I secretly binged on food and junk for years. For as long as I can remember my cardinal sin has been chocolate. I have an 18 year old son (Junior) and I remember when he was just an infant if I ever felt stressed I would eat Hershey chocolate bar after Hershey chocolate bar. As a mom with a new baby boy I signed up for a Sam's Club membership (strictly for the bulk diapers of course). Well it wasn't long before I found myself in the bulk candy aisle.
Q: Doing what, you say?
A: I was buying Hershey chocolate bars by the case.
Ashamedly I must admit, I would eat those chocolate bars until I literally became sick. This bad habit along with the poor portion control habits I learned as a child would stick with me for the next 18 years.
Honestly I wouldn't have called myself a binge eater at the time. The only disease that I understood to be a food disorder was "bulimia". In my mind if I wasn't purging then I didn't have a disorder.
As you can imagine my weight began to balloon and balloon with this growing habit. If people struggling with bulimia view themselves as overweight even when they are at a healthy weight, then those with an overeating disorder must have the same problem-just on the opposite end of the spectrum. What I mean by that is- I didn't see myself doing anything that far out of the ordinary and honestly thought I still had "my girlish figure". It was like a smokescreen or veil was over my eyes.
Wake up calls started to ring in: One day I volunteered in my daughter's then first grade class and her schoolmates began teasing her "your mom's fat"! I began borrowing my husband's size 34 jeans because my women sized clothing would no longer fit.
I started to realize I was overweight but felt too powerless, too busy, too stressed and too out of control to do anything about it. Finally when my son was around 4 years old I randomly decided to give weight loss some effort. There were actually some really good results, but because there had been no change in my mind frame or acknowledgement of binge eating- the weight loss was short lived.
By the time Junior was in middle school, after being a housewife for many years, I decided to go back to school and learn a new trade myself. I enrolled in Ross Medical School to learn Dental Assisting.
While studying Dental Assisting we came to a section in our book on eating disorders. We mainly learned about eating disorders in order to spot someone's teeth that were eroded from purging and needed help. Then all of a sudden I read about "IT" The disorder that had been plaguing me for so many years. Binge Eating Disorder/Compulsive Eating disorder. The words started popping out at me on the page. Things like: eating past the point of normal or feeling full, eating until you become sick, feeling powerless over food and out of control. FEELING ASHAMED!
Oh my gosh! This was a real "thing". It wasn't ok to do. It was harmful to your teeth and health. Here I was staring at the truth in that medical book in black and white.
I wish that I could say to you that after reading and understanding that I had a Binge Eating Disorder, I stopped. Let's be real I DIDN'T. Information alone is a start but not a cure. I began going to weight watcher's meetings (that got expensive). I went to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting (to be honest, that got weird). To be brutally honest with myself and you- I gave the fight against Binge Eating Disorder an inconsistent effort and had some inconsistent results.
So what has changed?........Unfortunately like so many Americans it took a health alarm TO WAKE ME UP! Inactivity along with the years of over indulging in chocolate, cream frosting, sugar etc had started taking it's toll on me. At 40 years old I knew my body well enough to know it was not responding correctly. I had symptoms of constant fatigue, shakiness, marked by other tell tale signs that diabetes was on the horizon. I went to the doctor and sure enough they said I was prediabetic. Since the beginning of this year (2016) I have started making a concerted effort against binge eating in order to not develop diabetes.
As with any new habit there will be an adjustment period and setbacks, but I am happy to report that I have lost 15 lbs and have been binge free for over 30 days.
The above video gives some of the tips I have learned to be consistent in through this journey. It was a very enlightening health discovery to find out that cocoa (chocolate in its clean form) is a natural appetite suppressant. So the enemy of my enemy is my friend I see.
P.S. It is my sincere hope that you glean as much as you can from this article and video. Most importantly turn your knowledge into action. Don't wait for health alarms to hit you. Take this info as your sound off to march into a healthier you.