In the past, I shared that I have struggled with binge eating, almost my entire life. I mean, ever since I can remember, I remember overeating, and then being upset at overeating, and not being able to stop when eating and overeating.
When you don’t binge eat, it’s hard to understand. Like many times I used to say to myself AFTER, why can’t you just stop? Or don’t start! Or just stop. It’s weird, but when you are in a binge eating episode, it truly feels like it takes over your body, and your mind and your actions are not your own and all you want to do is just eat and eat and eat. You truly become the bottomless pit, and there is very little you can do to stop yourself.
Eventually of course the day ends, or the pit somehow gets filled, or you’ve eaten everything and another day has to begin.
Again, if you are reading this, and you do not binge eat, then this all sounds extremely weird and foreign and totally uncouth. But if you do binge eat, you know exactly what I mean. You get what I’m saying, you understand what I’m biting off here! Pun intended.
Ever since high school, I remember binge eating and then trying to get back on track, over and over and over — throughout my entire life.
I found times in my life that I did really really really well not binge eating. The first time in my life was when I followed a CRON diet, or calorie restriction optional nutrition diet. I did everything I could to really fuel my body with as much amazing and super food as possible. Then, throughout my two pregnancies, I really felt my binge eating stopped completely. Then, I remember my crazy and amazing girlfriend and I decided to try a diet pill called Adipex, and my binge eating totally ceased (it makes you feel really full). Then I decided to do a Whole30 diet, and binge eating stopped. And most recently, I committed to an amazing nutrition system and became a consultant and distributor for them and refueled my body with shakes and nutrition to stop the binge diet cycle.
Yet, most recently, I found myself once again binge eating more than ever. And I had enough. Like enough is enough. I thought to myself that I’m going to be 35 years old soon, and there’s no reason to torture myself for the REST of my life, or another year (depending on how dramatic I wanted to be that exact moment), with chronic binge eating again. I would wake up most days, have an amazing shake and then one for lunch and then by dinner time I was having the whole house.
There must be a cure. I know I’m not the only one. I know that not all people binge eat. Can I please become one of those people?
I found myself up in the middle of the night googling stuff. I love learning. It is a trait that keeps me striving for everything because there is so much to learn, and once you learn something, you can put energy into action and get what you need, what you want.
Long story short, I have googled binge eating before, and found nothing too profound. A lot of people suggested everything I have tried before. Workout. Avoid sugar. Go raw vegan. Avoid processed foods. Figure out your emotions. Become a stronger person. Use behavior modification. Sigh. Nothing that really stuck out to me immensely, and nothing that I felt was going to be a life changer for me. I needed a life changer.
I was already fueling myself with excellent nutrition, so why was I still having binge eating episodes? This was the gazillion dolla question?
I came across a site that was called “eat like a normal person” and on the site (please google it, because it’s great, though not recently updated), that we BINGE eat, because we RESTRICT ourselves from eating.
I’ll write this again: We binge eat because we restrict.
People who restrict their calories, or their macro-nutrients, or their meals, or particular foods or particular food groups – will BINGE eat because of this restriction.
Now, I can only speak for myself, but yes, I’ve been restricting my food choices or foods in general since I was a young teen. And this was because I wanted to look better, or lose weight or feel better, and sometimes it was just because I ONLY wanted to put great and super food in my body. My choices for restriction were not in vain or always in vain. Sometimes yes for sure, but mostly, I just wanted to be really really healthy, and feel really really good.
I know that eating healthy food makes one feel great, so this was my motivation, and specifically in the last several years. I am a mother and a wife and my goal isn’t to be on the cover of magazines, but just to feel good so I can parent and play and have fun and enjoy this short amount of time we have on this earth.
And so, when I read the words: you binge eat because you restrict it was like a AHAHAHAHAHA moment, and I couldn’t believe it. I almost laughed to myself. Like, what do you mean, I binge eat because I restrict? There is nothing WRONG with me inside, inside my head, inside my body, because of my past, because of the present, because of stress, because of what I’m lacking, because of what someone said or didn’t say? So you are saying, I’m ONLY binge eating because I restrict my food, or calories, or meals or sugar or carbs or protein or processed foods or whatever else type of diet you choose to follow on each particular day or week? Huh?
And the solution to this is this: eat like a normal person, three meals a day. Avoid snacking, and just eat three good meals a day.
And so I started. Literally the next day, I was like: Okay, make yourself an awesome breakfast, and then a great lunch, and then a dinner, and the next day, I skipped breakfast because I’m not a fan, and then I had lunch and dinner, and the next day coffee, and then lunch and dinner, and then coffee and lunch and dinner, and then coffee and lunch and dinner, and lots of water and great normal lifestyle activity. And I drank my amazing protein shakes with my lunch or my dinner, or sometimes in between, and you know what’s happened the last month for me:
I stopped binged eating. I just stopped. I refused to restrict myself and the urges to binge eat ceased.
You know what’s happened to the scale. I weigh what I’m suppose to weigh, the lowest weight so far of the year. I’m dropping weight slowly, because I’m fueling my body, and I’m not restricting and playing mental fuck games with myself. It’s so freeing, and it’s laughable. It’s truly laughable at how eye opening this has been. The simplicity of it is what makes me LOL really out-loud.
I ordered a book called Brain Over Binge, and it is this exact concept. When you stop restriction, you stop binge eating. And binge eating doesn’t happen because there is something wrong with you inside but because our survival instincts kick in after realizing we’re restricting something, and the survival brain says EAT EAT EAT.
At almost 35 I’m only in the beginning of this eating normal movement. But I’m having so much darn fun with it. It’s nice to put food in my body, because it’s great food and it will make me feel good, and it feels good to be in my body, and it’s filling and it’s awesome – whatever kind of food it is – whether it’s a shake or a salad or a piece of cheesecake – or all three for one meal, and not because it’s going to make me look a certain way if I eat this and not that.
I’m sharing this, because I have shared my struggle with binge eating before. I was always looking to FOOD as the solution, which it does provide, as long as restriction doesn’t accompany it. Fueling correctly helps. But fueling correcting WITHOUT restriction is the key. I’ll keep on top of this journey, and keep updating all with my progress.
When I look back up, to the periods of my life that were easy to NOT binge eat, specially my pregnancies, it was because those were times in my life I was NOT restricting. During my pregnancies, I was eating everything I wanted, and most importantly everything my body wanted and needed. I was hydrating, I was eating full normal meals, and therefore my body had no need to kick into survival mode and make me overeat. How freaken marvelous is that?
I’m sharing not because it’s a fun topic, but because so many humans – both men and women equally struggle with this. It’s such a painful silent journey, but there are solutions. I mentioned the book Brain Over Binge, and google and YOUTUBE was so helpful to me! Learn learn learn, and fuel but do not restrict! Listen to your body, and feel yo-self hottie!