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What It’s Like to Have Binge Eating Disorder

What It’s Like to Have Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder looks like…

  • self-control
  • willpower
  • freedom

However, when it sneaks out it transforms itself into restriction and starvation, compulsive eating, and doing shameful, unforgivable things with food.

If you look closely enough, you can recognize it in brittle nails, thinning hair, canceled plans, and frantically raiding the refrigerator or pantry the minute everyone leaves the house. It looks like anorexia on the outside, but food addiction on the inside. It’s major weight swings, food hangovers, purging, and body shame.

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Binge eating disorder feels like empty happiness because you’re finally skinny enough to win society’s approval yet it feels like the scariest, oddest, most inhumane thing imaginable. You absolutely hate it, but yet are attached to it more than anything else.

It’s feeling faint from going a day or two without food before you start bingeing again. It’s shame, anxiety, and depression all wrapped up into the prettiest-looking gift under the Christmas tree.

It’s calm and shame at the same time. It’s love and hate at the same time. It lifts you up but quickly drops you. It’s your best friend and your worst enemy.

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Binge eating disorder sounds like “I’m too fat. I’m not skinny enough. Why am I not good enough? What do I need to do to make my body look better? I hate my body. I hate myself. No one likes me. I’m disgusting. I’m a pig. Don’t eat that; it’s bad. Now I’ve really blown it. So much for toning up this summer!”

All the while you appear perfectly healthy. It’s your dirty little secret. It’s your double life. It’s always planning the next binge. It’s isolation: leaving social gatherings with friends or family knowing your binge awaits you at home; making another trip to the store or restaurant because you didn’t get enough food the first time. It’s eating a week’s worth of calories in one or two days.

It’s canceling plans you have just so that you can crawl back into your shameful world. It’s the only place you feel comfortable. It’s the world where you have less anxiety and less depression.

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It’s that mental tug- that inner voice telling you that you want something. “You need something.” It’s like an insect drawn to a bright light. You learn to disguise it behind the smiles; behind the gaiety; behind the convincing talk that you’re just hungry.

You’re “o.k.”, but how “o.k.” are you when you’re stuffing your mouth as tears stream down your face? How “o.k.” are you when you’re hovered over the toilet crying because you can’t get yourself to throw up? How “o.k.” are you when you’re keeping down fewer than 500 calories a day? When will it be enough?

Recovery from binge eating disorder means learning how to say, “I need help.” It’s learning how to take care of yourself without guilt. It means occasionally confiding in a friend or loved one. It means learning to listen to your body instead of your head when it comes to food choices. It’s meditation to calm anxiety around food. It’s going for walks. It’s putting yourself first. It’s letting go of the desire to lose weight. It’s allowing yourself to eat what you want until you’re satisfied. It’s eating whatever you want, whenever you want- hungry or not. Binge eating disorder is challenging your beliefs about what defines beauty and worthiness. It’s loving your life. It’s loving your body. It’s accepting everything about yourself no matter how negative or imperfect.

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Binge eating disorder is just a bad habit. Recovery is the chance to take back all the power you once gave it.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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