I recently wrote a blog in which I shared my struggle with binge/emotional eating. The response I got to it literally, brought me to tears. There are so many people out there silently dealing with the same struggle. Now as I write this, please keep in mind I am NOT a medical professional, nor am I perfect. I struggle daily to resist the urge to revert to eating in times of stress, boredom and other emotional issues. Everything I write is simply things I have applied as I’ve read books and done a lot of trial and error.
So the first step to overcoming a Binge Eating Disorder is simply identifying symptoms and defining the disorder. Mayo Clinic defines binge eating disorder as “a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating.” This isn’t referring to occasional seconds at say, Thanksgiving or Christmas- this is referring to a specific pattern of eating habits. A medical professional specializing in eating disorders can help you identify your specific patterns.
When I first began to explore the possibility I had a binge eating disorder, I fought it. Mostly because I was fighting the idea that I wasn’t in total control of my personal habits and that in admitting I might have a binge eating disorder, I was admitting I had a problem- and I’m VERY prideful. I also had to accept change needed to happen. And I had been eating in secret since I was 10- yes you read that correctly- 10 years old. The idea of changing (and likelihood of failing) 21 years of habits was TERRIFYING. Yet, it had to happen.
When you look at your eating habits, do you struggle with any of the following:
-feelings of guilt during/after eating
-eating beyond fullness, sometimes even sickness
-eating secretly to hide how much you eat
-eating a large amount of food in a short amount of time
-chronic “starting over” of diets/yoyo dieting
-feeling ashamed, guilty, disgusted or depressed about your eating
-hiding how much you truly eat (hiding wrappers, lying about eating, etc)
-eating more in times of emotions highs or lows such as stress, celebrations, sadness
-feeling out of control with certain foods
-feeling stressed or ashamed in situations where you need to eat publicly
-feeling consumed with thoughts of food
-eating super healthy during the day only to binge on unhealthy foods at night
-maintaining a healthy weight, being overweight or obese as a results of binge eating/yoyo dieting (NOT the result of a medical condition such as hypothyroidism or other such condition)
If any of these resonate with you, please consider seeking medical help to assist in recovery and healing. Your health matters!
Credits: Mayo Clinic, Binge Eating Disorder