We’ve all been there, we’ve all eaten more than we should, whether it be due to stress, because we’ve over indulged or just because what we were eating just tasted so damn good.
Overeating is not the same as binge eating, sometimes binge eaters feel the compelling urge to stuff our faces with anything we can find, it’s like a driving force making you want to devour anything and everything in sight. I have always just put my weight down to overeating, when in reality it’s because of something much deeper in my psyche that drives me to eat.
It was only when I came to terms and realised that I do in fact suffer from Binge Eating Disorder or (BED) that I’ve slowly started to be able to make the positive steps to gain back control.
Here are some things I’ve learned as someone that suffers with BED.
1. People with BED don’t often fit the stereotype of someone you’d associate with an Eating Disorder, but it is no less a real thing than other more recognised disorders like Anorexia or Bulimia.
2. But that doesn’t mean we are all big, eating disorders can affect anyone, they are all for equal opportunities. Just because someone doesn’t fit the ideal doesn’t mean that it can’t affect them.
3. We will hide our binges from others, many times have I announced at the till when presenting my hoard of sugary fat that “I’ve been sent to the shop”, “It’s not all for me, Honest!”
4. We will eat the last of your cookies while you’re at work, because “hey, you shouldn’t of left them lying around.”
5. Cravings to binge are painful, they can physically mess with your body. I get so stressed resisting the urge to binge that sometimes I physically shake, I whine and I can’t concentrate.
6. Binging feels like a massive relief, it’s like all your troubles have floated away and you’re in a state of euphoria, that is until you come crashing back down to earth and you feel disgusting for eating 3,000 calories that you barely tasted because you didn’t pause for breath.
7. Unlike people with Bulimia who also binge, we don’t purge, we don’t do anything to compensate for our binge.
8. We will root through the entire house if we think there is a chance we’ll find some chocolate. In the depths of my disorder I had asked my partner to hide the chocolate that he’d brought home the previous day, he put it on top of the cupboard way out of my reach, even though I was suffering from an episode of pain that left me incapable of climbing the stairs, I scaled the washing machine to capture my prize.
9. We eat mindlessly, we don’t savour our hoard, we’ll eat it, bite after bite, sweet to savoury without waiting for our palettes to return to normal, without taking note and without realising.
10. We can’t “just stop”. The first time I realised that this was something more than just overeating I opened up and tried to talk to people and they just didn’t get it, I had unsolicited advice coming out of my ears “try a liquid diet”, “add protein it will keep you full”, “just stop eating”. It’s really not as simple as that, I can be in pain from a full stomach and you know what? Yep, that’s right, I still eat, even if I’d eaten 40 eggs, I’d still find room for chocolate if I felt the need.
It’s not easy, people won’t get it, they’ll make remarks you don’t need to hear but there will also be people who will listen and support you, if you feel like something is triggering you, let someone know, tell your partner that buying in sweet stuff is a trigger and could they take it to work, ask your colleagues not to to pass you the biscuit tin, be honest and open with people. BED is still a poorly recognised disorder, lots of people haven’t even heard of it, don’t feel shame in educating people about your situation.
If you feel that you could have Binge Eating Disorder, speak to your Doctor, they will take you seriously and they will do all they can to help you. You can get help and you can get better!