It’s a fine line that most people wouldn’t bother treading. You’re eating too much, one thinks, put down the fork. But if one differentiates, it allows for a new perspective, a certain leeway you could say.
My issue with binge eating is the lack of a grey area. In every aspect of my life, I have always been very black and white. And like many others with a diet mentality, it is all too easy to think “One mistake! The day is blown, I may as well keep going.” I was told recently, it is not just a matter of finding the grey area, but rather all of the colours in between. And with that in mind, I will try to embrace the concept that I can maintain or go over my calorie needs for the day without the day becoming a failure and resorting to a binge.
So what’s the difference? Well, an overeat is exactly that. Consiously eating too much, choosing to have that whipped cream on a hot chocolate or splurge on a pizza. It’s a choice that may not be perfect, but that you can make your peace with because it will all balance out in the end.
A binge, on the other hand, is a compulsion. There are numerous causes and emotions (which I’ll go into more in another post) but the main factor is the loss of control one feels during a binge and the shame afterwards. It spurs one into a flurry of shoulds and musts and new fangled diet and exercise plans, to start immediately after you reduce, reduce, reduce the next day to balance it all out. Or if this is all too exhausting, to wallow until all the shame backs off a little.
It is interesting to check out some of the forums online on how to beat binge eating. Whilst you can find a lot of useful information, so many people still try to maintain their deficit AND workout intensely most days AND beat their binge eating. I have finally come to the conclusion that the latter needs to be the priority. And it is still perfectly possible to work out as intensely as you like, as long as it is for enjoyment and not just for the calorie burn (I work out 5-6 days a week) but you absolutely CANNOT maintain a deficit. I read a post by a girl who was trying to stop binge eating, whilst working out 2 hours a day and eating only 1300 calories. I am aware that I did even worse than this at one point but What the WHAT?! It may be the protein porridge speaking, but that is all kinds of crazy. Another thing: although I’ve read it a thousand and one times that as soon as you make something off limits, its all you can think about, I never really thought that applied to me. Until I realised that a life without chocolate is just not worth living 🙂
Today, I technically overate. But I don’t feel bad or wrong or guilty because everything I ate was a choice. I still need to work on stopping when I am full but I feel like I am getting a little stronger each day.
I have just completed 5 days without a binge, a personal best since coming home. I’m going for the week and we’ll see it how it goes from there.
Wish me luck!