Binge eating disorder development happens so slowly that often times we wonder how exactly our lives got to their current state. I always felt as though my eating disorder appeared out of nowhere, like it just showed up one day without any warning. Truth is that eating disorders are progressive illnesses. They do not just magically appear one day when we wake up. This disease goes through many phases before it takes us over, usually going unnoticed until it is making our lives miserable. If we understand binge eating disorder development in our recovery, we can keep the illness from showing up again.
The Development of Binge Eating Disorder
For many of us, we have probably had issues with food and body for as long as we can remember. However, we did not always have what is considered to be a full blown eating disorder–that takes time.
Before the disorder, we felt miserable. We did not see ourselves as normal. We were constantly dissatisfied with our lives. One day our binging behavior began. At this time we were filled with a sense of relief from our binges. This behavior became a way to cope with everything thrown at us that was seemingly too hard to handle. We were not concerned about this behavior because there was a reasonable amount of time between binges and we felt as though we were still in control.
Over time this behavior happened more frequently and it took larger binges to bring the relief we once experienced. We began to focus more and more on food and less on life. Thoughts became consumed with plans of what we were going to binge on and where. This is when we started to feel like there was no choice but to act on our binging urges.
We continued to binge because at one point in time these behaviors worked for us. They brought us calm from our anxiety and numbness from our pain. We hoped that one day this relief would return but became frustrated when we were just left feeling worse than before these behaviors began.
Becoming Aware of the Eating Disorder Progression
Though we may be far down the eating disorder progression, it does not mean we should stop being aware of what is going on. Once we begin the recovery process, we need to know what our different warning signs of slips are.
For me, when I begin to feel down, isolate myself, or restrict my food intake, I am undoubtedly setting myself up for a binge. However, now that I know this, I am able to stop behaviors before they begin. For example, when I see myself pulling away from others, I work hard to keep being social a priority.
Realizing that our eating disorder did not come out of no where is important when working towards wellness. When we trace the journey of our behaviors, we gain essential insight into what we need to pay attention to in order to not fall back into old habits.
Take time to reflect and keep working. You can do this.
Body dysmorphia and binge eating disorder (BED) often go hand in hand. Body dysmorphia is characterized by having an obsessive preoccupation with one’s appearance, as well as, being unable to see your body the way it is in reality (Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Signs, Symptoms and Causes). Many times in binge eating disorder, body dysmorphia causes us to see ourselves as much larger than we really are. Finding awareness of these tendencies is a big step toward wellness from binge eating disorder.
Body Dysmorphia in BED and Self-Hate
I have experienced body dysmorphia in BED. In fact, I have gone through phases of all eating disorder behaviors. One common thread is that I was never able to see my body as it really was. I was delusional, seeing a person much larger than was really staring back at me in the mirror.
This brought me anxiety, self hatred, and shame. These feelings only led me deeper into my binge cycle because I was, at the time, unable to cope with the intensity of these emotions. After each binge, the cycle would continue. I would look at myself completely believing that I had gained a substantial amount of weight and then binge again from the feelings of self disgust.
Awareness Ends Body Dysmorphia in BED
Freeing yourself from the symptom of body dysmorphia in binge eating disorder (or any eating disorder) is not an easy thing to do. I’ll admit that I still have days where I have a difficult time seeing my body as it truly is.
The first step toward freedom is awareness, the awareness that you are not able to look at yourself and see what the rest of the world does. In knowing this, we gain the ability to combat the negative thoughts that run our head rampant every time we look in the mirror. When the thoughts arrive we can say I know I am seeing what I see because I feel self hate (or whatever emotion you are experiencing). In doing this we take some power away from our thoughts.
Something that helped me immensely was my ongoing work with my dance movement therapist. Through movement we are able to become one with our body. When we find connection with ourselves we find the ability to feel at home in this body we live in, as well as see it for what it truly is instead of how binge eating disorder causes us to view it.
Body dysmorphia in binge eating disorder tells you your body can change after one binge. Remember, it is impossible for your body to completely change overnight. One binge will not cause excessive weight gain. Try your best to combat these harmful body image thoughts. Experiment with some simple movement at home and see if this helps to ground yourself inside your body.
Keep working. Stay strong. You can make it through these tough times.
In order to gain wellness from your eating disorder, you must first take one essential step. The step I speak of is surrendering. To surrender from your eating disorder means giving up everything related to your illness. It also means fully embracing recovery as an idea and a lifestyle.
Surrendering It All
It may be easy to give up those parts of our eating disorder which make us miserable but in order to reach wellness it is a necessity to let go of everything. This means surrendering all behaviors and compulsions associated with your eating disorder. Until we are able to do this, we cannot be fully sober from our illness.
I completely understand that this is a extremely difficult, as well as, overwhelming step to take for most. This leap involves letting go of all the things we spend the majority of our energy on. This extreme of a change is going to be hard.
My Experience With Surrender
When I made my first attempt to surrender my eating disorder, I did it on my terms. As you can guess, this attempt was unsuccessful. I was choosing which parts of my eating disorder I wanted to keep and which I wished to let go of.
I was okay with giving up the binging, as long as I could continue to restrict my caloric intake. I was not fully committed to the process, and because of that, recovery was not in reach.
Something that has helped me to fully surrender was taking a 12-step approach to the process. In 12-step programs individuals are encouraged to surrender their illness to a power greater than themselves. This power is all your own and can help to guide you through the recovery process.
I encourage each of you to surrender you illness and fight for a life away from your eating disorder. Remember, holding on to even one eating disorder behavior keeps you from being fully free.
As you read the title of this post, I’m sure you are filled with judgment and curiosity, wondering how someone could actually be thankful for having been through something as misery-filled as an eating disorder. You may think I am crazy for feeling this way, but I truly have gratitude for everything my eating disorder put me through.
Finding Myself Through The Recovery Process
It was through recovery from my illness that I finally found out who I was. My entire life, prior to recovery, I always felt uncomfortable in my skin. I was always trying to fit into various boxes, hoping one of them would feel right for me. As you can imagine, none of them did. This left me feeling lost which was one of the factors that led me to fall deeply into identifying myself through my eating disorder.
Once I sought wellness and stripped away all my false identities, I became a blank canvas of sorts. I didn’t have an illness or anything superficial to associate myself with. As absolutely frightening as this place was, it was necessary in the journey to finding my authentic self.
The Long Road To Wellness Is Worth It
It took time but I was able to unlock my soul and develop into the person I was meant to be. I found interests, passions, and things that were positive to connect with. I have become strong in my values which has enabled me to feel deeply joined with the woman I am today.
This discovery has been wonderful and I truly believe it would have never taken place without having gone through the darkness that was my eating disorder. It was only after I completely lost myself that I was really able to gain perspective on who I am as an individual. I am grateful.
I love who I am today. I love the freedom of not trying to fit into a certain mold that I deemed “right” for my life. I am forever thankful for the journey that got me here.
I understood myself only after I destroyed myself, and only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was. – Sadie Andria Zabala
I binged . . . now what should I do? I recently slipped on my eating disorder recovery and binged. It’s a difficult thing to admit to the world, but I did. It can be extremely hard to bounce back after a binge. It can feel like total failure and like it’s the end of the world. Guess what, it’s not. Here I share the lessons I’ve learned from my recent slip.
I Binged, But Relapse Is Part of Recovery
Unfortunately it is often said that relapse is part of recovery. I really believe in the truth of this saying. Each time a slip or binge eating disorder relapse occurs, we are given the chance to gain insight from our behavior. If we are able to analyze the events leading up to it and our feelings, there is so much perspective that can be gained.
When I binged recently I barely even realized I was doing it. It was like my brain completely shut off and I was in a different world. This world consisted solely of figuring out a way to calm my system down.
I’ve been stressed and tired lately which causes me lots of anxiety. This anxiety is what I needed calm from. I felt overwhelmed and didn’t take the time to develop a proper plan to cope. Because I didn’t have a proper plan, I turned to an automatic behavior, eating, and I binged. This obviously only aided in temporary relief. After the binge, I felt terrible.
However, through all of the terrible feelings and disappointment, I’ve gained new knowledge of how I need to take care of myself.
What To Do After A Binge Relapse
You just binged. You feel like a failure. All you want to do is hide from the world. These are the actions/feelings that need to be combated. Remember this binge is not the end of the world, it is simply a sign that some things in your life may need to be shifted.
Go back through the day or even the week and look for moments that stick out to you. Did someone make a comment that upset you? Were you not eating an adequate amount? Were you overtired or overwhelmed? These are a few things that could have potentially triggered your binge (Causes of Binge Eating Disorder).
Once you have uncovered the root of your binge, think about an alternative plan for next time these things happen. In my case I feel as though I’ve taken on a bit more then I can handle. A solution for this would be cutting back on some things and allowing more time for relaxation.
I truly hope you all are doing fantastic and do not let a small step back make you feel like your progress isn’t valid. Always remember to breathe and find insight from the behaviors that may surface. You are strong. You are capable. Keep fighting.
I’m in recovery from binge eating disorder and I always find people asking me whether I consider myself recovered from my eating disorder. My answer is always no. I will always view myself in the terms of “in recovery” because I believe that the eating disorder healing process is a journey without an end point. There are people that do not side with my viewpoint but this is my belief system: Recovery from binge eating disorder will last my lifetime.
Why I Consider Myself In Recovery From Binge Eating Disorder
Because I have been abstinent from my behaviors for a substantial period of time most, would think I am fully recovered and my eating disorder days are behind me. I disagree.
I consider recovery from binge eating disorder to be a lifelong process. I believe that the minute we stop working on our recovery is when our eating disorder starts doing push ups. In simple terms, I think of my disorder like some sort of disease in remission. Yes, I’m doing well now but there is always that chance that my illness will begin to show its face again, probably when I least expect it.
I in no way mean to be a downer or am trying to discourage you from recovery. I think recovery is an absolutely possible thing to attain. I do, however, believe that an eating disorder is something that needs to be constantly kept in check (Symptom Switching: When Your Eating Disorder Wears A Costume).
Why Your Recovery from Binge Eating Disorder Needs Constant Attention
Like I stated before, once you begin to ignore your recovery (even if you’re doing great) your eating disorder can appear out of nowhere knowing you are not actively fighting it. I’m not saying you need to work on recovery every moment of every day, what I’m saying is you need to check-in with yourself on a regular basis.
My experience is that when I think I’m doing amazing and nothing can ruin my wellness is when things begin to go awry. When I am not journaling, using movement, or seeking support, I start to use negative coping skills that are not so beneficial for healing. This often leads to the eventual use of eating disorder behaviors.
I am staying strong in my recovery but will never consider myself recovered from my eating disorder. I have learned from experience that my behaviors can come back at anytime, without warning, if I am not keeping tabs on my emotions.
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to comment below. Keep working hard, keep checking in, and keep practicing positive coping skills. Stay strong.
Eating disorder support keeps you from feeling alone in the world. Connecting with others who are experiencing or have experienced the same things as you is a great way to get through these feelings of loneliness caused by the eating disorder.
Eating Disorder Support by Connecting with Others
Sharing Experiences with Eating Disorders
The first time I was really able to connect with others who shared the same illness as me was in eating disorder treatment. This was also the first time I was able to stop feeling alone in my disorder.
Talking with people who understood my feelings and experiences left me less ashamed of my eating disorder. It also gave me hope for recovery when I met individuals who were further along their healing journey than I was. It helped me to see that recovery was possible.
When we associate with individuals who share the same feelings as we do, we begin to feel less alone within ourselves and the world. I understand that making connections can be difficult in our time of struggle, but I promise pushing yourself to do so is absolutely worth it.
Stay strong. Always remember you are not alone in your fight. There are many others going through the same thing you are. Hang in there. Sending you all my best.
Finding Connections During Binge Eating Disorder Recovery - YouTube
Remember this binge eating recovery tip for the new year: Small steps every day. The dawning of the new year tends to make us feel that once midnight strikes we need to make big changes right away. The issue with this can be that it is all too much, too soon. This is the same when it comes to your binge eating disorder recovery. Small steps every day will help achieve the lasting changes you desire.
Why This Binge Eating Recovery Tip Over Any Others?
“Small Steps Every Day” Relieves Pressure to Progress Too Quickly
When we put pressure on ourselves to change and do it right away, we are setting ourselves up for disaster. Trying to move yourself into recovery too fast, at a speed that is not your own, is never a good binge eating recovery plan.
Yes, it is important to challenge yourself but once you begin to set unfair expectations a natural feeling of failure will undoubtedly set in when things do not work out the way we planned. With this said, it is essential to go at your own pace and set realistic expectations for yourself.
Importance Of Realistic Recovery Goals
“Small steps every day” is a binge eating recovery tip that emphasizes the importance of realistic recovery goals. Your eating disorder did not develop overnight so we cannot sanely expect that once the clock strikes midnight we are simply going to be healed.
Begin slowly. I like to use the saying “small steps everyday” because it helps me to remember to take things at a realistic pace. I know from past experience convincing myself that on January 1st I am miraculously going to be better is the worst thing I can do.
When we set attainable goals, we are more likely to progress at a pace that is comfortable for us. When we progress as we become ready, we are more likely to find sustainable recovery, one that is built on a stable and not rushed foundation.
Remember, just because the new year is upon us does not mean we need to be fully better in an instant. Set realistic goals for yourself and take small steps every day.
You are strong. You are capable. I’m here rooting for you and your recovery. Happy New Year.
Often times we become so entrenched with stress during the holidays that we forget to celebrate what’s really important. When we get caught up in the superficial parts of the holiday season, we completely ignore what truly matters to us. Celebrating your recovery, your body, and your progress is just as important as all the other good stuff this season has to offer.
Why We Need To Celebrate Our Recovery
I understand that it may seem silly and slightly selfish to celebrate yourself. I also understand, however, that if we do not take the time to acknowledge our accomplishments that we may forget about all the wonderful things we are doing.
Taking time for yourself and your progress helps to continually fuel the fire to keep on the recovery road. When we look back and see our progress it helps us remember that we can continue to strengthen ourselves and feel all the wonderful things that come along with growth.
When we are able to take a moment to honor our body for all it does for us or our recovery for how much better it makes our life, we become more appreciative of all the hard work we have put into freeing ourselves from the enslavement of an eating disorder.
Ways To Celebrate Your Recovery
You by no means need to have a huge party acknowledging all your hard work. You do not need to alert the news. You don’t have to tell everyone around what you’ve been doing. If you want to go for it, sing it loud and proud, but it is not a necessity. There are other ways to celebrate yourself.
Small things can do wonders. An hour devoted to self care is a wonderful gift. It gives you a chance to slow down and give yourself what you really need. Whether that be a nap, a luxurious bath, or a walk on a nice day all depends on what feels good to you.
Whatever you decide to do this season in regard to celebrating yourself and your accomplishments, make sure, above all, you do it for you. You are more than deserving of taking time to remember all the great things you have done. It is not selfish, remember that.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this holiday season, are able to let go of the stress, and get to take some time for yourself. Sending all my best to you and your recovery.
My name is Brittany Roche, and I am thrilled to join the HealthyPlace blogging community as an author for Binge Eating Recovery. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 14, and have struggled with anxiety and disordered eating (mostly binge eating disorder) for as long as I can remember. I know all too well binge eating is often a difficult subject to talk about which makes communities such as this so vital and powerful for those of us on the path to binge eating recovery.
Getting Into Binge Eating Recovery
For the past six years, I have been in recovery from binge eating disorder (BED). This recovery hasn’t always been pretty. In fact, it’s been chaotic and messy and full of lessons learned the hard way, but with small steps and a lot of perseverance, I’ve been able to make significant improvements to my relationship with food and the control it used to hold over my entire life.
With newly-acquired coping mechanisms, I feel stronger every single day; but, this is still a journey. Through this blog, I hope to share that binge eating recovery journey in all its beauty and ugliness.
You Are Not Alone in Binge Eating Recovery
Above all, I hope this blog helps you realize you are never alone in your binge eating recovery. There are so many people out there struggling with the same habits and behaviors. I hope this community helps us come together in support and healing.
More About Brittany Roche of Binge Eating Recovery
Please always feel free to leave a comment below if there’s a topic you want me to explore. Learn more about me here:
A Look at Recovery from Binge Eating Disorder by Brittany Roche - YouTube
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