Good morning fitness nation!
Have you even been a binge eater? Do you know someone who is one? If not, it may be difficult to understand, but if you do know this feeling and suffer from this, there is hope!
Binge eating is typically when someone eats and eats and eats for no reason, massive amounts of food for what seems to be no reason. For the binge eater though, the feeling is intense and awful. The cravings hit first, insatiable, pounding, nagging and constant, LOUD cravings, the ones you cant easily put out of your mind. They completely brainwash you with temptation, putting your self control to the test. If you are not careful to recognize what is happening, you could easily break down in this situation. First the craving tells you that its ok, that you can go ahead and enjoy one day of treats... That you will be fine. They tell you that you will be right back on track tomorrow and that there is no harm in enjoying the things you love for ONE DAY. It seems harmless, right? The nagging won't stop, and you cave in. You take that first bite, remember how sweet the taste is, and then like a horror film, the demons are in control. You took the bait! Your former fat girl takes control... "Oh no, I only have ONE DAY to enjoy the things I used to love.... therefore I need to eat ALL OF THEM before the day is over!!!!" It feels as if you only have one day left to live, like you have to scramble to fit as many things into this ONE day as possible. Just like that... you find yourself hand over fist, eating everything in sight. You make a trip to the gas station, to buy candy, chocolate, chips, and anything that you might normally avoid, just on principle, because you only have ONE DAY, after all. Anxiety sets in, and the familiar comfort of any and all food seems to be the only way to mask this feeling. You cant think clearly, because you feel as if you have lost all control. You only have ONE day to do all of this, therefore you binge eat.
The problem in all of this behavior, is surrounding one thought: "ONE DAY." You do NOT, by ANY means, have only one day to treat yourself. You have the rest of your entire life to occasionally treat yourself, and you need to remind yourself that when you start to think this way. You are not on a time limit, and there shouldnt be this much pressure involved with eating. Ask yourself, Who is talking right now? When these thoughts enter your mind, who do you think is putting them there? Is it the new, healthier you. or is it your former fat girl? Is it logic, or is it temptation? Identifying this is really important because it puts you back in control, allowing you to be in charge of yourself again.
Once you have regained a bit of your self control, you can decide to do a number of things from there. You can examine the food that you are craving, and allow yourself to enjoy it conditionally, by making a healthier version of it. (Assuming that the craving is for a non healthy food, because lets be honest, who goes off the deep end with a craving for boiled chicken and broccoli?) Examine the ingredients in the food youre craving, what in this food makes it "bad?" (for lack of a better word) Can you substitute those ingredients to make a healthier version of this treat? If so, go for it! At this point you have completely come back around!
You can also take your mind elsewhere if you need to clear your head in this situation. Personally, I am a control freak, and that makes it hard for me to handle feeling like I have lost control. I like to rearrange stuff when I start to feel this way. On one hand, rearranging things, (living room, dresser, closet, bathroom, anything) puts you in control again, by allowing you to be in charge of the outcome of a project. On the other hand, if you are moving large furniture, you could be easily working out hard enough to release endorphins in your brain which aid in feeling better overall. By the time you finish your project, you can decide if you are still even craving anything, and most of the time, you won't be. This is my personal preference, but I love rearranging my dresser because I get to look at my summer clothes, and my goal clothes which helps to refocus my priorities.
Binge eating is not something that everyone faces. I have binge ate for a long time, sometimes to the point of becoming sick. I don't need to tell you that eating until you vomit is unhealthy, because that is more obvious than a purple elephant in a white room. I can however, tell you that there is hope for controlling this bad habit, because I still work on it with myself, and I have managed to get this far in my weight loss journey. When in doubt, think before you eat... and make sure its YOU doing the thinking and not your former fat girl!
with love and fitness dust,