Prior to doing Beat the Binge, I was binging around 4 times a week but it was more like an all day graze binge vs. sitting down to a pile of food, though I have done that previously as well.
There was a lot of secrecy to it still as I was ashamed I wasn't able to lose weight any longer or stick to a diet or food plan of any type at all. I have done counseling and different "healthy" food plans and "intuitive eating" and studied binge eating on my own before it was even an "eating disorder," and read a lot of self-help books, and stewed over the behavior for about 12 years.
I began binge eating late in high school. It was a meal here or there, not frequent. This behavior followed a 3-year stint of anorexia which had me down about 90 pounds as a freshman and sophomore in high school. In college there were a lot of life changes happening - I had lost my identity in sports and was trying to figure out my place in the world. I was a strong student and had the perfect apartment and held a solid job but the one thing that was out of control was food!
I worked for a raw foodist and was vegan for a time and this is when the binge eating was completely out of control!
I gained around 100 pounds through all of college. It was losing 30 pounds here, gaining 60 pounds there, losing 20 pounds...the swings were drastic.
This cycling continued to happen out of college and into my career. I landed a fantastic job that brought me into a good community with fun roommates and travel galore. The binging leveled out a bit for a few years and I was getting more active again and lost about 60 of the 100 pounds I had gained - life felt exciting!
I still wasn't happy with my body, even at my skinniest and fittest - the goal of perfect was always out of reach.
I am naturally a larger female - 6'2" and easily put on muscle mass and mass in general - there is nothing really dainty about me.
I knew that this want to be super skinny did not sit well with my conscious - I have always been one to fight for the people on the fringe - why did I have these feelings of hate against myself because I couldn't mold my body into the shape I wanted it to be in - why did I even want it to be that shape? This didn't resonate with my belief of loving everyone and everyone having value or my belief that women are WAY more than just something pretty to look at.
My insides were at war and I felt responsible!
Little did I know...we have "two brains" ; ) Four years ago I had my son and 2 years ago I got married. Having these two loves in my life were the mirror I needed to keep searching for a solution.
I have had a lot of healing in my life over the last 4 years but the binging was still there. I was brought to the point of just wanting freedom in my life - I had stopped dieting and just wanted to "eat normally." I "didn't care" if I lost all the weight I had put on over the years, I just wanted to be done with the anxiety around food that years of "good food, bad food" diets had brought into my life.
I wasn't completely free of the desire to want to be thin that lingered and I wasn't able to stop binging just by quitting the harsh restricting - it got slightly better in the last year after watching Lydia's youtube videos and all of the other support interviews she has with people like Isabelle Foxen Duke - but the binges were still hanging on.
After the 8 week program, I can say with certainty that my brain has changed.
My behavior is completely different around food. I haven't binged in weeks and I am working on overeating, though even that has changed for the better as well.
My relationship with my husband is stronger after learning these tools and now knowing that I am not hiding anything from him.
I don't have guilt or shame when I eat, like I used to after eating literally anything. I don't have guilt or shame around having "chatter" or "crazy thoughts," I am confident I have the tools to call it out and just look at it knowing it isn't really "me."
I have tasted freedom and there is nothing better. Love is freedom, the opposite of love is manipulation - I can confidently say I do not desire to manipulate my body at all - which is a huge step closer to loving it.
I also feel better about people - just being in the beat the binge program with these other AMAZING women was so heartwarming - I haven't ever been in a community like it.
We all share in this journey together and it is amazing to see women encouraging each other and celebrating wins together and just loving the new freedom we are experiencing.
The biggest surprise I got from the program was the layers of freedom. Not only am I free from binging, I am free from judgment of myself and my thoughts and perfectionism, I am free from the shackles that society imposes on women and mothers, I know how to navigate my thought life, I know how to problem solve better in relationships...the list goes on and on.