Binge Eating: Why You Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed

46 thoughts on “Binge Eating: Why You Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed”

  1. I really don’t know what to say, other than, thank you. I have been giving myself several deadlines to quit binge eating, I have told people, and kept it secret. I have taken it seriously at times, and have pushed my ED away from me, as if it wasn’t a big deal…but I have to say that reading this article has made me take in a deep breath and realize that binge eating is real. It is what I do, and it is what I must not feel ashamed about any more. I need to pull it into the light and get it out of my life. I feel after having read this article that it is actually possible for me now. Thank you.

  2. Hi, it seems like I’m Stephanie #2, and I feel exactly the same way!
    “Thank You” wouldn’t be enough to express my feelings at this moment.
    I struggled with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders, and I still do. But this post gave me such valuable information and encouragement to really stop all these behaviors and find myself a happier, better life.
    I still have multiple “fears” everyday, and I hope that one day, I will be as confident as Angela to say I’ve “overcome.”

  3. i’d just really like to say thank you. sometimes, its really hard to put these kinds of thoughts into words.. especially because before the last few days, i didnt know that what i was going through was an actual eating disorder. i thought it was something that i was just going through on my own, and it was a terrible, terrible feeling. however, i still dont think its a good idea for me to see a counselor. to be honest, i live at home and i dont want anyone i live with to know about this.. it’s too hard to explain or to answer questions about. do you have any tips about what i could do to help my problem without seeing a counselor? i have to say, this blog is definitely a good start. it had made me feel a little better already. thank you 🙂

  4. I suffer from binge eating – since I was six years old. Now I’m nineteen, low self-esteem, and in recovery from self-injury.

    When I stopped cutting myself in January my eating got exponentially worse. It is the only comfort I have and I don’t know what else to do. What you did, that is amazing advice, but it simply won’t work for me since I’ve been doing it so long. I guess what I’m trying to say is: to any girls who may see this story as a guideline and think it’s a foolproof way to quit binge eating, it’s not, and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work for you. Not everything works for everyone and sometimes you have to pave your own path. You know what happens when you pave your own path? Amazing sites like these.

    It’s finals week at my college and I plan to put a few notes up tomorrow to maybe help ease the tension.

  5. For me, eating healthy, nutritious foods worked a lot. When you eat the right foods, the cravings for the junk food subsides, as do your urges to binge. I would also recommend eating vegetable based hot soups, they make you feel full and satiated. Its important to banish ,,binge foods” from home and substitute them with healthy alternatives, like apples, carrots, etc. at the height of my binge eating, I realized I was binging out of stress; but binging is an only temporary relief, you have to fight with the root cause of the stress. Binge eating is definitely curable; as soon as you start to respect you body and don’t pay attention to what media regards as perfect, you will understand your body’s needs better and take more care of it. YOU are more important than anyone else’s opinion so listen to YOU first. Good Luck to you all, and don’t forget to exercise!

  6. A perfect essay. My struggle with binge eating was very much like yours. Restricting, over exercizing, binging, hating myslef, starving, binging again, etc. I recovered by doing the same: ending my life of restricting. I kept from relapsing by understanding that I didnt need to compinsate after over eating; that our bodies amazingly re-kilter themselves if we just continue on and feed our bodies what they need.

  7. This was perfect! Pretty sure God allowed me to stumble upon this site specifically so I could read this post. I have struggled with Binge eating for almost 2 years now, after having numerous years of restriction and calorie counting before that. Like others before, I had vowed to do this or that to beat my binge habits. I too had started to try and eat more freely, in that I was not attempting to restrict or with-hold food when my body was hungry. Still, because I have experienced both high and low weights, as well as restrictive and way over indulgent diets…I know I still don’t trust myself. So now, sometimes even when I am eating “regular” I worry it is a binge, because it is more than I previously allowed myself. Anyway though, these past few weeks had actually been a lot better…and I was starting to feel in a groove of eating normal. But then last night I had a HUGE backslide…and this morning I woke up feeling defeated, physically sick, and angry with myself. I truly dispise the habit and mindset that cause me to binge and then condemn myself for it, and yet telling myself I am still beautiful is so difficult after something like that happens. I agree with SOO much of what the author wrote in her post, and I think I am still struggling with the number 2 part. I absolutely want a healthy, beautiful body…the kind I was meant to have, and yet it is indeed difficult to let go of that ideal figure you feel you “should” be able to make yourself have. Thanks for the encouragement though…this site is pretty neat 🙂

  8. I am estactic to see that the first step to beating an ED is counselling, concidentitly I have an appointment tomorrow for this exact reason. I have a binge eating problem and I couldn’t overcome it by myself. Everything you wrote was dead on, and it scared me and I felt relief at the same time- I am not the only one who fought this battle, and I will not be the only one who overcomes it.
    Thank you, I respect you for telling us your story and your a beauiful person for letting others know how to become happy once again. <3

  9. Old habits are hard to break. I have a habit of overeating on the weekends and not exercising which makes me feel awful by Monday morning. I have devised a couple of quick tricks to help me stop these habits. Come check them out on my website here:

    Weekends seem to be the hardest times for people so hopefully this can give you and some of your readers some extra help. I would love for you to read it and comment with any thoughts you have. Thanks!

  10. This article is one of the most helpful I’ve read thus far on this topic. I’ve been battling binge eating for about 2 years. Like you, it all started when I really got serious about food restriction. I want to tone up and have a fabulous body, but I’ve realized that trying to eat ridiculously low amounts of food while exercising 4-6 hours a week is simply not sustainable or healthy. There are ways to be healthy and thin, and there is a way to be destructive. I am being destructive. Learning to eat normally rather than compensating through starvation/exercise is going to be tough…but it’s something we HAVE to do.

    Thank you.

  11. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for when I hopped onto Google, but whatever I typed in caused this wonderful article to come up and all I can say is thank you so very much for this. It’s like you read my mind and literally answered every one of my questions, without them having to be verbalized. I can’t afford a counselor at the moment, but at least I have a starting point. A goal (that doesn’t include a scale or numbers of any sort)

  12. I have been having this exact same struggle, and I really needed to read these words. Thank you so much for writing this amazing article; I have been struggling with this for some time now and I can honestly say that it affects not only yourself, but your relationship with those around you. I felt angry at everyone and everything, when in reality, I was mad at my own self. You’re an inspiration. Keep it up!


  13. Thank you so much for this! I feel like I could have written it. I have struggled with orthorexia nervosa, severe restrictive eating, and now binge eating order the past few years. I was stable for about a month but still on the more restrictive side and just had a major backslide this weekend… so this was really needed. I am going to see a counselor on Thurs which I look forward to. I need to finally get rid of this problem for good and stop giving food so much power over me. I can totally see myself falling into the same cycle over and over again that you described. And I need to learn how to give my body what it needs freely in order to overcome this. Thanks so much for your inspiration!!

  14. Hello! first off, thank you for writting this. I’ve been unhappy with my body image scince I was 11 and struggled with my weight scince I was 13. I’ve dieted and tried to lose weight so many times. I did loose a lot of weight one time and then I gained almost all of it back. I want to tell my doctor but I don’t really think they’ll be able to do anything. I feel like its all up to me to fix this mess. Food is all I think about and its controlling my life. I feel like its put up a barrier with all my relationships like my mom and my boyfriend. I tried telling my mom but she says its all in my head. I’m currently overweight but when I. Started dating my boyfriend I was thin and toned and happy. I feel bad for him because I gained weight. I gained like 15 pounds. Anyway, sorry for getting a little off topic. I would like to know if you went to the doctor or what exactly you did to get help? Thank you.

  15. This article is exactly how I feel. I have been dealing with my weight problem for about 5 years now and I am 18 years old now. Over the past year, I have gained about 15 pounds from binge eating. I did not think it was a problem for a long time. I thought I was just being dramatic. But my weight, food, and calories is all I think about. I’m obsessed with my weight and being skinnier. I has ruined a friendships and a relationship all due to my low confidence. I did not know why people even liked to be around me so I would lash out on the ones I care about the most. I know my family is tired of my and my drastic mood swings. I’m just tired of hurting them. I know they thought after my first semester in college, my rage would stop but it continues. I feel so alone like no one understands me. However, I have decided to start going to over eaters anonymous and hopefully that will be help. I just do not want to live like this anymore. I’m tired.

  16. All I can say is wow. Reading this was a huge wake up call. I’ve been struggling with eating disorders for over 3 years now, from anorexia to binge eating. Simply reading this has helped me to finally realize things that nobody else could ever convince me was true. Thank you so much for writing this article.

  17. I don’t know how to stop binging. I started binging since I was in the 9th grade. Before that, I never had eating problems. My parents would say I ate too little, but it was only because I didn’t have a large appetite and didn’t like the food that my parents made at home. We only had home cooked meals. Once I started high school my parents would give me money to buy lunch and snacks after school. That’s when I discovered eating pizza and McDonalds and Dairy Queen. I gained 10 pounds and weighed around 105 pounds for my 4’11 frame which made me chubby. So, during the summer when my relatives visited, they all started commenting on how much weight I’d gained… I was so sick of all the fatty comments that I started working out, walking for 10 minutes on our treadmill, and then started running for a half hour everyday in the morning (at 7 am) before school started. I started losing weight. And then I started restricting calories and had a cheat day when I’d eat huge amounts of food until I felt sick and would vow to eat healthy the rest of the week. I didn’t feel guilty necessarily, just grossed out with the food. I became super skinny, around 95 pounds at 5 feet in 10th grade. In freshman year of college, I was 5’2 and weighed 125 pounds, the heaviest I’ve weighed in my life. And slowly, I started working out, started eating healthier and went down to 120. In the summers when I worked out harder and cut down the sugar I was down to 115. Now, I weigh between 105 and 110 pounds. I’ve become stricter with my diet in the sense that I avoid sugar even more now. I still binge once a week and eat healthy the rest of the week — and by diet I mean I eat healthy foods only, lots of salad, fruits, nuts, low fat dairy, and lean meat, and no sugar. And then Friday hits and I can’t stop overeating. From 1500 cals I go up to 3000 cals or more. I don’t know why I binge. I LOVE eating healthy foods, love the veggies, but on my cheat day I go crazy. I don’t know how to stop it. I’m still thin but I hate feeling like I’m out of control and the self-disgust that follows. How could I just let myself go? I don’t know what to do…I find that if let myself to eat whatever I want whenever I go out of control. One portion is not enough.

  18. I cried when reading this only because I could relate to everything you described. I have been struggling a lot with my ED since I was thirteen and I started having my binges and gaining a lot of weight. I wasn’t aware of the weight gain since food was never really much of a concern for me as a child. It wasn’t until a few of my family members began to criticize me on my compulsive eating habits that I started to become aware of it. When my mom signed me up for a gym membership I started to obsess over calories and losing as much weight as possible. In my freshman year of high schooI, I weighed about 105 pounds and I remember still looking in the mirror and feeling fat. Again, I was starving myself and overexercising and then I would binge an enormous amount of food during the weekend. This took a huge toll on the way I saw things and for a while I was really depressed. I started seeing my counselor a year after that because of how bad it got and I still have my binges every now and then. Im in my senior year now and looking back I do feel like I’ve made some progress. Its still hard though, sometimes I feel great, other times I just feel like I hate my body.

  19. Hey, I just wanted to say thanks. I finally feel like I have met a group of people who understand my struggle. I am a triathlete with binge eating disorder. This semester I finalized that another diet wasn’t going to ‘fix’ me. In January I was working out hard and restricting my calories. I so desperately want to be like all my teammates at the pool. Stick skinny. Restricting lead to binging which lead to purging. But now thankfully with help from groups like this I realized my disorder and got help. But now I am in the other shitty pendulum swing where I overeat and have gained weight. I am just trying to get back to a healthy HAPPY balance. I may be heavy but I’m still fast and that knowledge helps me get through the self hate that creeps in.
    I know that it gets better.

    1. Yes….I relate to this too…from unintentional restricting to now bingeing …and the bingeing is without purging or restricting the next day..I actually binge every single night 🙁 And I suffer a lot of digetsive issues 🙁 I can’t exercise anymore because i’m terribly fatigued all over and joint issues. I’m ashamed and in my 30’s and convinced I’m irreparable. I’ve found doctors to be no help and alternative approaches to be too expensive. I may try to hunt down a CBT clinic at a sliding rate…but I don’t know…nothing works and I’m ashamed…

      I did read these fact-based articles here that might interesst all on this topic:

  20. Also I wanted to ask do you really think Victoria secret ads are the best choice for a forum about eating disorders? With all that Photoshop and unrealistic portrayals of women? Seems kind of like a slap in the face to me.

  21. This applies to men too! Great article.
    I am also an aspiring triathlete, I exercise every day and push myself hard. I have 2 kids and a demanding job, for me it’s not about body image it’s about my own comfort with who I am. I tend to binge on a Friday night, and then feel terrible guilt until Monday lunchtime when I hit the gym/ run or swim and keep pushing harder and harder. It’s so comforting to know I’m not the only person who does this, that its a normal trap to fall in to and that there is a way out. Thanks again.

  22. thank you so much for sharing this it has helped me immensly. i am awaiting to see a pyschologist about my supected binge eating disorder, i felt so ashamed of my uncontrolable eating habits and couldnt understand how i developed them (as i feel i dont have any underlying emotional issues that most websites suggest are the cause) until i read this. i have been repetitively dieting for about two years as i kept putting on a few pounds from being inactive as i spend a lot of time sitting and studying for college. i didnt realise this could contribuate to an eating disorder and i now feel much more confident about going to see the psychologist as i have hope and know there is help and a solution out there

  23. This thread has left me in tears. I think i currently suffer from binge eating because I used to binge eat in my early teens, but back then I didn’t really restrict what I ate and just gained weight with it. As time went on I realized that I was getting chubby and decided to diet and exercise. I lost weight which made me feel great. I kept pushing myself to the point where I now eat minimal calories and over excercise. I also feel great when I do this but I started to binge again about 9 months ago, first it was every month and now its every week. I feel horrible and scared and guilty. Also I binge on very unhealthy foods like chocolates, muffins, any sweet stuff really and lots of it. I can’t believe I am doing this to my body, no one knows but I don’t know where to go for help. I’m glad to know I am not the only one and that I need to get some help.

  24. This is literally my story. This past year at college, my first year, I developed symptoms of my ED. Same thing, I’d fast for five days, run, and then on the weekends “binge” even though it would still be a normal day’s worth of calories. I felt HORRIBLE cause I thought I would gain weight immediately. I am currently in treatment for the ED and going through the struggle of getting used to not binging. My body doesn’t trust me yet either. But treatment is going great and I’m ready to beat this thing! Thank you for your story, it helped me so much!

  25. This article was fabulous! Thanku for it honesty-it made me feel like I’m not alone. I do have a question, I have sought out several coubselors and even a nutritionist but now I’m planning for my wedding at it seems that I want to starve myself/over-exercise and also binge and isolate myself. What should my next step be?

  26. I’m 17, and this article and comments really give me some insight into my own food issues, I never thought other people did the same thing I do.
    I usually eat to my “limit” of 1200 calories before mid afternoon because I try to lose weight-but then get so hungry or depressed, thinking “what’s the use” and I go crazy, sometimes eating 4000 calories. I then exercise for hours late at night and promise ill do better the next day…but I just keep making that same mistake over and over again until I hate myself.
    Going on for almost 2 years now, and I still want to lose weight…
    I want to stop this though more than Ever, and going to give up my restrictions and I’m positive that its best to just eat healthly and normally in moderation. Hopefully everyone who has a similar story will also find strength to stop. Good Luck

    1. eating at 1200 is tough.. I can relate.., I did that for a few months with exercise and it’s hell you do not want to go there… Please don’t restrict yourself.. it always tends to backlash at us… This is coming from a male with ed please please you’re young (although I’m 19 male) I’m so glad you’re staying strong… Sorry this might sound weird coming from a stranger but I just know how it feels… to be going and having all this pressure around us to look a certain way…

  27. why can’t i be the weight all the mom’s around me are? my calorie counting and then am now on my 3rd week of binge eating to try and brainshwash myself to stop is annoying. i am 134-150lb any given moment of the year but desire 120lb. the mom’s i hang w are 115lbs and peer pressure each other to stay that way. i truly want it for myself… to be a healthy 115lb. i just can’t take the stress it causes.

  28. I am a thirty six year old woman who is an adult with binge eating disorder. I have been horribly struggling with this problem. The more I focus on my body on the outside and think about food the more this cycle goes. I have tried overeater’s anonymous which is for all eating issues. It has helped some but for some reason I keep wasting food and I feel really guilty doing all this baking. I have some huge emotional losses in my life. I have been wasting food a lot and the thinking you are all talking about I can relate to. Dieting doesn’t work. I need to forgive myself and love my body. I have to cut out certain foods for now to establish a balanced diet. I also need to give thanks to God for the food I am able to eat. I feel so guilty when I think of all the starving people in the world. I really need to forgive myself and accept where I am at right now. This body does not deserve abuse. Every one of you deserves to be respected by others and by yourselves. I think I need to accept me and learn to eat normal again. One thing that is really hard is when you lose your period and gain weight and it stills doesn’t come back. Be careful with the binging because it can lead to some serious health problems and so can restricting. Love yourself and the preoccupation with food will become less and the weight will come off easier. I need to look in the mirror and tell myself you look healthy. I need positive affirmation and to remember those times when I do do things right and remember all the times I look in the mirror and loathe the way I look. Is it really worth to ruin my whole day over this?No. I am worth more than that and deserve to be happy and so do all of you.

  29. I have recently dropped 40 pounds. I used to be a 160 pound 19 year old male now I am at 119, at least hopefully I still am… I just ate 3500 calories of food in one day and it most if not all came from sweets… I just had another emotional eating episode last week albeit not as bad as this weeks… I am trying to get down to 115 but I think after these 2 weeks of uncontrollable eating, I should just stop and adapt normal eating habits. I have ocd and have been counting calories for the past months and on a very very restrictuve and strict diet. I honestly can’t continue like this… eating at a deficit, then all if a sudden eating away at all of my work… I came to a realization today that I should either maintain, or gain, going any lower is just unreasonable for me… During the day I tend to think non stop about food, especially when I’m exercising and eating less… After reading this, it just sent a spark in me, my body doesn’t want this anymore… It’s tired of counting calories, and it probably doesn’t want to lose anymore… I have been starving myself for the past months.. and all I’m feeding is the ED. Thank you very much for this and I’m going to show this to my mother who’s very supportive. I am so glad that there are so many other people who I can relate to, and I can only imagine their experiences were much harder than mine…

  30. Julie said it best, “love yourself and the preoccupation with food will become less and the weight will come off easier”. I know this to be true, although struggling with it a bit at the moment…

  31. Thank you so much for this! I had a feeling that I had a problem with binge eating, but I also have a problem with restriction. I didn’t think it was possible to have both, so I kept denying I had a problem. I can’t thank you enough for helping me realize that you CAN have both and I do.

  32. Talk to someone about your secrets and bad past. Open yourself up to vulnerability. Release yourself from your prison. You are eating your secrets, not food.

  33. thank you so much for posting this article as i am currently suffering from an eating disorder too. It is really difficult i must agree. Every time i try to bounce back it will only last a few days and then it back fires again.

    I feel a lot better after reading your article as now i know there is actually hope in overcoming this and i don’t have to feel awful. I am taking this healing process 1 step at a time as well and like you said to “trust” my body and not to control it takes a lot of effort.

    I hope by taking your story as an example the next time i would post a comment it would be these words “I FINALLY AM ABLE TO FIGHT IT!”

  34. This really helped me. Over the summer i had lost weight and was extremely happy with myself and my body because i was finally thin(as i was always a little chubby) as the year has started i have had many binges and hve been more obsessed than ever with eating less and weighing myself because i feel as if i have gained a lot of weight and i remember how good i was about eating less and healthy in the summer. I am driving myself crazy looking at pictures from summer and feeling guilty for times like tonight where i just said you know what i dont care. Had 6 chocolate chip cookies dinner and 5 blueberry muffins. what you wrote really helps me so thank you
    5blueberry muf

  35. This honestly made me feel so much better knowing I was not the only one with the same problem. I’ve been ‘dieting’ for years now and every once and a while I consume copious amounts of sweets and salty food to the point of feeling sick. The guilt kills me but I do it anyways and I don’t know how or why. The following day I always have so much energy and my family notices my change in mood. It’s obvious I’m deprived but I cannot bring myself to eat more due to the shear fear of gaining weight.

  36. All I can say is, thank you. Reading this has finally clicked something in my brain and I feel as though I’m finally breaking free of being so body conscious and seeing the reality of what I’m actually doing to myself. I binged this afternoon, and as soon as I was doing and the guilt ridden shame overcame me once again I was already planning my limited calorie intake for the week ahead.

    Having read this post I now realise this will just lead me to binge once again, my goal weight isn’t realistic if I want to be happy in life as I’ll be hungry all the time and my binging habits will never leave me. I’m scrapping the calorie counting, ditching the scales and have decided to listen to my hunger pangs instead and hopefully in time I will be able to finally become binge free.

    This has helped me so much, thank you again


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