Thursday, January 24, 2013


This post wins the award for being most put-off. We learned this ages ago but for some reason I didn't feel like writing about it.
It's a very useful skill.
Basically you visualize your behaviors as one big chain. Each one leads to the other. For example, I got up today with only 4 hours of sleep. I ate more because I was on autopilot, and then I felt overly full and purged (this didn't actually happen today, but it has in the past). Waking up with 4 hours of sleep is a link to "ate more" which links to "feeling overly full" which causes the purge. 
The goal is to break the chain. It can be broken at any link, even after a purge. 
The way you break the chain is by using skills. So in my b/p chain for breakfast, I could have used mindful eating to stop munching. I could have used thought restructuring when I felt overly full, and distraction instead of purging.
I like this skill a lot because it allows me to visualize my behaviors as a string I can cut off at any point. It's also good for figuring out what leads to what.
The only thing I'm not in love with is that it isn't really a new skill. You have to use old ones to help you out, even though you think of things in a different way.
The study is over after today, so this will be my last post regarding skills I've learned there.
But even though there are no more new skills, I still have a wealth of old ones fathering dust in my closet.

Thought restructuring
being assertive
problem solving
surfing the urge
mindfulness/being in the moment
meal planning
giving self a break
alternate behaviors
rearranging cues
changing responses to cues
slip plan

I'm planning to write them in big letters and post them on my closet so I won't forget them. 
The skills do help. If you try to use them. 


  1. I hadn't heard of that one Emily but it sounds very helpful
    All too often I write of the day because of one thing but it's never to late to start over
    Thanks for reminding me of that x

  2. What is "Surfing the urge", "Alternate Behaviors", and "Rearranging cues/changing responses to cues"?
    I am not familiar with them, so it would help a lot if you could define them.
    Thanks. (:

    1. I was planning a post on all these and then I looked back through and it turns out I already did posts on them! So I guess I'll just tell you in this comment and link? Because I don't really know what else I can say about them.
      Surfing the Urge is exactly what it sounds like- when you have an urge to binge or purge you surf it out and wait for it to subside.
      Alternate behaviors means doing other things to distract yourself besides binging or purging. For example, taking a bath instead of binging.

      And rearranging cues is when you change a routine so that you can avoid cues. For example, if you binge every time you come home, put your running shoes by the door so you'll see them first and go for a run instead of going into the kitchen.

      I hope this helps!

  3. Wow I really like this idea. And it can be applied to any part of your life that you're struggling with. I will definitely have to try putting this to use!
    Thanks Emily! <3

  4. This is so true...sometimes my b/p cycle is the result of a domino effect..just one thing is enough to keep the ball rolling and rolling...I usually binge when something upsets me, when I'm depressed or sad/angry...and something is triggering those emotions. And THAT is what I need to figure out what it is and eliminate it, or at least try to. I desperately need to break my chain....your posts about skips are truly helpful, so thanx for sharing

    omg i also associate less sleep with more food it's just that when i don't sleep well, i get hungry very often. i also realised when i'm depressed it leads to me just wanting to sleep and eat more and i can't detect my depression because i'm numb when i'm depressed so i rely on looking at my eating habits to decipher my own emotions
    since i can't that's depressing wow
    I HOPE YOU CAN BREAK THE CHAIN SWEETIE xo my sleep is completely fixed now. i'm just working on the food bit to be tailored the way i want ^_^
    good luck!
    -Sam Lupin


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