How To Stop Binge Eating

Tips to stop overeating, stop emotional eating, stop eating fast food, stop eating junk food

I keep trying, I'm hopeful for this time

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    I found this site last a few days ago after a particularly disheartening week. I have been under a lot of stress for the past few months from school and extra-cirriculars, and under pressure I like to eat massive amounts of cookies and cake. Well, that is a lie. I don’t enjoy it, I don’t “like” it. I just do it. I just rapidly shove sweets into my body when I feel like there is too much to study or that I won’t make the grade I know I am capable of.

    To recount my binges:

    In December of 2009, my family and I packed up to go visit my cousin in Chicago. She was my age (20) and getting an arranged marriage. It was so stressful. Not only did I not want her to get married that young (AND she had known the guy for only 3 months!), but I also felt inadequate because she was the one who received suitors from the community while I had never received a suitor or had a boyfriend. When we got to their house, I binged in room filled with family and friends. I made jokes about it while eating, to make it seem like not a big deal. But it was. I can’t remember how much of everything I ate, only that I kept reaching for the spinach pies. I may have eaten around 15 of those palm-sized items.

    Back in towards the end of May, I had the worst binge I’d had in a long, long time. Before that, I had been relatively ok. I always had something to occupy my mind, always had something to do. I was drinking a lot of coffee and running around from one meeting to one study group to one hang out to the next. But then my Human Biology final rolled around and the stress of studying for the test was enormous. I couldn’t take it. I was freaking out on the inside a week before the exam. I didn’t want to start studying because then I would realize how much I needed to re-learn…and so i put it off. After the exam, I felt like shit. I heard people talking about what answers they put and how much they studied…and everything felt so surreal. I walked home with a friend and we laughed at how the course was over and how we would never have to worry about it again. Then he dropped me off at my apartment and went his own way. My apartment complex was leaving out massive amounts of junk food to help with studying, i guess. Honey Buns, oatmeal creme sandwiches, chocolate cupcakes, you name it. I walked over there in a haze really, loaded my backpack, and went upstairs to my room to commence the worst binge i’d committed in a long time. Now, i have a sweet tooth and sweets are the only things i crave. But at this point, i did not crave anything. I was not hungry. I was not physically prompted to eat. This was emotional, I ate because I wanted to punish myself for being such a failure. One snack after another, I ate. I was scared while eating, but I couldn’t stop. It was an automatic motion. It hurt.

    I had so much sugar my head was spinning and I thought I poisoned myself or induced some sort of glycemic arrest. I am not exaggerating. And every moment of that binge, I was punishing myself. There was absolutely no enjoyment when I ate the first few powdered doughnuts or the third oatmeal creme pie. I was just incredibly sad. I layed down on my bed and slept.

    After that, I went home for a short break and ate irresponsibly. Cheesecake for breakfast, continuous snacking, etc…all while knowing I had to train for a huge bicycle trip next summer (4,600 miles!). I felt overwhelmed and had a mixture of emotions. I want to be healthy and lightweight. At my lowest, I was 130lbs, now I am 145lbs. I want to be 125lbs. I keep telling myself that when i reach my weight, then people will want to date me, that I will finally be pretty enough for guys to notice. At the same time, I really like food. i consider myself a foodie and a lover of all things related to the foodie culture. What wound up happening was that I would go days being a foodie and then see an incredibly beautiful, skinny girl. Then i would swear off food and tell myself, hey I can look like that too. and i would have this idea for a day and then go back to being a foodie.

    I go back to school for summer school now and a few weeks ago my friend suggests we do the master cleanse to rid our bodies of toxins. Stupidly (i say this because I know myself and the master cleanse would probably induce a binge), I say yes. We go out, and I spend 35 dollars on lemons, maple syrup, laxatives, etc…

    I binged almost everyday that week…

    I ate 1500 calories in cracker sandwiches in the time span of 30 minutes.

    The next few days, I binged on gelato and donuts.

    Then I left work to buy carrot cake

    I spent an entire weekend eating funsized snickers and reeses cups

    I feel like a failure and I want to punish myself.

    I started telling friends and family that i was a binge eater, and that it was serious. Usually girls say things like “Oh no, I ate that! I am a total fattie!!”, but usually their case is not serious. I told my friends and family details and that it was very serious and saddening for me. I thought about getting a therapist, but i wasn’t sure if she would help. I know exactly why i binge eat and where it stems from (issues with my mother, being put on diets as a kid, being made fun of for being a fattie CONSTANTLY) and what triggers it (STRESS!!!!) and which foods are my weaknesses (sweets). I know what my goals are. I know that it is advisable to eat slower, drink more water, exercise more, etc… but for some reason i have not been able to implement the lifestyle changes i want at a consistent pace. Really it is consistency that will show results. Perhaps i have gotten lazy, as i used to be more in control of my time.

    I found this forum a few days ago and am hoping to chronicle my experience as I overcome this binge eating monster once and for all.



    Hey there…wanted to welcome you to the forum! Thanks for sharing your story….if you read other’s posts, you’ll see that most of us started at the same place, with trying to eat perfectly or dieting which led to crazy big binges. it sounds like yours are triggered by both stress and trying to be restrictive. The thing that has helped a lot of people here is trying to let go of having the perfect diet and just go with what our bodies tell us. Eat what we want when we are hungry. I know that sounds way to simple (but impossible at the same time) but I promise it is what truly works to bring you back to a normal, healthy relationship with food. I used to binge to deal with basically all my emotions but now I just let myself sit with those feelings of sadness, stress, and anxiety until they dissipate on their own. I have a MAJOR sweet tooth too so what I have done is de-bunked the idea of having forbidden foods and am now able to eat all sweets in moderation…the key is eliminating the guilt associated with them and the constant attempt at restricting them from your diet (because that makes you crave them like crazy, feel guilty when you do have them, then binge time…) Anyways glad u are here! ~Lauren



    Hi Pasha. I can really relate to your story when it comes to stress. Stress is the main reason why I binge too. I would get a new project at college and just freak out that day at home thinking that theres no way in hell im going to be able to do it even though I’m doing really well at college. And that makes me binge, cause I feel like the pressure is too much, and stuffing myself with food just feels really good in that moment. I also drank like 5-6 coffees a day and binged a lot on sweets especially jelly babies and yoghurt sweets. Ive come to the conclusion that bingeing for me makes me feel very vulnerable. And because I was used to always being in control of what I ate and what I do and being an overachiever, bingeing was like my “fix” that gave me adrenalin that I used to tell myself that Im not in control and that Im a failure. Which is of course very wrong thoughts and completely untrue. We are always in control of what we eat and we are not failures. I hope that made sense.

    I also postpone work cause I constantly think of all the mental effort that I have to put into it (even though I enjoy what I study, which is graphic design) and then I rather binge. I also dont get cravings for food, but binge out of habit, or wanting to not deal with the idea of recovering. But its so much more of an effort to think about what to eat next and how to disguise it so that people wont notice.

    What Im trying to do now is like Lauren said, eat what I want and not restrict too much, cause it is really true, if you label food you will crave the “bad” food cause whether you tell yourself a certain food is bad or good, the fact that you are thinking about food the whole time will make u want it so much more. I try to fill my brain with other thoughts immediately when I start thinking about food too often. Also, I ask myself why do i want to eat now? is it cause im hungry, is it cause im sad, is it cause i want comfort and to feel relaxed? When its an emotion, like “sad” then I would picture in my mind myself after i would have eaten the thing and ask myself if that would have made me feel better? The answer is always no, it will not make me feel better so then I know I dont have to eat that thing and then I can sit and feel sad and work it out. Hope its not too complicated, but it becomes instinct when u do it often.

    When u deal with a stressful time without bingeing – that is a major confidence boost and definitely something to work towards. I can relate so much, cause I also used to look at these skinny girls and despise them. I see them drinking coffee and eating muffins and it made me so mad that I cant just eat one muffin and not feel guilty about it and end up bingeing cause of that. So the main thing is intuitive eating. Its great to eat with people and eat whatever u want, but in moderation and according to what your body needs.

    Sheesh im sorry if I rambled too much about my own life and so on…Im also still in the process of recovering from BE. I really hope you get better! Just keep posting, this site is awesome :) my journal is called Nadine’s Journal.

    Have a good night!


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