Binge-Free Bracelet

A few of you have written to me privately asking about my binge-free bracelet so I thought I would write a post about it.

This bracelet came out of a brainstorm session between me and my first therapist in January of 2009. It was when I first realized I had an eating disorder (after 30 years of bingeing / compulsive overeating but didn’t know there was a name for what I was doing) and sought help.

The therapist asked me what I was doing to mark the daily achievements of each day I didn’t binge. I was like, um, nothing. So she suggested that we come up with a way to acknowledge every binge-free day because that was a victory. We tossed some ideas around and ended up with this bracelet idea.

I went to the craft store and bought a few items to get started. I was very excited. I went to the jewelry making section. I bought some thin black cord, which also included clasps in the packaging and some beads that I liked.

I started just putting one bead on for each day in a row I was binge-free. Once I pretty much strung the daily beads around my wrist, I bought a different pack of beads that I used to represent weeks. Here is a photo of the 8-week mark I hit in March of 2008. (Eight beads representing eight weeks)

8 weeks

Then when those weekly beads filled up most of the bracelet, I went back to the craft store and bought a different pack of slightly different beads to represent months and I would just put the months on. Slowly those months and weeks built up to a year, so I bought slightly different beads to represent a year. Here is a pic of it from last November, when I hit the 23-month mark. (one yearly bead plus 11 monthly beads)

23 months

This last photo was taken last month, when I hit 26 months. (two yearly beads plus two monthly beads)

26 months

It really is just a silly, simple thing, but I wear it every day. It was, and still is, a badge of honor for me. I don’t want to have to take off the beads and start all over again, so I’m doing everything in my power to keep that from happening.

I’m not sure if that is healthy or not in my recovery, but I have chosen to make this bracelet and what it stands for to be very important.

What do you to mark the milestones in your recovery?

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

34 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Margarita Tartakovsky
    19 April 2010, 5:39 pm

    I don’t think it’s silly at all! It seems like a meaningful visual reminder of how far you’ve come. When you’re struggling, you can look at the bracelet and get an instant reminder of the bigger picture, of your incredible accomplishments.

    It’s really a neat idea, and gives some great inspiration for how anyone can create a visual reminder of something similarly meaningful. BTW, I love that you took pictures and shared them here.
    .-= Margarita Tartakovsky´s last blog ..20 More Inspiring Ways to Boost Your Body Image =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, margarita, for your kind words. =) i thought the pictures would give a better idea of what it looked like.

    [Reply]

  2. Lara (Thinspired)
    19 April 2010, 5:54 pm

    This really is a great idea. I love how you transitioned from daily to weekly to monthly and so on. I imagine that wearing the bracelet is a very powerful reminder every day of your tremendous progress! Truly inspiring!
    .-= Lara (Thinspired)´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, lara! when i was just starting with the days, i never dreamed i would get to a point where i was able to put years on. it’s been fun.

    [Reply]

  3. Lisa
    19 April 2010, 6:01 pm

    Oh I love it!! I can’t wait to update mine. I’ve worn it all day today. It is such a great reminder of what I’m doing. I really appreciate the idea and I think many people will be helped by your posting about it 🙂
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..The Journey Bracelet =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it gives you something to keep looking forward to! i’m flattered you liked the idea enough to actually make one for yourself!

    [Reply]

  4. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin'
    19 April 2010, 8:36 pm

    What a great idea! I think it’s such a great reminder that you can have with you at all times!

    I’m very much a calendar/journal type person. I print out monthly calendars and make little markings of my accomplishments. On months that I’m extra proud of, I save them in a notebook so I can look back and see how far I’ve come!

    Keep up the great work!
    .-= Megan @ Healthy Hoggin’´s last blog ..Accountability =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i love your notebook idea! i bet that is a great pick-me-up!

    [Reply]

  5. Karen @ Waisting Time
    20 April 2010, 7:49 am

    I think it is great that you have this visible reminder and that it means so much to you. You have done an amazing job and the bracelet reflects that:)
    .-= Karen @ Waisting Time´s last blog ..Packing it In =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, karen!

    [Reply]

  6. Kyle
    20 April 2010, 8:42 am

    I think that is fabulous…Of course, I am curious now..how often you update it?
    .-= Kyle´s last blog ..Fat Guy in a Little Coat… =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    right now i put a new bead on the anniversary day of every month. when i get to the three year mark (lord willing!) i will take off all the monthly beads and put the 3rd yearly bead on.

    [Reply]

  7. Jody - Fit at 52
    20 April 2010, 9:06 am

    LOVE THIS!!!!! What a wonderful idea & a visual reminder to not only help when you were in the process but now as how far you have come! Congrats!!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Weight Loss Tips =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, jody!

    [Reply]

  8. Diana
    20 April 2010, 10:08 am

    It’s a reward system. Pure behaviorism at its best. (psychology training couldn’t be reined in!) As long as it is still a source of encouragement and pride, I say wonderful 🙂

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    lol! if the behaviorism ain’t broke, don’t fix it? =)

    [Reply]

  9. Sarah
    20 April 2010, 1:22 pm

    I think this is a great idea and it seems to mean a lot to you, so that’s wonderful! I know that picking up chips in AA means the world to me. Same principle!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    yup, same principle! it’s funny how an object can become such great motivator.

    [Reply]

  10. Ameena
    20 April 2010, 3:12 pm

    I am really amazed that you had to suffer with bingeing for 30 years! I am so glad you were finally able to find someone who could help you. And the bracelets are such a great idea!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    yup, the bingeing definitely sucked. it was horrible to be totally obsessed with food all the time.

    i’m more amazed that you are finding time to read blogs while you are away!!! =)

    [Reply]

  11. Holly
    20 April 2010, 3:15 pm

    I truly love this idea. I think anytime we can be reminded of our accomplishments, it’s encouragement for us to continue on. I’ve been thinking of doing SOMEthing – when (not if) 🙂 I can become completely free of my binges and binges/purges. Thank you for this wonderful idea!
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..St. Louis, Sluggers, and Sugar =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you’re welcome! you can so do it! one day at a time, girl. hey, if you start a bracelet (or something else like it) you may opt not to binge the next time… maybe?

    [Reply]

  12. Sagan
    20 April 2010, 4:44 pm

    This is a wonderful idea! Definitely a badge of honour and it sounds like a really healthy one to have, too. It’s so pretty, and I like how it’s constantly changing and evolving and progressing- just like you!
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Moving Update =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    aw, thanks, sagan for the kind and supportive words!

    [Reply]

  13. kate
    20 April 2010, 6:21 pm

    I love this idea! And congrats on your success so far!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks! and thanks for stopping by kate!

    [Reply]

  14. Rita
    23 April 2010, 2:35 pm

    LOVE it. I think I might give it a go. I`m getting more and more proud of my days as they add up too. I think is a fabulous positive affirmation of your success!
    .-= Rita´s last blog ..Fast and Loose Calorie Counting =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks! you should definitely give it a try. it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something for you to look foward to each day, each week, each month….

    [Reply]

  15. […] love2eatinpa, who writes the great blog Confessions of a Recovering Compulsive Eater, has a binge-free bracelet, which represents the amount of time that she hasn’t binged. It marks the milestones in her […]

  16. […] thing that has helped in my recovery is the binge-free bracelet that I wear.  My first therapist asked how I was marking my daily/weekly achievements of not […]

  17. ana
    26 April 2011, 9:08 pm

    I just looked at ten different websites that were all about monitoring your food intake and staying healthy and yours was the simplest and most meaningful thank you for sharing.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thank you very much!

    [Reply]

  18. Jennyb
    13 October 2011, 8:02 am

    Great for me that I found your Blog… I just started with my own Blog, can I reference to this post? I want to write something on similiar topic!
    Jennyb´s last blog post ..I got started to blogging!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m flattered, and sure you can reference this post. good luck!

    [Reply]

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