What Binge Eating Has Taught Me

Image: @seteales

I fought binge eating for around 15 years.

My belief was that you had to “fight to conquer”, so I battled my heart out.

But try as I did, I always found myself once again licking the cheese sauce off wrapper after wrapper of Taco Bell leftovers.

Fighting wasn’t working. The battle got me nowhere.
I had to try something radically different. So…I made friends with binge eating. I ate the food AND felt my feelings. Rather than using food to tune OUT of my life, I started using it to tune IN.

This is what I learned.

1. Dieting doesn’t work

A binge was often a sign that I was controlling my diet too tightly. The more tightly I controlled, the more my body and mind called out for freedom. The better I got at listening to my body, the less I needed to control it.

2. I craved rebellion

I needed rebellion from my diet, from what society thought I should look like, from what my family thought I should eat, and from everything I felt like I wasn’t living up to.

One day, I decided to begin allowing myself to rebel (binge eat) with mindfulness. From there I could see that the bingeing wasn’t truly nurturing those needs and I needed to take a different route.

3. I wanted BIG things from life

I wanted HIGH highs, incredible experiences, and to feel really, really good in my body. Binge eating was my way of losing myself with abandon and experiencing what felt like the sweetest pleasure I knew.

Of course bingeing has severe downsides. I realized there had to be more sustainable pleasures, fulfilling and healthier pleasures. Examining the root of my binge eating taught me to look deeper.

Binge eating disorder was one of my greatest teachers.

My relationship with food continues to point me back home to myself. If the idea of allowing yourself to binge with mindfulness scares you, just dip your toes in.

Acknowledge that every urge to binge is here for a reason and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. From there, you can begin to explore those urges with a sense of curiosity rather than fear.

4 Comments

  • Lauren Lauren says:

    This was extremely helpful, as I deal with occasional binge eating. But I can relate to a lot of this, especially the first one. Thank you for being brave and sharing this!

  • Bingeing with mindfulness is worth a column all on its own!

  • Kelly Spears says:

    This is so true! I also struggling with BED for 15+ years. When I started bingeing mindfully, I realized that the binges were no longer serving me the way they once did. That’s when I started facing the reasons I was bingeing. I was so grateful to learn that I wasn’t completely out of control all of those years. I NEEDED those binges to get me through many scary life moments.

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