Binge eating is a difficult beast to tackle. Mostly this is due to the shame people feel, so they keep it a secret. Unfortunately, this just drives them further into the binge eating cycle and increases shame. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you binge? Sure, it might start out with craving food and wanting the taste, but why doesn’t it stop? I find that my clients don’t stop for several reasons:
- They can’t stop themselves. For someone who has never experienced a binge, this might feel like a cop out, but I assure you it is very real. Binge eating is a form of dissociation in which we mentally leave our bodies to distance ourselves from something painful. This is especially true for people who have a trauma history.
- They can’t bear to feel. Binge eating is a very powerful way to allow yourself an escape. Some emotions are very painful and it feels much easier to avoid them. The problem here is that eventually you will feel them. They will come out in strange ways and then you will find yourself heading into another binge.
- They want to punish themselves. I think this is a very powerful one. If the eating starts from a shame trigger, this is at play. Much like someone who engages in self-harm, I have worked with many clients over the years who don’t want to stop until it hurts.
So, what do you do about this? Get support. This is a very real eating disorder. You aren’t crazy or lazy! Willpower is not enough. That next diet will not end these issues. In fact, it will probably make the urges worse. You have very strong connections in your brain that will bring you back to binge eating over and over again until you address the underlying issues. The great thing is that we have amazing therapies that can help you stop binge eating in its tracks. Free yourself from your food prison!