Society’s focus on anorexia and bulimia means the common eating disorder binge eating is overlooked. Binges involve overeating far beyond fullness and satisfaction until the person is uncomfortably stuffed, which might lead to involuntary/voluntary vomiting. People may overeat on healthier food like fruits instead of junk food.
Why isn’t binge eating talked about?
People don’t notice a slim person’s binge eating because she’s at a healthy weight, so no one advises her to get treatment. In contrast, an overweight binge eater might be seen as greedy because of common fat stereotypes, so no one shows support. Then there’s the guilt and shame felt by overeating, especially when money is tight!
Do you have a binge eating disorder? Read on to find out…
I remember my binge history. Each morning I’d swear never to binge again, but end up stuffing my face by the evening. Despite not being hungry, I’d sit there eating more and more. Fortunately, some good came out of the experience.
The binge episodes revealed five ways to tell you’re an overeater:
You frequently eat beyond fullness, satisfaction or pleasure. It happens so often that you forget binge episodes and can’t remember the last time you didn’t overeat. After a binge, the kitchen looks pretty bare.
When you face the emptier fridge, the amount you consumed finally becomes clear. You didn’t realise whilst binge eating due to what I call ‘mechanical eating’. It’s like an out of body experience! You see yourself making food you don’t want, eating food you don’t want, and then looking for more food you don’t want. Your mind is screaming out for you to STOP, but your body ignores the signals.
Not Hungry Eating
What signals are being ignored? The ‘I’m not hungry’ one. The ‘I don’t want to eat this’ one. The ‘I’m gonna regret this tomorrow’ one. You find yourself eating and eating for every reason but true hunger. My idea of ‘true hunger’ is your stomach grumbling and your mouth salivating. Real hunger means even a grape sounds darn tasty! Satisfying false hunger includes eating by the clock, eating because others are, and ‘boredom eating’.
Your emotions can also cause ‘Not hungry eating’. When you’re angry, you eat. When you’re happy, you eat. When you’re lonely, you eat. Instead of confronting what caused your emotional state, you choose the easier option – food. With regard to negative emotions, you eat away the pain…or at least try to. However, your problems are still there, so you eat more to numb bad feelings again. This helps for a short while, but soon you’re eating again when the sadness returns. It feels like a never-ending cycle.
In the past, you didn’t mind eating with others, but now you’re ashamed to because of the dreaded binge. The frequency and amount you eat is abnormal, so you overeat when people aren’t there.
Now you know the signs of binge eating. Do any or all of them apply to you? Most of us overeat from time to time, e.g. during the holiday season, but binges happen more frequently and seem out of control. Indulging on rare occasions is fine, but binge eating often is unhealthy for body and mind.
I know it seems hopeless right now. I know you feel trapped. Don’t give up! You can overcome binge eating, but how? I’ve shared useful tips here. Try them all and I’m POSITIVE something will help. Together, we can do this!