This is such an interesting and emotional thread. I appreciate all your responses.
Like many of you, I don't remember a time when I didn't binge eat, and like Mainecyn, I grew up in a poor family. That meant I had to sneak extras of snack foods if I didn't want everyone else to get a bigger share, and it also meant that I never really got to like fruits and vegetables because most of what we had was canned or old and bruised.
By the time I was a teenager I was already obese, and I basically stopped eating, except for a few bites a day. At least once a week I would lose control and eat half a loaf of buttered bread or bowl after bowl of cereal with whole milk. No one really noticed what I ate, but I got praised for losing weight anyway.
As an adult, I still find it hard to break out of the cycle of restricting and binging even though I know it's unhealthy now. Sometimes I am still that little girl who doesn't care if my eating habits are bad or good for me, I just want to get praise from my parents at any cost. It's probably no surprise that my favorite binge foods are all things I remember eating during special times with my family.
I'm in therapy now, which is the big difference between now and my last weight loss attempt. It's helping, but I still have a long way to go to get my binge eating under control.