Thursday, September 13, 2012

Binge Eating Help!

Hi, Laurie!  I'm 32, 5'4, and 172 lbs.  I'd like to lose a minimum of 30 lbs to get to a healthy weight.  I walk 5 miles a day Monday-Friday and am slowly losing weight.  However, I can't stop binge eating.  I eat a sensible breakfast in the morning and then 20 minutes later, I eat again.  I consume 1,000+ calories and then feel guilty and full all day until dinner.  I feel like I'm sabotaging myself.  I've tried to stop, think, drink water, but I still just can't stop eating!   I feel like I'm stuck on a binge/starve/guilt cycle!  Any advice?   Sheila R.

Dear Sheila,

First of all, congratulations on taking the steps towards a healthier lifestyle that will get you to a healthier weight. Keeping up with the walking is a big commitment and you should be proud!

Now, regarding the binge eating: I could ask you all sorts of questions about that behavior:
- Have you had a major life change recently?
- Is this binge eating brand new for you?
- Are you getting enough sleep?

But all good intentions aside, the way you've described what's going on sounds characteristic of disordered eating. I don't want to alarm you, and I certainly cannot diagnose an eating disorder. 

My guess is, though, that your mind is so crowded with "what can I eat/when can I eat/I shouldn't have that/I can't resist it/ I shouldn't have eaten that/ I feel so awful/ I've failed today/ I'll start again tomorrow" that you aren't able to experience your life and all the pleasures you should be able to enjoy.

If that sounds familiar, rest assured, you are not alone! The National Eating Disorders Association estimates millions of Americans suffer from some type of eating disorder, including binge eating disorder.

The good news is there are kind and understanding counselors who deal specifically with eating disorders (including anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, and binge eating disorder--also called BED). Counselors who treat people suffering with obsessive thoughts about food, eating, and diet really know what you are going through and can help.

The experts at NEDA can help you find someone in your area who can address this behavior and help you get back to a normal and happy life! Click on the NEDA link above and call to get started right now.
And do write back to let me know how you are doing.

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