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In today’s episode, we’ll talk about binge eating and restricting.
Whenever somebody brings up the topic of how to stop binge eating, I vividly remember the day I caught myself binge eating. This story happens at the peak of my most restrictive dieting period.
It was a Friday, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. My plans with my partner just fell through; he decided to accept an invitation from his buddies to watch a game. I was left alone with no plans on a Friday night.
I thought I’d just stop by the grocery on my way home, put on my PJ’s, and watch some movies. At the grocery store, I automatically gravitated towards the food I was restricting myself at the time: Carbohydrate, Dairy, and sugar (hint, hint Keto!)
I grabbed a frozen family-size pizza, some fresh mozzarella, a bag of mini brownies, and a pint of Dulce Haagen Dazs ice cream. Food was going to be my companion as I hit the couch for a romantic movie night.
By the time the first movie was over, I was sitting there on my couch with an empty box of pizza, a half-empty bag of brownies, and an ice cream pint just about done…I wondered what just happened.
I suddenly felt the sting of self-loathing. Soon, I was beating myself up, calling myself names that I wouldn’t call my worst enemy. As I bullied myself, I quickly cleaned up and made all evidence disappear out of fear of anyone knowing.
I have been very hesitant about sharing this story with you…
But I want you to know that you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you and you aren’t broken. There is a reason why you do this. Until you find it and work on healing it, binge eating will not go away.
What is Binge Eating?
Psychologists define binge eating as eating more food than most people would in a specific amount of time under similar circumstances. It is characterized by a sense of lack of control and is associated with negative emotions. Binge eaters have difficulty regulating their emotions and use food to cope with them.
At the time, I knew that what I was doing was called binge eating or overeating, but I had no idea why I was doing it. I just thought something was wrong with me, so I kept it a secret. Afraid that others might judge me, I hid my shame and guilt behind a façade of strength. Then I punished myself by restricting food the next day.
I now know that I eat to numb the emotions I didn’t want to feel and because of the food restriction, I was imposing myself.
In today’s episode, we will explore how to stop the cycle of binge eating and restricting.
What you’ll learn listening to this episode:
- The spectrum of eating behavior
- Disordered eating versus eating disorder
- Overeating versus binge eating
- How to end the cycle of binge eating and restriction
- Diet Culture mindset in healing relationship to food
- Support to help you in your journey
Mentioned on the show:
Canadian National Eating Disorder Information Center Hotline: 1-866-633-4220
US National Eating Disorders Toll-Free Number: 1-800-931-2237