National Eating Disorders Association
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Binge Eating Disorder

When I was still living with the shame, secrecy, and fear surrounding my history with binge eating disorder (BED), I never could have imagined sitting across from anyone—let alone my Congressman—to share my story.

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I’ve struggled with Binge Eating Disorder (BED) since I was nine years old. Or, at least, that was the first time I remember using food to push away what I was feeling. I would sit in the pantry while my parents fought. The chewing sound drowned out their screams. Most times, I didn’t turn on the lights, so they didn’t know I was there. 

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The family story about me that has enthralled me most has to do with my thighs. My mother says that the nurses who cared for me in the hospital nursery would pick up my newborn legs and laugh about the immense size of my thighs--far too big for an average-weight baby, they chided. Eventually, this disproportion led to body-shaming nicknames, like Thunder Thighs and Drumstick. On the one hand, I embraced their abundance. They were thick and powerful and helped me easily press double my weight in the gym.

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Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating DisorderBinge eating disorder (BED) is a severe, life-threatening, and treatable eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating.

I think 2017 is looking up. And I say that guardedly, knowing full well that I can always slip backwards. 

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Binge eating disorder (BED), the most common eating disorder no one talks about, affects 1- 5% of the general population. Despite the fact that more people are struggling with BED than with anorexia and bulimia combined, it is widely stigmatized, misunderstood, and overlooked. 

Even the name—binge eating disorder—can inspire eye rolls from people who aren’t familiar with the devastating effects of BED. To get to the heart of this loaded term, we’ll walk you through it, one word at a time. 

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Penn State kicker Joey Julius publicly disclosed his struggle with binge eating disorder (BED) in a recent Facebook post. From May through July of this year, Julius received treatment at a St. Louis facility that specializes in eating disorders. 

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What up Bruh! If you are a man with an eating disorder and you are reading this, you are not alone. No really, 10 million of us actually. Most likely at some point I was over exercising next to you at the gym, or I was in line behind you at the grocery store buying my binge foods. I may have even compared my body to yours due to my poor body image. You probably walked past me when I was morbidly obese. Perhaps what I’m saying is making someone feel uncomfortable. Sorry….”Trigger Warning. These issues may cause discomfort. Please read at your own discretion.

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In collaboration with the Eating Disorder Treatment Collaborative and special guest Chevese Turner, President, Founder and CEO of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), NEDA hosted the Beyond Hunger: Understanding, Treating & Coping with Binge Eating Disorder conference in honor of NEDAwareness Week 2016.

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Have you ever felt so full, yet you couldn’t stop eating? Do you often eat in secret because you are ashamed to eat in front of people? Do you feel unworthy or unlovable, and use food to comfort yourself in spite of your adamant commitment to weight loss?

If you or someone you know experiences this ongoing torment, you (they) may be struggling with binge eating disorder .

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