As I named this, I realized how dirty the title sounded. This isn’t about my actual bed, because I love my bed. Other than Laura and my husband, Jere, my bed is my best friend. I’m only joking a little bit.
I’m just going to be transparent here, because, why not, right?
I’ve got an eating disorder and the first post I’m writing is about that because it impacts so much of the rest of my life. It seems like a good place to start.
First, I’m going to explain what Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is, because it isn’t as common as Anorexia or Bulimia. After, I will explain my personal experiences.
I guess I should define what a binge is. It’s more than simply over eating. There is a sense of loss of control, almost an out of body experience. You can see yourself making these unhealthy decisions, but can’t make yourself stop. A person usually eats about twice as fast as someone not binging and they consume on average between 1,000-2,000 calories.
There are two kinds of eating disorders where binge eating is the central figure. Most people have heard about Bulimia. There are three things that define Bulimia: frequent binges, extreme measures for controlling shape and weight (e.g. vomiting, laxatives, overexercising), and excessive concern about weight.
The other disorder with binging is Binge Eating Disorder. People with this disorder have frequent binges, but do not use extreme measures to control their weight. Oversimplifying it, it’s Bulimia without throwing up.
Now that I’ve defined the disorder, I will go into my own personal challenges with it. I remember being young, grade school young, early grade school young, and scavenging our pantry for food. I would take armfuls back to my room and hide it there for later. When everyone was asleep I would take out the food and eat it. I can’t pinpoint when or why this started exactly, but it continued well into my teen years. When I started driving, I would buy obscene amounts of food with my gas money and hide it in the glove compartment.
It never felt good. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I could see what it did to me. I could feel what it did to me as I binged. I would overeat until I felt sick. I couldn’t look at myself after a binge because of how disgusting I felt. My binging got to the point that I wished I could purge and I tried to, but I never could. I would starve myself for days in hopes of evening out the calories I had consumed, but that just led to another binge. It was a vicious circle and I had no idea how to stop the destructive behavior.
My children were getting to the age that I knew they would notice my behavior and I wanted so badly to be the mother they deserved, but always felt like my behavior kept me from reaching that point, which in turn caused another binge.
Once we got to Germany, I knew I needed help. I couldn’t continue living life that way. I didn’t want to live life that way. I wanted to be free from my bondage (to be clear, I just mean the eating disorder 😉). I sought help from my doctors and finally got into a counselor and get on proper medication for my depression and anxiety (which is a whole other post entirely).
It hasn’t been easy, I’m not entirely sure it will ever be easy. And like the addict I am, I’ll never be able to say that I don’t have any eating disorder, only that I’m recovering. It’s a daily battle to fight the urges I want to give into and be the woman I desperately want to be for myself and my family. There are days that are amazing and I do everything perfectly and then there are days that seem like one constant binge. But there’s hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. By being completely transparent and not hiding my sins away, I can get the help I need, I can heal, I can be honest, I can conquer my demons.
I am happy to help anyone that feels as hopeless as I did, but ultimately seeing a professional will be what helps the most. Contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 for referrals and more information. Comment below for an empathetic ear.
Fairburn, Christopher G. Overcoming Binge Eating. Guilford, 1995.
“Eating Disorder Hotlines.” Eating Disorder Hotline | Call Our 24-Hour National Helpline Today, www.bulimia.com/topics/eating-disorder-hotline/