Are you giving up? Are you overindulging? STOP IT!

Hey POPsters!

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.”

NO!

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,

Cassey

References:

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

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this article. I love sweets and I don’t realise food is not an award or something. For me, it’s something that can help me to go through bad time. So thank you very much, Cassey, you are our salvation!

  2. I don’t mean to bump an older blog post, but I searched for “overeating” on your site just because for these past couple of days, I’ve been feeling so stressed & eating has been my release.
    Thank you for writing this (even a year ago!).
    Although I’m typing up this comment after I finished over-indulging in French-Vanilla ice cream and chocolate croissants, I know tomorrow I can get up and get back on track. I’ve been working so hard following your advice for the past half year, I’m not going to just quit now.
    Reading this reassured my mind & makes me confident in knowing that I can do it.

    Thank you. (:

  3. Hey Cassey, this brings up a good point since I’m not sure how many people realize they’re binge eating. Sometimes it’s what we’re taught.I used to eat until stuffed at pretty much every meal because that’s what my mom did. I found that not being so stressed really helped with the intense hunger, that and having a healthy daily routine, not just exercising but getting up and accomplishing things and spending time outside so that my body could remember when to sleep. If I stop caring about the routine I sleep too much and often forget to eat until I binge. Of course, most times I see snack cakes I eat too many. They seemed to be designed to be less than filling and make you want more. My point is that there’s a lot that brings it about. Thanks for bringing the issue to the front of my mind.

  4. I suffer from this ED. It is really hard to break this habit. I suffer from depression and anxiety, and it gets really really bad in the fall and winter time. I feel helpless, tired, and all I do is eat because I do not have enough energy to work out. Plus with work and school I just have zero time to do anything. I realized this is a problem when I had a really bad day and I got taco bell because it made me “feel better,” but the next morning my tummy was hurting, my hands swollen, and I was just feeling sick. I gained the freshman20, not 15, but 20. I kept saying “oh I will workout tomorrow and will eat right” never did. Now it is FOUR months later and I am still doing the same thing. However, since the week started I have lost 3 pounds, feels good. I am hoping I can keep this up, and not try to eat everything in sight. Love you Casey.
    Love,
    KelseyCate

  5. Cassey, I want to say thank you so much for posting about BED. I’ve just been recently diagnosed since I started to realize my eating habits were out of control. I often turn to food when I’m emotional, but I am really trying to get back on track and lose the 10 pounds it caused me to gain. Eating healthy is hard when you are in college, but I am doing the best I can.

    All I can say is thank you for sending positive messages, this is exactly what I needed to read right now.

    • Erin, I’m a college student who also used to struggle with BED. I blog about my recovery and talk in general about eating disorders, so if you want to reach out check out my blog. You’re not alone!

  6. This is amazing! Thank you so much for this. So inspirational. I’ve been suffering with this for a long time now and I’m hoping this final push will be enough for me to finally change!

    I’m home alone all next week and I know it is going to be so tough to eat normally and clean foods. But I am going to keep reading this blog and try my very hardest. I can do it!!!

  7. Thank you for posting this. There’s also a lot of hate/ignorance involving EDNOS – which can combine the reactions of a number of EDs. I’m reading some comments here, and it sounds like people are in denial still. How can you say you’re not disordered when you CANNOT CONTROL how much you eat. That’s the whole point of the post. BED is an eating disorder. And if you have no CONTROL over how much you will consume, you’re pretty much binging. Whether restricting or binging there’s a theme that all eating disorders have – it’s all about CONTROL. Lack thereof or being able to control the one thing in your life you feel you have NO control over. So if food controls you, listen to what’s being said in this blog post – that’s if you want a better mindset. Change starts when you REALLY want it to start.

    -Someone with EDNOS

    • I, too, suffer with EDNOS. It’s a horrible, vicious cycle and I’m so sick of it! Let’s beat ED’s POPsters! We can do it!

  8. U only said half of BED the other half is restraining ur self from food, that’s mainly why u binge!! i have been stuck in this stupid cycle for years now.. I hate it.. Even my friends now tweet me stuff like ” It’s eather I eat everything or eat nothing, that’s how it goes”as a joke, I am famos for it!!! I eat too much then I feel as guilty as hell so I stop eating for a while and then I get tired and sick of it so I over eat!!! and the thing is I can’t find my way out!! also I am not overweight but my weight goes up and down very easily and very quickly within a certain limit, this week I am not eating, but god knows how my next will be…..

  9. I do not have an eating disorder. I am a very happy girl. But I find myself eating one sweet… than another…. than another. Every time I eat one I think “well another won’t hurt.” but it does. Not necessarily my body. It hurts my mind. After that second or third sweet or bite of food, I feel like my workouts, attempted clean eating and fitness mindset are going to waste and I will never be where I want to be. What are some things I can do to change my pallet and not want those things. What are some things that can keep me from not overdoing it?
    Thanks for helping me get into fitness.
    I am not super fit yet, But with your help, I am getting there…
    Thank you Cassey!!
    Thank you!

  10. Woah… I am so so so glad I stumbled across your blog… I didn’t even realise this was an ED let alone that I developed it this bad, and I did. Yesterday I made myself so physically sick that I had a completely restless night, woke up feeling disgustingly sick with a headache and I had to be at work by 8.30 and work 6.5 hours straight. However because of this sickness, it was the first time in WEEKS that I haven’t felt the need to binge eat. Like… I ate the healthiest I have in ages today, no junk, and I didn’t even feel hungry, which proves that I can finally get my eating back on track. I don’t know what set my binge eating off, but I think it was work stress because I started after my boss was horrible to me after I was sick and for the first time had to cancel a shift, which was a month and a half ago. In a week I gained 5kg, making me the biggest I’ve ever been. I had trouble with controlling my diet after that but I’d just like to say that reading that it is an actual disorder really opened my eyes and you’ve put a good perspective on it, and I reckon this will really help me. Thank you :)

  11. Cassey thank you so much for this post. ive been sufferkng from binge eating but have been managing great. Butnow, cuz of holidays my birthday.. ive been out of control. i know that i please need to fix my relationship with food. thats the most important thing, but i dont knowhow or where to start.is there any reading you recommend?? please help!

  12. Sarah-Jane says:

    Oh Cassey, today I had the biggest binge. In the morning I was all good, I ate 3 tiny egg muffins (67 cal)
    then for lunch I ate a 43 calorie salad.
    Then I made some apple muffins. They were 70 calories each. I ate 4 of them. Plus I ate like 200 grams of apples throughout. And then I at 100 grams of chickpeas. I couldn’t stop.
    AND THEN. my mum’s friend came over and brought with her a TON, A SERIOUS TON OF FOOD. SHE BROUGHT HALF A BUTTER BERRY CAKE AND I ATE LIKE 80% OF IT. THAT WAS LIKE 1932 calories, estimated.
    and she brought airfried chicken. i ate about 360 grams, 497 calories.

    and then my friend asked me whether i got into the end of year academy awards and i said i didn’t and he said they had already given it out and that he thought i would get in and that i needed to study harder and that he got one and he “didn’t mean to brag”.

    i basically cried. i ate mango, 150 grams, 98 calories and at this point i had the cake. the almost 2000 calorie cake.
    i also had steamed veggies (57 calories)

    AL UP I HAD
    3389 CALORIES.
    2139 CALORIES OVER MY DAILY LIMIT.

    oh Cassey, what do I do? I’m so tempted to purge. Do you have a workout that will burn this !@#$% off?

  13. I definitely have BED. And I really want to change but the problem is that my parents buy processed food and frozen food and bags of chips and so. They also buy clean food but it ends quickly and then we only have the bad food. I try to take control of everything I eat and my workouts but I feel that this is getting me “obsessed” with it. And to be honest I haven’t worked out in this whole week because I feel listless and lazy to start moving. But I promise that I’ll try my best.
    Thank you for worrying about us and for making us feel better with ourselves, you’re amazing. ♥

  14. Cassey, you posted this at the PERPECT time. I have been binge eating for awhile, but now I am seeking help and I am determined to STOP. Watching your videos is definitely helping.
    Thank you so much for being a role model!

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