Ever tried to explain binge eating or the compulsion to overeat to a “normal” eater? Yeah, they usually don’t get it. There are some things that only another emotional eater can understand—and see the humor in. As Rachael, 20, a reader from the U.K., says…
I was explaining to a lovely friend the other day what binge eating disorder is and how I have struggled with it for about 5 years now. She just didn’t understand—she could not fathom why anyone would want to eat skim milk powder from a packet or 15 slices of bread covered in Caesar salad sauce. I replied “well I don’t WANT to” to which she said …”well why DO you do it?”
This is a question that I have been battling with throughout my binge eating journey. Why do I do it? Why is my relationship with food so unnatural? Why do I choose food as a comfort over the comfort of my friends? I think that is the number one question anyone suffering from BED needs to get to the root of, whether it be through self reflection, journal writing, counseling, hypnotherapy or yoga.
Now casting the seriousness aside (though I do believe it is a terrible thing to struggle with and can have huge implications in ones life), I wanted to quickly touch on the ‘humour’ involved in BED. Because what I found when I was relaying my story to aforementioned friend was that we just couldn’t stop giggling at the absurdity of it all. And her repeated questions of “but WHY, why would you do that?” rather than being judgmental or harsh, just highlighted that something I have come to consider as a normal, everyday happening, is in fact a little strange.
I’ve eaten a block of chocolate in the…wait for it…shower. Not wanting my mum to catch me and scared that she could hear me unwrapping the foil, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone—get clean and binge. Although the hot water certainly didn’t help as I soon found myself covered in sticky, runny chocolate.
I used to wish my beautiful boyfriend at the time would leave my house so that I could eat anything in the fridge. I would rather sit and stuff my face with ice cream and sandwiches then hang out, have fun or make love.
When there aren’t any foods my brain considers “bad” enough I will make my own concoctions. For example I would take brown bread, slather it in butter, put fatty salad dressing on it, baked beans, nuts, tomato, ham, 3 types of cheese and whack it all together and chow down. My friend took that all in and said “but weren’t you sick?” and the sad thing is I wasn’t. That was just a mini binge. After I had done that and “ruined” the day I can continue, sometimes for hours—and it would only be until I am so bloated, gassy and have a migraine that I will actually stop eating.
Last night I bought a tub of low fat icecream thinking I would have 2 scoops. I ended up eating half the tub in secret in one sitting. I threw the rest into the bin but when I went to the fridge and there was nothing “bad” to eat I went to the bin, found the tub and finished it off.
Yes ladies, I ate from the bin. You’ve gotta laugh sometimes to stop yourself from crying. —Rachael, 20