“One of the worst parts about an eating disorder is the shame that goes along with it. You think you are the only one and people will make fun of you. You question yourself and your mental strength that you can’t say no to food. You try every way to stop it, but the extreme diets just make things worse and worse. You wonder if it will ever get better, or if your whole life is going to be you hiding your food addiction.
That’s how I felt. I wanted to be a personal trainer, but how could I help others when I couldn’t help myself??? So I vowed to do everything I could to overcome this and beat it.
I started researching eating disorders, food addiction, what caused them, how to get over it and anything else I could find. I read other people’s stories online and got hope knowing they had beat this, and I could too!! One important thing I learned is each person is different. For me, I didn’t binge eat when emotional, instead stress would push me to exercise. Mostly my binge eating came from boredom and not eating enough in the day. I also found it was brought on by food restrictions. If I tried a crazy diet, I wouldn’t even last a day before I started binge eating.
Sitting down and figuring out what my triggers were was the most important thing that helped me, and I highly suggest that to anyone else going through this. Another problem was my husband. He was enabling it and we had to sit and have a little chat. See the thing was, I would say I wanted junk food, and he would go buy it for me. I was too busy with our kids and too tired to go out and buy junk in the evenings. I wanted the food, but not bad enough to drive to the store haha. That showed me that I was not truly hungry!! Once he started telling my “No” and refusing to go buy the food, I had to decide how bad I wanted it.
Another thing I learned was not to keep the trigger foods in the house. If ice cream is in the freezer, I would binge eat on it. But if it wasn’t there, I couldn’t binge and would find something healthy to eat if I was truly healthy. I hear a lot of time from people who say they have to buy that junk food for their family and the answer is NO you don’t!! Your family does not need that junk food, instead they need you to be healthy and happy! My kids are perfectly happy and they don’t have cookies and candy. We have yogurt, home made popsicles, pretzels and fruit and sweets on special occasions. What’s best for your family is for them to grow up healthy and have you around for the long haul. So throw out the junk food!
Eating enough and not over exercising was another trigger for me that I had to recognize. I was eating way to few calories and exercising 3-4 times a day. (eating around 1200 calories a day). So needless to say, I was starving each day and eating anything I could get my hands on. Learning that I needed more fuel, and healthy fuel, helped me with not being so hungry. I found I needed to eat ever 2-3hrs and not cut foods out of my diet like healthy carbs and healthy fats. I also found that cutting sweets and treats out did NOT work for me. I don’t do well with restriction and that makes me binge once I get those foods. To fix that, I started finding healthy desserts that I could have, and having some type of dessert each day. That was a big hit for me as I didn’t feel deprived anymore.
Getting started toward fixing an eating disorder is very tough. Its important that you have a good support system and tell others close to you what you are going through. Sit down and figure out what your triggers are, recognize them and be aware that you might heal yourself, but you will always need to watch for those triggers. Reward your progress toward healing, but NOT with food (unless its like a cheat meal once a week which I highly encourage). Remember each person has a different experience with eating disorders, but you can beat this!!! I spent over half my life battling my issues with food, and today I am healthier and happier than ever!! Stay tuned to find out how I keep up my recovery and avoid falling back into the trap of binge eating.” ~ Dana Wikoff, Strong Is In Fitness