Friday, February 28, 2014

Honesty and eating disorders: Stop lying to yourself



It's National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and you know what that means?

It's time to be honest... really honest.

I'm going to say something here because I need to acknowledge that it's the truth. After years of struggling with restrictive eating, binge purge eating, and a blend of multiple disordered eating behaviors, I have relapsed into a stage of eating that I'm really struggling with. So here's the truth:

I have a binge eating disorder.


There. I said it. That wasn't so bad.


Since coming to college, managing my eating habits has been really difficult. At home I was always surrounded by healthy foods that made me feel safe and in control, but the dessert station at the cafeteria, the junk room my friends and I keep in our dorm rooms, and the seemingly endless opportunities to pig out on unhealthy snacks has really tested my relationship with food.

What has the result been? Binge eating.... again.

I've struggled with binge eating at multiple times in my life, starting in middle school. While I didn't realize what was happening at the time, I have many memories of sneaking into my kitchen late at night to stuff my face with whatever I could find. Unaware of how many calories 5 bagels and a whole box of cereal contained, I never understood that I was binge eating. All I knew was I would leave the kitchen feeling emotional, guilty, and so full I could barely breathe or walk sometimes.

Years later I now know that BED is not only a serious condition, but one that tons of people deal with, and one I can deal with too.

But the first step is honesty.

No matter what sort of relationship with food you have, admitting that something might be wrong is hard. It's hard to recognize that you can't live on 900 calories a day or that you have been doing something unhealthy. For me personally though, acknowledging that I've been binge eating is the hardest. Starvation always feels controlled, but binge eating is just so gross.

But if you don't acknowledge it you can never get better. I have binged at least once a week every week for the last five months, which officially puts me in eating disorder territory.

So I'm being honest about it. I have a binge eating disorder and I am going to take steps to make it better. While I'm an overall healthy person (I exercise 5-7 times a week and eat mostly natural foods, primarily vegetables), binge eating is emotionally and physically unhealthy for me, and I will learn to channel my stresses and emotions into outlets that are not food.

I hope you do the same.

Want to be honest with yourself?

Go to http://nedawareness.org/ to find out more about eating disorders and find out if you or someone you know might be at risk.

Everyone knows someone.

Good luck, stay strong, and stay tuned for another ED post coming to you soon.

All my ruv,
Kristen

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