Facing Our Flaws

Jenny's Journey

What is binging? No, not the Netflix kind where you are unmoved for an entire day watching 13 Reasons Why, but food binging.

To binge is to compulsively eat a large amount of food and then feel shame or guilt afterwards. Now we've all done that right? Holidays, parties and special occasions all deserve a good binge, right? But when does it get to be a problem?

I have been a binger all my life. Unfortunately, I even meet the clinical criteria for binge eating disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which states the key diagnostic features of binge eating disorder are:

  • Recurrent and persistent episodes of binge eating
  • Binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
    • Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
  • Marked distress regarding binge eating
  • Absence of regular compensatory behaviors (such as purging)

Um yeah, definitely me. When I was younger I used to buy big bulk amounts of candy and hide it in my room. Then, I would eat the whole bag and hide the wrappers in the bottom of the trash bin. Now, back then I was crazy athletic, so my weight was pretty controlled, but over the years that binge eating pattern has been a constant. And when you take exercise out of the equation, the pounds just pile on.

We all have our personal demons and this is one of mine.

What bothers me the most about binging is the completely sick feeling I get after. Not just physically, but emotionally. In my darkest times I have cried and called myself disgusting. And I still feel this way when I binge... why aren't I strong enough to control myself?

It makes me so angry that after all these years I can still engage in binging. But guess what - I am flawed. We all have our personal demons and this is one of mine. I can say that with time and hard work, I am binging less and less. I may never be binge-free, but I am not going to let it control my life anymore!!!

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