Why do you Binge Eat?
Whether you call it compulsive eating, binge eating, or overeating or you just feel lousy about yourself after you finish stuffing yourself it's something you want to stop. Some people claim that they are addicted to food! And the crazy thing is, you may not even be overweight, but you can certainly be on the road towards gaining weight if you frequently resort to eating when you're not hungry.
Binge eating is mindless eating; unconnected with the feeling of being hungry. The more common feeling one has is the need to numb out from other uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, anger or fear: STRESS. That's why the food that most people binge on is called "comfort food."
This site is NOT for Eating Disorders
If you purge (vomit) use laxatives or excessively restrict calories and over-exercise, this site will not be enough for you to stop this behavior. I highly encourage you to find a good therapist or treatment center that can specializes in helping people with eating disorders to help you overcome this life-threatening illness.
It can be hard to determine the line between compulsive eating behaviors and other forms of fixation on food. So many women are "watching their weight", counting calories or feeling guilty when they eat specific foods they call "bad". Or they will say that they are doing it for "wellness" and eating "clean". This is the newest disordered eating condition: Orthorexia. Also called, "clean eating" it ends up making you eat things you don't enjoy in order to lose weight. People say it's for "wellness", but it's a diet in disguise. But people rarely binge eat salads!
The Diet Industry that makes billions of dollars by frightening people about certain foods is happy for you to always be dieting. The truth is, there are very few foods that are truly "bad" foods, except those with poison ingredients, such as diet soda.
No, sugar is not poison. No gluten will not kill you (unless you have true Celiac disease- not a preference to avoid carbs). No, dairy is not bad for you. No, fats are not clogging your arteries and giving you heart attacks. People all over the planet eat diets that are based on different food groups. And within those groups there are people who are healthy and sick; skinny and fat. It's NOT the food that is causing those conditions! Mostly, it's from genetics.
The Real Cause of Compulsive Dieting:
It’s hard to think of any other disease (like society refers to overweight as a medical condition) —if you want to call it that—where treatment rarely works and most people are blamed for not “recovering.” (read that link for one of the best articles I've ever read about weight loss)
The fact is there is a lot of epidemiological unbiased evidence that shows that being over a certain weight (overweight) is not physically dangerous nor that it will contribute to illness and disease. That is despite what diet industry shills like DR. Oz and Oprah say! But if people are truly honest with themselves, they will admit that health is not their top priority for weight loss.
The Number One Reason People Want To Lose Weight
Have you convinced yourself that only thin people are attractive? Have you taken on the attitudes of society that makes heavier people hate themselves and their bodies? Are you now one of the people who abuse and blame themselves for not being thin?
The number one reason people want to lose weight is to be accepted by others. You want to look like thin people. And you may not realize it, but you also want the same thin privilege that thin people have. Part of that privilege is being able to buy your size clothes in a regular store and not have to go into a different department (if they have those clothes at all) to find nice clothes to wear in their size that don't cost more money. You want to be able to fit in chairs at a restaurant or a movie theatre. You want to be comfortable in an airline seat. And you want thin people to stop berating you and telling you that if you only ate less and exercised more that they too, would be thin. It's a BIG FAT LIE!
My story: I was recently diagnosed with leukemia. But months before the actual diagnosis I lost my appetite. From decades of chronic dieting I had a small appetite to begin with, but now eating a meal was a real challenge. I knew that for treatment to be effective I NEEDED nutrition and to eat, but the thought of most food was nauseating. For months I ate the equivalent of 1/2 of a lunch the entire day. It was actually scary for me. I'd gag at the thought of eating. I tried to eat, but couldn't!
I had thrown my scale away years ago so I didn't have an exact number of my weight. But after all this time of not eating my clothes fit EXACTLY the same way as they did before. I didn't lose any weight, despite not eating. My body still looks exactly the same as my mother's body did- plus size and round. Genetics is the most important component in your body weight, shape and size.
Why You Can't Stop Overeating
Do you promise yourself to stop, but can't stop compulsive binge eating? Well, the answer to this problem is very simple. But putting the answer into practice is very HARD. You have to stop being concerned about your weight. You have to stop blaming yourself for making yourself heavier than you want to be! You have to stop restricting certain "bad" foods and allow yourself to eat anything - yes, even carbs and sugar. Once you do that and get over the shock of being able to eat until you're full, because you are paying attention to your food and what your body tells you, you will stop over-eating!
Females in particular have been brainwashed almost since birth to make sure that they don't get fat. They've been told that not only is it unhealthy, but that no one will ever love them if they are fat. They become the victim of unceasing teasing and bullying. So many parents think that if they nag or insult their children it will stop them from overeating and getting fat. But that actually has the opposite effect. It doesn't stop overeating. In fact, it can contribute to it.
The ACE Study
The humiliation that children experience from being told that they are getting fat and being put on a diet can actually cause long term effects in their health as adults! The ACE Study: Abusive Childhood Experiences is one of the largest investigations of over 17,000 adults. It found that from the time of birth to six years of age, that abuse, neglect or humiliation could impact children so powerfully that it could lead to illness and earlier death in those children when they became adults. One of the effects was obesity, although being overweight is NOT an illness.
I have spoken with so many women who recall being teased by their siblings and parents for their appearance. Some parents go so far as to put a lock on their refrigerator!
Bullying and Fat-Shaming
One woman told me about how her mother would constantly berate her and say that her sister was so much prettier and could wear nicer clothes because she was thinner. This woman was athletic and muscled, and had a different body type from her sister. It made my client remember her childhood as a very unhappy experience in her life. It made me feel so sad for her.
In the ACE Study, one of the most common types of abuse was sexual abuse. This shocks, amazes and disgusts people when they realize how common this type of abuse is within families. But these are the facts that were discovered by Dr. Felitti and his associates when doing this study. It is totally consistent with what women report as a life experience.
ME TOO Movement
The "Me Too" Movement is exposing the truth about how many girls have experienced some type of sexual abuse by relatives and others in their childhood and into adulthood. I know of no woman who cannot point to an event of sexual misconduct on the part of a male towards them at some point in their lives. This is one of the major reasons that women who were sexually abused as children become morbidly obese as adults.
Overcoming the effects of childhood abuse is likened to overcoming PTSD. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It is one of the most difficult mental conditions to overcome. But some people do recover with help. The answer is for you to start loving and accepting your body the way it is. Dieting is the result of wanting to change your body to be thinner.
Hating Your Body Causes Dieting
In order to stop binge eating and compulsive overeating, you must cease the self-hatred of your body. And hating your body makes you want to change what it looks like. It's almost like there's a disconnect: there's you and a separate body. And the way you think you can change your body is by dieting. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible. And by trying to lose weight, you actually end up gaining MORE weight!
The way to stop compulsive eating, binge eating or overeating is to stop restrictive eating and dieting! It sounds impossible, but it DOES WORK. People who stop restrictive eating and dieting and learn to accept and trust their body finally break the pattern of stuffing the food they've been missing! That's because you now allow yourself to eat it!
I know you think that if you start eating those foods you'll never be able to stop. You'll become a pizza or chocolate blimp. But it actually works exactly the opposite of that!
I really owe my whole recovery to stopping dieting. I never thought I would be in this place..totally fine eating BBQ chips...completely trusting that my body knows what I need. I've never been in a better place!
Believing that dieting is going to make your life better is the reason you diet. That's because about 100% of people who compulsive binge eat are dieters. And 100% of dieters can't stand their body the way it is.
So now you see- that's why it's so hard to stop binge eating. You have to listen to the real people who tell you that dieting is not going to result in a thinner body that lasts more than a few months to 5 years. Yes, that's the magic number. It's just like cancer. If you survive without a reoccurrence of cancer for 5 years, you're cancer free.
Ignorant Doctors Encourage Dieting
Dieting, despite what ignorant doctors tell you is NOT going to make you healthier!
A client, Sara stabilized her diabetes by stopping weight loss attempts. Even though she was being pressured to lose weight, her doctors couldn't argue with an improved A1C with actually getting OFF the restrict and binge cycle.
Another compulsive eater was "average size". But she got her period back.
She said she got better-
"not with medications, but with letting go of calorie counting and putting the focus on healing her nervous system and eating more, and not by avoiding eating certain foods."
AND, consider this: the treatment for thinness is actually what is CAUSING the condition of making you overweight! It's dieting and restricting foods that stresses your body and your mind, and makes you eat compulsively, or binge eat.
You don't compulsively eat salads. When you are emotional eating, you go for the foods that you call "bad". You eat them when life is not going well. When something stresses you...
You MUST Regain Trust in Your Body
Your body and nature are much smarter than any attempt you make to change your weight. Just read this amazing paragraph from Health At Every Size, by Lindo Bacon, Ph.D.
There's NO way that ANY diet or lifestyle change can be that precise or work as well as your body does naturally!
The newest method of eating is called Mindful or Intuitive Eating. Unfortunately many people think that this is a diet and will be the answer to losing weight.
Mindful-Intuitive Eating Is Not The Solution
You cannot stop emotional eating by using "Mindful Eating" or "intuitive eating".
That's not the problem that you have. It's not that you're eating too much. You are eating when you are not even hungry. You are eating as a way of soothing your stress. And you are dieting because you are unhappy with your body. There is a part of you that is thinking that a particular food is "good" or "bad" because it will affect your weight.
Intuitive Eating doesn't Stop Stress
If stress is making you "feel hungry" how can intuitive or mindful eating stop it? It can't. Yes, you can ask yourself: "Am I Hungry" and even get a "yes" answer. But when you realize that you are going to eat by yourself in a place where people are not watching you, there's your clue. When you know you will only be satisfied by eating specific foods- those foods that you have been avoiding, that's another clue.
It would probably be better to ask yourself: "Am I Feeling Stressed?" rather than am I hungry!? Put a name to that stress. Think about what you are feeling and why.
When you follow what causes the stress much of the time it's being unhappy with your body! Some people eat from stress, instead of drinking alcohol, taking drugs or other stress relief methods. For a compulsive eater your "drug" of choice is food. I know, it's paradoxical. You eat because you hate being fat. It's your fat phobia and hate of fat makes you restrict foods you love. It's almost impossible to skip those foods your entire life. You feel even more like a victim, and hate your body even more! You think: WHY am I stuck in a body that gains weight when my friends can eat whatever they want and never put on an ounce!?
Hating Your Body Is Stressful
Hating your body is one huge stressor. You judge yourself harshly. And yes, the world judges you harshly. But those comments hurt even more when you believe them about yourself. So the first thing you must do is heal your hatred of your body and being overweight. If you judge yourself and your body for being fat, you are holding those same fat phobic attitudes towards others who are overweight. Remember, nobody TRIES to get overweight. It's a response to stress, heredity or a problem with your emotions or health.
Just like other groups of people have "overcome" prejudice, fat people must do the same. We cannot be silent in the face of prejudice. We must speak up for our rights and for our dignity.
Get my free report and keep up with myth-busting information to arm you to speak up to others about why they should shut up and not recommend diet ideas for you!