Is Binge Eating an Eating Disorder?

13 April 2024
binge eating disorderBinge Eating Disorder - A real eating disorder with help available

Is Binge Eating an Eating Disorder?

Is binge eating an eating disorder? Hell yes, it is. But you wouldn’t always know it based on how people react. Let me explain…

What is Binge Eating Disorder (BED)? It’s when you regularly eat way more food than most people would in one go, feeling absolutely out of control and unable to stop. Unlike bulimia, you don’t then make yourself sick or over-exercise as a way to compensate.

Why doesn’t it feel ‘real’? BED is a proper, clinically diagnosed eating disorder. But it’s different from those images of severely underweight people that spring to mind. That’s the thing that messes with your head.

My Experience with BED Okay, here’s the ugly truth: I binge. A lot. Not just a bit of overindulgence… it’s like a monster clawing inside me, demanding to be fed. Afterwards, the crushing guilt hits. Why can’t I just stop? My body aches under the weight I keep piling on. I’m the heaviest I’m ever been, and I only feel disgust at myself. I am starting to feel knee pain, which I’m pretty sure is because of the strain that my weight is putting on my knees. Not only am I really unfit, but over the past few months I notice myself getting breathless at the slightest activity – I’m meaning things like just walking up the stairs at home. And yes I still keep binging. 

Oh, I do keep intending to stop. Every single time there is ‘one last binge’. Yet it seems here is always one more time. I need proper strategies and skills to face this head on, but just now, I’m realising that the very first thing I need to do is acknowledge and accept that this is a real and valid eating disorder – hard though that might be. 

The worst part of Binge Eating Disoder for me is feeling completely invisible. I could eat insane amounts in public, and everyone thinks, “Oh, she really enjoys her food.” But it’s not about enjoyment, it’s about compulsion. They don’t see me at home, shoveling food into my mouth, hating myself with every bite.

If I was starving myself, maybe someone would notice. Maybe they’d call it an eating disorder. But as I’m just getting fatter, it seems like nobody takes it seriously. It’s this constant battle: “Am I just a greedy slob, or am I really sick?”

That thought haunts me when I think about talking to my doctor. What if they don’t believe me? What if they think I just need to go on another diet? BED thrives on this doubt, this feeling that you don’t deserve help.

I used to feel in control. I lost a whopping 4 stone with Weight Watchers and reached a healthy weight. But the truth is, it wasn’t sustainable. My ability to control my eating vanished, and the weight piled back on faster than it came off. Now, I’m heavier than ever, disgusted with myself, and worried about my health.

The cycle is maddening. Part of me wants to return to Weight Watchers, mostly for the support and accountability. I know how to eat healthily in theory, but the “right mindset” feels like a mythical unicorn. Weight Watchers might be great for some, but for BED? Honestly, I don’t think so. These programs don’t address the root cause of the problem, and restriction just fuels my binges. It’s a vicious cycle.

Weight Watchers Wasn’t the Answer

I’ve tried Weight Watchers a few times again since, and each time it ended the same way – feeling like a complete failure. Don’t get me wrong, the class leader was amazing and supportive. But in the end, I just couldn’t maintain it.

There’s Hope Beyond Weight Watchers

This fight is tough, but there is help available. Here are some resources specifically for BED in the UK:

Remember, you’re not alone. Seeking help isn’t a weakness; it’s a sign of strength and the first step towards breaking free from BED. You deserve a healthy life where food doesn’t control you.