If you've been following my blog for awhile, you've most likely heard me mention my story regarding my binge eating disorder.
Admitting that I had (and still sort of) have BED (otherwise known as Binge Eating Disorder) makes me feel a bit embarrassed and definitely takes a toll on my pride. The fact that I went through episodes of basically going full zombie mode with food is not something that I am proud to admit.
Although I haven't had a binge eating episode in awhile, it still remains in the back of my mind that it was once there for many years. In my opinion, once you have an eating disorder, you kind of always have an eating disorder. You walk through your entire life fighting the eating disorder, whether it be anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating.
According to DoSomething.org, there are approximately 24 million people in the United States struggling with an eating disorder. It's also stated that 50% of these people with eating disorders also have depression. That last stated statistic does not surprise me at all, and I'm frankly surprised that the percentage isn't higher.
Living with an eating disorder consumes your entire life. When something as minimal sounding as food takes over your life, an individual can become quite ashamed of themselves. I always thought of eating disorders as being one of the most difficult addictions/disorders to get over. Food is a daily part of our lives (obviously) so it's not something you can simply get rid of. The individual has to learn to develop a healthy habit of eating, which seems to be close to impossible with the way social media portrays women.
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How Did You Get BED?
Pfft, good question. I believe various factors had to do with it. I wasn't raised in an environment of looking at food as a healthy thing. I didn't look at is as fuel at all actually. Food eventually became the enemy and eating ANY meal became a battle. I had this constant fight of wanting to be as skinny as possible, but wanting to scarf down food like there was no tomorrow.
I was starting to become active in social media (MySpace) and saw these stick thin girls that would only eat celery and drink tea all day to remain skinny. Funny thing is, I did the exact opposite they did. I would just eat, eat, eat. I had no idea which food was healthy or not, or that it even mattered if the food was healthy. The food was something that I went to when I was bored, and over time it grew into a huge problem.
What Did A Typical BED episode Look Like For You?
Having BED can best be explained as living in a zombie-like state. You'll basically start eating some food, and some more food, eventually scarfing down over 3000 calories without even realizing it. The kitchen basically becomes a living nightmare. I remember having absolutely no control over what is going in my mouth. Someone who doesn't have BED will read all of this and tell you how much of a fatass you are, and how you should learn self-control.
This only made things SO much worse because you begin and continue to see how other people treat food and start to ask yourself where you went wrong, and why all of this is happening to you. Loneliness sets in, feelings of being the odd one out, and then more eating subsides… Ah, BED. You learn to eat in secret and everything (not just food) becomes extremely isolated. Then depression sets in.
How Did You “Get Over” BED?
In my opinion, no one ever actually gets over the disorder. You learn to live with it and develop healthy habits over time. I don't believe in forgetting that you ever had the eating disorder either because you want to remember how far you've come and how you're working toward a healthier life each day.
To get over BED (and this is only my opinion) you must develop a healthy habit of looking at food as fuel, and not as the enemy. Food is there to get you through your day, give you the energy to do your favorite physical activities, and plenty more. It's there to lead you atop the mountain you never thought you would be able to hike to the top of, that extra mile you ran that day you pushed yourself, and even those adventurous times of running in line to your favorite rollercoaster ride. Food is delicious, nutritious (depending on what you get of course), and is there to keep your body healthy throughout life. Treat that ONE body of yours well because that's all you get!
P.S. Junk food taste RIDICULOUSLY better when you don't eat it every single day. I remember food getting so terribly boring. Even my favorite ice cream was no longer tasting as sweet and delicious as it was once. Now that I only eat my fatty, treat meals once or so a week, I appreciate them way more. I also can only handle these kinds of meals once a week since they knock the wind out of me because of the heavy greasy/fattiness.
According to DoSomething.org, an estimated 25%t of college-age girls resort to bingeing and purging to manage their weight. 58% of the studied girls felt social pressure to maintain a certain size.
To be completely honest, I'm surprised those percentages aren't higher. It could be that a majority of the population is living in isolation of their eating disorder and not letting anyone know, therefore the statistic could be completely off and much higher.
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Do you or have you had binge eating disorder?