Hello, Friends! This is Morgan (Lauren is my twin sister in case you are new here and didn’t realize lol). It’s been a hot minute since I last appeared on Lauren’s blog, but I AM BACK!
My blog post discussing my struggle with binge eating received such amazing feedback and because of it so many people reached out to me about how they themselves have in the past/or currently are struggling with binge eating. If you haven’t taken the time to read that blog, now would be a great time to do so… You can check it out here.
While I am definitely NOT an expert, and would not at all say I am fully recovered from my eating disorder, I can no longer remember my last binge and I am no longer consumed with the self hatred I had for myself most of last year. Because of that, I do believe that I can maybe help others by offering some advice in regards to what has helped me with my binge eating over the past year.
So here we go…
FIRST AND FOREMOST-FIND A THERAPIST:
One more time for the people in the back, FIND A THERAPIST!!
I whole heartedly believe that 96% of the reason I am in a much better place this year is because I found someone to talk to. I found it difficult to talk to my friends and family about what I was going through because I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and like they wouldn’t be able to understand what I was going through. Having a therapist gave me an outlet where I was able to talk freely without feeling judged, and where I could cry if I needed to. She helped me figure out WHY I was binging and how I could prevent binging in the future.
If you go to this website: http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms you can search for a therapist IN YOUR AREA that also ACCEPTS YOUR INSURANCE. While therapy can be expensive, I found it helpful to look at it as an INVESTMENT INTO MY MENTAL HEALTH. I tried for months “to fix my eating disorder” by myself and it did not get any better, it got worse. Remember IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP.
FIND YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM: YOUR THERAPIST IS ONLY PART OF YOUR TEAM.
I also recommend talking to your family or close friends about what you have been going through. I have had family members (coworkers/nonfamily members) mention my weight gain (whether in a joking manner or not) and it literally crushed me inside. Typically if you explain your feelings to your love ones, they will be more respectful to your feelings and can be there for you in the future.
For example, after being more open about what I experienced last year, I now am able to text my sister when I feel myself getting in a ‘binge mindset.” She helps talk me off the edge and she helps remind me of my progress and that I am not alone. REMEMBER: THEY LOVE YOU AND WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY.
For me, I binged to avoid dealing with my emotions.
Something made me upset, I ate. Food made me happy (but only for a short time.)
Breakups, getting yelled at at work, stress, fighting with friends, money anxiety, feeling lonely, long days at work……. to name a few, I binged.
Then the day after a binge— I would typically BINGE AGAIN- almost out of habit.
Now when I am at work, I try to be more in tune with my emotions and what I am feeling. While being constantly around food its easy for me to reach for a cookie or 5 after my boss yells at me but I ask myself, “Do I really want this cookie or am just eating it because my boss just yelled at me and I’m feeling xyz….” If its because I am feeling xyz, I accept what I am feeling and I usually don’t eat 5 cookies.
Triggers for some people can also be foods.
I have never bought a bag of goldfish that I did not end up binge eating so as I result I just don’t buy them anymore or keep them in my house.
Telling yourself you can’t have something only makes you want it more and will ultimately cause you to binge again. Last year while constantly binging I was also attempting to loose weight through IIFYM. While IIFYM is a great tool, it can still be seen as restrictive if the foods you want won’t fit into your macros. While my macros were lowered due to “dieting” to lose the weight I had put on binge eating, I was constantly telling myself I couldn’t eat certain foods which is part of the reason I would binge… Telling myself I could only eat so called “whole foods” until I drove myself crazy and would binge eat thousands of calories at one time. After I would binge, I would RESTRICT my diet, do extreme excess cardio, and then as a result I would binge again. ITS A CYCLE. YOU HAVE TO TRY TO STOP THE CYCLE!
Maybe eating without tracking could be helpful to you, intuitive eating, or perhaps try increasing your calories so that you won’t feel as restricted with your diet. You can also consult a nutritionist who would be able to help you. I personally never talked to a nutritionist but my diet took a lot of trial and error until I found something that worked for me.
I would also not recommend trying to loose more weight if you are already constantly binging. You keep binging because you keep restricting… Once again, its a cycle and you have to break the cycle.
Last but not least, FORGIVE YOURSELF AND UNDERSTAND THAT RECOVERY DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.
When I first started going to therapy I was hopeful that I would never binge again…. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case…
The only thing you can do after a binge is to let it go and start over.
You are not a failure and you are doing the best you can.
Forgive yourself when you relapse and just try to do better the next day… and the next day… and the next day.
All your efforts will continue to add up over time and before you know it, you’ll start to feel so much better. You are a work in progress.
Also helpful, INVEST IN A JOURNAL– It’s the perfect place to reflect on your day an
identify any positive or negative things that happened so you can identify patterns or keep notes of things to discuss in therapy
“Find Your Happy- DAILY MATRAS’ by Shannon Kaiser: A Very good daily reflection book to help with journaling.
Brain Over Binge- By Kathryn Hansen : This book was recommended to me by other people who were struggling with eating disorders and I found it really insightful.
I was asked the other day “How I got back on track” and I found that to be a hard question to answer. It seems like the horrible things I was going through last year were so long ago at this point and somedays it still feels like last week. Recovery and progress take time but if I could offer you any advice I would just say: Stop restricting.. Address the issue(s) at hand and jump right in with trying to make it better. Avoiding the issue(s) will NEVER FIX anything and it also isn’t going to fix itself. Ultimately I’m glad that I took those initial steps in bettering my life.
Once again, If any of you have any questions at all or just need someone to talk to, DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ME. I hope someone out there found this helpful and always remember… YOU ARE NOT ALONE. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org OR you can DM on various social medias, my handle on Instagram is mbkellyy.
If anyone has any questions or topics they would like to see discussed here, on Lauren’s blog, regarding Binge Eating Disorder, please do not hesitate to let me know. I want to do several blogs in regards to BED in hopes that it can help at least one person who is struggling.
Hope ya’ll have a great rest of your day and talk soon,