I have been fighting with writing this because I am still struggling with it. As I began counseling, my counselor ask if I had an Eating Disorder. My immediate response was an abrupt “NO! Does it look like I have an eating disorder?” (I have struggled with being overweight my entire life.) Then the questions continued. Do you binge, purge, go without food for log periods of time, or self medicate with food (often referred to as stress eating)? Yes, I binge eat and I totally stress eat. But eating disorder meant you where skinny due to anorexia or bulimia. Then I learned that an Eating Disorder is a group of serious conditions in which you’re so preoccupied with food and weight that you can often focus on little else.
I still fought the the notion that I had an eating disorder. I wasn’t preoccupied with food, but I occasionally, eat when I was depressed, stress or anxiousness. As we explored triggers in counseling and the outcomes of being triggered I realized that I often eat when I wasn’t hungry to try and feel better. I realized I needed to look into eating disorders a little more closely.
Helpguide.org states, “Binge eating disorder is characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop. The symptoms of binge eating disorder usually begin in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. A binge eating episode typically lasts around two hours, but some people binge on and off all day long. Binge eaters often eat even when they’re not hungry and continue eating long after they’re full. They may also gorge themselves as fast as they can while barely registering what they’re eating or tasting.
Binge eating may be comforting for a brief moment, but then reality sets back in, along with regret and self-loathing. Binge eating often leads to weight gain and obesity, which only reinforces compulsive eating. The worse a binge eater feels about themselves and their appearance, the more they use food to cope. It becomes a vicious cycle: eating to feel better, feeling even worse, and then turning back to food for relief.”
After reading that I realized I had an eating disorder. I binge for 30 to 60 minutes without being hungry, trying to fill and emotional need. I have fallen it to the vicious cycles many times. I also only do it when I am alone, because it is embarrassing that I have no control. It is hard to explain, but the feeling can be overwhelming, it is compulsive and you can’t resist the urges and continue binge eating mindlessly. Once I realize I am doing it I stop, but I feel awful.
During counseling I discovered that it first happened when I was child after being on a diet. Then it got worse when the verbal abuse started in my first marriage. Food was the ONLY thing I felt I had control over. I also came to believe that overeating and being FAT would keep me safe. X would tell me if I wasn’t in a bikini by summer he would find some who was. So anytime my life seems to be spinning out of control, or I don’t feel safe I binge. Unfortunately, it causes me to spiral deeper into depression, because then I start beating myself up about binging.
With my counselors help we are using, intentional walking (inhaling with one step, then exhaling on the next step), tapping techniques in combination with Fennel Essential Oil anytime I recognize the compulsive urge eat. I also have to openly acknowledge that I have an eating disorder.
I am working on new ways of thinking rather than beating myself up. First, I acknowledge my battle. Second, I use essential oils that aid in the emotion I am feeling (Emotions & Essential Oils) and use tapping techniques. Third I do intentional walking with one or more of the following mantra, “It is safe to be healthy and strong”, “I am a strong and powerful women”, and/or “I got this”.
I acknowledge that I have had the eating disorder for years and that I will need to be conscience of it for the rest of my life. I know that I am not alone in the battle, I have tools to help me. I also acknowledge that eating disorders come in all types. People with eating disorders come in all shapes, sizes and genders. There are great resource available for those who have eating disorders.
- May Clinic – Eating Disorders
- Mirror Mirror: Information for those in ED recovery
- National Eating Disorders Association
- The Elisa Project: Overcoming Eating Disorders Through Knowledge
- F. E. A. S. T. Families Empowered And Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders
- Harris Center for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders (Boston, MA)
Everyone has his or her own journey. We each have our own triggers and interpretations of life. My intent is to add in the healing process not cause anxiety or pain. Our experience may be similar but they are each unique. Even though many people could have been at the same event each person experiences and remembers those events through our own eyes and will recall the event differently. My blogs will be from my perspective of my life. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. I am not a Doctor, Counselor or Therapist. I believe it is important to work with Doctors, Counselors and Therapist along with Essential Oils, Energy Healing and spirituality to find health, healing and balance.