The holidays are an interesting time. So cheery and happy! Family! Friends! Gifts! It’s the month for indulgence in all aspects.
The gym has even gotten emptier. Fall to Winter are the slowest months for gyms (it’s like a ghost town at some places) and then everything picks up like crazy sawce in January and you have to wait in line for a cardio machine. You wouldn’t believe how filled up my group exercise classes get during this time!
I understand that when the sweaters pile on we tend to be a lot more lenient on ourselves in terms of working out HARD and eating CLEAN. And that’s ok! We can’t be perfect all the time. But YOU HAVE TO KNOW your limits. One YOLO meal a week. Not every day. And when you YOLO it, do not feel like it’s your only time to eat thinking, “so I might as well fill my stomach beyond capacity with my fave YOLO foods and cry because I can’t do this again til next week.”
Do you know what that is called?
It is called binge eating. It is a type of eating disorder.
I wanted to bring this to light because we had such a positive response when I wrote about anorexia and bulemia in an older post. People’s knowledge of binge eating as an ED is not as prevalent as with the two I formerly mentioned. So let’s have a talk.
I get concerning tweets and emails from you guys about some of your unhealthy relationships with food. First all of all, we need to treat food as energy. Not as a treat. Not as a reward. Not as something that will make you fat. Food is nutritious, it is good, and it helps you stay alive to do the things you love. The more whole, natural, and raw stuff you have and the less processed, sugary, fat, and fried stuff you consume – the better you engine or your body will perform! The better it will look. The better you will feel.
Now that you have that down and you know that eating clean is a lifestyle (here’s a vid on how to start eating clean), let’s talk about how much you eat. In general, I don’t think it is very likely to gain a ton of weight from overeating veggies. They are voluminous and low in calories so your stomach will get filled up quick. But overeating other healthy things like fruits, nuts, whole grains, and lean proteins is much more likely. You see, you can be a clean eater and an overeater. Clean eaters that are overeaters most likely may have a compulsive overeating issue – just grazing on good foods all day long. But when the bottom line calorie count is exceeding your calorie burn count for the day, you gain weight.
Much like how you can lose weight from eating white bread and butter all day long – as long as your calorie consumption is below your calorie burn – you will lose weight. You will most likely be skinny-fat, feel lethargic, get sick from not having enough vitamins and minerals, and have no energy to workout. This is not what you want to do.
You must choose clean eating to power you body and your mind.
The problem is this though…you cannot overdo it! Much like how you shouldn’t overtrain or overdo anything. Life and success is all about balance. You must eat enough to feel good. How much is that? Well if you do not have an addiction to food, your stomach will tell you exactly when it’s full. Then you stop. But if you can’t tell and you feel powerless when faced with food, you may want to diagnose yourself, accept that you have a problem, and begin the healing process now.
This is how the Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is described:
Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
Here are some things a person with BED may do or how they may feel:
- You feel a loss of control when you see and eat food
- You have no sense of fullness and when to stop – you just can’t stop eating
- During a binge eating episode, you eat really, really quick and you eat until you get physically uncomfortable or nauseated
- You eat when you’re depressed or bored
- You eat large amounts of food when you’re not even hungry
- You eat alone or away from people because you’re embarrassed about your relationship to food
- You feel ashamed, disgusted, and guilty after you binge
Bingers do not purge after they eat so one of the direct results of having BED is also being overweight. If you find yourself doing the above, you need to take a step back and examine your tendencies closely before it becomes it becomes an issue that takes over your life. BED is really an illness of the mind. You need to start thinking about food as a fuel source. Not as something that you should be ashamed of!
I totally understand that you may be stuck in a bad rut and it yes, it is hard, it is tough to get out of, but you need to start now. Stop it stop it stop it. Pick your butt up and rid your house of anything that is not clean and nutritious. You will be less likely to down a whole bag of chips if they are not there to begin with! Then get to the gym. Those feel-good-endorphins will put your head in the right place. Even if you’re having a “feeling fat and failing” type of day, tuck it away. Just get to the gym. Or go for a walk. Go for a jog with your fave tunes. Good music is very important. It will set the mood. Just do it. DO IT DO IT DO IT. You will never regret. Exercise is also a natural appetite suppressant. When you get home, knowing you just burned a ton of cals, you’re more likely to eat right. Oh and since that bag of chips are gone, guess you have to snack on carrots and Trader Joes spicy black bean dip! MMMM!!!
Look, I know it’s gonna be hard to reverse the cycle. BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT. If you don’t, your health and happiness are seriously and potentially fatally jeopardized.
You have to cure your mind and everything else will work out. I promise. Only you can make this decision for yourself. Please make the choice to control your own mind. Do not let the food win.
Well there’s my bit on BED. I hope you were enlightened today. Remember this: you are in control of your own life. You make your own dreams come true.
<3 you guys,
Binge Eating Disorder, http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/nedaDir/files/documents/handouts/BingeED.pdf
Binge Eating Disorder, http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/binge.htm
Binge Eating Disorder, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binge_eating_disorder
Binge Eating Disorder, http://www.medicinenet.com/binge_eating_disorder/article.htm
Compulsive Overeating, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsive_overeater