Eliminating Nothing Days

I know a lot of my readers are dealing with compulsive overeating/binge eating, and also depression. From time to time, I like to share posts that offer support and advice for recovery. At the very least, please know that you are never alone

Eliminating Nothing Days: Or, how to move on after a binge. #motivation #weightloss #inspiration

Depression is insidious. Once it takes hold, it creates this feedback loop…you’re unmotivated because you’re depressed, so you don’t accomplish your goals, and this makes you more depressed. Those of us who struggle with binge eating know this kind of cycle so, so well. We eat because we’re miserable and the next day we’re miserable because we ate. It’s hard to break out of it. Sometimes it feels impossible to break out of it. But one tactic (read my other tips on how to stop emotional eating part 1 and how to stop emotional eating part 2) that has helped me is the mantra, “No more nothing days.”

A nothing day is a day where you accomplish nothing positive (and no, watching 8 episodes of Orange is the New Black doesn’t count.) There have been plenty of days where I binged and literally did nothing but eat. The feeling I had at the end of these days was one of complete and utter failure. I went to bed those nights feeling ashamed, pathetic, and weak. Guess what those feelings did? Contributed to my depression.

Even when you’re depressed and feeling weak, you can usually muster the motivation or courage to do something positive. It can be something as simple as taking a shower (hey, sometimes that’s all we’ve got in us) or going for a walk. Return a phone call or an email that you’ve meaning meaning to write. Just one thing so that at the end of the day you can know you did at least something to help your situation. Any step toward the light is better than standing still in the dark.
Once you start stringing enough something days together, you’ll start to see and feel some progress. Eventually, this should help create a new feedback loop—one of motivation and progress. And even if you continue to struggle, at least you’ve accomplished something.

Like this post? Take a look at my other weight loss posts.

Be Stronger than Your Excuses - for more #inspiration, check out AndieMitchell.com #motivation

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26 thoughts on “Eliminating Nothing Days

  1. Christina@LoveYourselfHealthy

    Thank you for posting this. Perfect timing, really, as I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. “No more nothing day”… definitely adding that one to my little toolbox.

    I don’t think I ever commented about this before, but reading your blog encouraged me to seek help for my disordered eating in May 2014. I can’t thank you enough for that! I even gave you a little shout-out on the “About Me” page on my blog. http://www.loveyourselfhealthy.net

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    So true — I just learned recently that lazy Netflix watching Sundays at home are really not good for me (as much as I love them) … I need to be productive or I get the urge to eat junk, and then feel bad about it… no more laying on the couch all day for me!

    Reply
  3. Rob

    Thank you so much for this post. After struggling with depression for the last eight months, I would wholeheartedly agree that doing just one thing a day is the most important thing to do. It is so so so hard in the moment even to take a ten minute walk or write an email. And sometimes the pain of doing it lasts the entire time you’re doing that act. For me, even a simple task meant I would have to take a nap after. But for anyone going through it, just remember that it will slowly and imperceptibly get better every single day, especially if you take the advice in this post. So keep going! You are not alone, and you will get there.

    Thank you, Andi, for all of your beautifully written posts, and your inspiring and touching memoir.

    Reply
  4. Pam Fraim

    Oh Andie…When you write you speak to all of us, you bare it all and we see ourselves. I love this blog, I loved your book ( its right next to my chair right now while I type this, it STAYS there! ) and you inspire me. Keep on talking, I am LISTENING and FOLLOWING!!!

    Reply
  5. Hootie

    I had just openned the Netflix app, contemplated Orange is the new black (have never watched it) closed it and decided to pop by here before googling some personal training videos….so, Jedi mind-reader…thanks! Needed that :)

    Reply
  6. Heather Adams

    As so many others have stated, this post touched my heart. I have had those days. Thank you for saying that somedays the only positive thing that can be done is a shower. Your blog is beautiful & the food you prepare always looks delicious. I can’t wait to read your book.

    Reply
  7. Holly

    I needed this today. Spent all day yesterday on the couch eating handful after handful of trailmix and not having the energy to do anything on my to do list. Considering it a hiccup. Back to reality now and being mindful. Man!!! Being a responsible, healthy human being is hard! Thank you for what you do and for sharing your life, hiccups and all!

    Reply
  8. Sue

    Yeah, I have the opposite problem, when I get depressed and up set (like now) I can’t eat…very frustrating.
    Thanks for your insight Andie!

    Reply
  9. Carrie

    Andie,

    It’s so obvious that you moonlight as a mind-reader ;) Thank you for this post…I tend to have do nothing days on Sundays and I ALWAYS regret them. I find that forcing myself to get up out of bed in the morning (as opposed to telling myself I can lay in bed for the remainder of the morning) to take a walk helps me out of the fog. Thank you for your book, your blog, and for being you!

    Reply
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  11. cait

    so incredibly true… I completely agree that on those nothing days (of which I’ve had more of recently than in a long time) I feel so much worse the next day and it becomes that much harder to come back to myself…positive acts. that is the difference.

    thank you for the reminder :)

    Reply
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  13. Frieda

    How did I miss this post? This is the best advice I got in a long time. Currently I’m having a bad phase and this really seems like something I could do to get back to my happier self. Thank you so much Andie!

    Reply
  14. thewweighitis

    Andie is that your quote? ” Any step toward the light is better than standing still in the dark.” I must share it but I want to give credit where credit is due. Please advise. Brilliant!

    Reply
  15. Nicole

    I came across this today, and it really articulated what I tend to do to myself. A good reminder to take small steps back in the right direction. Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Dee

    Such good advice Andie. Things often do snowball and it would be good if they snowballed the other direction once in awhile..

    Reply
  17. Wendy

    Andie – Thank you! Your post this morning helped me remember that I am the only one that can pull myself out of this… depression is definitely a downward spiral and it’s easy to deny. Today I’m going to keep looking for that one thing I can do to keep myself either level or moving up, and stop that downward spiral. I love your authenticity, thank you!

    Reply

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