I'd like to start a thread where we can share our personal methods of coping with binging. A variety of different answers could be helpful; also, focusing on solutions vs. problems seems to be a healthier way to overcome an obstacle, especially one as life-consuming as binging. Personally, one of the many things that has helped me cope with binging is talking about it.
So far I've been pretty good with not binging (knock on wood), I've gone over my calorie count for the day but I've done it knowing what I was doing vs just sitting down and mindlessly eating everything which is what I think of as binging... That being said when I get that EAT ALL THE FOOD!!! feeling is to text a friend of mine who is also doing my fitness pal (she got me started) and tell her how I feel. Sometimes even just saying/typing the words "Omg I want to eat everything in the house" helps me not do that. I've also bargained with myself by saying ok you can eat those cookies but then you can't eat for the rest of the night because youll be out of calories (I'm a major night time snacker, that's where around 1/2 my calories go) and that's also enough to usually make me think twice. Exercising has worked for me too. I felt the urge to eat when I wasn't actually hungry, just bored, so I try and do some sort of exsercise, usually when I'm done I'm not "hungry" anymore and even if I still just want to eat something I tend to choose something better like a babybel cheese and a handful of nuts vs the left over Stromboli.
I binge when I'm feeling depressed about something (and often just depressed about being overweight, but there's lots of other pressures too). I have maybe a couple of bad things (cheese on toast, crisps etc) then think that I've destroyed the day then just keep on and on. It only takes a couple of days like that to ruin more than a week of dieting unfortunately!
Having seen just how much weight I've put on through this, I'm trying to find alternatives e.g. go to the gym EVERY day, which gives an endorphin boost and even if I feel horrible about my weight I can tell myself that at least I'm being proactive about changing it.
It's early days, I'm in my first week of this, so I'll follow this thread and hopefully pick up some more tips!
JeniH—I'm glad you're on a good streak. Also, being self-aware during your binge is great; at least, you are more in control of your choices, which makes it easy to forgive yourself afterwards, and most importantly, take responsibility for your well-being.
CatSykes—I understand. It's a vicious cycle; in this process, one thing leads and reinforces the other: depression => binging => more depression => more binging, etc., and ultimately, more weight. Of course, while your depression is certainly worsened by this binge cycle/weight gain (as it does for us all! ), other factors—factors that are most-likely the underlying roots of this cycle—should be addressed. Digging into your past, your self, your behaviors etc., can help you untangle some confusion, address certain unresolved tensions. I struggled with an eating disorder in high school, and didn't realize until weeks ago WHY. The problem, I understood, was not purely a question of wanting to "look good;" I was using my body as a sounding board for the emotions I felt incapable of expressing with words, reasoning that if I hurt my body (bulimia/anorexia, extremes), people who had hurt me would finally acknowledge that something was going on INSIDE. As a child, I was often told that I was never good enough at expressing myself, whether orally or in writing. So, afflicting the one thing that people actually noticed—my body—seemed to be, in my insecure fourteen-year old head, the only way to purge my feelings, my anger towards all the people who had hurt me growing up. And, once I understood this, I was gradually able to heal; I binged less, took control of my life by talking, by expressing myself with the people that had hurt me, and ultimately, by taking responsibility for my life. There is a great freedom in taking control of your life, for yourself. Also, letting go—letting go of what people think, just letting go—eases extreme thoughts such as "I failed" or "if I don't lose weight by X, my life is over," etc. Of course, this is easier said than done, but permanent change is always achieved gradually. And, no matter how many setbacks, always comfort yourself with the thought (and reality) that tomorrow is another day Which, from what you've written, you seem to be doing! Exercise is fantastic. How have you been holding up—both of you?
I attempt to be self aware, especially about things that aren't so good (my short temper, moodiness, irritation with people who don't realize I'm totally always right! The fact that I think I'm always right..... ). I figure at least I can warn people which might at least minimize the damage...
I know I can't say no to fresh bread so if I go to Panera and walk out with a loaf i know I'm going to eat it all that day. Instead of pretending I'm not going to eat the whole damn loaf I make that my dinner. If I tried to deny the truth and eat a normal dinner and only a small piece of bread it doesnt work. I'd still end up eating the bread and I'd be worse off because now I've eaten a meal and a whole loaf. I just try to minimize the damage, if that make sense.
That makes sense. Same thing: I can't content myself with a small piece; if I do opt for the bread, it's all or nothing. Unfortunately this triggers the binging cycle, so that's hard. I think minimizing the damage is definitely a good start; this way, you're getting closer to a more balanced relationship with food.
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