When you get into the fitness world and learn so many new things and you begin to fall in love with the change, how you look, how you feel, you can end up losing sight of what’s important or even begin to feel pressure from the fitness community to look even better. This led me to begin restricting more and more, until my calories were dangerously low and food was a constant topic on my mind.

Truth

The truth is, I have always struggled with food. I always will. From a young age my father called me names because 1)I filled out quicker than most girls my age and 2)I was a little chubby growing up. This quickly had a negative impact on me.
When I finally got a hold on my life and seriously began working out and eating right, I struggled to lose weight, even though I felt I was doing everything right. Once I changed my workout routine and left the gym to workout from home, I began losing weight, but then I slowly became obsessed with some of the weight I was losing.

Counting Calories

I counted my calories through a free app, and this really helped me understand calories, understand my portions, and see what I ate in a day and how to balance that with working out and with what I was expending in order to lose or maintain my weight. Unfortunately, this began to have a negative impact on me as well, because if I was ever, ever, even a little above my caloric goal, I would freak out. It literally stressed me out so bad I could not get my mind off of it.

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Binge Eating

Over time, due to stress and obsession that led to heavy restriction and malnutrition, I began to binge on any and everything. I constantly felt hungry and, when left alone, I would reach for anything I had at home whether it was healthy or not. In one sitting I could eat an apple, bowl of popcorn, a bowl of oatmeal, and still feel hungry and unsatisfied. It wasn’t that the rest of my day did not consist of vegetables, they did, but anytime I ate bread, potatoes, sweets of any kind, I panicked. This led to the binges which later, resulted in even more panic. Through the help of a friend, I was able to up my calories slowly with some outside support. This helped, but I would still binge.

Intuitive Eating

Through research and experimenting, I have switched over to intuitive eating. It’s not easy, that’s for sure, but it seems to work better for me. Intuitive eating means paying special attention to your body and learning your hunger cues. For me, I realize I need food when I get light-headed, drowsy, feel pressure in my temples as if a headache is setting in, or begin to become cranky. You eat enough to fulfill this need for energy, once satisfied, you stop. Sure, it sounds simple, but it’s not so much. You really have to pay attention to your body.

Now What?

I’m learning a little more everyday and trying to improve. I try to eat as much vegetables and protein as I can when I feel hungry, and include some healthy starches and carbs. I won’t say I have cured the need to binge, but I have slowly began improving that bad habit. It takes time, but I am doing it, and you can too.

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Do you struggle with binge eating or another eating disorder? Contact NEDA for help today.

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