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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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