Binge Eating: Why You Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed

126 comments

Thank you Glo Bar Lovers!

Together we sold a whopping 1100 Glo Bars yesterday! As I mentioned 10% of my sales will be donated to Haiti Relief via The Humanitarian Coalition. That would be a donation of $212.00!!!

However, I have received a few emails from you saying that you missed out and you would like to participate, so I decided to extend the sale and Haiti donation until 5pm EST today (click here for the cart). I will be presenting the donation receipt on the blog tomorrow.

 

Binge Eating: Why You Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed

Each week I receive emails from readers who are struggling to let go of an eating disorder. A large number of these emails are emails about binge eating.

Binge Eating, or compulsive eating, is often triggered by chronic dieting and involves periods of overeating, often in secret and often carried out as a means of deriving comfort. Symptoms include:

  • periods of uncontrolled, impulsive or continuous eating

  • sporadic fasts or repetitive diets

[Source]

I wanted to take a moment today to discuss my experience with binge eating as I think it is a topic that is often swept under the rug due to feelings of shame and embarrassment.

If you have read my series on Binge Eating (The Unspoken Issue Part 1 and The Unspoken Issue Part 2), you may know that I struggled with it for many years.

My struggles with binge eating began shortly after I started to restrict my food intake. Before this, I had no prior problems with binge eating. I struggled with disordered eating for many years. I would starve myself, over-exercise, and count calories obsessively. It is no surprise to me now that I also struggled with strong urges to binge. Typically once a week (on the weekends) I would get the urge to binge. Sometimes this binge would consist of several hundred calories and sometimes over a thousand. However, the amount never mattered, it was the feeling that was associated with it.

I felt completely out of control.

Afterwards, I would feel so ashamed, I would cry, and I would vow to restrict my intake the next day- and weeks after. During this time, I was also dating Eric and I remember being so scared that he would find out. I was so ashamed I couldn’t tell him because I was worried what he might think. After a few years of dating, I finally got the courage to tell him why I was in a bad mood, and I just told him that ‘I really overate and now I feel badly.’ Of course, he didn’t quite understand the gist of what I was telling him, and I couldn’t expect him to because I wasn’t fully honest about it. It really put up a wall between us for a long time.

It took me a very long time to realize that I would always have problems with binge eating as long as I was still depriving my body of what it needed. In an evolutionary psychology course we learned that it is an adaptive response for our bodies to seek out large amounts of food when in a deprived state. It makes total sense to me now that my body was just trying to get food in any way possible!

You can only deprive your body for so long before it acts out in protest. My weekend binges were in fact a protest against my weekday deprivation.

My body had ENOUGH.

And so this cycle continued for a long time. It is such a hard cycle to break because after a binge the guilt is so high that the only comfort you can think of is feeling empty again and restricting your intake. The cycle repeats itself over and over and the person who struggles with it, sinks deeper and deeper into isolation.

I am here today to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to live your life with cycles of deprivation and compulsive eating. It is possible to beat it and to eat in a steady cycle.

How did I beat binge eating?

Two things were pivotal to me beating Binge eating:

1) I sought counseling for my eating disorder.

I tried and tried and tried to beat it on my own but I couldn’t. It is so powerful and the emotions and habits tied to an eating disorder are extremely hard to overcome without help. I always, always encourage anyone who is struggling to seek out a counselor. It was a major turning point in my life. The counselor I saw in university made a huge impact on my life. To this day, I remember fondly the nice things she said about me. I should write her and thank her, actually.

2) I stopped restricting what I ate

I honestly do not think that I could have beat binge eating if I didn’t stop restricting my intake. This took me a long, long time to realize and I hope to be able to save some of you some time too. When I finally stopped restricting my intake, I allowed myself to eat when hungry and I stopped counting calories and weighing myself. The hardest part was that I still suffered from binges even though I was not restricting my food! You know why this was? Because old habits die hard. My body did not want to trust me. I had deprived it for so long that I couldn’t be trusted, so even though I was now eating enough food, I still struggled with binges now and then.

This was extremely frustrating for me and I will admit, I relapsed a few times because of this.

However, the body CAN learn new tricks. It took me about a year to finally stop the binges even when eating normally. My body finally learned to trust me again and it didn’t feel the need to ‘store up on food’. I know for a fact if I was still restricting my intake, I would still be struggling with binges. It is an adaptive response, don’t forget.

Another thing I had to realize was that the goal weight that I wanted to be was not realistic. It is obvious to me now that the weight I wanted to be at could not be achieved in a healthy manner because obviously I had to starve myself to get there!

Ultimately I had to pick one of two choices for myself:

1) To starve and try to achieve my goal weight and struggle with binges and all the horrible emotions that come with an ED,

OR

2) To let the ED go and to give my body what it needed. This meant that I would likely gain some weight and I would have to learn to love myself as I was meant to be.

This was no easy task, but I chose 2.

I can confidently tell you today that I am happier than I have ever been in my life and I know I would not be at this place had I not decided to turn a new leaf. Am I as thin as I once wanted to be? No, but I can tell you the happiness I now feel is better than any other feeling in the world.

We have to realize that each and everyone of us are different. Our bodies are different. Some people are meant to be muscular, some bigger, some smaller, some taller, some curvier, some shorter.

We have to find out where our body will be happiest. I believe that is one of the hardest things for a woman to figure out, but once you do you will never go back.

We are all beautiful in our own UNIQUE way!

Updates

Angela_Signature

If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.
Author Unknown

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

Previous Posts

{ 126 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jocelyn January 20, 2010

I talk about binge eating disorder openly on my blog and have a secton dedicated to it..

it’s not an easy thing to overcome…thats for sure. There are always those thoughts and feelings in the back of your head and it triggers it..

I hope some day I can get to my goal weight and feel comfortable enough to not go back and forth!

Reply

2 Stacey January 21, 2010

Thanks for this post Angela. This is one of the most honest, informative posts I have ever read about binge eating. Thank you for sharing!

Reply

3 jime January 23, 2010

ciao angela again
sorry if im writing too much but i just like so much all the things youre doing to help and just everything bout your site THANKS a lot for such an inspiring post Im really focused now on beating my eating disorders theyre just life ruiners and I just have got one life so I better beat them now .
GRAZIE MILE

Reply

4 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 20, 2010

I think that is most inspirational, true, and honest post I have ever read anywhere in the blog world. Thank you for opening up and sharing your personal experience, I know that must be so hard. Binge eating is an awful thing to have to live with and I know so many people struggle with it and suffer alone in silence. It should not be like this. I wish this world was not the kind of place it is in that unhealthily and unrealistically skinny women are considered “beautiful” and everyone is “supposed” to look like that. Of course so many women (and men) are going to end up with eating disorders and struggles emotionally and physically when they compare themselves to this crazy ideal image and that is unattainable without killing yourself (for most people). Like you said, everyone is different!! We have to learn to love our bodies as they are because we only have this one body, we should treat it right.
And it’s also good to know that there is scientific reasoning behind binge eating – it’s out of our control sometimes!

Reply

5 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 20, 2010

This is so inspirational and true. There is no reason to be ashamed about something, especially when so many people suffer from it.

Reply

6 K January 20, 2010

Great post!
Do you think that becoming a vegan has helped you with this? To me, becoming a vegan would be the MOST restricting diet out there, so I find it interesting how it has helped you!

Reply

7 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2010

I know that many people would assume this as well. I actually eat many, many more foods now as a vegan than I did as a non vegan. It opened my world up to so many new foods and recipes and I am forever grateful for that.

Reply

8 Ruth January 20, 2010

This is eerily timely for me. Just last week I decided to get help to stop binge eating. I developed it exactly the way you did. I’m so relieved that there’s a way out that doesn’t involve more calorie counting!

Reply

9 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 20, 2010

Good for you!!! :)

Reply

10 Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) January 20, 2010

Thanks so much for this post. I, too have struggled for years with the binge/restriction cycle, and I am just getting to the point of full recovery. And it feels amazing!

xoxo
Kris

Reply

11 Gillian January 20, 2010

This is why I love your blog Ang! I had totally felt alone in my binge eating and deprivation until you had talked about it on here – like you said it feels shameful and embarassing when you are going though it. I am now eating PROPERLY – have been for better part of a year – although as you noted its hard to break old binging habits – I have had less and less of these moments as the months have marched on. Its been the last months or so that I haven’t wanted to binge at all like I used to. I don’t stress over my food like I used to as I know I am putting the right nutritious eats in me!

Reply

12 angela @ A Healthy Fit January 20, 2010

Such a great post. So honest and real! I too have been struggling with ED and body dismorphia. I made the first huge step and told my husband & mom after Thanksgiving. This Friday, I am seeing a counselor for the first time.

This is one of the scariest things I have ever had to admit or do. It’s so nice to know that you can change your thinking. Thanks so much for being an inspiration.

Maybe one day I can write openly and honestly about it in my blog.

Reply

13 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 20, 2010

Good luck!! I wish you the best!

Reply

14 AGS January 20, 2010

Good luck — and congratulations. For me, just talking about it, and telling someone was a big part of getting to a healthy place. The secretiveness ate (pardon the pun) away at me. . . honesty and openess became my friend.

Reply

15 Bronwyn January 20, 2010

Good luck! Admitting it to yourself and to others is the hardest first step. :)

Reply

16 janetha b January 20, 2010

angela~ great post on binge eating. i think this post is something several of us can relate to! thanks for sharing your story.

i also clicked out of reader to let you know that TODAY is national granola bar day! and hey~ they never said WHAT nation.. so let’s pretend it is the USA and canada :)

xoxo

Reply

17 *Andrea* January 20, 2010

aw i love this post! thank you! i have/do struggle with this and it’s such an awkward/uncomfortable subject for some reason… i like how you framed the 2 choices.. i want #2 as well! its so weird to me that you can know one thing yet your emotions can lead you to forget it all and choose a harmful thing like a binge grr

Reply

18 AGS January 20, 2010

Great post.

I struggled with this for about 2 years. My boyfriend (husband now) helped set me up with a good counselor. I remember being so angry at him for figuring out what was going on. But I did want to get over my eating disorder, so I said I’d trust him to get me set up with someone. My eating disorder — and it took me some time before I’d admit it was an eating disorder — was a result of other trauma, and it took me some time to work through both the symptom (binge eating) and the cause (the painful past). It took me about two years to really get to a “good” place with food.

Reply

19 Sophie @ yumventures January 20, 2010

This is such a wonderful and motivational post. I struggled with binge eating for a while as well, and I found that instead of focusing on weight loss, I decided to focus on making my body strong. That even meant gaining some weight (muscle weighs more than fat, after all) but by loving my body I am ending up sleeker and toner than I would by restricting my calories. Your story is along these same lines, and truly inspirational! Thank you :)

Reply

20 Brooke January 20, 2010

Thank you for being so open and honest. I started a post on my blog about this yesterday but then put it in my “drafts” and have not published it yet. I to struggle with this especially after years of anorexia and bulimia. I do notice that when I restrict my calories during the day my body wants everything and anything I will put into it. I am working on stopping this cycle for good also. First step is the breakfast I just finished…no more skipping meals!

Reply

21 Lauren @ Eater not a runner January 20, 2010

Thank you for posting this. I still struggle with binge eating, although not as much now that I try to not restrict. I feel like it will always be a challenge though.

Reply

22 N January 20, 2010

I used to binge eat a lot and now it’s only occasional, usually when I’m really stressed.

When I did binge it was always on chocolate and fatening foods, nothing healthy. I still find that habit hard to break.

How do you overcome that? restricting myself of those foods only makes me want them more and binge more when I do have them.

I’d love to be able to reduce my intake of fatty foods without feeling like I’m missing out and bringing on a binge.

Thanks x

Reply

23 AGS January 20, 2010

Even though I’m at a “good” place with food, sometimes I struggle with past behaviors. I started calling myself a “healthy person who is learning” a little while ago. For me, binge eating is an impulsive, out-of-control, driven feeling, and I’m trying to learn how to handle those feelings.

I start by saying out loud: “I’m stressed out” (or angry, or sad). I actually say it quite loud and emphatically (if no one is around). Then I pretend I’m in a classroom and say (out loud, because this helps for some reason): “What am I going to do about it?” I usually then put on some kind of music — this helps me the most — or I drink some tea. Both activities calm me down and make me pause long enough to think about what is going on. The “urgent/driven” feeling dissipates.

Reply

24 Bronwyn January 20, 2010

ASG-Those are pretty much my tricks too!

N – I’d like to add. When I first started trying to recover, I would binge quite frequently, as angela was saying. But I knew I was on the right track. And honestly as time past, the binges became less and less frequent.
Although I’ve eaten too much (usually for good reasons like Christmas, or fun times with friends) I honestly don’t think I’ve “binged” in a very long time.

And important thing is to let go of the guilt after a binge, just carry on like a normal day, if you can.

Reply

25 N January 21, 2010

Thanks for the tips! xx

Reply

26 Ameena January 20, 2010

So great of you to share your story for those suffering this terrible problem! I hope others can overcome binge eating as well as you did.

Reply

27 Heather (Where's the Beach) January 20, 2010

Thanks so much for your honesty. I have never struggled with eating disorders (thankfully), but could easily hedge toward some form of eating disorder simply by trying to eat healthy. There are so many, should eats, don’t eats, can’t eats, out there. I mean, can we even eat anything that won’t harm us in one way or another??? Same with exercise, I lean towards overtraining in an attempt to maintain health. So many fine lines out there.

Reply

28 Jil January 20, 2010

Such an amazing post, Angela!! It’s true — if only we, as women, weren’t wired — in this day and age — to think that all of us are supposed to weigh the same amount, have the same measurements, the same pants size, etc….society has made it seem like all women should weigh ____ or wear this certain size pant…and that is just not the way it is. Everyone is beautiful in their own way.

Reply

29 Shannon (The Daily Balance) January 20, 2010

fantastic post, angela! Per usual, you continue to inspire all those around you ;)

Reply

30 Marisa (Loser for Life) January 20, 2010

Thank you for sharing your story! I can definitely relate to a lifetime of dieting, restricting calories and binge eating. It does bring with it feelings of shame and self-deprecation. But, I agree with you- your body CAN learn new tricks to overcome this inner battle! Glad you sought help and were able to get yourself to a wonderful place – inside and out :)

Reply

31 Heather (Heather's Dish) January 20, 2010

what a great post. this truly spoke to me because i’ve actually done all of the things you mentioned here, all the way down to dating my husband and not being able to convey what was actually happening with me. this is going to help so many people, and i’m so thankful to be following your blog! you have such a heart for women and their needs – thank you :)

Reply

32 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 20, 2010

This is such a great, honest post that will truly help so many people. Thanks for being such a great inspiration, Angela!

Reply

33 katherine January 20, 2010

I know this is going to make me sound like a total cheeseball, but I can confidently say finding your blog was probably the turning point in my relationship with food. I’d been to a therapist who helped tremendously, but the fact that I was reading the blog of a smart, beautiful and hilarious woman balancing a fulltime job (I’ve been reading since before you quit your previous job!), a healthy marriage and a healthy relationship with herself and her diet gradually shifted my mindset to a much happier place.

I’m slowly learning to enjoy food, appreciate my body and accept that I may never have “it all” like I thought I would. At this time last year, having it all meant a great job, a great marriage, and most of all, being at my goal weight. How crazy that I based so much of my self-image on my weight!

Now I exercise when I want to, but I’m also learning that walking 4 miles a day (to-from work) and sitting in the sun can do more good for my body than slogging through a grueling workout while berating myself for a binge the night before.

Your blog got the ball rolling for me and, slowly but surely, I’m keeping the trend going for myself.

Thank you!!

Reply

34 Janna (Just Flourishing) January 20, 2010

They way you write about such personal and emotional subjects, so poignantly and honestly, really amazes me.

Reply

35 Haleigh January 20, 2010

Thanks for sharing this with us, I know a lot of us can relate. I struggled with restriction and then feeling the need to consume every piece of chocolate in sight. I finally got out of the cycle when I let myself eat what I wanted. This is such an emotional topic so it is refreshing to see some one write about it so openly. Kudos to you girl.

Reply

36 kate January 20, 2010

Kudos to you for your Haiti relief efforts!
I absolutely agree that the key to freeing yourself from binge eating is having a no restriction rule.

Reply

37 Estela @ Weekly Bite January 20, 2010

Angela, this is a fantastic post! So many suffer from this! And this post will help!

Reply

38 Gabriela January 20, 2010

This is such a great post…I struggled with disordered eating for awhile and still occasionally binge, and it’s so great to know I’m not alone and to think about it this way. It made me realize I still have a lot of things to work on in accepting myself!

Reply

39 skinnyrunner January 20, 2010

what a gret post! you said everything so well. binge eating is a touchy, personal subject that seemingly every woman deals with in some way, and i love your points and tips!

Reply

40 Eve (Nutrition by Eve) January 20, 2010

This is a fabulous post – I work with many clients who are binge eaters and it’s nice to see someone talk about their issue so publicly. Not depriving yourself along with seeking therapy are two things I always recommend immediately. Thanks for being so open and honest.

Reply

41 Becky January 20, 2010

Thank you so much for posting this. You have no idea how much I needed to read this TODAY. I’m on day 5 of trying to eat intuitively – not dieting/restricting/counting calories and actually listening to my body. I am struggling so much with this because I feel like I’m eating so much (even though it’s probably actually a more healthy “normal” amount of food) but am still binging and it makes me want to go back to counting calories. I still have a long way to go before I find my healthy balance but your post gave me hope. Thank you.

Reply

42 Ashley January 20, 2010

Great post, as always. I’m not quite sure how you write such in depth and thought inspiring posts EVERY single day, on top of everything else you do. Pretty amazing! My senior year of college I lived with 2 other girls that both had ED’s. One was really severe. It was so so hard to see what they were both going through, especially one of them. I’ve been friends with both of them for a long time and wish I could pass along your blog without making them feel weird about it. I never had an ED or had problems with binge eating really, but definitely always concerned about the scale, etc. I feel like, in the last year or so I’ve accepted myself a lot more. I know in my head I have nothing at ALL to worry about and I am a balanced, healthy eater and work out a normal amount. Still that feeling when you know your body has gained a few pounds or even if it’s just retaining water…I hate when I get down on myself at that point! My hubs is great and always telling me I have NOTHing to worry about, he loves my body, etc etc. Just hoping I can be completely comfortable one day!! Thanks for all that you do with your blog..I’m sure it has helped SO many people!
—On another note, as SOON as I get a job I’m ordering Glo Bars for sure!! ;)

Reply

43 Mandy January 20, 2010

I always like reading your stories about binge eating. Because one day I hope to finally get over it. It’s such a hard thing to admit, but it’s even hard to stop.

Now it’s easier to control once I’ve started feeding my body properly.

Reply

44 Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 20, 2010

hmmmm I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself for some serious binge cookie and popcorn evenings . . . I don’t do it because I deprive myself, I do it to fix my stress. It’s absolutely uncontrollable at the time I’m doing it and then I feel so mad at myself afterwards. I know I need to find a better outlet for anxiety.

Reply

45 Jamie in Arkansas January 20, 2010

This post is exactly why I love your blog! Open, honest, heartfelt and informational. :) Thank you for inspiring us all.

Even though I have not been diagnosed with an ED, I struggle with binge eating (and have for years), but I’m not going to let it get the best of me! I just forgive myself and start again. God’s grace is an amazing gift.

Reply

46 Ruby January 20, 2010

Thanks hun, you inspired me to finally write about my eating disorder. It’s so true about the choice between the two – and although now it seems so simple, then it was incredibly hard!

Reply

47 Katie O. @ Fit to Wed January 20, 2010

Thank you for such an honest, open and inspirational post.

Reply

48 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self January 20, 2010

Thank you for having the courage to speak so openly about binge eating. As you say, there is a lot of shame and embarrassment involved, which often keeps people from getting the help they need. But the only way to fight that shame and embarrassment is by discussing the topic freely, and treating it as the legitimate health concern that it is.

Thanks for your courage and inspiration. :)

Reply

49 Beth @ DiningAndDishing January 20, 2010

Great post Angela!! I have never done anything as serious as what you describe but I certainly restricted too much in college and it would come back to get me later when I was STARVING. Such an unhealthy pattern to get into! I think your honesty will help a lot of girls open up about this kind of thing.

Reply

50 Carbzilla January 20, 2010

Really fantastic post, Angela. You can see that you really touched so many of us.

It took me years of therapy and experimentation to separate my emotions from the act of eating. I also had to let go of an “ideal” weight because that just wasn’t realistic for me.

Thanks again a million times for being such a wonderful example for so many.

Reply

51 Lexie Bond January 20, 2010

I think it’s hard to recognize that binging is actually a serious disorder sometimes. You mistake it for the occasional “mess up,” but clearly it’s very emotionally related.

Reply

52 Mama Pea January 20, 2010

I totally appreciate you sharing your struggle with this, Angela, and I completely agree that there is no shame in a biological response to starvation! I wish I didn’t have experience with this, but like you, I appreciate now what I put my body through, and though I may feel embarrassed by my motivations, I am not ashamed of my actions anymore…I just feel really sad for that girl that didn’t love herself enough to treat her own body with respect.

Reply

53 Kelly January 20, 2010

I used to wake up wanting coffee and to make my diet plan for the day. Now I wake up, drink my water, read your website, and want to be kind to myself and others. Thank YOU!!

Reply

54 Jackie @ TriToLose January 20, 2010

Thanks for posting this. I’ve struggled with binge eating for awhile – but it’s been hard to admit it to others because it feels more like an excuse. I’m working my way out of the cycle with the help of my best friend and husband. Thanks for putting another face to it – especially as someone who has overcome it. :)

Jackie
tritolose.wordpress.com

Reply

55 Kim January 20, 2010

I’m a new reader, and I really appreciate your posts about overcoming disordered eating. There is a whole spectrum of disordered eating (I’m at the restrictive anorexic end), but I think so much of the thinking is the same — controlling the body, losing trust in regards to hunger/fullness, letting go of the scale and counting and going with intuition. Thank you for being honest and real about the relapses. Also, thank you for pointing out that the number of calories when you binged was not what was important; it was the attitude. I feel the same way with anorexia; it’s the attitude toward eating. I regularly eat meals that are close to 1,000 calories, because that’s what I need. I still approach them with a restrictive mindset though (counting, stressing, etc). Even though I’m eating enough now and approaching a healthier weight, it’s the mindset I’m working on.

Reply

56 Megan January 20, 2010

Thanks for posting this. I think it’s super brave to share your struggles with teh world, and I’m sure it’s going to be helpful for ltos of people. :)

Reply

57 Danielle January 20, 2010

Thank you so much for posting this. I am recovering from an eating disorder and often get stuck in the restricting/binging cycle. I appreciate when people can openly talk about it and be honest with their habits, maybe one day I’ll learn to not be ashamed of them.
Thank you

Reply

58 Lost. January 20, 2010

Hi there, Angela. Thank you so much for this post. I need people’s opinion on something that has been bothering me for a long long time. The thing is, I struggled with anorexia for about a year (got down to a really low weight) and then slowly … my disorder morphs into bulimia. Needless to say, I feel more like a failure than ever before because all my previous inpatient friends are either doing really well or relapsing. Second of all, I am having a really really hard time to just TRUST my body/metabolism in finding its own set weight – my mind tells me ‘why let YOUR BODY decides when YOU can make it happen …. come on, you’ve done it before and you can do it again and etc…. BUT the truth is, I cannot starve myself anymore – even if I want to, I can’t – And that is the thing that I’m having the HARDEST time to let GO. Gah. Please shed some light into my head. Thank you so so much!

Reply

59 Paige @ Running Around Normal January 20, 2010

That’s not only SO very brave of you to come out and say, but it’s SO true.
No one should be ashamed of it. It exsists. It’s biologica. When one does have shame about it it can hinder them from getting the help they really need.

Reply

60 cece January 20, 2010

This post is very timely as I have been struggling with overeating a lot lately and have put on several pounds. I have lost over 140 pounds and need to lose about 50 more…but this overeating , which is emotionally based is getting the best of me…sstarts and stops…
Cece

Reply

61 melonshot. January 20, 2010

thank you for this post. it was quite inspiring.

Reply

62 ariffa January 20, 2010

Thank you so much for this post, I’ve been struggling a lot with this lately and knowing I’m not alone is so helpful in itself.

Reply

63 Jamie January 20, 2010

Wow Angela this is one of my favorite posts you have ever done. This is SO honest and I have definitely struggled with this before too until I realize it is usually a result of not eating enough as well. I am a hungry girl and have worked to try to embrace that!

Reply

64 Jenn@slim-shoppin January 20, 2010

Thanks for being so honest about that. I had a roomate that I lived with for 2 years, never knowing she suffered from that!

I now understand what she must have been going through.

Reply

65 Amy Ramos January 20, 2010

Thank you for the update on the glo bars! I am sooo looking forward to eating (my very first) one.
And thank you for this post on binge eating. Lately when I have gotten home from work, I feel the need to eat and eat and eat even though I will be making dinner. Last night, I had some chips while watching TV (bad, I know) and started munching away. Before I knew it, I had 1/2 the bag! I think I will be changing my habits as to bring some of those chips with me for my lunch so I do not feel deprived.
I know it is a daily battle, but I need to take baby steps. Thanks again!
Also, I got some great info on what to eat before a race. I am doing a 9 mile race in April and I was at a loss at what to eat (and wear!).
Looking forward to those glo bars.

Reply

66 Christy January 20, 2010

I agree, health & over all happiness are much better feelings than a day staying in your ‘calorie range’

Reply

67 Mo January 20, 2010

With every post that I read, I learn a little bit more about the journey toward self-acceptance. Thank you!

About this part:
“The counselor I saw in university made a huge impact on my life. To this day, I remember fondly the nice things she said about me. I should write her and thank her, actually.”

You really should drop her a note. Imagine her joy in knowing that she helped you to THIS extent and that you are now helping readers all over the world?!?! I think that it would be life-changing for her!

Reply

68 Nicole, RD January 20, 2010

Angela, this is very well-written, as always. Thank you for having a voice for so many people who suppress these feelings of guilt and loss of control. You are an inspiration!

Reply

69 Rachel January 20, 2010

I really appreciate you posting this, Angela. It takes a lot of courage to be honest about such a personal issue, and many women (and men) struggle with this on a daily basis. Thank you!

Reply

70 Trish January 20, 2010

This is a wonderful post! Thanks!

I’ve gone through the exact same thing. It took me forever to figure out that the major reason I was binging was because I kept starving my poor body.

And even after starting to eat more, I,too, still had trouble with binges.

I wouldn’t say I am completely over it yet – but I am making great progress. Everything just makes sense now and I know I need to care for my body and actually feed it. I can’t go on starving – there’s no way you can keep it up.

I’ve been trying hard to fix it all – and have had a counselor helping me. It’s a long process. But I am in my 30s and have had an ED since high school. It takes time.

It’s so embarrassing, too, to eat so much – thousands of calories. I would eat a whole bag of cookies and was so ashamed that my family would know. They’d wonder where the food had gone. And I always would binge when nobody was around. I would literally wait to they went to bed or went out.

I started out starving myself for the longest time to lose weight. But I couldn’t keep that up. That’s when the binges started. I always look at woman who are painfully thin and who appear to be starving themselves to be that way. You just can’t keep that up forever. Something has to give eventually.

And life is better with food. I eat so much now – and haven’t gained an ounce. Crazy. I spent so long binging – then starving to keep my weight down. Now I can eat three meals, a couple of snacks – and it works like a charm. You can eat and have a great body too. There’s no need for that craziness.

Reply

71 Ariana @Artarra January 20, 2010

Thank you so much for this fantastic post. I have read all your blog post from the beginning on and they are really inspiring. You are such an admirable and gorgeous woman!
The line between binging sometimes and struggling with a serious eating disorder is really small. I realised that it became worse as I started to weight myself every day – 0.2 grams (sorry, not thinking in pounds ;-) ) more and I started to starve – and this leads always to binging, as you explained.
Therefore the most important part to overcome this circle was to stop weighting – I am weighting myself about once a month now – and this is soooo much better than daily.
Your blog was a huge help to find my way to healthy eating – thank you!

Reply

72 liane January 20, 2010

Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. It reinforces in me the knowledge that I am not alone, that others have similar struggles and the knowledge that these can be overcome is truly inspiring.
I can’t properly explain how your blog and the sharing of your personal experiences have helped me and merely saying “thank you” doesn’t seem adequate, but Thank You.

Reply

73 alyssa January 20, 2010

thanks for being honest, comforting..but most of all, thank you for being the inspiration that i think many of us need. everyone knows that they should accept themselves as they are..but it seems so much more powerful and possible coming from someone that actually knows how you feel.

Reply

74 thedelishdish January 20, 2010

HI Angela! cant say how refreshing your thoughts are! its so great that other girls out there also realize that being healthy is so important and will actually give you the energy to make the most of your life! thanks for sharing :)

Reply

75 Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 20, 2010

Anglea – what a honest and eloquent post. Thankyou so much for sharing your experience, and allowing others to relate to it (including me!)

Reply

76 Anne @thefitbridesmaid January 20, 2010

Angela

Again you’ve hit me with another topic that hits so close to home. It’s amazing how many people are out there struggling with it. I feel as if I’m getting better (way improved in the past year). Yet just the other night, I could barely think about the 20 minute tv show, since my mind was thinking “When will Matt (bf) leave the room, so I can go sneak another serving of ice cream?”

Thank you for being so honest.

Anne

Reply

77 Heather @ Mrs. Southern Bride January 20, 2010

What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing. I can identify so much with what you have shared! Eating healthy has been such a battle for me, so I am so thankful to relate with much of this, because it helps me realize my own potholes in my thinking.

Reply

78 Becca Dressler January 20, 2010

Thank you for sharing your story. My sister had an eating disorder in college and reading posts like this helps me to relate to her better, and all girls really. Because in some small way or another, we all have an obsession with food–whether being “too healthy”, eating too much, eating too little, overanalyzing food…you get the picture. I’m still learning to love myself, and I’m by no means fat or overweight–my husband helps me love myself more every day! Reading blogs like yours helps me not feel alone in these feelings and really uplifts my thoughts. Thank you again.

Reply

79 Lori January 20, 2010

This is a great topic and definitely hits home with (probably) all of your readers! Thank you for sharing!

Reply

80 Michelle @ Eatingjourney January 20, 2010

For me over-eating and then binging was revolved around two things:

1. The sense of deprivation I felt due to health issues and not being able to eat certain food

2. Surpressing emotions

When i feel stressed, uncertain, tired, insecure, etc. I ALWAYS want food. It took nine hard months of getting real with myself and THROWING out the scale to listen to my body–but more importantly my emotions.

It’s not easy, because food keeps down the real issues that many of us don’t want to deal with. Dieting robs us of knowing what our body needs, wants, desires.

I love that you wrote ‘don’t feel ashamed’. The guilt and depressions after a binge (as you know) is intense.

Thank you for writing this. You are one of the reasons that I am on my path to recovery.

Reply

81 mohina January 20, 2010

thank you so much for talking so openly about ED. your blog has helped me in more ways my attitude about myself, not being afraid of food, wanting to be fit, strong and healthy. i am currently putting back on the weight lost through retriction and have stopped bulimic actions. light bulb when i ate sat down took time to enjoy and cook my food the starving stopped. still finding it tough weekly weigh in with ED team to make sure am not loosing. one thing i would like to point out to the other ED learn about the side affects to the heart etc from diet and vomiting, really shoked me into stopping. thank you from LONDON

Reply

82 G.G. January 20, 2010

Beautiful post. Thank you for this!

Reply

83 Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore) January 20, 2010

Its such a treat hearing your story, even after having read it before. I am such a binger so its amazing to hear success stories. I start therapy next Friday! woot woot. (im a therapist hopper.)
thanks ang!

Reply

84 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] January 20, 2010

You inspire me more than words can tell. Thank you for helping Haiti and constantly working your a** off. You rock!

Reply

85 Caitliin January 20, 2010

thanks for this post because this is something that I have recently been struggling with. Just when I think I am over binging–something bad happens and I binge again. Vicious Cycle.

Reply

86 Nicole January 20, 2010

Thank you for such an honest and inspirational post. You are an angel :)

Reply

87 Janessa January 20, 2010

Excellent post Angela! I struggled with anorexia in high school skipping breakfast, something small for lunch, and picking at dinner. To this day, I don’t feel hunger pains when I should be hungry so I have a very difficult time eating intuitively. Has anyone else had a similar result? It’s been almost 9 years since I developed ED. After I graduated high school, I began binge eating and after 4 years of college, I’m still not clean :-/

Reply

88 mohina January 21, 2010

you loose hunger signals as hormones etc out of whack so yor body adapts for this nagative situation. to get hungeer signals back to “normal” have a routine where you eat somethimng roughly every four hours three meals/ snacks any order as long as you are getting your reqquired calorieseaten through the entire course of the day. my advice spread food out through day and night so you do not leave yorself open to long periods without food which trigger binges. its hard sometimes to eat when not hungrybut remind yorself that you are teaching your body and that you will be able to in the future have theose hunger signals working as they should do. good luck.

Reply

89 Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers) January 20, 2010

I understand those feelings all too well. I consider it such a blessing that I was able to escape from the clutches of my binge eating/bulimia/body hatred problems by accepting myself and giving my body what it needs. Thanks for posting this. ♥

Reply

90 Sahar January 20, 2010

This was such an inspiring blog post. It brought tears to my eyes, because I am trying to recover from just the same thing. Thank you for posting about this!

Reply

91 Meredith January 20, 2010

Angela, thank you for being so open and honest with your struggles. I started crying at work today as I read your words, relating to everything you said. I am so sick of hating myself and my body and have been contemplating therapy for some time. Your experience has motivated me to get the help I need and start loving myself again. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration!

Reply

92 Jenny January 20, 2010

Thank you so much for this post. While I do not think I suffer from a binge eating disorder, I do worry about everything I put in my body and feel guilty if I don’t work out to burn certain things off – I’m hoping that by getting healthy and learning more about my body I will eventually be comfortable in my own skin and my body will know the weight it wants to be !

Reply

93 Jolene January 20, 2010

I don’t think I have ever binged before … especially not on one food – I get sick of things way to quickly! I guess that is a good thing!!

Reply

94 Leah January 21, 2010

Its really wonderful that you can share this. I think you will help a lot of people. I suffered with binge eating up until recently to be honest. It was until I completely overhauled the way I eat.
I binged because of my eating disorder as well, and even once I was “recovered” it was still a problem for me. And there was a lot of shame associated with it.
Thank you for being so honest.

Reply

95 Kris | iheartwellness.com January 21, 2010

You are a beautiful person Ange! Posts like this is the reason why people feel comfortable on OSG!

XXOO

Reply

96 Emmanuelle January 21, 2010

Hi Angela,
well nothing to add here, I also suffered from binge eating years ago, and I ended it the same way you did: seeking help, and stop restricting in between binges. I learned to stop eating when I wasn’t hungry anymore, found out I could have a cookie and it was no big deal, and stop there without chugging the whole package :-)

Reply

97 Kathi January 21, 2010

I am in tears reading this post. It is exactly what I needed to read. I have been struggling with picking a “healthy weight” or a “skinny weight”. Thank you for writing this it touched me deeply today.

Reply

98 Tina January 21, 2010

I just stumbled across your blog since I see it in so many blogrolls and figured it must be a good one and wow. This post really hit home to me. I too, struggled with binge eating for a few years and felt awful. I finally overcame it once I stopped restricting too and it’s so true that the body can adapt. This is so inspiring and it is great for you to put this out there so others don’t have to feel ashamed and recognize its more common than we all think :) I’ll be back to visit more! :)

Reply

99 Kristy January 21, 2010

Just….. Thank you…..

Reply

100 Binge Eater January 21, 2010

I started writing this comment so many times, and then when I saw the comment list was up to almost 100, I though, why bother. It would just get lost in the shuffle. My comment was a bit of a cry for help. I need someone to step in and tell me JUST STOP NOW. I am a binge eater and in the middle of a binge cycle now. It sucks. When I am good, I am veeeeeery good. For months on end. But when I snap, oh man,it isn’t pretty. I wanted to reach out and get moral support, guidance and advice, but I realize that that isn’t your job! : ) I just started a blog in hopes of finding others who suffer. Like you, I am a blogger, and I am pretty sure we have mutual readers, but I need to do this new blog anonymously. It sucks, it really does. I hope to once and for get a handle on this. Thanks for your post and honesty. It truly helps.

Reply

101 Natalie January 22, 2010

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting this. I have been to 3 different therapists for my EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) and have found no relief. This post has inspired me to not give up my fight to seek treatment. I have an appointment and hope that this leads to recovery for me.
Again, thank you SO much for this. You’re a gem!

Reply

102 Kari January 22, 2010

I’m so happy (and proud of you :) ) that you posted this. I think you know already how much I admire your strength in making the changes you’ve made, but to share this with others is so incredibly helpful. Your summary of the two choices when considering ED recovery is also so exactly correct…sometimes I half consider directing my patients to your blog :p. I hope you know what an incredible person you are!

Reply

103 neil January 25, 2010

Thanks for this post. This is one of the most honest, informative posts I have ever read about binge eating. I ll recommend this to a friend of mine.

Reply

104 Sarah Ikegami February 21, 2010

Angela,
Thank you for this post and for your blog. The “B” word…extremely uncomfortable but needs to be said…out loud! Binge! I have struggled with binge eating. Moments of fear and anxiety caused me to reach for food, anything, really, to calm my nerves. Only, it never calmed my nerves. It left me feeling EVEN MORE fearful and anxious, tired, lethargic, depressed…nothing positive! You are right about depriving yourself and eating to make up for lost time, or rather, lost food. Lately I am reading alot about being fulfilled in life. When we aren’t fulfilled by our spiritual beliefs, family, friends, career and hobbies, it is easier than EVER to reach for food to fill that void. It’s so important to get to the root of the matter, ask ourselves WHY we are reaching for food, WHAT we are really feeling (it probably is not physical hunger) and what ELSE can we do to nourish ourselves.
Thanks for posting, girl, I am incredibly inspired by you.
Sarah

Reply

105 Jess May 21, 2010

Thank you so much for this post. This is something I have struggled with for a long time, and I am now trying to recover. I started a blog to share my recovery journey, and it is so reassuring to learn that others share the same issues.

Reply

106 Kathryn May 26, 2010

Thank you so much for sharing your story!
I have overcome anorexia and gained some weight. But after being used to the unreasonably small size I was, i have started to restrict again. Restricting definitely causes binging. I felt the exact same way you did, and it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who feels that way. After my body was in a state of malnutrition, it had to learn to trust me, and I might be falling off the wagon again. Your advice on binging has helped so much and I love all of the advice on your website. You are gorgeous and your story is unbelievably inspiring to me!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Reply

107 Tess May 27, 2010

Wow, what to say that hasn’t already been said! lol This was a great post. You are so insightful and inspiring.

Reply

108 Kati June 9, 2010

I stumbled upon your blog today and I am so happy I did! I struggled with an eating disorder for several years, which included a lot of binge eating (whether it was due to emotions, depriving myself, over exercise, etc). I finally stuck with a therapist for 2 years and since ending with her this past fall, I am at a better, more balanced and healthier place. I did like what you said about “old habits die hard” though. Despite being healthy and no longer obsessing over food and calories, I have had the occasional binge from time to time. While it is frustrating to me because I just want them to stop completely, it is unrealistic to think that this will happen. After years of binging, it takes time to break that cycle. It is nice to know and hear that other people continue to have these issues even after regaining some control over their disordered eating. Thanks for your sharing your story. I will definitely be following this blog from now on!

Reply

109 Natasha June 15, 2010

Back in Janaury, I stumbled upon your blog, which led me to a few others such as “Healthy Tipping Point”, and “Carrots n Cake”. I have struggled with an ED sine I was a teenager, and after many failed attempts to get better without success, I had pretty much resigned myself to struggle the rest of my life.
I can say with 100% honesty that discovering your blog changed my life.
Not only does your blog give me a daily therapy session, but the blog world has exposed to me what recovery CAN look like. So many healthy, beautiful women eating healthy food, exercising for the FUN of it, and leading happy lives not consumed with thoughts of food 24/7!
Most importantly, I have learned to love myself for who I am at this exact moment in time, not for who I will be 5 pounds from now, or after one more workout, or after one more day of starving myself….This is my mantra!!!

“We have to find out where our body will be happiest. I believe that is one of the hardest things for a woman to figure out, but once you do you will never go back.”
-What a simple concept, but so many of us fight what we are!

You are an inspiration, and I can proudly say I am purge free and eating properly for what will be 3 months on June 25th. I am what recovery looks like, and I LOVE IT!!!

natasha

Reply

110 Danielle June 20, 2010

Thank you for this, for being so frank and open. I am currently struggling with the issue of binge eating and have started seeing a counselor for it. Sometimes I feel dismayed at the amount of energy required to not only overcome this specific problem, but all of the triggering issues that have led me here. I’m resolved to heal though it’s hard sometimes!

Your bit about it puttig up a wall between you and your partner rings home especially for me. As horrible as bingeing makes me feel emotionally and physically, I also dread the wall this compulsion puts between my boyfriend and I. He knows something of my problem, but I’ve never given him the chance to really understand because I have never been totally honest (out of shame!). I do dread having someone close to me, who ostensibly loves me, suddenly being given pieces of he puzzle that will change what they feel toward me. I dread being “revealed” as greedy and monstrous, despite being a ‘normal’ weight, and to all outward appearances having normal habits. The process of overcoming these fears and being self-caring enough to open up to others is very hard.

I’m not sure if you chronicle it elsewhere on your blog but how did you go about fully revealing your problem to your partner? Was it very difficult or was it easier than you thought, once you actually resolved to do it?

That is the killer thing with this problem, is how it seems imperative to hide it, and the resulting shame and fear that comes with hiding. So it’s really meaningful to read something like this, and to see that a happy ending can be possible. Cheers to you!

Reply

111 Felicia October 6, 2010

Thank you so, so much for posting this. You are an amazing woman who is helping many women, more than you know, and you can add me to that list :) I needed to read this and I’m so glad to have found your blog. Thank you again!!

Reply

112 Polly April 29, 2012

Hi, So I am a vegetarian and have been trying to go vegan for about 6 months. I have noticed that ever since then I have been overeating, having binges and feeling out of control when it comes to eating. I live in a small town where there are no therapists that deal with eating disorders. Do you have any advice? Thank you.

Reply

113 Katie A May 9, 2012

Thank you

Reply

114 Bek @ Crave July 13, 2012

I love this post and have read it twice the past couple of days. I like you was very restrictive and slowly have become less restrictive but I never fully committed. These past few weeks I decided to allow myself whatever I wanted when I wanted and to eat when hungry etc. I know this bingeing/overeating thing is just a phase of recovery but honestly I can’t stand it. I hate being controlled by food and putting this terrible stuff in my body- but my body wants it. I guess after years of prohibiting in my body and mind is making up for lost time? The only thing is I don’t think it’s healthy for this to continue for a long period of time. I’m just hoping I make it through this period with little weight gain or that the weight gain is just temporary. Sorry I am just a bit down and felt like you were experiencing then exactly what I’m experiencing now!

Reply

115 Rodney Knight July 19, 2012

Gaining the trust of my family and friends was the most difficult thing to attain after I disclosed to them the news of my recovery from my eating binge disorder. Now I feel like a winner!

Reply

116 kaila August 8, 2012

I was just diagnosed with anorexia binge/purge type. I know it’s because I’m trying to get down to an unrealistic weight, I restrict then binge. But I’m a model. What can I do? Nothing. I’ll just have to live like this.

I had a massive 2 week binge where I gained 15 lbs. I have no time left to get back down to the weight I need to be. I haven’t even been able to show my face at gigs because I’ve eaten myself up to 150 lbs (while I am usually 135).

Reply

117 Nicole February 18, 2013

Hi, I’m 14 and your blog has made all the difference!! I binge eat, and sometimes it’s hard because I gain weight and never lose it. OR I go on an all healthy phase and almost starve myself I love the recipes because cooking takes my mind off of bingeing, and then I get a delicious treat at the end! Thanks for all the advice.

Reply

118 Ashley March 2, 2013

I really needed to hear exactly this, right now. Thank you so much.

Reply

119 just me May 3, 2013

Hey Angela! i like your story and it really made me cry of the fact that i can totally relate to your past behavior just that im in it now and im so hopeless .. any advice how to beat it if you’re allergic to many foods that you crave? i certainly am and everytime i still end up binging on things that virtually kill me because of how severe the effects of allergies are …

Reply

120 Angela (Oh She Glows) May 5, 2013

Hi there, Thanks for your kind words!
Is there any way you can find alternatives to the foods you crave but are allergic to? For example, if you can’t eat peanuts what about trying out sunbutter or something with a similar taste/consistency? I’ve done that a lot with my vegan diet (finding similar tastes and textures) and it has helped a lot with cravings. good luck!

Reply

121 Christina August 28, 2013

This really hit home for me, thank you.

Reply

122 SM January 22, 2014

This was such a helpful post for me. I am currently trying to eat “intuitively” and I am binge eating more than ever. I am hoping that my body will slow down and eat normally soon! I find myself to be out of control when it comes to nut butters, nuts, and dried fruit. Did you have a specific food that you ate/craved more than others?

Reply

123 Lauren February 6, 2014

I’ve found myself struggling with some binge eating habits myself lately.
Just wrote a blog about my journey and struggle with food:
laurenmarie-lifesjourney.blogspot.com/2014/02/battling-eating-disorders.html

Reply

124 Paige Cunningham February 15, 2014

I know this is not a new post, but I just came across it. I just wanted to thank you for posting it, as I have just recently made appointments with a registered dietitian and a counselor specializing in eating disorders. I have been struggling since I was 17, 6 years, and have finally decided to take charge of my life and choose number 2. Thank you for the inspiration, you are wonderful. I pinned this to read when I need a reminder :)

Reply

125 Amanda May 8, 2014

I am struggling with ED recovery right now. I’m a few months in and my pants are a little snugger than I would like. Out of instinct yesterday I turned to My Fitness Pal and pledged to track every morsel but overnight, I realized that is part of what got me to this bad place. Today I begin again, listening to my body and giving it what it needs. I’ve read your blog off and on for a few years and something pulled me back here today and made me search for your ED related posts.
Thank you so much for writing this post, it gave me exactly what I needed today.
<3 Amanda

Reply

126 Angela April 6, 2015

Thank you for writing this. I just binged 40 minutes ago, tried calling a helpline because I was trying so hard not to throw up (i only had 3 pieces of pizza and some chicken wings) and I felt so guilty, I began shaking and wanted to just start feel out of control and your website was the first i came too and it was a sign- low and behold- Angela- I have been on a low carb high protein gluten free diet for the past 4 months with occasional cheats. Today i felt so depressed i didnt care and ordered delivery. I knew I was going to regret it. I feel better now that ive read your post. thank you

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: