Emotional Binge Eating

by Stephanie on November 28, 2012 · 0 comments

in Heavy Stuff

Nutrition is an area I struggle with greatly.  It is why I have 80+ lbs to lose.  Exercise has never been the issue.  I like to exercise.  I love to train for races.  Eating well is hard but the real issue I have is eating too much.

Emotional eating has always been a problem for me.  When I get stressed, anxious, or sad I turn to food to calm me down and make me feel better.  It’s not a conscious thing.  I don’t think “oh, I’m stressed out, I should eat”.  No, it’s just a reaction.  My brain tricks my body into thinking it is hungry or that I need to eat.  Emotional eating is bad for three reasons (probably more than that).  First, it is eating when I’m not really hungry.  That’s never a good idea.  Second, no one craves vegetables when they’re emotional.  You crave ice cream, chocolate, or potato chips.  Third, emotional eating very easily can become binge eating.

Binge Eating, or compulsive eating, isn’t just eating a little too much.  It is “rapidly consuming excessive amounts of food”.  It’s an eating disorder affecting 1 in 5 women, though it doesn’t get the attention that other disorders do.  Eating rapidly is key to binging because your body doesn’t have time to really tell you how full you are.  Inevitably though, after a binge you will feel disgustingly full and probably even sick.  Also, binging is usually done in private.  I can safely say that I’ve never had a full-fledged binge when I was with other people.  Part of it is that the company takes my mind off of eating.  Part of it is that I don’t want others to know.

Last night I was up all night with my dog, who I’ve mentioned before is having GI issues.  He had to go out to the bathroom so often I couldn’t get any sleep.  The stress and exhaustion from this led to binge eating last night.  The details:  2 hot dogs in buns, chips & salsa, 6 cranberry muffins with butter, 2 big glasses of juice, and 2 oranges.  I know it’s a weird combination of foods.  Binge eating is the reason I try not to keep ice cream, chips, and sweets in the house.  I also tend to jump back and forth between salty, sweet, and savory.  As usual I felt horrible after last night’s binge.  It also caused me to nearly double my daily calories.

The fact that binge eating is a problem for me isn’t easy to admit but I think it is an important step to overcoming it.  I also want others who struggle with binging to know that they are not alone.  My friends Emily and Tina have both overcome binge eating issues and I will too.

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