Did you know that:
1.6 Million people (men and women) are suffering with varying levels of an eating disorder in the UK 20 Million women (yes 20 million!) are suffering with varying levels of an eating disorder in the USA.
And yet we feel alone when we are going through it? At least I did!
“I felt ashamed, guilty and weak. I thought that I didn’t have enough will-power and that’s why I kept overeating, well, it was compulsive eating until I felt sick, my belly was sore and even then, I couldn’t stop.”
We all overeat at times, especially when we have a very yummy desert in front of us, or when there is a celebration. Binge eating is different to it. “Binge-Eating Disorder (sometimes known as compulsive overeating) is a serious eating disorder, which is not the same as the more common issue of overeating. Binge eating disorder is diagnostically defined as recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances. The binge eating episodes would usually be marked by feelings of loss of control, often with a compulsive (or irresistible) urge.” – NZ Eating Disorders Clinic
Those who suffer binge eating are often in a cycle of binge eating followed by restrictive eating the next day, another fad diet, fear of food and fear of weight gain. This exacerbates the so called binge and restrict eating cycle and leaves the individual feeling alone, anxious or even depressed.
I remember feeling like I was “good” during the day but couldn’t resist at night time. EVERY night for few months, I would crave toast and it seemed like I couldn’t do anything about it. I would try hard and tell myself that this time it won’t happen, but the more I resisted, the more I binged on this toast until I felt sick and would fall asleep. When I woke up in the morning, I felt awful and still full from my night binge. I didn’t need to eat breakfast and tried to be “good” again. It impacted my eating patterns and I lost my eating routine.
“My self-esteem was going down, I was gaining weight, I felt alone and isolation.”
Is this behaviour familiar to you? Maybe you know someone who does it.
Fortunately, I can tell you that I overcame it by seeking help. I got help from a professional who supported me to find the root of the problem and not treating the symptoms. I felt like I knew what I had to do and I knew what I was doing but I just couldn’t stop it.
In this Video I share my five points I worked on to overcome my Binge Eating Disorder:
Here are my five points I worked on to overcome my Binge Eating Disorder:
I had to dive deep into my subconscious mindset to understand what I was looking for in the food. I knew that I ate without being hungry. So what did I want then? For me, it was love and connection to people. I wanted to have meaningful conversations to make deep and meaningful connections with people. I felt lonely and disconnected.
- What do I really want?
- What does my heart long for?
Asking the right questions to create awareness before the binge episode and after made a big difference to me. I was looking into thinking, behavioural and emotional patterns. Understanding when I made the decision to binge and what was happening at the time was one of the keys.
I observed that I made the decision to do it when I was alone at night time, when I was about to go to bed and that I always made sure that there was food I could binge on. It was all calculated, even if I wasn’t aware of it until I consciously decided to observe the repetitive patterns.
- What are the thinking patterns when it happens?
- What are the thoughts before, during and after the binge?
- How do I feel after the binge?
- What kind of things do I say to myself?
Part of the journey was about challenging my beliefs about myself. I had the belief that I needed to be thin to be loved, attractive and beautiful. I wanted to fit in and be accepted by others. What I didn’t understand is that I was moulding myself to those who were not the right fit for me and that’s why I didn’t feel accepted or loved.
- What do I believe I will get once I have lost weight?
- Is that the truth?
- What are other ways of getting it?
This was probably the biggest and most challenging part for me. Breaking my diet cycle. Because after every restriction, there was a binge. I was looking at my beliefs about food and what I thought about it. I had the belief that I shouldn’t be eating bread, so I was resisting it and then binging on it. The more I restricted, the more appealing it was. In this blog post I talk about how mindful eating can heal your relationship with food.
- What foods do I restrict?
- How can I integrate a healthier version of it?
- How can I enjoy it without fear of gaining weight?
5. Behavioural disruption
Once I understood the patterns, I could start breaking them. I could re-arrange my days and integrate hobbies in the evening. I bought whole grain bread and felt good about the option. – BTW – I had only two slices of it and then I lost interest, because it was available at any time 😀 I was working on my self-esteem and building meaningful relationship with like minded people who appreciated me because I was appreciating myself. During this journey I also understood that I was too hard on myself and needed to practice self-care and self-love.
- What are behavioural patterns and how can I break them?
- What do I do to decide to binge?
- What are the benefits that I get from binge eating and how can I get it in other ways?
To understand your relationship with food, I suggest to download my Mindful Eating Guidewhere I go through a comprehensive exercise with you.
I learned that the distorted relationship with food was all about how I felt about myself, how I thought, what I believed, how I showed up in the world and for myself and most importantly my self-worth belief.
Because I know how it feels to have a broken relationship with food and myself, I am now helping others to find a sense of self-worth and to be confident to express who we are, stop looking for wrong validation from others and to create a beautiful relationship with ourselves and food.
Binge Eating is an illness and needs to be taken seriously. Please seek help and reach out. I am here to listen and support you.
If this resonates with you, I would love to hear your story. Get in Contactwith me and tell me what you are going through.