Binge eating is a complex animal. It feels like a friend until it becomes the enemy. When we are young with limited coping skills and even less power, food becomes a powerful escape. We escape the pain and emptiness of not having our needs met. As we grow up, the pathways formed in our brain that tells us food solves our emotional distress become stronger and stronger. They become more automatic and we are able to soothe ourselves with food before we even realize we feel discomfort.
Then, one day, we realize the pain is not solved by food. The excess eating is creating more pain than it solves. We end up feeling defeated and shameful. The shame, if we allow it, spirals us further into self-despair and even more binge eating. Throughout this process, we gain weight. We make attempt after attempt to lose it. More often than not, we gain more. We go to even more extreme measures and find that everything gets worse.
What we don’t realize in this process is the more we fight our body, the more we shame ourselves, the more we view food and our body as the enemy and prepare for war, we actually set ourselves up for the revolving door of dieting and binge eating. When we finally make peace with food, we liberate ourselves from this seemingly never ending cycle.
I was finally able to free myself from my food prison. I was able to look pain in the eye and stop using food to mask it. I battled emotional eating for most of my life. Once I addressed everything connected to food, I stopped needing it for protection. The last binge comes when you actually deal with the root of the underlying issues tying you to food as a means to cope. If I can heal, you can too. The journey isn’t easy, but the destination is well worth what it take to get there.