Overcoming Binge Eating: Moving from Self-Loathing to Self-Care


compulsive binge eating quote geneen rothMoving from self-loathing to self-care can seem an impossible task when binge eating has a grip on your life.  At the MEDA (Multi-service Eating Disorder Association) conference this past week, Marsha Hudnall and I presented on this topic and here are a few highlights.

Binge eating leads many women towards self-loathing and hopelessness.

The binge eating seems stronger than the power to control it. Feelings of being held captive by the habitual behaviors and helpless to make changes can take over and lead to frustration, shut down and depression.

It is possible to learn specific strategies to reduce self-loathing through mindfulness tools, visualization and cognitive restructuring.  The process of self-care starts with feeding yourself well and in a predictable way.

Increase Self-Care to Overcome Binge Eating

  • Know that dieting is a common trigger for bingeing
  • Work on developing a normal, healthy relationship with food and taking the focus off of weight loss
  • Eat regular, balanced meals every 3-5 hours
  • Practice mindful eating

Reducing Self-Loathing Caused By Binge Eating

  • Use thought stopping to intervene on negative self talk
  • Connect with your senses
  • Schedule time to explore happiness
  • Meditate or spend  time journaling

Experimenting with some of these strategies can be the first step towards overcoming binge eating.

What is one step you can do to increase self-care?

3 responses to “Overcoming Binge Eating: Moving from Self-Loathing to Self-Care”

  1. Erry says:

    “Binge eating leads many women towards self-loathing and hopelessness.” says the article. However, in my experience it is the opposite. Self loathing and hopelessness lead to binge eating, it would be great to learn more about this concept Kerry – London, UK

    • Shiri Macri says:

      Good point, Erry, you’re right – it’s a 2-way street. Binge eating leads to loathing/hopelessness and loathing/hopelessness leads to binge eating. It usually starts with feeling bad about ourselves in some way for some reason, and often binge eating is a way to distract from or numb those feelings of low self-worth. However, as soon as we’re not numb from eating anymore, we feel hopeless and self-loathing, so we do what “works”…turn to binge eaitng to numb. It’s a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle. This is why self-compassion and self-care can be the root of stepping out of that vicious cycle. Wishing you well.

  2. Adria B. MacDonald says:

    “Schedule time to explore happiness”

    What does that mean?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

View Author Page