It’s easier when it’s not you…

Did you ever realize how easy it is to give advice to people, but when the same situation hits you how hard it is to take said advice?

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m great at giving advice.  Don’t give up, push though, things will get better and remember I’m here for you – these are things I often find myself telling my friends when they hit a rough spot.  But when I’m struggling these words sound so empty.  I just wish the comforting words I told others would ring true for me at that moment.

Why am I saying all this? Because I find myself now facing a problem I never thought I would.  When my friends have faced this, I’m usually full of good advice. It’s easy for me to tell them to breath, that it’s not the end of the world, that things will get better in time. But now that I’m getting a taste of my own medicine – things aren’t nearly as black and white.

Since I’ve probably spiked your curiousity by now, I might as well get out there and say it – I’ve been struggling with binge eating A LOT recently. It’s gone from once , to twice, to three times a week. Now it’s more like 5or 6 times. And these are the times I actually “give in”.  Every day that I’m home alone is a constant mental struggle to keep myself away from the fridge, away from the chocolate in my cupboard, to focus on my hunger cues and not let food control me. But recently it feels like a losing battle.

I’m not restricting, I’m eating more healthy fats then I ever have, I’m allowing myself all the sweets I want. But there comes a point when you realize it’s not hunger- it’s a craving. No amount of fruit, banan’s, peanut butter, or other “real food” will satisfy my desire to eat cream cheese by the spoonfull. And I’m full, I honestly am and yet I find myself standing in front of the fridge mentally screaming at myself “stop, stop, STOP!!!!” but I can’t seem to.

My stomach issues are better overall, but after a binge session I’m back to square one. I’m lactose intolerant – yet I binge on milk products. At least I’m managing to keep away from the gluten for the most part -although that happens from time to time. The worst thing is a binge doesn’t end with a binge. It starts an unhealthy eating pattern that continues all day. So I’m either sick from binging, or in the process of binging, or trying to distract myself from binging. And the whole day goes down the drain that way….

I keep telling myself I don’t have time for this. The mornings are my study hours, after that is work. But 50% of the morning is wasted away fighting these urges. Currently aside from eating more I’m drinking 5-6 coffees a day and chewing gum like it’s my job just to keep away from the fridge. This pattern is destroying my health, wasting my time and absolutely shattering my self esteem. But how do I get out?

Right now I’m typing this as a desperate attempt not to raid the whipped cream in the fridge or the chocolate in my cupboard.  I already had a massive peice of birthday cake as “dessert” after lunch, chocolate at breakfast and more cake at snack. And I’m so tired of this constant mental battle. I used to think I have recovery so “together” – turns out I don’t. I tried telling my mom today, but I feel so ashaimed. I just broke down and cried, because I feel like she’ll never understand.

I’m scared, because for the first time I have no idea what to do about this problem. I’ve been reading up on it – and some people tell you to cut out sugar all together, other sources tell you to eat intuitvely. And all I know how to do is restict – but eating normally,  I don’t remember how to do that anymore.

I want to keep gaining weight and moving forward in my recovery, but binge eating and healthy don’t fit into the same category for me. I don’t want to restrict, the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Anyhow, just thought I’d get that out there. I appreciate this community and the fact that you are all very non-judgmental. But  if any of you have any advice to offer – it would be very much appreciated. Hope you all have a good day!

Edited : In my research I came across some very interesting articles (if you have time to read them I’d also be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter):

Why is bingeing not bingeing when you are recovering from restricted eating?

Weight recovered and still bingeing

Extreme hunger: what is it?

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10 comments

  1. wow I can relate about not being able to have advice for myself yet I am great at giving it… Gosh I can also relate about the binge eating, I seem to get it when things a out of control, it’s like I either don’t eat at all as I just can’t or I eat a ton a junk food and then hate myself for it after. Sadly though I have no advice except may be go do some exercise or something, then you may want to eat healthy anyway and not binge. Hope you can stop, I know what a vicious cycle it can be, it sucks!

  2. Oh dear,I can so comprehend everything you’re experiencing and feeling right now… Now that I go to school,I gladly don’t have time to do so anymore [at least not an ENTIRE DAY!},but sometimes,at the weekend,I find myself searching for food,food,food,even though I am not really hungry. In fact,I consciously tend to over-eat myself,especially in the evening,because… Yeah,why? I don’t know. Although,well,partly,I DO know… My body still screams for fuel. It needs food. You know,it’s not all about a certain food group… Like fat or protein or sugar. It’s everything,your whole diet that matters. And if you are really truly honest,do you think you actually eat as much as you need to every day? Are you sure you don’t {unconciously} under-eat sometimes? Cause that happens so,so quickly and so easily,I know that myself. On days I am not counting calories I eat just as little or even fewer than elsewise without noticing – isn’t that funny? I do it automatically; maybe it’s the fear inside of me,I don’t know… But I do. I don’t want to make reproaches here or something like that,I am only speaking for myself… And girl,if you’re honestly not under-eating in some way,I think your body simply NEEDS the food somehow. If it didn’t,you wouldn’t think about it all the time – your brain just wants to remind you of the importance to eat,you know? That’s why food is on the mind of an anorexic 24/7,

  3. Two weeks ago i found myself in the same situation you’re in.
    Trying not to restrict, letting myself eat everything i want, because i needed to gain and i was exercising so much. But eating the whole package of cereal in one sitting? Eating 250g of cookies in the middle of the night? No. This didn’t seem right. The way i felt during the binges was awful. And the most horrible thing happened to me last month – i started purging again. I couln’d go into the kitchen without grabbing something.
    So how did i overcome this?
    I needed to realise why this was happening to me.
    There were emotional reasons like boredom, stress and lonelyness.
    And the fact that i had restrictet before while over-exercising.
    My advice : GET OUT OF YOUR FLAT. Just get away from food. Take it out of your reach and try to be around people. And then – try to do your work there.
    Eat in company. Stop when others stop.
    But don’t try to restrict on those things you’re eating right now. Like “i won’t buy it anymore”. No. That’s sick behaviour. Won’t work. promise.
    Remember how you ate when you were younger, what were your set time for eating? Mine are 8.am breakfast ; 1pm lunch ; 4pm snack ; 8pm dinner.
    And i have some rountine in what i eat for those meal times.
    Everything thats not fitting in these meals, isn’t needed (unless you are starving)

    And stop reading and thinking about it too much. Take you mind off food

  4. oh honey… I’m so sorry, this is really frustrating I know! I struggle with the same thing off and on. it’s usually because i’m not eating enough, or because something else is going on in my head/life — i’m overworked, under a lot of pressure in other areas of my life, sometimes too because i’m bored or anxious to avoid something. or sometimes I think it’s just because I’m HUNGRY… are you sure you’re eating enough at regular meals? maybe it’s just me but your portions seem very very tiny!
    Re stomach problems, one meal I wanted to suggest, if you’ve not already tried this, is having a baked potato with plain greek yogurt on top. I have a lot of stomach issues too, and find that combination usually sits well without being too heavy.
    Back to the topic of binging/overeating… I know it is mentally tiring to feel like you’re battling these urges — and such a weird and awful feeling, too, because at other times you have to make yourself eat at all. it’s strange, very paradoxical, that both can happen to the same person in a short timeframe.
    I’m glad you’re not restricting… so important! what helps me when I get the urge to binge/overeat (is there a difference, I wonder?) are these things: pray; take a walk outside; drink a glass of water or make myself tea; if possible take myself physically away from the food. but again, this stuff usually works if I’ve been eating enough, eating healthily, not overexercising and am being good to myself by getting enough sleep.
    I hope this helps… thank you for your honest post and for putting this issue out there. honestly I think it is something that just about everybody who is struggling to overcome an eating disorder goes through–you are SO not alone!!

  5. Having read your blog for some time now and seeing the pics you post every once in a while of yourself, I know that you are severely underweight (even with this more frequent binge eating, I can’t imagine your weight has really changed much!). When I was really underweight and gave up my ED out of frustration and tiredness, and had finally decided I had nothing left to lose by recovering, I went into it with the mindset of “I NEED to gain weight, so I can eat whatever the heck I want.” And everyone supported me in that: nutritionist, therapist, family… even putting “junk” in my body was fine because my body was missing so much that focusing on “healthy foods” to get my weight up was really pretty pointless…. (you’re not going to forever be a vessel filled with unhealthy, toxicity from this period of your life, TRUST ME!)

    So when I was really underweight and started to eat again with this mindset of “who cares, I’ll eat what I want, I’m so over my ED,” I literally felt like bingeing EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It was like I had awakened a monster within me. No amount of food could satisfy me; my mouth was constantly watering over more, more, more and my mind could focus on little else. Obviously, it’s not a fun feeling. It’s foreign, it’s weird, it’s uncomfortable, it’s even shameful.

    But a couple weeks in, I was beginning to steadily gain weight. That was also scary, but considering I had stopped restricting, it was hard to give in to any disordered thoughts again telling me to cut back to slow down the weight gain…. and now, when I’m hungry, I fuel myself because I can’t STAND feeling hungry! I hate it! I don’t want to lose weight anymore, I really don’t care about giving into this false hope of an ED. You know how much I gained after a few months? About 30 pounds. And you know what else? The binges eventually tapered off when I was getting closer to a healthy weight… my food obsessions went away because I was no longer a starved person, I was healthy. And 30 pounds may seem like a lot, but all I had to do was get rid of my skinny jeans — regular jeans still fit, and shirts are no problem. The human body is amazing. As much of a “non-answer” as this may be, you really do need to just go with the flow! I researched this on the internet too and was so confused that this would go on forever, but it’s your body’s way of trying to gain that essential weight AS FAST AS POSSIBLE because it’s sick and tired of being underweight! It needs energy and nutrients, even if they come in the form of sweets 😉 Don’t worry. You will get to a good point — it’s a different time for everyone, but you should just enjoy eating now because I’ll tell you a secret: as gross as I felt sometimes bingeing, I secretly loved the heavenly tastes in my mouth I was finally experiencing after all that restriction…. ❤

  6. Hugs. I am going through all of this with you, love ❤ I just polished off two chocolate bars and I'm still hungry 😦 And it's bedtime. I do not know how to stop, either, because I do not want to control my hunger and relapse, but I do not want to keep binge eating…:(

  7. I don’t know if this helps or not, but I found this problem went away once I reached my healthy weight. It’s a biological response to being starved for so long. I tried to trust my body and to just go with the process, not to restrict in response to the binges as I knew that would set up an unhealthy response. Oh my, it was scary! But it did get better. It will get better.

  8. I’ve been there done this and got several t-shirts. It is normal for your body to react this way once you start to feed it more regularly. It’s like it needs to get as much food as possible for fear of you starving it again.

    One thing I’d say is that a bit of overboard chocolate or cake after lunch is not bingeing. I know it feels like it after years of strict control and restriction. Having a bit of cake is normal for most people. Sitting and eating a several bars of chocolate is something loads of people would do on movie night. Did they feel guilty? No. Did they berate themselves? No. Did they lose sleep over it? No chance. I learned how to eat from these people. They were normal not me. Bingeing will happen and it feels awful but your body needs that fuel.

    I know it’s so tough because it feels like you are spiralling out of control and can’t stop yourself but it will stop.


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