National Eating Disorders Association

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What to do first?

I have a binge eating disorder and have for a months, or longer. Recently I've gotten worse, bingeing X times for the last few weeks except for the past few days. I binged today, and I hadn't for two days. I really want to take steps to recover and lose the weight I've gained, but I don't know what to do. What should I eat, what should I do mentally? Are there any tricks to make this easier? I'll appreciate any help or advice, or just comments from people here who are on the same road.

new here also

i'm new here also (this being my first post reading/and comment)...
I'm an emotional eater, binge eater, and am writing/commenting to get a sense of direction, information, to help me pinpoint my 'why?'...
Best wishes to you and I LostBear <3 <3

I’m right there with you!

Lostbear and Sherri, you aren’t alone. I have the same daily struggle as you both :/ been dealing with BED for a few years but definitely has been heightened the past year and I have a hard time controlling it in the moment. I’m newish here and do find the forums to be helpful. Most people do not understand BED or even consider it to be a real issue so it’s hard to find friends/family as sympathetic and supportive. People don’t realize you can’t just turn it off. So it’s nice to know there’s a community where you can vent and know you aren’t alone. I’ve found it’s best to distract myself when I get an urge, find an activity to do, journal, even read these forums. I can go about a week + without a binge which is huge progress for me. When I slip up (I did yesterday) I do feel the shame and remorse but am trying not to beat myself up and let it spiral into more. Today has been a normal day and I’m thankful for that! Best of luck to you both!


Hi LostBear-

I have struggled with BED and just want to let you know that you're not alone. I know from my experience that it's unfortunately not a quick fix or a matter of mustering up the will-power to do better, etc. For me, therapy was central in being able to work through the underlying issues leading to the binge eating behavior. Once I began exploring the roots of the issue (which had nothing to do with food or weight), I began to use behaviors less and less. My last binge was over 4 years ago now.

Just want you to know that recovery is possible. Be gentle with yourself wherever you find yourself. Know that we understand and are here to support you. Hope to hear from you again soon <3

I agree

Hello- I am recovered from first bulimia (that involved huge binges), and then restrictive eating/anorexia. I agree with the last post that therapy is so important as the underlying issues must be addressed. When I finally quit talking to my therapist about how fat I felt, or how guilty I felt after a binge, or how I use to fit into smaller jeans, and I started to talk about my core issues and old trauma, I slowly got better. I remember vividly how out-of-control the binges felt and the tunnel vision focus on getting more food into my body until I could barely move and then, for me, it was the purge followed by intense shame and guilt. I would vow never to do it again every time but failed over and over. What helped me in conjunction with therapy, was going to a therapy group 12-step meeting because everyone there understood my struggle and they had found a way to help with this disorder. So I got a sponsor, even though I was nervous and insecure, and worked through all 12 steps to really process the internal issues that I was uncovering in therapy. I use the 12 steps daily for one issue or another and they have changed my outlook on everything. I have much more gratitude now and a sense of my spiritual self which I gained by the end of step 12 and continue to develop. I have used other 12-step meetings to address the drug addiction I obtained trying to use illegal drugs as a way to control my ED. The best trick I learned was to take recovery in very small ans easily attained goals. For example, I would tell myself that I only had to stay binge free for an hour, and if I need to binge I would do it in one hour. When I made it I would reset the clock and give it another hour, always reminding myself that I could choose to binge when the hour was up. Eventually, the hour becomes six hours, and I would easily make it those six hours because I knew I could decide to binge at the end of those hours. I got up to entire days father quickly, so I told myself it is just one day, and one day is reasonable so I can wait until tomorrow if I want to binge. I knew the food would always be there and I didn't need to fall into the frantic, panic state-of=mind that happens before a binge, as if the food was somehow going to disappear. So I stayed calm with the comfort of knowing I could binge in a day if I needed to, and somehow I made it to my targeted time but instead of bingimg, I reset the clock and set another attainable goal. I was able to get through days, then weeks, and then I just didn't binge at all. On hard days I would go back to the one hour goal because sometimes the urges were so strong a day was too much for me. I recovered from drug addiction by using this method too. It is important to have healthy activities to distract from the thoughts, like writing in a journal, cleaning out a closet, taking a walk, a hot bath, read a good book or call a close friend. I had people I could call from the therapy group meetings when I needed someone to listen and help me through a tough urge, and that was so beneficial. I recovered from restrictive eating/anorexia with this method too, only taking it one meal at a time instead of not binging. I don't know if that will help anyone else and it is just my experience that I can share with you, and it really did help me. I figured I can pretty much do anything for an hour, even hold off a binge. I hope that you see a therapist so that you can truly heal because life beyond binges is much simpler than it is with the binges. Don't give up and do not go into shame and guilt if you slip up. It is hard and often involves relapses but beating yourself up will just lead to another binge as the ED loves shame and guilt and remorse, that is what it needs to grow so try self-love and lots of positive affirmations, daily. Oh ya, a nightly gratitude list helped keep me focused on the things that were going right in my life which really helped because my thoughts were all negative for years. Considering a lifetime free of binges, or saying never again, just overwhelmed me, but an hour and then a day were reachable goals for me. I hope you feel better soon and you don't give up ever. Take care:)

Hello s.boewer. Just a

Hello s.boewer. Just a reminder to not mention specific therapy group names as it is a violation of our community guidelines. You can review the guidelines here: you for sharing your story and we hope you continute to post!


Sorry I did not know that rule and I will not mention it again now that I am aware of it. Can I say a 12-step group without mentioning the specific type or name?

I think

The meals we're taught to have when we're younger are a good rule of thumb (meat and two veg, and a dessert of course, some people think desserts are bad, but if you're hungry you should eat).

Good luck babe's
Take care.