What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge Eating Disorder is the most common kind of ED. Its characterized by:
- Frequently eating unusually large amounts of food
- Feeling out of control, unable to stop eating once a binge has started
- Hiding the amount of food eaten & binging in private
- Feeling embarrassed and shameful of the amount of food eaten
- Eating when not hungry and to the point of physical pain and nausea
- Feelings of depression and worthlessness
- Rapid weight gain (although not all people who suffer from BED are overweight)
Unlike anorexia or bulimia, there’s usually no attempt to reverse the calories taken in. People with BED do sometimes purge (make themselves vomit), but usually to make room for more food or to alleviate stomach pain from eating too much.
What are the first steps to moving forward from Binge Eating Disorder?
- Stop, take a deep breath, and acknowledge that what you’re putting your body through isn’t healthy. Acknowledge that you deserve better. Decide you want to treat your body and mind better.
- Talk to someone about it. Tell your closest friend, family member, or whoever you trust. If you have access to a therapist or counselor, use them! Consider looking into Overeaters Anonymous. OA is free, private, and very nonjudgmental.
- Make a recovery blog. Be anonymous if you want, but even updating it once a week with your thoughts and progress can help a lot. Be honest, even if its hard. There are thousands of fitblrs, recovery blogs, and other people struggling with the same thing you are. Take advantage of the free support. Reblog anything that inspires and motivates you. Submerging yourself in a culture of recovery, even online, will help keep you in the mindset you want.
- Keep a simple journal. Write down when you binged, what you ate, what you were feeling, and what led up to it. Be totally honest with it. This will help you recognize patterns & help you avoid them in the future.
What Can I Change in My Day to Day Life?
- Plan, plan, plan. BED is chaos. Add structure to your eating habits to help regulate them. When you’re feeling motivated, make a meal plan for your week. It doesn’t have to be ultra healthy. You don’t even have to count calories. Just pick some things that you think your body would appreciate. Try to include a source of protein, a grain, and some veggies/fruit in each meal. Don’t make the meals too small. Include a snack or two. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The point of this isn’t to lose weight yet, just to get your body used to eating normal amounts at normal times. Once you have your meal plan, turn it into a shopping list. Go to the store and buy ONLY whats on the list. No exceptions. Cook and separate what you buy into ready to grab meals. If that seems like too much, just do what you feel capable of and try to increase the structure as you go. Baby steps are still steps.
- If you’re not planning on buying anything while you’re out, don’t bring your debit card. Keep a small amount of cash for emergencies in your glove compartment or tucked away in your purse. If your money isn’t easily accessible, you can’t buy a ton of junk while you’re out.
- Put pretty notes/reminders on your fridge or cabinets. “Are you really hungry?”, “Is it time to eat?”, “There are other things to do when you’re bored”, “Count to 100” or a personal reason you chose to recover.
- Be mindful while eating. Don’t watch TV or scroll through tumblr while you’re eating. Pay attention to how your body feels and if youre full. You’ll enjoy your food more, and learn your body’s specific needs.
- Try to eat with others.
- Keep food in one room of your house. Eat in one room of your house. Don’t eat in bed, on a couch, or at a desk.
What Can I Do Instead of Binging?
- Paint your nails with a bunch of coats. Keep it wet by using lots of layers. Check out some nail art and try to imitate it. You’ll get distracted by the cool designs and the wet paint makes you ultra aware of what your hands are doing. Its also harder to reach your hands into bags etc
- Drink cold water or hot tea. As you sip, feel it in your body.
- Try yoga. You absolutely don’t have to be fit or skinny to do basic yoga. Your body will thank you, and it will calm you down. Click here for a list of free yoga videos.
- Take a bath. Use bubbles, candles, whatever. Treat yourself like a princess and relax.
- Go for a walk around the block. It doesn’t have to be a long walk. Just enough to stretch your legs and get out of the house.
- Make yourself a glitter jar. Shake, stare, relax.
- Play a game. Try one of those free for an hour download games or get into a game on your phone.
- Go for a drive. Blast your music, sing along, and let it alllll out.
- Watch a good stand up comedian on youtube
- Clean. If youre living in shit, you’ll feel like shit.
- Do something you need to do. Homework, updating your calender, organizing your purse/binder, laundry, etc. You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment, relieve stress associated with having unfinished tasks, and distract yourself from wanting to binge.
- Check out autogenics or progressive muscle relaxation
- Call someone and vent