Email from a Reader: How to Avoid Binge Eating

by Andie Mitchell on April 12, 2013

chocolate chubbies-1-1

Read the rest of this series: Email from a Reader: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 

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One of the most common topics that arises in reader emails is binge eating. And I, veteran binger that I am, get it. I do. A recent letter read,

“What were the first steps you took to not giving into the binge? The first days, or even moments when you committed to your weight loss? What do you think was your rock with keeping you on your journey? I know I can do this, but I keep having these random binges that break me. I would love your advice.”

God, I wish I had the answers. For you, for me. While I rarely binge eat anymore, I do think of it now and then—and sometimes achingly.

The truth is, that split second when I’m teetering on a cliff and I can’t tell if I’m about to fall or throw myself over, is among my greatest struggles in life. And that is because…wait for it…it’s not really about the food. It’s about so, so many things—physical nourishment being the least important. The food isn’t merely food; it’s laced with all these feelings, unrequited yearnings, unmet needs, and pains. It’s meant to give me something, and the very act of bingeing—I’ve come to realize—was and is, for me, about filling a void, plugging a hole within myself. That is the deepest level of the binge. That’s the truest, basest meaning of a binge for me. Higher levels—ones closer to the surface—are much clearer for me to read. They reveal that craving within me to numb out when faced with discomfort, my tendency toward escapism.

 

When I was little, and my family was chaotic and broken and the trauma was too much to bear, I ate to escape. Distraction through eating served as a form of protection from the very painful reality of our lives. But it was also about food being there when no one else was. My mom was always gone, working. My dad was always gone, too—drinking. I needed something to literally fill the space, to make me feel less alone. Food did that.

 

As I grew up, I only continued and strengthened this process of “using” food. I had unconsciously created all of these associations between my emotions—both positive and negative—and food as the way to deal with them. And the strongest of those associations—the ones that spur salivation upon feeling—will likely remain with me for the rest of my life.

 

The thing that I had to learn in the process of losing weight, and even now, was and is, that I must remember all of this when I want to [ab]use food. I have to remember that wanting to binge is not due to the fact that I just reallyreallyreally crave pizza and cake and cookies and ice cream all at one meal; it’s not purely because I’m lustful for decadence. Because if it were—if I were simply in need of a break from “healthy” or “clean” eating, then a reasonable serving of pizza would be perfectly fine by me. And a bowl of ice cream afterward would be dandy. But those of us who binge eat know that we’re not always interested in a reasonable amount of anything. I want ALL THE PIZZA. ALL THE ICE CREAM. And then, I want the donuts. It’s not about indulgence; it’s about overindulgence. It’s about being so full you can’t think anymore.

 

Once you know this about yourself—or at least, once you admit it—it’s awfully hard to ignore.

 

The very second that I start to feel a tickle to binge eat, I have to think about what’s going on in my life. What’s the bigger picture? What’s triggering me? The last time I felt this way was right around the week I turned in the third draft of edits for my book. I was, well, just so down about them. Anxious about how my editor would react to the new material, I’d begun to wonder if the whole book was garbage. In my personal life, my mom and I were completely at odds. She—like me—is utterly perfectionistic, and often, that perfectionism of hers can mean that she starts picking at me about things she wishes I’d do with my life. And as someone who only wants to give their mother the moon and each and every star, that just slays me. All these things to say: I was overwhelmed in my a few areas of my life. I didn’t really know how to fix any of it. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was a loser. I felt lost. And it translated into me wanting nothing more than to binge eat. Now, I think it would make for a great and redeeming story if I could tell you that I recognized all of my behavior patterns—especially with food—and I overcame the lowliness of losery feelings and avoided the binge. Cue trumpets and triumphant shouting. But no. Truth? I didn’t. I wallowed and I ate. Alone and ashamed for a full day. And it.was.just.awful. I cried as I swallowed the last sweet, realizing that it hadn’t done a thing to make me feel better. Binges are like that.

 

So I guess my advice to you must first involve me giving you a sizeable dose of understanding and compassion. Even though I’m wise to my own ways and mostly great at staying in tune with myself, I don’t always get it right. I am far from perfect. But I try, and I know you try. And we’re here—in this—together.

 

What I can share that might be of value is what has worked for me during much of the past seven years of maintenance. These four things have helped me to pull back and steer away when I’ve nearly committed to a binge eating episode—which, for anyone who has ever been in that very moment, is an intense challenge.

 

1. Know what’s going on in your life that might be making you uneasy or uncomfortable in some way. What is triggering you? This requires an incredible amount of honesty because the goal of a binge is often to ignore the very emotions that I’m asking you to consider.

 

2. Know that the old “I’ll start clean tomorrow” is both tired and untrue. Start today. Today is the tomorrow that you said you’d start yesterday. Bingeing has a way of making us want to pause the present and put off the future. You can’t. You’re only getting more stuck the longer you stay in the pattern of “one more day/night of treats, then I’ll be good.” Stop and think about how many times you’ve said that to yourself.

 

3. The way to get out of a binge cycle is to get out of the habit of bingeing. It’s imperative to interrupt the pattern of “If I’m feeling x, I’ll eat y.” For me, this meant creating new rituals, new routines. The first three weeks were almost unbearably difficult. They weren’t natural and they required a lot of sheer willpower. But over time, I developed a new way of dealing with my feelings and a lot of new nightly behaviors—things like reading, watching new TV series, etc.—that helped to ensure I didn’t turn to massive amounts of food as my go-to for comfort, fun, and reassurance. Now, the bingeing is foreign.

 

4. Eat in a way you’re proud of. Always.

 

 

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan April 12, 2013 at 12:40 am

You nailed this.

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Cathy April 12, 2013 at 1:13 am

I love your blog! I too lost over 100 pounds on WW, 20 years ago now. New follower!

Cathy

http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/

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Emily April 12, 2013 at 2:25 am

I agree with Meghan. Exactly what I needed. in this exact moment!
xoxo

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Teresa Vaughan April 12, 2013 at 4:22 am

I have problem of bindge eating. So I look forward to this series. Thank you

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Kathy F April 12, 2013 at 4:52 am

I am on day five of breaking the binge eating cycle. I have a particular great motivating factor now so that is my go to thought now when I get that overwhelming feeling to eat and so far so good.

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Laura April 12, 2013 at 6:32 am

Thank you! Binged last night & everything you said rings so true. Especially the ” I’ll start tomorrow” I say that ALL THE TIME!

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Jennelle April 12, 2013 at 6:38 am

Needed this today Thank you!

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Bek @ Crave April 12, 2013 at 7:01 am

You write in a way that captures feelings and puts them into words that I only wish I could do. I relate to SO much of this and cannot wait to share this amazing post with my readers. I’m even going to pin it for future reference.
Thank you. xx

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Aubrey April 12, 2013 at 9:08 am

Thank you once again, for being so honest. I think that’s the main reason that so many people, most especially women, feel like you’re speaking directly to them. You’ve mentioned that the way you were raised ingrained in you a natural openness, and that’s somewhat foreign to a lot of us. Although I wouldn’t change a single solitary thing about my family or my childhood, I often have a hard time expressing my feelings. So seeing that many of my emotions, experiences, and stories are similar to your’s or others’ who read your blog makes me feel a little less lonely.

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Amy @ The Nifty Foodie April 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

Bullseye. Thanks for writing this…it’s a huge struggle I face on my weight loss journey, and it’s very hard to resist. Those urges hit, and it’s like oh man, pizza sounds good…so does ice cream…and chocolate. Just one meal won’t hurt, right?

No. It totally can…it’s hard to just take a step back and think about what’s really going on to make me want to give in, but you have to do it!

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Jennifer L. Nelson April 12, 2013 at 9:38 am

YES. Great post! For me, the creating new routines was EVERYTHING. I gained 100 pounds in about 5 years because I was a textbook emotional eater, and would binge on anything and everything whenever I was feeling sad or lonely or bored or stressed or angry and the list goes on and on. Now I have a strict routine; when I eat, what I eat during those times, when I workout, how I workout, etc., and the urges to binge have all but diminished. It took awhile, and believe you me, I still slip up and overeat from time to time, but discovering something I loved (running) helped keep me motivated to look at food as fuel…not something to gorge myself on whenever the mood strikes. Thanks for such a poignant, thoughtful post!

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Susan April 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

Your words always ring so true, give me guidance and put me back on the path that I’m supposed to be on. Thank you Andie!

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Amy April 12, 2013 at 9:50 am

I needed this today. Thank you so much. Love your words and honesty and truth. In the moment lately I am telling myself that food is not the answer, the trigger is emotional and as I lift the spoon or fork I know the truth yet feel powerless. I am going to re-read this post again and again. Thank you thank you!

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TJ April 12, 2013 at 10:11 am

Aaahhhh, I have missed hearing from you on topics like this. Loved it. Sometimes even if your not exactly dealing with the same things it is so good to read about them,relate,take them to yourself and examine yourself. It stirs up your mind and reminds you to keep up the good habits. :-)

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Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! April 12, 2013 at 10:16 am

I JUST wrote a post this morning about binge eating and how I had two episodes this week and I honestly have no idea why. The timing of your post is perfect for me. I need these reminders. I also need to learn what is actually triggering my binges because I have no idea what it is. Like your first point states, I need to be brutally honest with myself and figure it out and stop sugar coating it.
Thanks Andie!

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Angela April 12, 2013 at 11:19 am

Thank you for your beautiful words and your beautiful blog. Your recipes are amazing and your words are inspiring. You have an incredible ability to put words to my feelings. I really appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your insights. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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amy April 12, 2013 at 11:22 am

you literally just told my story, too. and now i feel like the alternative is possible. thank you, andie.

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Tara April 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

Andi, what you’ve said about (ab)using food has really struck a chord with me. When we lay down powerful associations using a substance as a way of coping it’s an extremely difficult addiction to break. I’m trying to break the association between food and coping which is very hard to do when I’m still in the situation that causes me to do so. Only learning to cope in positive way will break the cycle and free me. Your generous and compassionate words are always a source of immense support.

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Rocio April 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

Love this…it is so good to know that inspite of the fact that it will always be a part of you, you can control it. I don’t know why but as your weight goes down, it is easier to control, at least that’s what I’ve felt, but as soon as you let it beat you again, it is hard to regain control.

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Stacey Ball April 12, 2013 at 12:40 pm

“Today is the tomorrow that you said you’d start yesterday.”

The most perfect thing I have ever read, in fact I think this will be my next tattoo. I have had endless tomorrows and need to remind myself to live in the NOW. Thank you for this.

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Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) April 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm

You have such insight; this was so beautifully written and completely heart felt. Thanks for such a meaningful post!

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Guest April 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

This is so spot-on. I can’t begin to tell you how helpful it is to know that my EXACT feelings causing my food addiction and shortcomings are shared, not only by other people, but by other people who have overcome them. People like you have helped inspire me to lose weight because I know there’s hope and it’s entirely possible. I’ve lost 23 pounds this year and plan to lose some more, although I’ve been in a bingeing rut lately. And what you’ve said about it not being about “just having a reasonable amount” but having “ALL” of it, is so true and it’s good for perspective. I went out last night for margaritas, and realized is retrospect that I’d consumed over 1,000 calories in one sugary, delicious glass. But here’s the thing – that was about having fun and being in the moment – not about filling any sort of sad void or stress-eating, and a slip-up once in a while won’t kill me. That perspective definitely helps to separate the “oops” moments from the full-on binge moments – and helps to stop one mistake from becoming a binge, which is way too common for me. What I’ve been doing lately is to assess what triggers the bingeing- usually studying for an exam or thinking about all of those little troubles in life – essentially throwing myself a little pity party (complete with cake and ice cream). Then, I make those moments into opportunities for weight loss instead. I stop, think “do I really need food? how would that help?” and realize it won’t help at all. After that’s done, I am free to help myself for real..by picturing my goal weight and telling myself that NOT eating here will not only NOT hurt me in any way, it will help to make everything much better by not allowing the situation to escalate (sorry for all of the double negatives – i’m in a hurry).

Basically, thanks for this post!!

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Kari April 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I was literally on the cusp of binging…then I read you post today. It’s funny how things like that happen. Thank you. Thank you for being so open and honest with your weight loss journey. This post made me realize, I am not hungry, I am frustrated and disappointed in myself. I lost 70lbs 5 years ago, gained 10lbs back last year, lost 10lbs this year and then saw the scale move up 3lbs these past two weeks. Animal crackers and goldfish pretzels are not going to make me feel better. Recognizing my feelings and being empathetic, kind, and forgiving myself will. Thank you Andie!

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Jess April 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I am so, so excited to read your book when it comes out! Thanks for these posts, I know they mean so much to so many people. I love your blog, you seem like someone I would definitely be “in real life” friends with :) Have a great weekend!

Some Snapshots Blog
Jess

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DianeKay April 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I am so fortunate to have found you blog as are your other readers.
I wish I could express in writing how you have impacted my life.
Thank you

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Tori Albert April 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Although I have great discipline on one end of the sprectrum, I am a comlete binge eater on the end of the spectrum (during my “off” days). So, I can fully relate. Thanks for the thoughtful commentary. http://www.gustatori.com

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Maureen @ Breaking Free & Finding Me April 13, 2013 at 12:28 am

you are my hero. yet, you know this already, because you see inside my soul. so much love, affection, and gratitude <3

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Michelle in N. Cal April 13, 2013 at 1:29 am

great post Andie. It’s something I really have to stay aware of and you addressed the topic beautifully as usual. Hugs!

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Lisa April 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

You are truly an inspiration to many, including myself. I hope messages like these combat your negative feelings every now and then! Thank you for your thoughtful and beautifully written words!

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sandra April 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Best blog and writer ever. I’m serious, Andie. Your words go straight to my heart. Thank you for sharing your wisdom in such an eloquent manner.

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Hootie April 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Oh…I dont have the emotional resources to really gather the words but know that I hear you, I love you, you are the furthest from the feelings of being a loser. Sometimes with parents, it is easier to show someone who is not your child pure love. Parents have so much fear for their children, their families, that I think that fear makes them act against how much they truly love sometimes. In comforting my dad during my mom’s sickness and since her death I have found insight into their feelings and relationship that I didnt have before. I believe that the love you show me and others through your continued sharing of yourself transcends the importance of accomplishments to fit societal expectations. Your musings have reignited a love of cooking, made me be more open with the people in my life, and given an escape that is not really an escape but a place for reflection :)

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trish April 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

wow – excellent advice and encouragement

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EmmaW April 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

This might be helpful to some, as there are various reasons for bingeing.

http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2011/11/3/binge-eating-disorder-and-night-eating-syndrome.html

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genevive April 13, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Thank. You. Very. Much. sigh.

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Kelsey April 14, 2013 at 9:54 am

Thank you so much for posting this, I’ve been binging pretty much since Christmas. I have just avoided thinking about my health and well being and gained like 2st which is the opposite of what I wanted. Looking at it I must have said “I’ll start tomorrow” nearly every day. Thank you for opening my eyes and making it feel like there’s a whole community that’s there for me. I’m starting now :)

Oh and did you ever try that coconut oil? x

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teachermrw April 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I binge on foods of which I deprive myself, i.e. don’t buy, and don’t keep in the house. These foods include: salted peanuts, Oreo cookies, potato chips, and cheese. I then eat so much that I become sick. Not good. ::SIGH::

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Jane April 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I believe your last piece of advice, which I’ve heard you mention before, is the most affirming one of all. It’s meaningful in every respect. “Eat in a way you’re proud of. Always.” That is profoundly solid advice, Andie, and you have the personal credentials to prove it. It takes some of us decades to realize the value in a statement like that, but when we finally do realize it, everything finally begins to fall into place.

And your book, when it comes out, is going to be a bright and beautiful inspiration to so many people, Andie. It will have been worth the struggle you went through to write it. No question about it. I know I am looking forward to it.

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Joe April 14, 2013 at 8:24 pm

So glad I found this site being in the weight loss industry you are constantly trying to find ways to help people because this is such a great problem I find your writing refreshing

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Jessie April 15, 2013 at 12:24 am

I probably sound like a broken record… but you’re amazing! Your words hit me to the core. I’m so grateful to have found your blog.

Thank you. Can’t wait for you book!! :)

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Theresa April 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

I needed this today. Somehow I know if I stopped by the blog, I would find re enforcement. I have a ton of stress lately and I’ve been looking for ways to escape. Lately, this had been in the form of reruns of Golden Girls and many other shows in the evening. Problem: watching TV in the evening had always meant eating for me. The result had been a complete shut down and dealing with what’s bothering me. I’m still walking and still tracking food, but sabotaging myself in the evening when the kids are in bed. Thats when I should be dealing with the mental and emotional stuff that I didn’t have time for during the day. Instead, I have been using that time poorly.

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Danielle April 15, 2013 at 10:26 am

I’ve never been more compelled to comment on one of your posts! I am an on-again, off-again binge eater and I was struggling immensely last week. I caved in and binged, and was so desperate (since I have been in the cycle for so long) that I literally Google’d “how to overcome binge eating” (even thoughm truly, I already knew what I had to do. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself). This post couldn’t have been more timely for me and today is my fresh start and I’m feeling great. I’m actually going to start a blog since I feel like writing out my feelings may help. Thank you for being so brave, Andi!

PS – for some reason, your posts have not been showing up in my Google Reader since February. I hadn’t seen one from you for a long time so I visited the URL separately and was surprised to see that you had been blogging all along! Not sure what’s happening, but I even tried re-entering your URL into Reader with no luck…(I guess it really doesn’t matter though huh, since Reader is leaving us in a few months ;) But I just figured I’d let you know).

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Liz April 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

We’re all in the struggle together, some of us at the forefront (you), some of us a little further back in the process (me). But always, always when you pour your heart out on this blog it resonates with me and gives me that little push to continue to go forward. When we know better, we do better. I read what you write and think, “oh, great point, good tool, great help.”

Thank you dear Andie for choosing this medium to reach so many and know you are giving a gift each time you write.

When will the book be out?

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April April 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm

thank you thank you thank you for this! i wish i had learned many many years ago that “its not about the food”, im fortunate to know this now and I hate that this still seems like such an overlooked subject in the “obesity epidemic” or else I certainly would have found this little tiny powerful piece of advise years ago with all the diets and books and blogs i plowed through going up and down in weight over the years. its about many things and the part thats not about the food is a critical piece to the weight loss journey in my opinion!

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Anne April 15, 2013 at 11:39 pm

You are wise beyond your years. As someone else said, you nailed it! I love the way you write. It is creative and interesting. Easy to indulge in it. Thanks for sharing alllllll your talents.

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Anne April 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I hope your mother realizes all of your talents today or some day. You are NOT a loser. Period. End of statement. You are a wonderful, giving person and all your friends on here care and appreciate all you do for US! Waiting for your book ………………..

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Andie Mitchell April 17, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Thank you so much, Anne :) And yes, my mom gets it. She really, truly does. She’s just about as loving as they come; she just always wants the best for me and sometimes those wants come out ways I can’t understand at the time.

I appreciate you and all the kindness you continue to give me through comments and email. I’m so lucky to know you.

Andie

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Naoemi April 16, 2013 at 5:37 am

You’re going to get through this, eventually. Binge eating is definitely not the right way to handle the problems or stress in life. But, I would like to thank you for sharing all these tips, you are an inspiration, a motivator, for all those people who are also doing this thing. May they able to control themselves from engaging in this activity as sooner or later, they will be experiencing different side effects.

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Momof6 April 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Sooooo grateful for your honesty, kindness and encouragement to help those of us struggling with emotional eating issues. I felt no one understood, and that I could not be helped! Now THANKS to you… An angel on earth… I feel hopeful that I can for once and for all live a healthy and joy filled life and set a great example for my children! You are such a blessing. Thank you Andie.

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Mary April 17, 2013 at 12:34 am

Bingeing and cravings are the food secrets of many women. We tell others and ourselves that we’re doing okay, but secretly we know we are NOT okay. The honesty you’ve shared, and allowed us to share, has touched a cord with me. I’m certain I’m not the only one, or you wouldn’t be writing a book. AND a cookbook! Hooray for YOU!
This is the most honest blog I’ve ever read. Ever. Thanks so much!

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Anna April 17, 2013 at 6:28 am

Hi Andie, I have just discovered your blog and i love it. So honest and beautiful and inspiring for many. In short i will share that i suffered from bulimia for 15 years (from 15 to 30). I am now 35 and free of emotional eating and binging.
How did i do this, well it took years, years of learning to observe myself, and accept that i had the illness and i needed to understand within me where it came from, what triggered me etc. Much like yourself it was in part an attempt to numb myself from all that i felt in me and from others. All the hurts, all the yuck that i wanted to escape from. I found and still do at times, it difficult to feel the world as it is now, knowing deep within that we are all in fact love, and yet we do no live or interact with each other (even ourselves) in this way most of the time. I felt this deeply from a small child, as i feel many others (if not all of us) do. Some of us are more open, and therefore more sensitive to what we allow ourselves to feel, and lets face it, – it can be difficult to remain open and show our vulnerability and our delicateness with others.
The other reason, the deeper reason (as you touched on above) was actually to do with filling an emptiness in me that was (and at times still is) so painful to feel that i had to cover it. To fill it up. I understand now this emptiness has been there as a result of my not accepting in full the love that i know i am (again – a love that is equal within us all), and in my non acceptance of this – of me, and the fact that the way i was living was not honouring of my true preciousness was deeply hurting me. And so i attempted to fill this emptiness with food.
But really one can choose to fill it with anything – with work, with love from another, with importance in any role one plays, rather then being truly connected to themselves and honouring this to the hilt!!
It was the teachings of Universal Medicine that helped me to this understanding and it is something i continue to work with each day, to build more love and acceptance of myself, and therefore of others. What i have learnt is that the more i love me, the more open i feel to the love in others, and i am able to see it before all the hurts out there. It can then start to become a focus, and there will be no need to numb or suppress, but simply to stay open.
Anyway, i look forward to following your blog. Keep on inspiring!!

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Jill April 17, 2013 at 7:16 am

First time commenting, but I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog + your recipes. One of my friends cooked one of your recipes (the sundried tomatoes, feta and chicken breast) at a dinner party. I thought it was delicious and checked out your blog. After that, I tried the fool-proof meatloaf and it is definitely the best meatloaf I’ve ever made! Your writing is really beautiful too-keep up the good work :-)

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Keith April 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Binge eating is usually tied to an emotion. When you feel like binge eating, get in touch with how you are feelings. You will start to notice that when ever you have that feeling, you will feel like eating! It is key to break the pattern and replace the binge eating with a more healthy behaviour whenever that feeling comes up.

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Anna April 18, 2013 at 5:18 am

I’m with you on that Keith. Usually it is an emotion or hurt we don’t want to feel,or even deeper, feeling empty or worthless. It is then easier to cover the feeling by binging on food to numb ourselves then to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and feel the sadness or grief, or anger or whatever it is we are not wanting to feel. Let yourself feel it, have a good cry if needed, and the need to binge will lessen and lessen until you start making the changes within yourself to be able to feel more confidently. Thanks for the reminder. xoxo

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Julie April 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Thank you…just…thank you.

:)

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jez April 21, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Ugh I can definitely relate to this, for the past few days I’ve been binge eating its becoming uncontrollable for me …. I will be doing fine for a few when then stress about work and my dating life triggers the binge, I dont know what to do anymore …. Can anyone offer advice or help ? :’(

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Emma April 22, 2013 at 9:17 am

Sorry you’re struggling, Jez. Maybe this information can be of help to you. There really seems to be no easy answer for any of this. Good luck. Hugs.

http://eattoliveabundantly.blogspot.com/

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Elizabeth April 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Thanks so much for this post! I love that last point; it runs either way. You wouldn’t be proud of describing a binge to someone, nor would you be if you told someone you hadn’t had anything but coffee for two days.
Good reminders, Andie.

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Amy May 1, 2013 at 8:46 am

Great tips. I’ll be honest I do love eating big, but I can manage my weight because I do intermittent fasting and therefore I can eat a bit more than I used to and still maintain a low bodyweight :)

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Maggi May 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I haven’t read the whole series but I’m sure there’s good stuff.

However, I have to say that in my experience, after 38 years of bingeing and many forays into dealing with emotions, etc., I finally just had to bite the bullet and resist the urges. Integral to that was establishing a regular eating pattern with full meals, moderate portions of ANYTHING but sweets, and room at times (on weekends, for me) for sweets. Nothing, even after three years, has made the urge to binge at times completely go away. And nothing was ever as easy or fun as food to sooth me. But over time, the tide turned, the gaps between binges widened, the binges became smaller, the effects of the binges became even more uncomfortable, so that it was less painful to tolerate the desire than to give in, and bingeing became the exception rather than the rule. Honestly, I had been making it harder than it had to be with a lot of “poor me” thinking, among other thinking habits. But I guess I had to be ready. And crying and claiming that I was done with it all had never before meant I was ready.

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Brittany May 28, 2013 at 12:12 am

Thank you for this post. Thank you for being honest about the truth of being an ex-binge eater. I, myself used to be one, and I thank God for helping me develop the strength to slowly believe in myself and want to live a life change 100+ lbs. lighter in the making. I thank God for helping a nobody like me who didn’t ever think that I was capable or even worth the fight to be healthy. He is my Keeper and Guidance in every possible way and I love Him for He gave me a LIFE. Way more than just an existence. It is hard, however, to overcome the hurt and pain of a binge-eater’s past, and I am not afraid, because I know He will keep me healthy and help me make wise, smart and sound choices. However we’ve all ‘been there’ in that depressed, saddened state of mind, and it’s about loving ourselves enough not to hurt ourselves, but to love, nurture, and encourage ourselves to do good instead. This goes far beyond an ‘end-goal’ diet, this is For Life! ;)

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formerfatty July 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hi. I love this! I used to feel so guilty about my binge eating habits and time and again I always said it would be the last time I did it. I am now controlling it very well as I have been on the Eontu diet for a month or so and I have discovered that healthy eating does not have to be boring or tasteless. I think with even just a little bit of will power and a lot of encouragement from friends, family and even people you dont even know via the internet, being healthy is actually an enjoyable thing. By doing Eontu I have lost so much weight but even more importantly I have realised I am capable of more than I ever thought possible. It doesn’t hurt that the food is lush too. Ha!

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Ashley July 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Thank you for this post. I needed this.

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Lea September 11, 2013 at 12:07 am

You did a great job writing this post.

It’s so nice to know that issues with food don’t have to isolate us – we can all help each other…and you did help all of us reading this (especially those of us that can relate)

I did hear a tip one time to take 100 sips of water before allowing yourself to start eating, which isn’t a bad idea…I haven’t tried it yet, but that much water would be a big distraction.

Thanks!
Lea

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Lauren Rose October 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Hey Andie!

I read this email you sent me, maybe 3 or more times a week. It has become my “rock on my journey” through the food recovery :) . I just saw that you put it up on your blog…it brought me to tears. Firstly because I am still struggling…struggling- not giving up, just holding on for dear life. Secondly, all the above responses are so touching. Being vulnerable is such a gift, you really get way more than you could ever ask for (when you do actually reach out). Much love, and gratitude. <3, Lauren

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