Intuitive Eating by Elise Resch and Evelyn Tribole
When it was first published, Intuitive Eating was revolutionary in its anti-dieting approach. The authors, both prominent health professionals in the field of nutrition and eating disorders, urge readers to embrace the goal of developing body positivity and reconnecting with one’s internal wisdom about eating―to unlearn everything they were taught about calorie-counting and other aspects of diet culture and to learn about the harm of weight stigma.
Health At Every Size by Lindo Bacon
Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem. The solution? Health at Every Size. Tune in to your body’s expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you to feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now—and Health at Every Size will show you how.
Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison
In Anti-Diet, Christy Harrison takes on diet culture and the multi-billion-dollar industries that profit from it, exposing all the ways it robs people of their time, money, health, and happiness. It will turn what you think you know about health and wellness upside down, as Harrison explores the history of diet culture, how it’s infiltrated the health and wellness world, how to recognize it in all its sneaky forms, and how letting go of efforts to lose weight or eat “perfectly” actually helps to improve people’s health—no matter their size. Drawing on scientific research, personal experience, and stories from patients and colleagues, Anti-Diet provides a radical alternative to diet culture, and helps readers reclaim their bodies, minds, and lives so they can focus on the things that truly matter.
Just Eat It by Laura Thomas
With a perfect blend of scientific expertise and relatable anecdotes, the author dismantles societal myths around food and body image. Through practical advice, self-reflection exercises, and a touch of humor, Thomas equips readers with the tools to break free from the cycle of diet culture, promoting self-love and nourishment. This book is an essential companion for anyone seeking to redefine their approach to food, fostering a positive and sustainable lifestyle.
Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach
Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.
I understand—it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Let's simplify things and have you start right here:
Why Am I Overeating?
First Steps To Stop Binge Eating
The Food Freedom Lab Podcast
the food freedom lab podcast