What My Binges Really Looked Like

Binge Eating Disorder - What a binge looks like, Photo by Sophia Schrank Photography

My eating disorder took on many forms over the 20 years I was struggling, but there was a time near the end when my binges got completely out of control. It started when I was doing a form of Intermittent Fasting. After starving myself for several days, I finally allowed myself a day to eat. And fuck... I ATE.

First thing in the morning, I had a cupcake or two or three. Sometimes I just ate the frosting. Then I went to get coffee and ordered myself a pastry for later (but I never ate it later... I ate it in the car on my way to Trader Joe’s, where I stocked up on every tasty food I could lay my hands on). Then I ate one of those foods on my way to work, usually something sweet like cookie dough dipped in caramel sauce, but sometimes I’d opt for potato chips or pesto pizza. I stopped eating when I felt so sick I could barely move. Then a couple hours later, I’d start eating again the same way. I’d eat within ever two hours for the entire day, trying not to think about how much I’d consumed (too much shame). By the end of the day, rather than coming to terms with how much I hated myself, I’d keep eating until I fell asleep because I planned to start “being good” again the next day.

The next morning, the shame was unbearable. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I put on my loosest clothes and vowed to never eat like that again. I started fasting all over again, partly to punish myself, and partly because the idea of food made me sick. But without doubt, within a week, I was right back where I started.

I’m sharing this with you because no matter where you are, you can change your life dramatically. I truly eat everything I want now. I don’t struggle with food. I don’t punish myself. I love myself. I still have a lot to learn, but my relationship with food is healthy, and that’s given me the confidence to embrace who I am.

As difficult as it was to go through all that, I wouldn’t have been forced to learn to love myself if hadn’t. And for that, I’m endlessly grateful.