What is Binge Eating?

Recently, I've noticed this trend. 

We are binge watching Netflix. 

We are binge studying for an exam. {and still worse when an exam "rapes you"}

We are binge eating on the weekends with our friends. 

I have to be honest. I cringe at that word. I don't want to be "that guy" that gets offended. I'm not offended, but I just truly know what that word means so my stomach does that little flip where it tenses up like when your ex walks into a room or something. //Play it cool. Everyone's watching. //

Binge eating is an eating disorder behavior. It is specifically defined by an exorbitant amount of food consumed in a short window of time. There is no specified caloric intake amount, but it's an out of body experience where you feel as if you lose all control over yourself and you cannot stop eating and it ends up being things like entire cakes eaten or like 20 bananas. It's things that just don't make sense.

This is followed by a period normally of extreme guilt. This is a guilt that becomes all consuming occupying your every thought and sometimes immediately after a binge episode, you are compelled to "purge" or throw up. 

This is a rapidly growing disorder {unfortunately} and even more rapidly so, a misused phrase. 

I touched on this yesterday in my team facebook group and someone mentioned that it would make a good blog post. I just wanted to clear things up for a few reasons. 

I'm a part of many facebook fitness forums, and I'd say the three words most commonly used in all of these are "macros", "doughnuts" and "binging". It's sad that so many women struggle with this, and how I have even seen someone say that they didn't even know what a binge was until they heard so many women talking about it and then they started doing it themselves. That's just sad. But also, are you self diagnosing correctly? 

When you go out to dinner with friends and decide that you are going to eat the bread, the appetizer and your meal, you did not binge. When you go to the movies and you end up eating an entire bag of popcorn, you did not binge. When it's Easter and you ate 5 candies too many, you honestly didn't binge. You overate. You REALLY overate. You ate to the point of feeling sick. Binging is different. It's all out of control episode with an exorbitant intake, and it shouldn't be taken lightly. The term shouldn't be thrown around. It's very detrimental to our health and our society. 

Binge also gives a really negative connotation, and sets one up for a world of guilt. The more serious we make a "cheat meal" and always call it a binge then the more those anxieties of food are created. It's a vicious cycle.

Lastly, if you are truly struggling with a binge eating disorder which I do believe that many women are, there is really no grey line. Counting macros is not going to solve your problems. I'm the first one that will stand here and say that macros was the most liberating moment of freedom in my journey but it is not going to change a severe mental disorder. This is something that you shouldn't hire someone online to fix. This is something that you should seek professional therapy in someone who is much more qualified in this specialty. The line gets very blurred between fitness&health and your cheat meal vs a binge eating disorder.

If you are binge watching Netflix, can you just call it a Netflix marathon please? I like marathons much more than I like binges. Please and thank you.

With love and freedom from food anxiety, 

Katie

 

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