I'm fully aware I might be a little controversial when it comes to "binges/overeating". I can only speak from experience, HOWEVER I've seen the insides of many eating disorder clinics and talked to so many clients en friends who struggle with eating disorders that I formed by own opinion about bingeing.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Binge Eating Disorder is defined as recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances, with episodes marked by feelings of lack of control.
What criteria are used for the diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder?
1. Marked distress over bingeing episodes
2. Loss of control over amount of eating
3. Episodes that occur at least 1x per week for 3 months
In addition, three or more of the following symptoms must also occur for BED diagnosis:
1. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
2. Eating more rapidly than normal (i.e. two hour period)
3. Feeling depressed, guilty, or disgusted with oneself after overeating
4. Eating alone because of embarrassment associated with how much one is eating
5. Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
Does this all sound familiar? Well, it does for me!
I've been diagnosed with Anorexia and EDNOS/NAO for most of my life, but NO-ONE EVER gave me the diagnosis of having "binge eating disorder" while I regularly had binges due to restriction. I mean: DUH. Restrict, Binge, Restrict, Binge.
I love how Tabitha Farrar calls it "feast eating" and that's EXACTLY how I feel about "binges/overeating".
Let me share you some secret intel about last night. I couldn't sleep, because I've been pretty stressed this whole week. So I got up, sat my bum on the couch and proceeded to work my way through an entire bag of chips, a loaf of bread with peanut butter and a bar of chocolate.
This morning I thought:
"Was this an actual binge? I felt overwhelmed about life, I felt like eating delicious things and yes I ate until I was uncomfortably full and bloated. But looking back: did I eat enough delicious things during the week? I think not. I was too stressed to even think about food, that the basic bitch in me ate the same boring meals I eat every week. My appetite was off and I just didn't feel myself. And I might needed a little more nutrition for my stress and pain levels, which use up a lot of energy".
Some things I've learned about binges/overeating
- The term BINGE-ING SUCKS. Let's call it FEAST eating. Founded by Tabitha Farrar.
- It happens 99% because of some sort of restriction. TRUST ME ON THIS.
- Our body needs to adapt to changes ALL THE TIME. Physical changes (chronic illness, exercise, age, etc), hormonal changes, stress and so much more. Our body WILL TELL what and when it needs a certain food and the amounts.
- You can't outsmart your body. Your body ALWAYS knows.
- If you feel comfort in eating something: GO EAT IT AND STOP JUDGING YOURSELF.