Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to know if you have binge eating disorder

Remember that one time I was all "I have anxiety disorder"? No? Click here. In that post I sort of grazed over the fact that I have an eating disorder too, because I am a wild party. (10 points for anyone who can guess that song without the help of a search engine.)

Anyway, I'm so sorry to deviate from my regular playfully-complaining-about-boyfriend-like-a-boss posting style. Today, guys, I'm talking about an eating disorder. Binge Eating Disorder.

The title of this post is something I have googled so, so many times. Times when I’ve been in denial, times when I’ve been confused, times when I’ve been on the couch with a whole box of cookies, and times when I haven’t eaten in days.

I’ve never found a clear answer.

I’m not saying that I can offer one, but I have some thoughts to share.

I began to understand that my issues with food, weight and body image were more than just binge eating and more like binge eating DISORDER when my thoughts involving the issue began to take over my life. I lost control of my ability to take over my thoughts- binging was no longer a question, it was a habit that owned me. It was a drive, a need, a medication. I began to need to eat to save myself from feelings that I didn’t even know how to explain.

This still happens to me. I’ve been living this way for over four years, with the situation becoming progressively worse. I have not found my solution. I have not beaten down my own demons.

What I really want to say here, though, is the single most important thing I’ve learned about having an eating disorder:

IT IS MOST IMPORTANT THAT YOU ACCEPT ALL OF WHO YOU ARE. YOU MUST ACCEPT THAT YOU ARE TALENTED, SMART, CAPABLE- WHATEVER THE HELL YOU ARE- YOU ARE ALL OF YOURSELF. ALL OF YOU INCLUDING BEING A PERSON WHO HAS AN EATING DISORDER.

Basically, you need to own that shit. You need to own the fact that you have a disorder; you should talk about it if you can, and you should try your hardest to still live your life the way you’ve always dreamed of.

Because with an eating disorder, you will feel an extremely strong compulsion to shut everything down- you’ll want to shut down your friends, school, job, and hobbies- everything. You can’t do that. You do that, the disorder wins. The disorder doesn’t get to win- it doesn’t get to take over your life. You can live your life while you’re learning to take over your disorder. It is possible.

Live your life. Be an awesome person, a stellar student, a total biotch, a girlfriend, a great friend… who has an eating disorder. Because the sooner you accept it, tell the people you love about it, and start to hate IT instead of hating yourself all the freaking time, you’ll feel better. I think.

I think, because I haven’t won this battle yet myself. This advice is just as much for me as it is for anyone else.

Do not be ashamed of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. I know it’s hard. It is so. fucking. hard.

I think that part of knowing that you have an eating disorder is not knowing how the hell to stop it. 

And when all else fails, watch old Disney movies until your eyes hurt. Try The Sword in the Stone. Works for me. 

Don't you just love when the hardest advice to live by is your own?

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing - that was brave of you! Good luck to you and don't you ever forget your own advice. :)

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  2. This is a great post! I can relate in a billion ways. For me, allowing myself to be that smart, talented, capable person WITH AN EATING DISORDER is tough because I feel like people won't let you own that unless you've been anorexic and weighed 90 pounds post-puberty. And then accepting that using food will always be a go-to strategy for me. Do you read Geneen Roth? I wish I could carry her in my pocket.

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    1. Oh lord, girrrrllll I have been trying to own this at over double 90 pounds! Accepting that food is, yeah, a coping mechanism, is major too. I have not read Geneen Roth but I'm about to go google right now and I will let you know what I think!

      Thanks, Wendi! :)

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    2. Sure thing! I have some of her books. I can send them to you. P.S. I am so glad I "met" you and you are my new "internet friend." For realz! :)

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    3. Awww Wendi you make me smile :)
      I'm going to see if I can get any of her stuff on the boyfriend's Kobo!
      I'm glad you're my new internet friend too!

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  3. You are amazing! Remember you have lots of love in your life and to start with small baby steps. I love you sweetheart.

    -P

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  4. As a bitch with a psych degree, I can tell you this:
    nothing terrifies me more than eating disorders. Seriously, nothing. I could rant all day about the topic. You're now my second friend who has told me they have this problem, and I can say that I am useless, I have no idea how to help and I am ashamed of this failing as a friend. When is love not enough? Here, maybe. But positivity is boss, and all we can do is do what we can do.

    In this case,
    I love you.
    (Annnnd make sure you exercise every day, drink lots of water, eat lots of veggies and get a good night of sleep every night. Heard the BEST lecture from a sleep psych last year who's a bit amazing, if I track down his work I'll email it to you for kix.)

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  5. Thanks Ruby. You're right. I love you.

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  6. Wow, that was impressive and brave going for the big open and honest serious post. I salute you! *salutes*
    I wake up every single day and think about food (it's great living with a chef... honest) and then I obsess about what it will do to my body, and then even though I know these things I then eat the food I have been thinking about since I woke up and then spend the next two days hating myself and looking in the mirror at my tummy about every 30 minutes quite seriously wondering if I could be brave enough to just vomit it all up. Gross I know, but if we're all being honest here... and then I don't eat for a few days and well that just doesn't work at all and makes me quite grumpy!
    In this day and age (I hate that phrase) it is SO hard to not be obsessed with what we eat, how we exercise, what we look like. We truly are bombarded every single day. I have been having ANXIETY attacks because I have to wear a bikini in public in 6 weeks.
    Yesterday I was talking to a friend who has been told she must put on weight. For one second I thought 'I hate you' and then I realised that she is in exactly the same situation as me and then I thought: It's not about food, or how much we weigh, or how flat our tummy's are, or any of that other shit that consumes our minds... it's about confidence. Confidence is the best make over. So yes, take your own advice and let you see that your hawt man loves you not just because you are so funny and smart but also because you are damn hawt too :)

    Sorry you are dealing with this sista...and that I keep taking up all kinds of ridiculous space on your comment sections...

    Love Elle xo

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    1. Elle!

      Wonderful to read your comment- I'm with you on all parts of your situation. Thank you very much for all that you said! :)

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  7. So, as someone you has had an eating disorder her whole life, I have to say you are so brave! And thank you I needed to see that today =)

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    1. Thank you for reading, I'm so glad you got something out of it :) And thanks also for being my newest follower!

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  8. "Because the sooner you accept it, tell the people you love about it, and start to hate IT instead of hating yourself all the freaking time, you’ll feel better. I think." - Accepting IT and letting everyone know (letting your emotions out) will help you greatly in overcoming binge eating. Eating disorders are caused by emotions that we can't express. Great article. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Great comment! Thank you :) You're very right about the cause being the things we can't express.

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  9. “Don't you just love when the hardest advice to live by is your own?” – I totally get you. But I’m glad that you are now on your way to healing. Although you did not win the battle just yet, you are half-way there. Recognizing that you have a problem is half of the solution. From there, you can figure out what you will do next, and how you are going to solve your food relationship problem. It is still a bumpy ride to victory, but with strength of will and power of determination, you can see be sure that the victory is yours. Best of luck!

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Thanks for commenting, lovely human.