Many people identify with binge eating despite not qualifying for a clinical diagnosis.
Most, if not all of us, have overeaten to the point of being uncomfortable however Binge Eating Disorder is a pattern of rapid and out of control behavior consuming large quantities of food, even when not hungry, often paired with trying to hide this behavior.
If you can identify with this description, you may be eating for a variety of reasons but the most common is to manage emotions. When this happens, it often creates a cycle of regret, self-hate, more emotions, and more eating.
In our weight and appearance obsessed culture it's very normal for most people to feel shame for their eating habits. This looks and sounds like “I ate so bad today, so many carbs”, or “I can’t have dessert, I’m being good this week”.
Diet culture and the fat phobic beliefs held by most also contribute to binge eating in a big way. The world tells us we need to lose weight at all costs, and when we don't it's our fault, a personal weakness. It's never the fault of diet culture. We are given compliments for losing weight, even if this was done in an unhealthy way and for making our bodies smaller, we are led to believe our life will be different. We are told our health depends on it. We are taught that there are good and bad foods and that we lack self-control and will power if we indulge in such bad foods.
We spend money and time on eating less and sometimes moving more, but this is only sustainable for so long, leading to indulgence that’s regrettable. This is known as the restrict and binge and cycle.
Diet culture tells us we can indulge (only in the right foods-diet foods, sugar free ice cream etc.) and restrict at the same time. However, this is not true, not even with the most “scientific diets”.
Diets set you up to fail, so you need to keep coming back for more, spending more money and time. It is a life stealer.
If you want to stop bingeing, stop restricting. Listen to your body and what it wants. Stop food shaming yourself and recognize your biological need to eat a variety of foods.
Self-acceptance in a world that tells us we aren't acceptable is hard but can be a work in progress. You are so much more than what you look like.
Listen to the messages in your head that are setting you up for guilt and shame and practice rejecting them daily. There is a whole other way to live.
Here are a few books I recommend on your journey:
The F*ck it diet
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