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So I was in intuitive eating group at my ED center today, and the subject was binging. Our therapist gave us a handout, and it contained a really good definition of a binge.

"Binges are purposeful acts. A binge can be an attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are signals that you are not giving yourself what you need either physically (with food) or emotionally (with intimacy, work, relationships).

Binges are marked with a sense of urgency, by the feeling of "I want it and I want it now." The feeling of "I want it it now so badly that I will run down anything standing in my way".

A binge is a plunge into oblivion. Sometimes living is too much to handle and food becomes a way to blur out what is painful."

The Underlying Meaning of Binges (Roth, G 1984. Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating Ch. 5)

This really resonated with me because it emphasizes the emotional aspects of binging.

I posted this because I want people to remember that binging is not a reason to feel ashamed or be angry with yourself. Binging is a sign of deprivation, and if you don't forgive yourself and allow yourself whatever you have been restricting (whether food or emotions, as Roth says) then the binges will keep happening.

So do me a favor, and if you binge tonight, sit back and take a minute to learn something from it. Forgive yourself.

20 Replies (last)

wow, thank you, splenda.... a sign of "deprivation." i never thought of it that way. learning about this stuff totally helps. thanks for posting it. 

This is really informative, to me. Thank you for posting it.

I'm so glad I read this earlier today. I b/p-d on cereal last night and ED made me want to restrict all day. But this post made me beat down that ED voice and now - for the first time in months - I actually *want* to eat because food has started appealing to me again. Thank you, that part about learning from the binge and forgiving myself really struck a chord.

Raspberrydreams- I'm so glad you came to that realization! Seriously, I'm so proud of you I could scream! Eating the day after a binge is always the hardest thing for me, I just have to keep reminding myself that a binge is a signal that you need to take care of yourself!

I'm so glad other people found this as helpful as I did. I'm glad I posted it.

Oh yeah, and *bump*!! (yeah, I'm shameless.)

Thank you for this :)

Most often I think it is a physiological response to deprivation. I just recently read the book "Become Naturally Thin By Eating More" and found it very helpful. I haven't binged in a week which is the longest I have gone in a long time, but it has required me to eat more every day than I was before. Alot of people think they are emotional eaters, but that is actually very rare. More often, the person tries to restrict their eating in some way, even if its small, and then when this person encounters some other stressor, such as an emotional difficulty, he or she gives into their desire to eat. This person then makes the link that they are an emotional eater, but that is not really the case. They have just been depriving themselves and once the multiple stresses become too much on their body, the body responds by taking care of the hunger. According to the book anyway, I found it quite interesting.

i have had alot of binges this week in recovery,  it gets so bad i am afraid to be in the kitchen alone,  cause i am to embarrassed to do it infront of some people...like my moms boyfriend,  my husband knows and has had to really stop me sometimes.  his helped alot.

#8  
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i've been in recovery for a little over a month now. this past week i cannot stop binging. i'm terrified because prior to my anorexia i was a full on binge eater and over 20 pounds overweight because of it. i was so ashamed. for months i barely left the house or even showered. i'm trying to reassure myself that my body deserves it and that it's a natural reaction to neglecting and abusing it for so long, but i feel so anxious. i just hope it doesn't become a regular thing again.

Thank you for this post :)

I actually binged today. I'm in recovery from anorexia and bulimia. i hate binging :( i really want to purge though, i find it so hard to forgive myself... the voice is so strong

Binging are in a way an act to fill some sort of void.  But like with any eating disorder, there is a reason behind it that is beyond the scope of just being thin, or overweight, or weight in general.  I know for me, I just binged on 5 pj sandwhiches, 3 cups of ice cream, 2 ice cream cones, 1 marshmellow bar, a bowl of cereal (coco puffs) and 2 slices of bread with jam.  My stomach is about to explode but I really am okay with my binge.  Why?  Because I have so much animosity towards my prior anorexia.  Developing this kind of mentality towards your ED will help you get through recovery.  Girls, you have to know that you have put not only your body through a mode of starvation but it will take time to recover and renourish your body.  even after 9 months of recovery and at 5'4" and 117 pounds my body still has a lot of repairing.  I am please to say that I could never starve myself again (mainly after a near death experience) but because I have such a love for food now.  And even after a binge I don't feel guilty.....and I no longer listen to that ED voice of my weight getting out of control...it just won't happen.  To know this is very liberating.  !!!!

I am so surprised that binging is such a common problem. It makes me feel better knowing I'm not alone. I have never had an eating disorder, but have been conscious of my health, weight, and exercise habits for many years. I have never been overweight. But I still binge. It's confusing to me, because if I'm not watching as closely, I don't binge but I do start gaining some weight. When I am more strict about what I'm eating, I tend to binge more (that part makes sense) but I maintain a lighter weight. My initial inclination is to think that binges would be more likely to make me gain weight, but I must just do better all around when I am binging but watching what I eat more closely. Do you ever wish you were one of those people that never thought twice about what eating? Ah the chosen few.

When I think about binging and I am in my right mind, it seems so silly, like why would I ever do that? But after plowing through the frig and pantry and eating 3000 calories, it is a very real issue.

Thanks so much you guys! 

I started dieting almost a year ago, but let it go too far and ended up underweight and lost my period for six months. Now I am overeating quite often, sometimes to prove my mom that I am not restricting my diet anymore. She is so worried about me and prepares delicious food to make me eat. It tastes so great, and my mom always makes sure I eat a lot. Some days it just pulls a trigger in my head, and I binge. Today I have eaten tons of ice cream, chocolate and cake, and I feel awful :( Usually I restrict the day after, but tomorrow I won't thanks to this thread! I am determinated to break this binge/restrict cycle of mine. I'll just focus on eating healthy foods and go to my local gym after work. And if I'm still hungry after dinner, well, then I'll have dessert! 

Sorry if I spelled anything wrong or used wierd idioms, I'm Norwegian ;)

We should use caloriecount.com to support each other! I'm so glad I've found this page, there are so many girls here in my situation. Nice to know I'm not alone :)

 

#13  
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Literally just binged a little bit ago (approx. 15 minutes ago). I'm going to write my thoughts while I'm "zoned" out in a binging mood. Maybe this way I can get up tomorrow and read this to see why I'm doing it for once.

How it started - I was at work today and kept googling weight loss stuff, reading these forums, and binge eating disorder. Kept reading and reading till it pretty much interupted my work. Then I got the urge to binge while at work. It seems like I was fine all day up until I started reading obsessively into weight loss and stuff. I kept telling myself I won't binge (but of course I always end up doing so). Came home, ate dinner. Grumpy as hell. I still had the urge to binge. I fought the urge for about two hours. Finally said screw it, then I went and started eating some peanuts and 1 cup of yogurt. Then I went to the grocery store and bought a pint of ice cream, and some cookies. Didn't finish the cookies though. Either way all of this plus food earlier in the day was a little over or close to 5,000 calories.

Right now I'm not sure what this all means because I'm "dazed". Anyone willing to read into it and see where a trigger is please let me know. Pretty pissed right now I just ruined today and my workout yesterday.

But tomorrow I'll reply and reflect back so I never make this mistake again.

Never.

I know you wrote this a very long time ago, but thank you. I binged this morning and am still feeling upset about it, but this quote helped me think about the causes, even though I think I knew already. One thing is for sure - it made me feel a lot better.

So thank you <3

every single word of that description is 100% correct. this just made me feel so much better after my binge. thank you!

#16  
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I am so glad you posted this.  I have suffered from this for so long now (2 years seems like an eternity when it is what you're focused on 24/7)....

Mine is a combination (physiological and emotional) -- my therapist has asked me to eat 2500 calories a day as opposed to the 1200-1400 I TOLD MY BODY I needed.  Notice I said, told my body.... not my body told me.  I ignored hunger signs for so long that I forgot what real hunger was/is like.  I am still struggling with it now, but allowing myself to eat the calorie limit and sometime OVER.  I am feeling full, not craving as much and THINKING before I binge which means that I am overcoming that physiological factor.  I used to just dive into the abyss and binge...

My emotional aspect comes from stress.  I hate dealing with this and food is my coping mechanism.  This however, seems to me like normal stress eating.  If it only a binge 1/16th of the time, I can deal with that. 

Conquering the idea in my head that by body actually needs those 2500 calories was a tough sell for me....

I completely identify with those reasons.. I have been in"recovery" for about 2 months (with a few b/p the most recent being today : ( the difference today though, compared to when I was in the throws of ed, today I could feel it coming..and could consciously put an end to it, unlike before. It began this morning when my daughter was really acting up before school, I could feel myself getting stressed and on the way home from school run, had binge urges but managed to dismiss it. Had been hungry all day and ended up buying a pack of cookies in the shop, ate the lot!! Plus 2 big bowls of cereal when I got home.. And then some : (

While I'm not proud of today, it has taught me 2 valuable lessons.. I need to eat more and stop depriving myself and, I'm only human and I am fighting a winning battle.. Tomorrow is another day : )
#18  
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I understand what you are going through fluffyducks.  Don't restrict tomorrow.  Eat more calories.  Set a new limit for yourself.  You may see weight gain at first, but you'll even out and your body will love you for feeding it the right way.  I have to remind myself of this every day.

 

you know what? it's worth it.

Well you know what Iweighin?? I have gained between 15-20lbs in the last 2 months (actual number unknown as the scales have since been banished lol) but that has been on approx 1200 cals per day!! and most recent binges, though few, have most likely been triggered by hunger as I'm finding it difficult to eat non "safe" foods in case they trigger, but I am conscious of trading one disorder for another : ( I do not want to do that!!!

So with this in mind, tomorrow I am going to try and eat the 1800 recommended by CC..

Bring on the pasta : D

It's so strange to find this because I was just thinking about it yesterday and today. Deprivation. I'm recovered, so why am I feeling deprived? And when I binged (3 days in a row) I didn't think why until the last day. Yesterday. I stopped and looked for a reason. I was shoving food into my mouth and not tasting anything anymore. And I realized I was lonely. Pure loneliness, lack of human connection, had driven me to these extremes of restricting and overeating. I have friends, I have family-but no one knows the hell-that is exactly what it is-that I've been through. I was in denial for so long I thought anorexia, bulimia, binging-I thought that was a normal teenage girl's life. And now I'm surrounded by people that love me but I feel like I'm just a big fat lie. I didn't let anyone help me so I suffered alone. That's why I go here for support-because no one else could understand. I don't understand why sometimes. It hurts to think about it. And when that happens, I binge. What can I do to stop being so damn proud and just admit it?

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