The article I am writing today is based on a more serious and personal topic. A topic that I believe doesn’t get enough recognition and an illness that is viewed as non-existent. That is binge eating or Binge Eating Disorder.
I am going to highlight for you what binge eating disorder is and a personal anecdote about it. Let’s begin with the basics. What is binge eating disorder?
Binge Eating Disorder is when you eat a large amount of food, way past the point of fullness, followed by feelings of guilt or depression. Binge eating is different from Bulimia, because there are no acts of purging or fasting. A lot of times this will occur after a diet. You seem to lose the ability to control what you’re eating and most of the time people who binge eat will seem to have normal eating habits around others and binge in private. If you want more information about the specifics of Binge Eating Disorder, check out Help Guide.
I have titled this article as behind the binge. So, I am going to move past the technical, definition-like stuff and bring you into my world, or what was my world. I suffered from binge eating disorder for around five years of my life, so I hope to share some insight with you.
It all started in 2011 when I was eighteen years old. I had recently moved to Ottawa, Ontario for University. This was my first time living alone and being away from my friends and family. I was scared, lonely, and sad. That is why I turned to food. It made me feel better; it gave me something to do and it made me feel happier, for a moment that is.
This year of my life is probably what I would call the worst year of my life. I would binge then starve myself and that cycle went on for the full year.
The year ended and I came home. I was able to re-adjust and the binge eating stopped. Not right away of course, and not completely, but within a year of being home I was “cured.”
Come January 2015, I was leaving for Ottawa again to take a holistic nutrition program. We can call this round two of the binge eating disorder. I was again lonely and sad at times. I found myself binge eating again for a solid four-month period. I was consumed by this issue. It made me feel better for a moment in time. The food made me feel complete and happy. But, I felt guilty right after my binge was over and I was left feeling even more lonely and sad than before. Due to my past experience, I knew I couldn’t do this for long and I knew the only person who could truly help me, was me.
That is what I did. I took action. I began spending time with friends more often and if I was feeling lonely, I would call up a friend and we would go for a run. I wasn’t afraid to call my sister or my mom and just talk for a bit to reduce the loneliness. Most importantly, I learned how to deal with my loneliness without needing other people all the time. I discovered that I can keep myself company once in a while, by enjoying walks on my own or immersing myself in my writing.
Not only did I discover these things, but I also discovered that I am not alone. A good friend of mine dealt with the same issue, and I didn’t even know it. You don’t have to share your personal issues with the world, but don’t fear sharing them with the people who love you.
There you have it my friends. A personal and honest story, from me to you, about my struggle with binge eating disorder. I hope this opens your eyes to this form of eating disorder or shows you that you are not alone.