Binge Eating Disorder Support 4(350 Posts)
Hello, and welcome to our 4th(!) support thread for those affected by Binge Eating Disorder (BED) & disordered eating.
Our manifesto - we recognise that diets are absolutely not the answer, and that overcoming food restriction can help us to have a healthier relationship with food, and with ourselves.
So join us. Share your story. Or lurk quietly in the shadows. Either way, most people feel relieved to find others who know what they're going through.
For some background reading, here are the first 3 threads:-
Thread 1 March 2014
Thread 2 October 2014
Thread 3 April 2015
Here are a few resources to kick off your recovery journey:
- Overcoming Binge Eating - the 'bible'; used by many Eating Disorder services' treatment programmes, this is a good place to start.
- Brain over Binge - an alternative view; the scientific approach to understanding and stopping binge urges.
- Women Food and God - an interesting look at why we overeat that resonates with many.
- Some of us also follow the blogs of coaches within the ED / body image online communities - Isabel Foxen Duke and Summer Inannen are just a couple of examples, full list of online resources to follow shortly...
Please bear in mind that most of the contributors to this thread are eating disorder sufferers and not professionals. As with any online forum, it is best to supplement support on here with real-life support and advice from professionals.
Thanks for the new thread! Saturday wine and home made bread fest here. Plus strawberries... Definitely not healthy eating but thoroughly enjoyable...
Hope all are having a good weekend!
Thanks iron for the new thread!
I'm with you on the wine Jass! Saturday evening's not the same without it!
I've had a good day food wise, had my snacks and meals and feeling happy. I'll tell you what though - there's nothing like a sweaty primark changing room on a stressful shopping trip to knock your confidence. Had a bit of a wobble when some of the clothes were too tight but soon got over it! Before that would've really had me on a downer and restricting my food for the rest of the day. Little steps as fighting says
Have a lovely evening all!
Hey, long time lurker here but after another total failure Ive decided I need to make some changes. I'm ashamed to say that my kids suffered because of my massive binge last night. I felt so ill today that I couldn't do anything fun with them... Such a waste of a beautiful day. 😢
Hello Teresa - so glad you've joined us. Firstly, you are categorically NOT a failure! The fact that you've recognised that you need to make a change and taken action is a big step in itself. Do you have a sense of what triggers your urges to binge? Do they tend to happen at a particular time of day, or in a certain environment?
Bonnie, I've always found changing rooms a horrendous experience, no matter what my weight. You've done well to shake it off and move on. What did you end up buying??
Jass, that sounds lush, not unhealthy! Are you still having your meals delivered?
Thanks for the new thread Maggie.
Oh goodness Bonnie not sure anyone enjoys a Primark changing room! Well done on moving, small victories are so important.
Hi Teresa. Sorry to hear about the bad day. Have you read the Fairburn book? Can you start by trying to be kind to yourself? That is where fighting told me start. It wasn't easy, as being kind was the opposite of what I felt....but I gave it a go.
Ok here. Planning to get back to the gym tomorrow followed by a day in my new office. Feeling happy today.
Have been thinking about a few of the comments on the previous thread about needing food for sustance. I have focused on trying to restrict/reduce for so long, it had never occured that the low cal food might not be sustaining me. I am sure that sounds silly but it was a bit of a light bulb moment....
Hope you are all having a good week?
Can I join in?
I've known that dieting makes me bingey for years, but I'm so confused about what is eating healthily? So many different opinions out there, in particular the low cal low fat Vs low carb high fat thing.
My eating is all over the place because I start the day low carb (eggs bacon) then end up buying a salad (with grains) or sandwich for lunch... So then I think I may as well have some spaghetti like a normal person and in the meantime I get fatter and fatter.
I just don't know HOW to eat anymore if I'm not either following a diet or eating for sport
I've read Susie Orbach and Overcoming Overeating. Am also reading Beyond Cocolate but the FB pages make it look like it's not a very successful method of regaining control over poor eating habits.
Hi Irma - yes, please do join in! That is such a good question - I've been thinking about it too as it's really quite confusing at the moment. It seems like every week there's another fad diet in the news, and foods that used to be good for you are now poison, or vice versa!
But ignoring all that, for me a healthy diet is eating what I think is a nutritious and balanced mix of foods that makes me feel good. I generally aim for a mix of protein, fat and carbs with every meal, and wouldn't cut out any food groups altogether, unless I think I might have an intolerance /allergy to it. Cutting down on sugars is definitely something to think about as well, but I think I'll crack that one later.
I get where you're coming from with the carb avoidance, I have tendencies to do that too, but I really don't think that eating spaghetti would cause you to put on weight, unless it was a very large portion.
Do you think you might be able to increase your portion sizes during the day instead? Maybe chuck in some toast with your bacon and eggs? And add something to your lunch, alongside the salad?
I haven't seen the FB group but I think I read Beyond Chocolate a while ago - what are people saying??
This is long, but here are some suggestions. Do ignore then if you feel they will not help you.
The best thing for now would probably be not to follow any particular diet.
Try to eat three meals and some snacks.
Try at every meal and snack to have protein, vegetables a little whole fruit , and a small amount of starchy high fibre carbohydrate.
Take some supplements: Vit B, (incl VitB12 if you do not eat much meat)
Magnesium, Vit D3 (unless you are out in a very bright, sunny place)
Zinc. Chromium may help.
This makes sure you have an even level of blood sugar through the day.
Enough protein and fibrous complex starches and vegetables, means you would be very unlikely to feel physically hungry. Your primitive brain will not think you are starving. Your health will improve. It is possible to be in a state of malnutrition even when people do not look as though they are - these suggestions help restore health.
Also have a little oil from omega 3 sources everyday so include, nuts, seeds
hemp oil ground lindseeds avocado.
If you eat dairy cottage cheese, goats cheese/feta are full of protein.
At your main meals have a medium plate like a 10 inch one and think of it in four parts.
Quarter 1 & 2 - leafy or coloured vegetables - broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, some peas, peppers. lettiuce rocket, fresh tomatoes, celery.
Quarter 3 - some protein:
chicken, fish, sardines, tuna meat tofu. seitan, eggs pulses cheese
Quarter 4/^about a tablespoon^ - whole grain rice, potatoes with skin, quinoa, whole grain pasta (If you prefer white rice or ordinary pasta don't worry) root vegetables.
Pulses have complex starch and protein all in one, so half the plate could be this and the other vegetables, omitting the rice etc
For a pudding - if you feel like it just a little plain yogurt and a little chopped whole fruit and a hot drink. The best fruit is not too sweet - it could make it a bit harder for you say if you eat a whole, very ripe banana.
Caffein preferably just once a day if you like it - as it might make you hungry after making a cortisol/sugar spike/then a drop.
Breakfast ideas - some nuts, real oats, hemp/brown rice protein powder to bump up protein; two eggs and one piece of toast full fat greek plain yogurt with berries.
Snack ideas - celery or green pepper with houmous, about ten almonds and a small apple, half a green pepper with a tablespoon of cottage cheese.
Drinks any time - A small bowl of vegetable soup you have made your self,
hot herb infusions, water.
When out If you are out and get caught out with hunger and tiredness, a lot of cafes now sell 40 grm packets of nuts and so do the main supermarkets and their 'local' versions. Sugar/crisps/cakes would not really do the trick in sating hunger except in the very short term.
Try to bring you own packed food for lunch, as prepared food may not have enough protein i.e a sandwich may be mostly bread, spread. Prepared salads may not have enough protein, just leaves and often rather sweet dressing. This could leave you feeling hungry soon.
Some cafes like Pret a Manger have good labels and high protein foods and salads. Boots is copying with hard boiled eggs. M&S Feel Fuller for longer range are good ready meals with enough protein balanced with vegetables and some carbohydrate.
If what I suggested above feels too prescriptive and make you feel rebellious immediately, that does not matter - of course, adapt it for yourself. The thing is to try to get enough nutrition for yourself spaced through the day.
Nothing you eat would be 'bad'. It's just eating the high nutrient dense foods as described priority would give your body and mind what it needs very easily.
Food is your friend and will make you well and beautiful. Bit by bit your natural metabolism will recover.
Fairburn in Overcoming Binge Eating says the that having enough meals and snacks is the thing most likely to bring about recovery. Kathryn Hanson in Brain Over Binge states that she recovered by always eating enough every day and a sort of ^Mindlefulness.
I personally know that a specialist suggested eating enough protein - about 60 -70-grms per day.
Care for yourself in every way
Enough sleep. Water. Talking to friends you love and who love you. Sitting in a garden you like. Buying a new book you wanted and so on.
You may want to consider looking for a counsellor.
an article by the head of The National Centre for eating Disorders about how to find a good counsellor.
You might look into EFT ( a very helpful book book is by Valery Lynch)
Mindlefulness (Thich Nhat Hanh)
A yoga class
Hi Maggie, I think you're right about eating during the day. I don't eat much at work because of the faff, and then I'm RAVENOUS when I get home and crisps are easy...
The BC groups seem to me to be about women sharing how shit they feel because they've binged, but maybe I'm just not seeing the good stuff.
Gosh - there's an awful lot there Kind, I wouldn't know where to start with all that! I agree with some of this but I do think that getting too obsessed with supplements & 'health' foods etc isn't necessarily the best thing for someone who's already suffering with restriction. There's lots of research to suggest that if you're well-nourished lots of supplements do you no good whatsoever (although vitamin D is always a good one to top up). But this is part of the problem with modern nutrition - no-one really knows!
Irma, do you have someone in RL that you can talk to about all this?
Irma I think the issue with BC is that it is not really IMO an Eating Disorder condition approach - from what I recall.
It is something that worked for a person and she is sharing it. That isn't to say it hasn't helped others.
We have an illness, it will probably benefit from a medical based approach.
I think the miserable reality is that getting over an ED takes time.
Re food. Thanks for sharing Kind but I would find your suggestion a little triggering. I personally find any sort of programme/structured reminds me of the dark days of diets.
Irma I think for myself - and I am not recovered but hopefully recovering - the 3 + 3 is about as much structure/rules that I can take! I do try to think of "balance" but try not to focus on that too much. I know what make a balanced diet.
I think after years of dieting/thinking I should be dieting, it is natural to want to find "the answer" to replace the nirvana of the next restrictive approach but not sure there is a single answer.
Based on my experience I would suggest read Dr Fairburn, go to the Dr and try to be kind to yourself as a starting point. Try to accept yourself as you are, for now, and try to get into a pattern of regular eating.
It is so hard, I can really empathise with your post. . But wanting to address it, is a good first step.
Thanks for sharing Kind but I would find your suggestion a little triggering
So sorry - I apologise for that MM. Of course, please entirely ignore it.
What I wrote out was for Irma as an example of how to eat some of all the food groups spread through the day, rather than folowing any particular diet that excludes some; and to show a way of doing it easily without counting calories or fat.
This was in reply to Irma saying she was confused by which diet was best So many different opinions out there, in particular the low cal low fat Vs low carb high fat thing
Thanks for comments, I downloaded the 'brain over binge' book from the recommendations above and it really resonated with me. I like the idea that binges can be just faulty brain wiring and not always a sign of deeper emotional issues. Interesting reading! And I'm feeling very positive and haven't binged (or attemped to diet!!) since Sunday.
It's good you found that interesting, I did too.
that binges can be just faulty brain wiring and not always a sign of deeper emotional issues
It is helpful to know that aspect, I agree - and how eating enough combined with a form of Mindfulness helped her surf the urges to binge.
Hi, good to see the 4th thread taking off. I meant to share the blog but kept forgetting. This will test if I can rember how to do it ....
Recovery Blog 2.5 yrs in
I'm starting to post more again as it still good therapy for me, although now its more to share what I'm thinking / doing on my journey, rather than coming from a dark place stuck with binges like before.
Anyway if you haven't read it and would like to ,feel free as I write it in the hope I can help others in some way, even if its just to say 'you're not alone'. Its what started this group unintentionally but I couldn't be happier 2.5 years later, that it not only evolved into a place to chat openly but (having the group support me at my worst) inspired me to nag MN to give us an Eating Disorders section. Its lovely to see that support being available for all variants of ED struggles now. Doing our own little bit for the awareness campaigns I guess.
I'm not at the end of my journey by far. I've spent more time editing this post (so I dont come across as bragging), than it took me to bloody write it! lots of work to be done on my self confidence still x.
Reading through the posts it seems we are all at a similar point; wanting to eat well but not having much clue how to.
I started my new little project banning all worries of eating regimes, body checking etc and in the most part its been going well. (If you don't include the PMT days) the area I am still struggling with is what I eat. I have no restrictions at all (beside my intolerance, for health reasons. I really don't fancy being sick ) My mental health has improved, I'm feeling relaxed and happier but my clothes are getting tighter and I ache a lot.
When I finished EDS the plan was to go onto Weight Management Services. My GP messed up my referal and I just couldn't bring myself to go back to a life focused on what I eat, weight and exercise so abandoned the idea.
Only now, I'm not so sure. A friend has started and its nothing like I imagined it to be (given the bad association with things like WW dfrom the past). There's seems to be masses of support and they teach you to eat properly again. The latter is something I really want to be able to do. So next week I an appointment to get the referal sorted. The service GP will then decide if I am a good candidate for the programme, my ED history may mean they can't take me but apparently decide on case by case.
Its scary as hell but I'm trying to have faith in their expertise, after all I was recomended by the EDS, so it could be positive?!
Good luck with your referral Fighting.
What a wonderful thing you have done with this thread - helping so many people.
Kind I think the advice that jumped out for me ,from your post above, was the
"Care for yourself in every way
Enough sleep. Water. Talking to friends you love and who love you. Sitting in a garden you like. Buying a new book you wanted and so on".
Its definitely what I would say helps the most. Its not something we can learn to do overnight but with tiny changes it can become habit.
Sometimes I think the vast options and variations of information can be both positive and negative at times. Obviously we all respond in different ways and that's the positive (horses for courses as we say where I'm from 🙂) but like when I go to the huge supermarkets, the overwhelming choice can leave me in a spin not knowing what to choose. Does anyone else feel like this sometimes?
I think I probably responded in the same way as Margo regarding the food options, my brain jumps to panic mode as it's associated with past diet demons. This seems to be a question we are all stuck with, how do we go from binges to eating well on our own?
We probably know more than most about what we should eat but it triggers panic for me to even type that sentence. Do we need a third party to guide us? Do we give it time like I had planned, to work it out on our own over time? Its such a grey area that I don't have any answers to ATM.
Anyone else share these thoughts?x
Bonnie, going back to my question about support for the Fybromyalgia...have you joined any social networking groups? I see a few like this one from RL people sharing. If not it could be a possible option for you? I have read a lot of the recent articles published regarding the causes of the condition, it does seem to be making progress with recognition as I know how often it can be dismissed. Anyway if you want to chat PM me any time, although In don't have it, I do understand the devastating impact it can have on family life.x
Right, I will stop filling the thread now😊. hope everyone is doing OK today
Oops, sorry meant kinky with Fybro chat .x
I am glad the idea of caring for yourself might be helpful Fighting.
That is the most important thing. With myself when faced with too much to think about, I find beginning with peaceful base if possible - maybe taking twenty minutes for a little Mindlefulness or very simple yoga and breathing - and then trusting myself does help. Sometimes, from that almost more spiritual base I find other things follow naturally. For example I might hear or read something that somehow has resonance: it is almost an 'Aagh!" feeling of insight; or find some choices present themselves naturally in a sensible priority out of all the tangle there seemed to be before.
Everyone is so different, and being peaceful as described can be so difficult especially in a bad moment, but I do believe that may help.
It may be difficult to realise that it is the opposite of selfishness to care for oneself, but it is truly important to understand that.
How is everyone?
Loved your latest post fighting. I am there with feeling bad about not loading the dishwasher/other chores. This would be such an alien concept to my DH!
Still trying to challenge my negative thoughts. I have a such a positive external outlook. There is such a gap between the two.
fighting the WMS sounds good. They should be good at dealing with those with ED, but I can understand your apprehension.
Had a nice weekend here but it has gone down hill as I a) have high expectations of what should happen when we got home & b) I am tired.
Anyway, wishing you all a good start to the week. What does it hold?
Hi Margo, glad you had a good weekend before you got home. It sounds like you are able to leave some of the negative expectations when you go out but they pounce on you when you get home. I suspect a lot of us feel like that, kind of like when we get back from a holiday on a high and then crash?
I think this one has more to to with external stuff rather than our internal turmoil (although it certainly contributes when least needed). We are bombarded with expectations and reminders of how we fail these from every angle, be it those close to us, the media, society and the worlds very screwed view of what a woman has to offer. We are told we can and must have it all yet chastised when we (quite rightly) can't do it all!
I guess this is where we have to build up our own barriers and say, "you know what I will pick what's best for me and my family and do the best I can". Its easier said than done I know!
I too share your positive external outlook and negative inwards. Like when I think about everyone here and what they do and how much they cope with, I often wish I could give you guys a RL hug and show you just how awesome you all are. Then I walk into the kitchen (or any room right now) and see all I haven't done. But we can choose to fight those voices, slowly quieten them and do mental checks of what we have achieved , this morning, today, this week or this year.
The dishes and little things don't define us and while all these 'jobs' sit, the family is still well and the world is still turning . Who gives a shit (well OK we do, but not in a good way YET) and who's to say we are responsible for them anyway?! (Let's just ignore that they may not always get done otherwise here ).
I have an idea....what about if we all list the things we feel we 'should' have done when it gets too much? BUT then we have to look at and list the reasons why? I know when I think of others, like you Margo I could come up with plenty of things and I don't even see your day to day life. Maybe it could help us see how much we are actually doing and not recognising as relevant because, well... we just do it without thinking. My DH has been good at pointing this out for me at times. What do you think?x
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