The Binge Eating Diaries: Help Me Stop Binge Eating

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Tips to Stop Binge EatingIt took me two years to say it out loud.

During a conversation with my Mother, as I was drowning in a river of tears and choking on every short breath, I managed to exhale a phrase that meant “help me stop binge eating.”

At that time, even though I was studying Health and Counseling Psychology, I was pretty aloof to the phrase “binge eating”. I can partially attribute this to the fact that Binge Eating Disorder wasn’t an exclusive VIP member of the DSM back then. (The DSM stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, which is used as a, well, diagnostic tool.)  It wasn’t until May 2013 that Binge Eating Disorder (BED) was officially recognized as a mental health disorder.

So, what I probably managed to cry out back in early summer 2011 was something more along the lines of, “Please help me. I can’t stop eating.”

And from that moment, my life changed for the better. Forever.

Help Me Stop My Binge Eating

I strongly recall typing something similar to this phrase into Google almost exactly three years ago, which is what led me to Green Mountain.

Nowadays, when you mention Binge Eating Disorder, people have a better understanding of what you’re talking about, which is why I’m so thankful that BED is now officially recognized in the DSM. People are finally talking about it.

For so long, because it didn’t have a label, I felt like I was alone. POOF! I had invented a justification, a reason so to speak, for my overeating.

But I wasn’t “overeating”, I was binge eating. And my oh my, is there a difference.

When it comes to binge eating, I’ve learned some tips along the way that helped me through my journey. They’re not proven strategies or scientific equations, but my hope is that maybe they’ll help bring about some positive changes for you, like they did for me.

6 Tips To Change Your Thinking, Your Behavior

1Dieting is Never The Answer

Oftentimes, as women struggling with food issues and body confidence dilemmas, we end up turning to another diet – thinking that THIS one will finally be the answer we’ve been looking for. But diets actually reinforce our restricting-binging cycle by dictating what we can and cannot eat – and in turn, how we should and shouldn’t live.Sure, it can feel like you’ve “put your binges on pause” when you first start a new way of restricted eating, but once that diet transitions from new and shiny to frustrating and failing, binging usually finds its way back into our lives.

Finding the foods that appeal to your taste buds, your stomach, and your mind is not an easy step, but avoiding strict diets that box you in and steal away your freedom of “food choice” can truly make a difference.

2Mute The Media

I rarely watch television anymore, but when I do I find that I’m pretty sensitive to the baffling formula of today’s commercial rotation.First, my eyes are forced upon images of the summer body I “should” be striving for but without missing a beat, I’m then told that I have to try the new bacon wrapped something or other…otherwise I’m missing out on everything good in life. Well, which is it!? Am I supposed to lose weight or gain it? Go to the gym or go to the drive-thru? Or both at the same damn time?

Mixed messages in the media are enough to drive any of us straight for a binge. If watching television is a part of your “you” time, I’m definitely not suggesting that you deprive yourself of your entertainment pleasure. But you could try muting commercials and keeping yourself busy during the breaks to avoid triggers that could lead to a binge. (But try not to take those breaks in the kitchen, my friends! See #3).

3Leave The Kitchen If You’re Itchin’

Okay, I don’t mean physically itching here, I’m talking about the other kind — the itch to eat…the urge to binge!Our kitchens do not magically regenerate food when we walk away.  So, no matter how many times you open that fridge or rummage through those cabinets, your options will more than likely remain the same.

If you’re not searching for something specific out of hunger or true taste bud desire, you’re more-than-likely playing “boredom tag” in your pantry. Grabbing one item after another, saying, “You’re it!”
But eating to fill up time instead of eating to cure hunger can start a vicious cycle all on its own. Step away from the kitchen and take some time to gauge your stomach, your taste buds, and your mind.

4Remember To Thank Your Body

The more time you devote to making yourself feel important, the more you’ll realize that you’re worth it (…if you don’t already!) For so long, food was my one and only friend and I wound up ignoring my body just as much as I ignored the people that were trying to be a part of my life.

I learned that small, loving, kind gestures toward my body allowed me to be more in tune with myself.Taking a bubble bath, putting lotion on your body after a shower, or pampering yourself in any way that feels comforting are just three seemingly simple ways that you can connect with your body. The more intimate we become with ourselves, the more we can listen to our own desires and feed our needs – with more than just food.

5Gently Challenge Yourself

I know how scary it can be to eat in front of other people. Sharing meals can feel like you’re exposing yourself by introducing your relationship with food to the rest of the world. But challenging yourself to accept invitations to food-related outings can actually help boost your self-confidence. It can also help put food back into perspective — that it can be fun, social, and that you don’t have to eat alone!

6It’s Okay To Ask For Help

I attended Green Mountain when I thought all hope was lost, when I thought that my mind was too dark and my body was too far gone. But asking for help was the bravest thing I have ever done.The most freeing part about this “tip” is that there isn’t just one way to ask for help. You can verbally talk to a friend or family member, electronically search for answers online, physically write down your thoughts in a journal, or personally reach out to the religious or spiritual higher power in which you believe.

You can also find a “happy place”, which is what I call Green Mountain, where you can start your journey with consistent comfort, guidance, and support. I asked the experts and the other women there to help me stop binge eating…and without pause, they surely did.

Share Tips Or Steps That Have Helped You

And always remember:

Your fight in life may have brought you here,

But you are not alone, not at all my dear….

Whether you’re a regular visitor of this blog or if you typed “help me stop binging” into your search engine, I thank you for choosing to read this entry.

I hope that some of the steps above resonated with you and, please, if you have other tips or steps that you’ve heard about or have tried yourself, I encourage you to share them with us in the comments section below.

Until next time,

Jace


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