I was just thinking today that I've been binge eating to deal with stress since ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, when I lost my parents (well, when they gave me up). I'd eat until I got a stomachache, multiple times a month. I started hoarding food. Now I'm close to 40. I've gained and lost 100 pounds many times over in binge and starve cycles. It's just this year that, through therapy, I've been able to deal with my issues and learn to eat normally. I've only had one or two binges since January. I know that I'll always have to be careful, but I feel pretty good about things. Just wondering how others learned to cope with it and maybe even overcome it for good.
10-02-2013, 08:46 AM
I also started binging as a child -- stealing food from the refrigerator and hiding it in my closet, sneak eating in the middle of the night, taking things out of the trash even. I once ate an entire stick of butter that my mom had put on the dining room table in preparation for company arriving. As soon as she went back into the kitchen I ate the whole thing, and then said I didn't know what happened to it (children are such terrible liars). I still don't know why I was binging so young, I have just always done this. Binging really kicked into high gear when I got my first vehicle (a moped) and could buy things without supervision and then my first job when I was in junior high (at a fast food place) and had my own money. I pretty much spent it all on food.
I'm glad to hear therapy is working for you, that's wonderful. I'm still working on learning how to manage it. I just went 5 months before binging, and I think I'd be thrilled to only binge a few times in a year. Never binging at all would be AMAZING!
10-02-2013, 12:08 PM
I can't deny that I get really 'fidgety' at least once a month and I know that I'm more prone to binge eating. Those are the days I allow myself to eat a little more, but also plan to start the day with exercise so I'm more motivated...I also journal more and let my husband know so he can help me stay on track.
10-02-2013, 12:39 PM
Those are all really good strategies! It certainly helps to be aware of your triggers and feelings so you can stay on top of it!
10-05-2013, 03:11 AM
great thread. its interesting to see everyone's story.
i was always overweight, and my family is Italian, so portion size has been an issue for me for sometime. i overate a lot as a kid/teenager, but i began bingeing after i went on a strict "diet" from a nutritionist. i did pretty well for about 5 months, lost weight steadily. it was a really restricted diet, and i started feeling deprived. i started overeating "healthy" foods. finally, i stopped doing the diet and binged on a pretty regular basis. i was 21 at the time this started. i binged on a pretty regular basis for about 8 years. i would order insane amounts of take out and eat it all myself. i'd make 2 boxes of mac and cheese and eat the whole thing. i'd replace food i'd eaten in my parent's fridge and eat mcdonald's in the car....there were times where i was bingeing daily. at the very least 1-2 times per week.
i stopped about 1.5-2 years ago. i just started telling myself that i have more control that i think i do. that just because other parts of my life are unpredictable and out of my control, doesn't mean that EVERYTHING is. i think it also had to do with where i was in my life emotionally. i had finally found a great job and had recovered from a very bad relationship, and was just feeling better about things.
don't get me wrong, i still overeat, and i have the urge to binge at times, and i have given in to the urge on occasion. i just try not to beat myself up after a binge anymore, try to figure out why i was driven to it, and try and learn from it.
it's a work in progress for everyone...we can conquer!
10-08-2013, 11:41 AM
Even though I suffered off and on from depression since I was 11yrs old I didn't star binging till I was 20yrs old.
I can honestly say ANTI DEPRESSANTS & THERAPY were/are 95% the cure for me and the other is my faith in God.
Like right now I'm on zoloft and its helped ALOT.
but I haven't completely stopped binging due to anxiety and stress.
I'm still learning and trying to understand my emotions and replacing binging with something else.
10-08-2013, 11:58 AM
I think I've been a binger for as long as I can remember. The only thing is, my level of activity was pretty high so the binging never resulted in weight gain. I wasn't skinny but was still within a healthy range.
When I turned 17 and started college, my level of activity decreased dramatically. Over the course of ten years I binged and binged. One feeling in particular always made me binge: feeling lonely. I was in a LDR with my ex, which meant plenty of lonely times.
The one thing that finally broke my binge cycle was three things.
1. I told myself that if I wanted to eat, it will be on the dining table. Always in a place where people can see me. If I want fast food, I'll eat it at the restaurant itself. I would always binge in my car and when I did that, I put away 1000s of calories at a time. My family would be surprised about why I'm gaining so much weight because I would never eat in front of them.
2. I stopped eating at night after 7pm. I know the hour on the clock doesn't matter when it comes to losing weight. But I was a big-time night binger. I needed to be strict with myself. I realized most of the time I wasn't even hungry at night. I was just feeding my feelings, not feeding my body. I started doing other things like catching up on my reading, or shows.
3. I started talking to my friends more often. I spend more time here. My binging habit stemmed from loneliness. When I'm talking to people, when I don't feel the need to constantly stuff my face when my body doesn't need the calories.
10-08-2013, 02:31 PM
I understand what you mean LadyPetite. I definitely binge when I am lonely and don't after a little skype conversation with my family or my friends. I need to start adding minutes to my cellphone plan. :D Emotional support is a big part of losing weight.
10-08-2013, 03:27 PM
I don't remember ever not binging, although it has gotten worse as an adult. As a child grew up in a poor household where "treats" or store bought items were not in the house often, if it was (like kid cereal, ice cream etc) you had to eat it fast before it was gone. I developed the eat it until it is gone mentality, also eat fast, and hide so you don't get caught. Those are the only clues I can find in my childhood.
I had food issues and an eating disorder as a pre-teen. I have noticed that the binging disorder is tied directly to depression, anxiety, self esteem. However, I can't tell if I binge because I am depressed, or I'm depressed because I binge. I hit my highest weight and worst binging when my ex-husband walked out. That sent me on a spiral.
I also have noticed that when extremely happy, I don't turn to food I have only been binge free once in my life, it lasted for several years. I have been battling binging again, as always, and have been on a binging episode that has last months. I responded to treatment once, tried the med a second time and it didnt' work.
I have many of the battle scars that binge eaters have, an emotional childhood, depressed teen years, socially awkward at times, feel no self worth, suffer from social anxiety, been abused, you name it.
10-15-2013, 04:06 PM
I find that when I am under huge amounts of stress it can go one of two ways. If it's something medical happening to me or a close one, I just stop eating. If it's due to a financial strain, I tend to binge eat so badly. I haven't figured out quite yet how to stop it. Like, I do really well all day, then I will get some awful mail and head for the junk in my cabinet. Recently, it's been really bad. I have tried to leave my house more, like taking my dog for a walk. I have started filling up a huge drink cup with unsweetened green ice tea or water, that seems to be helping some. Any suggestions from those who have figured out how to control the impulse?
10-15-2013, 05:15 PM
Both of my parents were recovering addicts and so eating became their replacement behavior. I suppose their role modeling was one of the factors that led to my issues with food. They were both overweight and had very traumatic childhoods which left them pretty much unable to parent effectively, so they were not able to meet my emotional/developmental needs. They also had very poor mental health do to the fact that they never sought professional treatment to deal with the horrible abuse they suffered as children, so their methods of discipline were abusive and shame based. Needless to say my childhood was not a happy time and food became my comfort. I began overeating as a child and around puberty I started to think that if a little extra food was comforting then the more food I ate the better I would feel, so that is when the binging started. What I didn't know was that I had very low self and was experiencing a lot of difficulties with anxiety which later led to some difficulties with depression about the patterns of binging and punishing myself. It was a vicious cycle thought my teenage years. And I also didn't realize that all of this stemmed from a lack of parental support, love and abuse. Actually my parents were the needy ones and the parental roles became reversed which I meant I became the one taking care of my parents at a young age. Through it all I always had food. It was a love hate relationship though, and I spent most of my life deeply ashamed of my past and my eating issues.
Working with a wonderful therapist and through my faith I have been able to find healing and begin to grow as a person. It took a lot of work but I have learned to love and value myself even though my parents never really could. And I also learned a lot about emotional regulation, how to keep myself grounded and coping methods to help comfort myself when I am experiencing difficult feelings or anxiety. All things I should have learned as a child but my life just didn't work out that way. I accept that now and have learned what self acceptance truly means. All of these tools have helped me to take control of my life and finally really believe that recovery from ED is possible for me.
Hopefully I did not over disclose. It just felt right to share my story here.
10-15-2013, 05:56 PM
Mak78, please don't feel like your were oversharing. I find that as one of things that is most helpful here. If someone is uncomfortable with it, then they just move along. I really think a lot of issues with food comes from our backgrounds. I never had issues with food till I was in my mid 20's. All of a sudden I was eating a whole pizza and not even realizing it. This happened after the birth of my first child. I spent a lot of time by myself as my husband was traveling for work. I think I was just depressed and watching what I ate was the last thing on my mind.
I am not sure how you overcome a hard upbringing, I had one also and am still suffering from it. So I am sorry I don't have any answers for you. All I know is when I had children, I swore I would break the cycle. My kids would never end up like I did, thankfully I think I have. We can all change when we have to I guess.
10-16-2013, 12:57 AM
Thanks Mama Whitty. It was helpful to share my story. I am also a parent and started the process of healing and personal growth ,so that I could be a healthy parent. It has been my biggest movitator and loving my child actually helped me to find my way to loving myself because I realized that I needed to know what self love and acceptance meant if I was going to be able to teach my daughter how to develop those feelings towards herself. So people can change! I'm living it! :-)
10-20-2013, 01:13 PM
as a child I really love to eat, but never been overweighed. When I grown up as an early teenager I fell so shy with my body shape. Asian culture, a healthy shape girl with BMI 21 is considered as fat, you have to be really thin -or- at least at BMI 18.5 to be "normal". Curvy woman isn't acceptable, boys were going to make fun of your humps. Then I started to diet to lose some pounds. Anytime I failed to control my portion, and I didn't lose any pound, I start to eat like crazy. That's my first binge, and still don't know how to stop it
10-23-2013, 01:56 PM
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.
10-25-2013, 12:35 AM
This is an interesting thread and it makes me realise that my bingeing habit began in my teens. We lived out of town and only shopped once a fortnight. My mother would usually pick me up from school and I'd go grocery shopping with her, where I'd pile a heap of junk into the trolley for myself. But this junk did not last the fortnight, it was lucky to last the night. I had a happy childhood and my happiest times are usually the time when I reach for food. If something good is on tv I reach for yummy food. If I'm reading a good book I want to eat something yummy while I'm reading it. But over the years I've fallen heavily into bingeing. There were many times I ate a whole tub of ice cream & pack of cones in an evening. Times I've eaten a whole cake, as well as a block of chocolate. I got into the mindset of needing a back up; just in case one bag of lollies wasn't enough, I'd buy something else as well. I can't say that bingeing is a thing of my past, but I'm trying to weed out my triggers now. I bought a whole cake yesterday. I ate two pieces. The rest of the cake is sitting uneaten on the table. I have boxes of snack bars in the cupboard. They've been there for weeks, in the old days I would have eaten the lot in a night. Bingeing will always be a battle for me, but I'm really hoping that identifying the things that trigger a binge, by not denying myself in the first place and by portioning, that one day it won't be so much of an issue.