Binge eating disorder, is often times not recognized as a legitimate eating disorder. It’s typically viewed as a disorder of willpower, low self-esteem and depression. Like it’s something people should just stop doing. People should just control their appetite in some way. Basically just force yourself mentally to stop overeating is how most people view it. Statistically it affects about 15 million people! 3.5% women and 2% men. It’s by far the most common eating disorder and needs major attention! Most people think that people with binge eating disorder are obese, but 30% of people with binge eating disorder are actually NOT obese, so you can’t really tell if someone has this disorder by just looking at them.
If you answer yes to at least 3 of these questions, then you most likely do have binge eating disorder.
Do you eat more rapidly than normal? Are you eating till you’re uncomfortably full? Are you eating large amounts of foods when you’re not hungry? (Ignoring your hunger cues) Do you feel disgusted, depressed guilty or ashamed after your binge?
One very interesting thing with binge eating is that it can cause sleep apnea, (production of too much stress/cortisol causes sleep deprivation) and when your sleep is off, your hunger cues will be off too. It’s going to be really difficult to know what your body is actually hungry for, what it really needs and when it’s satiated. I’ve noticed that in my own life too. When I’m stressed I don’t sleep well, and when my sleep is off my hunger cues are off too. I end up eating random things, and crave things that I normally don’t crave.
c So, in many ways food plays a huge role in the life of binge eaters. Some ways are;
- Emotion regulation – people go to food, when feeling high or low, for emotion regulation, food can be a way soothe and calm them
- Self-punishment – a lot of times when people feel they’ve been bad or done something wrong, they deserve punishment. So they use food as punishment, because bingeing can be a violent act.
- Distraction – going to food and using it as a distraction to forget what happened to you long time ago, and to forget about what’s going on in your current life and so on.
- Rebellion – Dieting sets up rebellion, because now we think of food as good or bad. So they rebel against the healthy choice of carrots and go for the oreos instead.
In a previous article I shared 3 ways to stop binge eating. It’s very helpful so be sure to check it out.
One of the mistakes that a lot of people with binge eating disorder make is they have this mindset of;
“If I can just get thin then all my problems will go away”.
They ignore the underlaying issues, because it’s easier to just focus on getting thin. But as I’ve said many times before; there’s no correlation between being thin and being happy. I know lots of larger people who are very happy and many thin people that are very miserable. Watching the world and living in this society that we have today, you would never piece those two things together.
When was the last time you heard yourself or someone else say “I love my body! I love it just the way it is, and don’t want to change anything about it”. It’s very rare that any of us say that to ourselves. Why? It shouldn’t be a rare thing. There’s always a little more weight we’re trying to lose, a size we want to change, a shape we want to have. We’re always trying to change our body! I’m not saying that we should jump around and be happy ALL the time, but more often than not we should try to be more kind to our bodies and ourselves. Think about all the things we’ve put it through, and yet it’s still functioning for us and tries not to let us. We’ve starved it and it survived. We’ve mistreated it with bad foods, and it still digested all that food and kept us healthy. And I could go on and on about how amazing our bodies are.
If you stopped beating up on your body what would happen? Where would that energy go instead? Lots of things will change if you took all that focus and energy and spent it on something better. The world would be a better place if we could stop obsessing over our bodies, calories, exercise and food.
One thing I suggest doing, if you hate your body, is write down at least one new thing every single day that you love about your body. It could be whatever. Your strong beautiful legs, your tummy, your butt, whatever. Just do this exercise everyday and see how your love for your body slowly heals. This is just one idea/way to try to make peace with your body. You can let me know how it goes on social media or simply by emailing me your experience.
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If you want to have a better relationship to food, body and exercise, you can work with me one on one and right now I’m offering free 50 minute health consultations where we sit down and focus on YOU. Click here to learn more.