From what I know, binge eating is a lot more common than people realize. The fact that I see “Icon’s” or Fitness Idols discussing certain topics and how clean they always eat, sets the public up for failure. When you look up to someone and they always seem so perfect, it forces you to feel more imperfect. You feel like you’ll never live up to their standards and their way of life. They sell you these lies telling you that “If you want to look like me, you have to do this and do that”. When they don’t do 80% of the things they show you. I would rather be inspired by someone knowing full well what they’ve attempted and that they eat as healthy as possible while still leaving room for their guilty pleasure indulgences. Being aware that they devote most of their time and energy into leading a healthy lifestyle but are also honest about the dessert they have each night. They face the realities that opening up about the time they too have gone overboard on a box of cookies, isn’t seen as so “Fit’. Or that sharing the fact they went for pizza on date night while they were attempting to drop fat, sets a bad example. Each of us are inspired by something different and specific. Something that speaks to us on a personal level and too me, that’s transparency and what I would deem as relatable.
I’ve posted before about my binging tendencies, and I don’t mind opening about them. After all, I am a bikini competitor as well as a fitness professional, But I am far from perfect when it comes to my relationship with food. I believe there are many contributing factors that stack up to cause a binge. I’m not a therapist or a psychiatrist, But I am getting better at acknowledging my own personal triggers. I’m making more of an effort to address when I feel a binge coming on, and how I feel after it’s happened. Binging for me is more of an escape. I tend to over eat or compulsively eat when I’m trying to escape a feeling that’s uncomfortable to me. It most commonly occurs when I’m alone and am feeling consumed with my own thoughts. It can happen If I sit for too long and dwell on an occurrence that’s either happened, or may never happen. I will feel anxious and need to gravitate towards something for comfort. For some that’s drugs, others it’s alcohol and for me it’s food. I don’t want to FEEL lost, alone, stressed, anxious or confused. So, I distract myself with food and from the emotions that I’m trying to avoid feeling. I’m going to take you step by step through a binge in my mind.
Step 1. I’m alone so now I’ll think about all the things I should be doing, but I’m not. The thought of it all overwhelms me because I don’t know where to start.
Step2. I haven’t eaten anything fun today, we have iced cream so I’m going to have one bite and put it back. (When I say fun, I usually mean high in sugar or fats)
Step3. I’m spooning the iced cream and thinking at the same time about how much change I’ve been through and all the change yet to come. Business, bills, not competing, relationships, family, things that have happened in my past and how I should have dealt with them. People in my life that I feel that have betrayed me and how I never took the opportunity to confront them. The list goes on.
Step4. I realize that half the pint is gone…
Step5. The guilt of losing control and losing yourself sets in.
. “Binge eating is done rapidly and a person will feel emotionally numb and unable to stop eating. Most people who have eating binges try to hide the behaviour from others and often feel ashamed or depressed about their over eating”
The important factors behind our relationships with food is to remember why we eat which foods. We eat them because we love the smell, the look and of course the taste. When you’re binging, are you really noticing any of these things? I’m personally trying to get as much down the hatch before I realize how much I’ve eaten and feel bad about it. I used to take my time with my meals and strategically enjoy each bite. Being more aware of how much I liked, or disliked it. People often feel ashamed to admit that they love pizza and cake. They feel as if they’re a failure because they refuse to give up their dessert that they have every night and that is the reason why they will never lose weight. It’s not so much what you’re eating in this case, it’s what’s eating you!
There are two underlying reasons that I’ve experienced in which cause a binge. 1. A lack of macronutrient (usually carbs or fats). 2. Emotional avoidance. You don’t want to feel, so you eat. If you feel like these are issues that you struggle with, try and take your time choosing your meals and realizing why you’re choosing them. Are you eating it because you’re hungry and because you need to satisfy your stomach? Are you enjoying the textures and the flavours along with the smells? Or are you simply eating to satisfy another kind of hunger from somewhere else in your mind. To fill a void and numb yourself towards feeling certain emotions.
I am not expert in this field at all and I only speak from my experiences and what has helped me. If you are struggling with emotional eating, don’t be afraid to contact someone about it and talk it out. Someone is always willing to listen and lend a helping hand. Be Strong and open for yourself! ❤
The featured image is from my trip to Bali where I indulged in something sweet everyday because my goal was to enjoy myself and my surroundings. This included experiencing the culture and of course, the treats! I ended up dropping weight on this trip because of the lack of protein and overall calories I was consuming. FOOD for thought!