National Eating Disorders Association

Something that really bothers me is when people say, “I'm going to binge-watch this show all weekend.” Although the word binge means to indulge in an activity to excess, there is a significant difference between binge eating and watching an entire season of a new Netflix show in one sitting. As someone who has a history of binge eating disorder, those comments feel insensitive.

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The holidays can be a challenging time of year for many people. Some get stressed out because they’re hosting, some are anxious because of the time with family or being around a lot of people. Others may have a really hard time being around so much food or alcohol since both of those tend to be cultural aspects of the holiday season. 

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Having both an eating disorder and codependent traits, I am a professional at people-pleasing. From the time I was little, I never really got a fully-informed education in setting boundaries. I have been conditioned to accept what was happening, given excuses, told to “respect my elders,” and assume that they knew what was best for me, even when what they were doing was harmful. 

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I spent many summers in fear and trepidation. I felt like this was a season that I didn’t fit in.

There’s good reason because leading up to the warmer months, magazines told me how to get the perfect beach body. When swimsuit season was upon us, I was mortified that I never achieved a body with shipshape abs. 

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Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common, but least understood, eating disorder in the United States. Intuitive eating and Health at Every Size® may be helpful tools for those in recovery, but public understanding of these concepts is limited. 

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How many of us who struggle with binge eating and/or weight management have been given the guidance to simply eat less and exercise more? Well, if you’re anything like me and my clients, this is not the solution; rather, it is a setup for a cycle of deprivation and demoralization. 

A diet and exercise plan alone will not suffice for someone who binge eats. Those who are struggling are typically best served by a treatment plan that addresses the complexity of the behaviors, thinking patterns, and relationship with food.

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There is nothing quite like the sound of a cracking twig under a boot. Perhaps, a close second is the breeze in the canopy above, feeling the forest all around. Though, the best feeling of all, for me, is the sun on my face after embarking on a fun and joyful adventure.

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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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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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