How To Stop Binge Eating

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

Ready to Change… But I Need Help

This topic contains 14 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  piper0526 2 years ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #5378

    piper0526
    Participant

    Hi all!

    I joined this forum two years ago but didn’t really commit to it. I read a lot of discussions, but I didn’t post much because I was too ashamed to admit to myself that I couldn’t change on my own, that I needed support. However, I am beyond ready to change now. I am so sick of living in this prison run by food that is my life. And I need as much help as I can possible get.

    My binges are out of control. I will binge on anything and everything I can get my hands on. It’s almost as if I black out when I binge, like someone else takes over my body and I am no longer in control of what I put into my mouth. I value health highly, and I believe that treating our bodies well is very important, considering all of the things it does for us throughout our entire lifetimes. I think we should repay it by fueling it with healthy foods that keep it going as well as possible. But, even with that mentality and belief, I still can’t control my binges.

    I am going on vacation with my friend and her family in about a week, which is giving me extreme anxiety about being in a bathing suit in front of them, which is triggering more binges. Today I had to go buy a new bathing suit because I no longer have any that fit me. I tried a million suits on and hated the way I looked in every single one of them. I returned to my car empty-handed, got in, and just sat there crying for a good 20 minutes. I feel so ashamed of myself. It’s really cutting into my social life, I constantly have to make up excuses to my friends for why I can’t go out. I’ve never felt so depressed or ashamed or guilty or weak in my entire life, and I just don’t know what to do.

    My parents got divorced a few years ago. My dad was abusive and hid a second family from us which lead up to the divorce. My mom is extremely emotionally damaged and unstable, and as a result has become an alcoholic. As soon as they were divorced I almost immediately became anorexic. Not because I needed to lose weight, but because I felt like it was the only thing I could control in my life. I was anorexic from age 14-17, my lowest weight being 105 lbs at 5’7”. But when I turned 17, it was like something snapped. The binges started coming more and more frequently, and I put on twenty pounds the summer before my senior year of high school. I continued to gain weight throughout the year, and started to binge everyday (and haven’t really stopped since). By the time I graduated I was up to 160 lbs.

    I have now been binging everyday for about 4 years (it feels like 40 though). I know that a lot of my emotional problems I have been trying to fill are from my parent’s divorce, but I feel like I have gotten over them and have made peace with both my parents. I have a great relationship with them both now. That said, I still continue to binge uncontrollably. Maybe it’s just out of habit now, or maybe I have more issues than I think I have, but I just can’t stop it.

    I have completed my second year of college and am on an athletic scholarship at a D1 school. I work out all the time, and a healthy diet would really help me in more ways than one, but I just can’t make myself stop binging. Whenever I workout (which is 1-2 times a day) I feel beyond sick due to all of the unhealthy foods I stuff into my body. My grades are suffering because I am constantly numbing my mind with food. Even relationships with friends and family are suffering thanks to this disorder. I am not preforming to the best of my ability and I want it to end. I want to live my life already!

    Also, I tore my ACL and had surgery about a month and a half ago. I know it seems irrelevant, but my immobility and extreme boredom have amplified my binging to a new level. All I do is sit around in a house full of food, and I cannot control myself. I have already gained 8 pounds since my surgery. I know gaining weight while I’m immobile and recovering is probably inevitable, but I HAVE to stop my binges otherwise I will be obese in no time.

    I’m sorry this post is so long and unorganized, but I wanted to get my whole story out there. I really appreciate anyone who took the time to read this!!

    #96259

    freemaya
    Participant

    Hi piper0526! Just wanted to reach out to you and let you know that you are not alone!! I think it’s great that you are ready to change. I love what you said about treating our bodies well and fueling our bodies with healthy food. I’m in college as well, and I too feel out of control with my binges and am SO READY for a change! I think, like you, I started binging for a deeper reason but now I just continue out of habit. My body is so used to binging that it thinks that binges are necessary in order to survive.

    I think you have a great mindset, and binging is something that you CAN overcome! :) We all need support, and I’m here if you need it! Goodness knows I need support as well.. this summer was supposed to be the summer “I quit binging for good,” but it has really been the opposite.. my binges have been worse than ever. But you know what they say about losing a battle and winning the war… we can do it!! It’s alllll about frame of mind and motivation :]

    #96260

    piper0526
    Participant

    Freemaya thanks so much for the reply! It means a lot. I’ve never thought about binging as losing a battle but winning the war, that is great perspective! And I totally agree, it’s completely a mind over matter kind of thing. I truly believe with the right frame of mind you can do anything, and I know we can do this! It’s just not very easy, that’s for sure. :)

    And thanks for offering your support! I’m always here for you too! If you’re ever having a binge-crisis please feel free to come to me! I think helping others usually ends up helping ourselves in the long run, so it’s a win win! I just want you to know that this was supposed to be the summer I “quit binging for good” as well. Clearly it hasn’t worked out yet for me either. But, it’s not the end of the summer yet so maybe we can still do it! I have actually gone without binging for the past two days which is a new record recently, but the third day is usually when it goes downhill for me, so tomorrow’s going to be the real challenge.

    I hope everything’s going well on your end, please don’t hesitate if you need any support!

    #96261

    lexiloo52
    Participant

    I posted this somewhere else, but you might need it too. :) I wrote it kind of as a self-reflection, but I think it applies to more than just me:

    Do you worry about your weight? Obviously everyone does to an extent, but I mean do you really worry about your weight? I always have, but I reached a realization that has changed my entire outlook, and I think it’s the difference between relapse and true recovery.

    We use weight as an outlet for our shame. Maybe we’re too ashamed to think of ourselves as addicts. Maybe we don’t want to face the fact that we’re not in control of ourselves. Maybe weight is simply more concrete and easier to measure. But the fact remains that so often we use weight as the measure of our success and that is not the right way to go about it. Using weight as the measure of success turns it into the main issue, into the problem.

    I’ve always tried to stop binging in order to lose weight. Sometimes it has worked for a while, but I’ve always gone right back into the addiction. Losing weight is not a remedy for binge-eating. Even if I lost all the weight I wanted, it wouldn’t matter a bit if I didn’t heal my mind first. That’s why I’ve lost weight, gained it back, lost weight, gained it back, etc.

    To overcome the addiction, you have to focus on the addiction itself. Binging is the enemy, not weight gain. Being out of control is the problem. Weight gain is a side-effect, but it is not the problem. The mind is where we need to focus our healing, where I need to focus! Let the desire to be free and be in control drive you, not the desire to fit into that perfect size. The only drive strong enough to overcome the addiction is the desire to be free from it.

    #96262

    BingeBeater
    Participant

    Great reply lexiloo52 and great post Piper. Can i make a suggestion?

    Simply relax Piper. Just take some time to sit down and breath deeply. Do something you enjoy. I do this and its a real nice break from Bineg eating and all the issues. Thanks for sharing

    #96263

    pampita
    Participant

    Dear piper0526,

    When I read your first entry I almost fell off my chair, it was like reading my life story!…our lives are so alike just differ by a couple of years. I too suffered from anorexia in my teens (16-18) I was the same height and same lowest weight as you were-105pounds! Then it turned to binging during the latter part of senior year and has continued for 3 years now, close to 4 ….I had good periods and then then extremely bad binging ones like from last september to april had been almost non stop binging daily and the year before that it was again from october- april….it’s like going through cycles or something…

    I am hopeful that I will get better, I have been making some progress but it is still a battle that I have to fight everyday.

    So don’t think for a second that you are alone in this! You are not!!!!

    good luck girl and stay strong and positive,

    ps. what type of college sports do you do?

    #96264

    piper0526
    Participant

    Thank you so so much everyone, I really appreciate the support!! It means a lot to me.

    lexiloo52: This is such great advice for me. You’re right, I have always looked at my weight as the main problem, but even if i were as skinny as ever but binged all the time, I still wouldn’t be free or be in control. I really need to focus on my mind and think of weight gain as a side effect, and in healing the mind, weight loss will be a side effect! That is such a great way to look at it, I am definitely going to apply that. Do you have any suggestions on how you were able to heal your mind and overcome the addiction? I would appreciate it a lot! Thanks again for the awesome perspective!

    BingeBeater: I appreciate the suggestion! You’re right, I really do need to relax. That is always my biggest issue! I tend to worry and stress about the little things that aren’t worth stressing over. I will definitely try the deep breathing!

    pampita: Wow I’m so glad to relate so well to you! That is so strange how parallel our stories are, I appreciate you sharing with me! When stuff like this happens I really believe it has to be more than just a coincidence. I know it’s superstitious, but I don’t see any other explanation! I totally go in cycles with my binges too, I’ve been in a bad one from January until now, end date to be determined still. I’m glad to hear you are making progress, even just a day without binging is a win in my book!

    And I am on the equestrian team, so I ride horses and jump and all that! Thanks again for sharing with me, good luck to you!

    While I’m here, I’m just going to get the events and emotions from the past few days off my chest.

    Well after I posted my first post, I went the next 3 days without binging! Which is a new record for me since about 8 months ago. I was in deep. I was very happy and I just felt so much better about myself! Unfortunately though, I binged tonight. My mom and I went out to dinner and she wanted to get ice cream after, so I couldn’t help but to get some too. I didn’t want to because I had a feeling the ice cream would trigger a binge, but I did anyway, and I was right. When I got home I devoured a solid 1,000 calories of junk food, which I guess is better than my usual binge of closer to 8,000.

    I am a little disappointed, but I’m trying to stay positive and not be too hard on myself. I’m happy with the past few days of being binge free and I know healing and overcoming this is going to be a long process with some slip ups. Hopefully each time I can go longer and longer without binging, and hopefully the binges continue to be smaller and smaller amounts of food. Like lexiloo52 said, I need to heal my mind in order to overcome binging, so that’s what I’m going to focus on from now on! I hope you know I’m taking that advice to heart lexiloo52!

    #96265

    lexiloo52
    Participant

    I have lots of advice on how to heal your mind! :) I’ve been meeting with a therapist for almost two years now on and off, and it’s led me to a lot of self-reflection. So even though the advice I give is from my own life, I feel that they can be applied universally. This is my 3-step process :)

    1. Find and address your core issue

    There’s a reason you started binging. There may be a few reasons. For me, that reason was abuse as a child. You’ve got to start healing from whatever it is. This is probably the hardest part. I think most of us binge to distract ourselves from that core issue. But binging is not coping, and coping is what leads to healing. The best way to heal is to talk to someone about it. Let them help you see it in an objective way, to take a step back and accept that it happened. As time passes, it gets easier and easier. Now, you might not have something in your past as obvious as abuse, but there’s something that caused the binging, and that’s got to be the first step.

    2. Learn to love yourself and your body

    And I don’t mean for what you want you to be, but for what you are! Sometimes it takes others telling you what’s great about you to realize it for yourself, but it’s possible even without help. But you are beautiful! Everything about you! Start out by finding just a few things each day that you like (for me it was my eyes and my nose and my feet), then force yourself to find things to like about places you don’t like as much (for me, it was my thighs and calves and tummy). Don’t love your body for what you wish it could be. In order to be able to focus on binging as the issue instead of weight, you need to be comfortable with who you are right now. Of course, like me you may still desire to be at a different weight, but if you’re comfortable how you are, it will make it easy to focus on number 3.

    3. Tackle the addiction

    Through this whole process, you will find avoiding binges does not seem as impossible as it once was. It’s still difficult, mind you, but not impossible. Remember that you are the master of your own body. You can choose, no matter how strong the craving is, not to put food in your mouth. You are not a slave to food. It can’t make you do anything. It’s good to set up rules for yourself that are specific to you to help you avoid binging. I’m a snack binger, so I don’t eat snacks; I only eat at meal times. The rules should address your binging habits, but they shouldn’t be so strict that you can’t do it. For example, I let myself eat whatever type of food I want, but I only have one serving. I also allow myself dessert on Sunday. I am still able to find pleasure from food, but it’s in regulated quantities. To think about that can seem restrictive, but when you are doing it, it feels so freeing. Saying no to yourself is the most freeing thing!

    Remember relapse is a part of recovery! There will be slip ups. You will never be perfect, but a healthy mindset when it comes to food is what we’re all after! Plus, weight loss is just an excellent side-effect of not binging :)

    It’s a journey, and it takes time. Each step, each day or 3 (congratulations!) without a binge, is a triumph. There’s no getting over it in a week or two. It can take months, but that shouldn’t be a discouragement. That’s how every good thing works: it takes time. But I promise you, healing everything about your mind is so freeing and so wonderful. I look back to a year ago when I was bogged down with memories of abuse and self-loathing. Trust me, you don’t want to just stop binging. There’s always something there that needs to be addressed. Although it’s hidden, it’s just as important for your healing.

    #96266

    Em-wem
    Participant

    Hey Piper! Yay I found you! I’m sorry to hear all that awful stuff that’s gone on with your parents. It must be hard to watch your mum hurt herself like that. I’m not sure what to suggest because I haven’t been through that myself, but I hope you’re able to come online to this site as much as you can, even just to just vent about anything and everything, food or non-food related.

    I know you said you’re healthy and value your health, which is ACE. But I just hope you’re not restricting like I do, by obsessing over healthy food. Health is super important, but so is living & loving.

    And although it must be really hard at the moment with your injury, try to think of it as a blessing in disguise. Exercise can make your hunger hormones unbalanced (especially because we’ve come from a period of anorexia), so maybe use this as an opportunity to focus 100% on YOU, and re-learn what/when/how you like to eat.

    Take care!

    #96267

    BleuCeleste
    Participant

    Are you looking for an accountability partner? Because I would love to be yours!

    #96268

    LaurenC
    Participant

    Hi,

    I have a similar story – tried to restrict lost loads of weight then couldn’t maintain it so started binging. Really good to read everyone’s stories on here..

    I find it really hard to find a balance between eating healthily and normal portions but then not restricting too much which triggers a binge. I don’t know if anyone has any advice on here? x

    #96269

    piper0526
    Participant

    Hey guys, sorry it’s been a while, my computer was broken for the past few days. But I’m back! I appreciate all the advice and support, it really means a lot.

    Lexiloo52 that post is so helpful, thank you. I think I have conquered step 1, but I have some work to do on 2 and 3, especially 2. All of you are definitely helping me to do that though!

    Candice thanks for finding me!! I appreciate it. And you’re right, I do try to restrict and it gets me in trouble and leads to binges. It sure would be easier if I could just follow my own advice!

    BlueCeleste I would love to be your accountability partner if it’s not too late!!

    The past four or so days have been good binge wise, but then today I restricted too much and ended up having a huge day long binge. It is just so frustrating! Again, I know there will be ups and downs in this journey, but I just hate not having that control over myself. On saturday I am going to Florida with my friend and her family, and although my friend is not skinny, her parents tell her all the time how she needs to lose weight so she doesn’t look big, and I am dreading how they will view me. I know it shouldn’t matter what they think of me, but I just feel embarrassed because I used to be skinny and now I have put on a lot of weight. It is something I really need to work on, but I just feel almost shameful because for so long I was thin and that’s how everyone knew me. I just have a hard time dealing with it I guess. Especially because I have been so inactive because of my ACL injury, it has been even harder for me with my weight. I am constantly exercising, but now that I have not been able to do any sort of activity my weight has gone up, and it is hard for me to accept. I know it happens to a lot of people with this injury, but I still hate it!

    I guess what I really need to work on is focusing on my relationship with food and the weight will take care of itself. I need to view that as the main problem, but it’s so much easier to focus on the weight because it is concrete.

    Well those are my thoughts for the day, thank you all for the support!!! I appreciate it all so much!

    #96270

    piper0526
    Participant

    Well, I made it through vacation without binging at all! I mean, I didn’t exactly eat super healthy, but I didn’t binge! However, as soon as I got back home I binged, and have been for the past 3 days. They aren’t as severe as they used to be, but it’s still a binge. I’m really trying to focus on not letting food have power over me, but I seem to be losing that battle constantly. I really want to fuel my body with healthy foods, I want to treat it well so badly, but this power over me seems to be too overwhelming. I’m so afraid that if this keeps up I will end up with diabetes in the future. I want my health back and to have power over my life again! I guess I’m just feeling really frustrated and stuck right now

    #96271

    Xena
    Participant

    Hi piper, I know exactly how that feels… having all the info on how to treat your body well and keep it healthy but not actually being able to follow through on that… so frustrating! I’ve been binge free for only 1 day so far so I don’t know what else to say, but I just want you to know that you have my support, I wish you the best of luck and I will be following your journal.

    hugs, Xena

    #96272

    piper0526
    Participant

    Thanks Xena I appreciate it a lot!

    After that last 3 day binge I was binge free for a week! However, once again I just binged tonight. But now that my binges are becoming farther apart I know that that is progress. It’s still frustrating, but at least I can now tell it’s getting better. I no longer feel sick 24/7 from stuffing my face with junk food which is always a nice feeling.

    I am going back to school on friday and I think it will be a good change. It will be my third year, but anytime you make any sort of change I feel like it’s much easier to change the way you do things. I am going to stock my apartment with delicious healthy foods, and I’ll be super busy which is always a good distraction. I really feel like I am making progress and it will get much better next week. I’m starting to not care as much about my weight or appearance anymore and am accepting my body for the way it is, which is also helping and is a huge stress relief. I still have a far way to go with that as well, but better than nothing! I am also trying not to restrict myself or worry about calories or anything like that. I am allowing myself to be much more flexible when it comes to food which is also a stress relief. I am trying to eat clean, but when I am somewhere and that’s not possible I don’t restrict myself or stress out and then end up binging later. I have a long way to go, but I finally feel like I’m making progress. I definitely couldn’t do it without the inspiration and support of this site though, so thank you all so much!

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