Binge eating can be uncomfortable for many reasons. Understandably, it’s something that we would want to stop. As someone who experienced an eating disorder and now a nutritionist that specializes in disordered eating, I know how out of control binge eating can feel. This post won’t address how to stop binge eating but rather offer you a different perspective than diet culture offers.
We have been led to believe that binge eating is something to hide, to be embarrassed about, something that makes us weak, or that is a reflection of our self-control, lack of health or discipline but this is not true at all. But these societal views can influence how we view and treat ourselves. Many people find that they want to punish themselves after a binge, or “make-up” for it in some way, and while i don’t blame people for this, it doesn’t need to be this way.
Binging occurs for a reason, possibly a few reasons. It’s not a lack of self-control or your body trying to sabotage you. Its not a behaviour that needs to be met with punishment, restriction or self-judgement (if you want to explore why we binge you can check out our online course Food Freedom Fundamentals or our Binge eating class). I often ask clients what participating in self-judgement will give them after a binge, they will commonly tell me they think shame is a powerful motivator or they don’t actually know why they do it. Firstly, you are taught to behave this way, its not actually meant to be empowering or motivating, its designed for you to second guess your self-trust and connection with your body. Secondly, I am a firm believer that you cant shame or judge yourself into sustainable, self-care centred change or growth. I believe that shame can be used to illuminate where we might need some self-compassion or grace, but i don’t believe it needs to be used in order to create change.
You deserve to be taken care of after you binge, your body still needs to eat afterwards (when you are showing signs of hunger, remember that there are 4 main types of hunger and physical hunger is just one of them). You deserve self-care, compassion and grace. You deserve this by default, but something else to consider is that punishing ourselves, shaming ourselves, very rarely will ever result in a positive growth and change and also wont actually help us get to the root cause of why we binge eat. You’re much more likely to ben able to explore behaviour when we do it from a place of self-compassion and also compassion from others! This is not just something we need to address as individuals, but the way we view binge eating needs to change on an institutional level, people need/deserve compassionate support and care.
If you would like to explore binge eating a bit more, and learn how we can support ourselves after a binge then check out Food Freedom Fundamentals.