Recent Blog Posts
Do You Feel Unable to Stop Binge Eating?
Does your relationship with food make you feel powerless and out of control? Are you overwhelmed by shame when you think about your eating habits, but feel as though every effort you make to stop binging is doomed to failure? Maybe you have days that start out with healthy, reasonably sized meals, but despite your best efforts, you find yourself binging at night. You might overeat when you are feeling down, anxious or uncomfortable with some sensation or emotion that you don’t want to feel. Do you use food as a way to fill some inner void that you just can’t name? Do you wish you could eat only when you are hungry, stop when you are full and enjoy a healthy relationship with food?
Struggling with binge eating disorder can be an isolating, embarrassing and frustrating experience. Maybe you structure your whole day around food and have established a schedule or set of habits that allows you time to binge, even at the expense of time for work or loved ones. Maybe you hide food so that you always have a supply. You might eat very quickly and without pause. Perhaps you feel as though others are watching and judging you any time you eat, causing you to now only eat alone or in secret. You may feel guilty, disgusted, saddened and/or physically ill after binging, which leads to a cycle of self-hatred and low self-esteem. Binge eating might provide you with a very temporary relief from your negative thoughts and emotions, but leaves you feeling just as bad – if not worse – once you are done.
Many People Struggle With Binge Eating Disorder
If you feel as though your eating is out of control, you are not alone. In fact, Binge Eating Disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States. 28 million Americans, both men and women, have been diagnosed with BED, and many more struggle with poor body image, overeating and unhealthy diets. Many people with BED also struggle with anxiety, depression and physical health issues, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, digestive issues and cardiovascular disease. The negative sensations and feelings related to these issues can sometimes lead individuals to crave the brief comfort of a binge even more, creating a harmful cycle that can have a serious impact on physical, mental and emotional well-being.
In our modern society, the intense social pressure to be thin and maintain an ideal appearance causes many people to feel ashamed of their bodies, especially when they are bombarded by images of celebrities and ads for the next big diet. That shame, combined with a sense of hopelessness, can fuel BED. Sometimes parents unwittingly set children up for unhealthy eating habits by offering food as a reward or for comfort. At the same time, others sometimes make critical comments about weight that contributes to a sense of shame and self-hatred. To make matters more difficult, junk food is more available than ever before, with convenience stores and fast food chains on almost every corner. If you are struggling with BED, this world of challenges and temptations can be very difficult to navigate. Thankfully, with the help and support of a qualified therapist, you can develop effective ways to cope with negative experiences and create a healthy relationship with food.
Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Can Help You Feel In Control of Food and Your Life
If you are tired of organizing your life around food, therapy can help you make long-lasting, positive changes. Binge eating disorder treatment can be extremely effective, and I will tailor our sessions to best address your personality, situation and needs. You can develop the tools you need to fight binging urges as they arise, monitor your moods and your eating, cope effectively with negative emotions and exchange unhealthy habits for new, healthier ones.
In sessions, I create a safe, comfortable, supportive environment for you to explore the thought patterns and beliefs that are contributing to your eating disorder. You can feel free to speak freely and openly with me, and I will never judge you for anything you think, share or do. As you begin to get in touch with the beliefs that are no longer serving you, I can also help you identify the experiences and situations that trigger your compulsion to binge. If you have tried to make changes to your eating habits before, you have probably run up against some things that led you back to binge eating. In fact, many people with a history of yo-yo dieting develop binge eating disorder. Together, we can delve into the issues that have prevented you from making sustainable changes in the past so that you feel fully equipped to embrace new habits and behaviors in the present.
While binge eating disorder treatment cannot make difficult emotions or external situations go away, it can give you the tools you need to cope with the pain and frustration that comes with life. Through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), you can come to accept the things that aren’t perfect in your life while committing to a new way of responding to and interacting with the world. Once you are able to feel the emotions – including the positive ones – that have been numbed by food, you can discover a renewed engagement with and enthusiasm for life. By planning ahead for triggering situations and coping with your feelings in a healthy way, you can free yourself from the cycle of binge eating and negativity that is getting in the way of your true goals.
Right now, it is likely that binge eating is making it difficult for you to live in service of your values. With help, you can identify what you really want out of life, nurture your sense of empowerment and begin behaving in ways that support those values. A life lived in service of your values can be more joyful, fulfilling and whole. You don’t have to spend your life waiting for something to change. You have the capacity to make those changes for yourself.
You may believe that binge eating disorder treatment can help you, but still have questions or concerns…
I don’t need therapy. I need help with weight loss.
An effective treatment program for binge eating disorder will address much more than your eating habits and the numbers on the scale. In order to make a lasting change, it is important for you to get to the root causes of the problem. In sessions, we will identify your emotional triggers and work through any difficulties you may be having coping with stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and other uncomfortable emotions. If your weight is endangering your health, weight loss might be an important goal, but I encourage you to remember that dieting can contribute to binge eating. If you deprive yourself of calories for a few days without addressing the issues underlying your eating habits, it is very likely that you will binge again. Any weight loss efforts should be monitored by a dietary professional.
I know I am overweight, but I feel comfortable with my eating. If someone doesn’t like the way I look, that’s his/her problem, not mine.
If you have a loving, accepting relationship with your body, that is fantastic. However, I invite you to consider the concerns or feelings that led you to this page. Are you equally accepting of the person you are on the inside? It can be very difficult to think about feeling your emotions, especially those that will be uncomfortable or even scary. And, your eating habits and your body may give you a sense of safety and security, a sort of barrier against the world. During sessions, I can help you unpack all of these feelings and beliefs so that we can determine whether or not binge eating is truly in line with your deeply held values.
I also invite you to consider the potential physical costs of binge eating disorder. You may be struggling with some of the many different health complications that commonly accompany BED. With help, you can begin to make choices that will benefit your emotional and mental well-being while also helping you on your way to a healthier, longer life.
I’m worried that I will be judged for seeking binge eating disorder treatment.
As you begin to examine and cope with your urges to overeat, it is important that you feel supported. Interrupting the patterns of an eating disorder can be an extremely difficult thing to do alone. Thankfully, you don’t have to. I will create a safe, non-judgmental, confidential place for you to work through your negative feelings about yourself and the world. In sessions, I will always strive to meet you where you are and walk alongside you, through both your failures and successes.
If you are ready to stop allowing binge eating disorder to limit your life, I invite you to call me at 704 659 6861 for a free, 20-minute phone consultation. I also offer brief in-person consultations. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about binge eating disorder treatment and my practice.