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I'm sick of dieting!Question:
My name is Lisa and I live in Texas. I overweight when I was young and went on a diet at age ten and lost 20 pounds. I became super healthy and absolutely loved being in shape and eating healthy foods however it has slowly become more like slavery to me. I never eat anything unhealthy but I tend to binge and go crazy with food before starting like a cleanse or cutting out a certain food because I think it will be my last time to eat that food. My binge consists of tons of dried fruit or several protein bars in one sitting. I get super full and don’t throw up but I feel very guilty and disappointed in myself. I don’t know how to get out of the feeling of deprivation because that’s what leads to the binging..thinking I won’t be able to have that food for a while. What can I do to get free from this problem!!??? Thank you!

Answer:

Hi Lisa,

I’m sorry that you are feeling stuck in the tyranny of bingeing and depriving. But I think that your answer is in your question. You state that you “binge and go crazy with food” before you start a cleanse. You didn’t say what a cleanse means to you. Does it mean a fast or an intense deprivation diet? Whatever it means to you, it is setting up your black and white thinking. Meaning, as you say in your note, that you believe that you will never be able to eat something again, so you binge on it. After the binge, you feel terrible.

I am wondering why you choose to go on cleanses or why you choose to cut out certain foods. Are you allergic to them? Do they make you sick? If the answer is no, then you have answered your own question,  the solution to your problem is to stop depriving yourself. How about allowing yourself to eat the things IN MODERATION that you are cutting out? This will then stop your cycle of bingeing on them. For instance, instead of saying, “I can never ever eat dried fruit again,” tell yourself that you are allowed to eat a handful of dried fruit for desert each night.  Because the prior statement seems to create a lot of anxiety for you. Saying, “I can never _________again…” is triggering your all-or-nothing thinking and making you vulnerable to binges.  You say “I don’t know how to get through this feeling of deprivation because that’s what leads to the binges,” the only answer to that is to stop depriving yourself. You can be healthy and in shape and occasionally eat a protein bar or dried fruit. What’s more unhealthy than including some treats here and there is stress induced bingeing, self-hatred, guilt and shame, etc. It’s just food. People who exercise, eat well 80% of the time, and keep their stress levels down tend to be healthier than people who are either inactive and binge and overeat constantly or people who are so anxious about food that they are unable to enjoy their lives.

Try to allow yourself some more “yeses” and more self kindness and watch how the bingeing decreases.

 

I hope that this answers your question and you’ve found this helpful.
Warmly,
Leora
Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy  at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location.

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  • SOS

    First, thank you for taking the time to do this. It is very difficult to find help.

    I have been, anorexic, overweight, exercise addict, and now I am binge eating without purging. Yes, I have been a constant dieter and my latest choice: hcg diet injections.

    I started this bad cycle after I trained/completed for marathon and half walk . I have all exercise and controlled my weight with it. However, I hurt my knee then panicked because I couldn’t exercise the the extreme that I was used to. Then, my weight started to fluctuate. So, I tried hcg for instant success. Well, after 5 rounds on this . I learned to not exercise that much and binge eat and not deal with consequences.

    We’ll guess what – I stopped my round early and now I have gained a lot within 5 days. Yes, I got nervous because my clothes are tighter , my body is swollen, and I am depressed. So guess what? I decided to eat everything at thanksgiving. So, today I feel guilty, I am fat, feel sick, no energy to exercise , and my grandma just died. In my head, I am thinking that I can’t go to funeral like this. I can’t even fit any thing or look at myself.

    How can I get out of this mess. I really don’t know how start to lose and feel good again. Did I mention I only had 10 to lose but now it’s 20 ISH.

    Help!!!