Your binge eating could have many causes:
1) You’re lonely, 2) You’re avoiding something or someone, 3) You’re anxious about tackling a problem, 4) You’ve been dieting, 5) You’ve been counting calories, 6) You’ve cut foods that were once staples in your diet (sugar, bread, rice), 7) You feel GUILTY, 8) You have some leftover issues to sort out from childhood/adolescence, 9) You had a picture perfect childhood filled with lots of laughs and happy times in the presence of food, 10) You’re a people pleaser and can’t say no, 11) You’re stressed, 12) You’re bored, 13) You’re stressed, 14) You’re bored, 15) You need to take a break, 14) You feel rejected, 15) You feel ugly, 16) You want to press the self-destruct button because your life sucks, 16a) You want to press the self-destruct button because your life is awesome, 17) You’re afraid you won’t be able to hack it (life, relationships, work), 17a) You’re afraid of failing, 18) Sugar, bread, and processed carbs call your name, 19) You convince yourself it’ll all change tomorrow, so you might as well have one last go at it tonight, 20) You’re watching TV, 21) You’re inebriated, 22) You’re at work, 23) You don’t go outside, 24) You’re Vitamin D deficient, 25) You’re depressed, 26) You feel overwhelmed, 27) You’re sleep deprived.
You probably already know the deleterious effects of binge eating: 1) acid reflux, 2) rapid weight gain, 3) stretching out your stomach, 4) shooting up your blood sugar and insulin levels, 5) food coma, 6) lethargy, 7) bloating, 8) self-consciousness, 9) water retention, 10) a feeling of failure, 11) guilt, 12) shame, the list goes on and on.
Yet, you continue to do it and engage your body in a cycle of high highs and low lows.
Binge eating is the harbinger for a bunch of metabolic diseases, so the binge eating cycle needs to stop now. How do you stop self-sabotaging yourself?
1) You need to eat a monstrous amount of non-starchy vegetables, preferably in the form of dense soup. Broccoli, spinach, collard greens, kale, zucchini = go at it. Eat to your heart’s content.
2) Drink 2L of water before 4 pm and 1L before you hit the sack. Try to time it so you can go to the bathroom before you head to bed.
3) You have to remind yourself that NOTHING CHANGES by overeating or bingeing on your food or beverage of choice. Nothing. fucking. changes. Loved ones don’t come back to life. You still feel like you have no one to turn to. You’re still in the middle of your existentialist crisis. You still have 40 pages to bang out on your paper due in 15 hours. You are literally in the same seated position, having gone nowhere, only now accompanied by feeling a lot more sick, bloated, sad, and fat than you were just 15-30 minutes before. Emotional overeating, binge eating- they do not change your circumstances. Please repeat this point after me: Shoveling my face with food is not going to change my circumstances. Bingeing (on anything) does nothing but distract you for 10-15 minutes from the real issues at hand. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed or lonely, these feelings do NOT change and are often only worsened through food or alcohol. They’re right where you left them as soon as you wake from your drunken food stupor.
Sabotage yourself all you want but know this: when you’re in a frenzied state of overeating or binge drinking, you are in the middle of fooling yourself that this is making you feel better. Yes, there are probably feel good chemicals bouncing about your brain the second that cupcake hits your tastebuds, but you need to know that those binge happy foods, whether they’re goldfish, cupcakes, or stir fried chinese food, are equivalent to CRACK COCAINE and that you are effectively increasing your dependence on them to get through life if you take that first bite. If you’re so stressed during exams that you need to eat despite not having physical hunger, you need to take a step back and realize what is going on around you.
Next time you want to go on a rapid eating episode in front of the refrigerator a la Lena Dunham’s character Hannah in HBO’s Girls, ask yourself who just played me? ’Cause chances are society, institutions, media have set you up to FAIL by telling you that you can’t hack it, that you’re fat or not pretty enough. Therefore, you need to tell them a resounding fuck you, take a few deep breaths, lie down, and remind yourself that you’ve been exposed throughout your entire life to addictive substances, which is why they’re so disgustingly hard to quit, especially if you have a perfectionist, all-or-nothing, addictive, or obsessive personality. But you have to quit and so you will because if you don’t, you’ll die, physically, spiritually, or emotionally, and that’s your alarmist health fact of the day.