Eating Disorder Therapy

A Day of Binge Eating: Why It Happens and How to Stop

a day of binge eatingA day of binge eating is no cup of tea. It’s a hidden world of pain and frustration. Something that most people will go at length to hide. For the first time, I am going to talk about how why this happens and how it is so dangerous.

Let’s first take a look at why it happens.

A Day of Binge Eating is Emotional Eating.

You’ve had a horrible day. Nothing has gone right and no matter what you do it appears that every move you make is wrong.  All you want to do is get away. Nothing works and nothing helps. But you have some extra money in your pocket or your pantry is full. The urge begins to creep up on you and its coming. You begin to plan each move and wait to finally take action.

and BAM… you lose control.

It’s a Way to Get Rid of Emotional Turmoil.

Your past is the key to how you cope in the world. Some of the most pleasant, happy people I have ever known are binge eaters. In their lives, passivity is king – “If you don’t hurt me, I don’t have to feel anything.” It’s the easy way to defend against an unknown world.

As long as you don’t assert yourself, you’re not at risk for being judged, bullied, embarrassed or hurt. It’s easier to put the pain on yourself.

Screw them, you can do the damage yourself! Heck, you can do it in the comfort of your own home instead of having the world hurt you.

In the world of overeating, you get to a point that your stomach literally can not hold anymore food. You create a “neutral point.” A place in which you can finally tolerate whatever you are feeling. Suddenly, that anxiety or pain has disappeared

Finally, you can think clearly.

Feeling Out of Control is Very Real

A day of binge eating creates intense confusion. When you are trapped by the cycle of emotional eating you feel out of control.

It’s a bad bad relationship. The food is the only way to help you feel in control and yet you have to have lost control to get there. A Day of Binge Eating Control ButtonThis pattern is constant and never seems to stop. It gets worse and worse and the consequences don’t get any better.

The odd part is that the more this happens you realize there is actually is a control button. But it’s not what you’re thinking.

The Medical Risks are No Joke.

A day in the life of a binge eater wreaks havoc on the body – stomach problems, reflux, involuntary vomiting happens often.  The health risks far outweigh anything else:

  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Heart disease as a result of elevated triglyceride levels.
  • Type II diabetes mellitus.
  • Gallbladder disease.

But Don’t Take it From Me – Ask Yourself

Is there ever going to be an end to the cycle?  Do you really love going to group meetings to lose weight or trying some diet system to only find you rebound?  Do the feelings ever go away?

A day in the life of a binge eater is full of unanswered questions like these. The never ending obsession about how to fix what is going on, the fear of being alone in the evening.

It’s all a scary thought.

Does the Strategy Game Work?

For some people it does.  Below is a wonderful depiction of what Alen Standish went through. He was a binge eater for most of his life. He took a day of binge eating and broke it down every day until he found that there was a mechanism behind the experience.  When he finally devoted himself to breaking his cycle of emotional eating it was much like a strategy game.

If you don’t know what a tower defense game is that’s ok. You can always ask a loved one or go to the following page to find out more. It’s a simple process that builds upon itself, thus creating strength with each new challenge.

Emotional Eating Tower Defense

The reason I love this depiction of the process is because it is real.

It counteracts all the beliefs that “if you just stopped eating sugar” or “went to weight watchers” you will get better.

Eating is a behavior that has underpinnings rooted in our past, our stress, our families – all kinds of stuff. It’s a multi-level system that has a lot of parts.

What this guy did was allow himself to understand that with each little victory he had to get ready for the next intense wave of emotions.

The more he prepared, the stronger he became.

This can be you…

So What type of binge eater are you?

  • The Moody Blues Binger – Mood and food seem to be intertwined.
  • The Low Self Esteem Binger – “I already suck, so I may as well feel worse”
  • The Angry Binger – Its better to not show your anger and take it out on food instead.
  • The Nail Biting Binger – Anxiety and stress are constant. Food is the medicine.
  • The Running on Empty Binger – Skipping meals leads to evening problems.
  • The Bedroom Binger – There’s no boundaries of where in the house to eat.
  • The Midnight Binger – Poor sleep leads you to eat at all hours of the night.
  • The Drive Through Binger – The car is your favorite place to eat.
  • The Party Hearty Binger – There so much going on it’s hard to keep track.
  • The Buffet Binger – The power of the buffet is too much to handle.

In the book “CRAVE” by Cynthia M.Bulik, PH.D. These archetypes are explained at length and help you, the reader understand why the underpinnings of emotional eating happen.  She spells it out eloquently and in common terms that help the reader know that they aren’t alone.

I highly suggest checking it out.  It’s an opportunity to understand your attachment to food and how you often find sanctuary in the process of eating.

To Learn more about how I help with binge eaters, check out my Binge Eating Page or the About Me Page.  You can also contact me for a free consultation.