I recently had a conversation with someone about strategies to break bad habits, and I was reminded of my binge eating disorder (BED) recovery. By nature, whenever I set a new goal to break or create a habit, I want change to happen immediately. I try to go cold turkey and quit the bad habit overnight. Or, I change many habits at once instead of making small changes over time.
Binge Eating Recovery
A recent conversation with a friend made me consider what I wish I'd known about eating disorder (ED) recovery. The other day, I asked my friend, "What do you think your younger self would have thought of older you?" We retraced our steps down the hill through the snow on our way back to the trailhead. She said, "I think she would have been so surprised. I don't think I ever expected I would move away from my hometown."
The new year is a new beginning, which brings a special clarity as you reflect on what you want to change. It's often recommended to set concrete resolutions so you can measure how well you're doing throughout the year. This advice can be helpful, but for binge eating disorder recovery, changes are subtle and difficult to measure. In my experience, setting New Year's resolutions for my recovery and eating habits has consistently caused stress and unnecessary pressure. Of course, you can set milestone goals for going a certain number of days without binge eating. But if you are trying to start or strengthen your recovery from an eating disorder, you can't expect your recovery to be as neat as a checklist.
My name is Emma Parten, and I’m excited to be the new author for the "Binge Eating Recovery" blog. I intend to focus on the common experiences of those who struggle with binge eating disorder (BED). Binge eating disorder can be isolating and difficult to talk about. It’s essential to know you aren’t the only one struggling. I also want to focus on ways you can take action to move forward in your healing process. Recovery doesn’t have to mean your relationship with food is completely healed. Binge eating recovery is wherever you are right now.
The time has come for me to move on from the "Binge Eating Recovery" blog here at HealthyPlace. Sharing my recovery process here has been an interesting experience, and I hope you gained insights and tools that help you on your binge eating recovery journey. Here are some parting thoughts I wanted to share with you.
Like many binge eating disorder sufferers, I've always had a complicated relationship with my body — particularly when it comes to learning to love exercise. I was the typical kid who always got picked last in gym class, and that experience gave me an aversion to exercise that lasted into adulthood. Instead of taking care of my body through movement, I learned to self-soothe with food, alcohol, and other destructive behaviors.
"Why are you writing about binge eating disorder recovery?" my boyfriend asked the other day. "Did you have a problem with it when you were little?" A blanket of shame due to binge eating disorder wrapped itself around my body, weighing me down like lead. I felt my face contort into a half-cringe, half-grimace. A familiar knot formed in my stomach — he didn't know, and now I was going to have to tell him.
Refraining from summer binge eating can be challenging if you are in binge eating disorder recovery. As temperatures rise, the media heaps on the pressure to have the perfect "beach body," routines go out the window, and co-occurring mental health issues such as anxiety and depression may arise — all of which can trigger summer binge eating.
Like many sufferers of binge eating disorder, I struggled with loving my body and other body issues for many years. As a child, I loved food and books and was not a fan of exercise. I was never fat, but I was chubby enough to be teased by the boys at school. As an awkward teenager, magazines taught me how to hate my body.
Waking up the morning after binge eating is a horrible feeling. As the gray light of dawn filters into my room, the furniture begins to emerge from the darkness, and I emerge from sleep into a growing sense of trepidation. My bloated and uncomfortable belly bluntly reminds me I've binged again.