Posts Tagged ‘Binge Eating Disorder’

Strategies for Grocery Shopping in Eating Disorder Recovery

A person selecting produce in a grocery store

The average number of products in a grocery store tops 28,000, according to the Food Marketing Institute. It’s enough to overwhelm any shopper. For those with eating disorders, the tremendous selection can further heighten difficulties with food and make grocery shopping an errand that is anything but enjoyable.

Food is a common preoccupation and trigger in eating disorders of all types, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and OSFED. Thoughts of food often consume the day, as do rules of what, when, and how much should be eaten. The abundance of food at the grocery store can exacerbate these thoughts, sparking significant anxiety, fear, and distress upon entry. Factor in the store aisles awash with food labels and fellow shoppers commenting on food, and it’s no surprise that the grocery store is a highly stressful environment for those with eating disorders.

In this article, we provide several strategies for grocery shopping in eating disorder recovery. Learn how to navigate the shelves in person or virtually, and ensure you check out with items that serve your recovery.

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It Started Innocent

A person standing outside with outstretched arms

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. This story includes mention of self-harm. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

This blog was submitted anonymously by a person in eating disorder recovery.

My eating disorder never really “started.” It just happened. At least, that’s what I used to think.

When I was 11, I was diagnosed with diabetes, and for the first time in my life, I craved food. Sure, I had been a typical kid with a typical candy-shaped stomach. But this craving was different. My body was starved from weeks of cellular fasting, and it told me to eat. Ok, so far so good.

Through my teenage years, those beloved hormones began to race through my system. My body started to change, and with it, so did my metabolism. I cut lunches and felt guilty when I couldn’t resist the urge to fill my blossoming belly (although in truth I was still quite petite). Evening snacks evolved from a handful of nuts to a cup or two—in any case, more than I intended. I felt weak, unable to control this ever-persistent desire. But it never interfered with school or work. It was a mild case of disorganized eating.

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The Truth About 5 Eating Disorder Myths

5 people in a group therapy setting

An estimated 30 million people in the United States have an eating disorder. The majority of them do not receive professional care. Many experience shame and stigma because of their illness, and many struggle all alone.

By educating ourselves and others, we can work to reduce stigma and to better understand these complex illnesses that affect so many. Here are five myths and facts about eating disorders.

Myth: Eating disorders affect only thin, young, white women.

Fact: This is the stereotypical image of eating disorders—a thin, young, white woman. It is this woman we’ve seen in media depictions of these disorders and heard about most in common chatter. Even within the field, research has historically focused on clients who fit this profile, in part because white women were (and still are) the most likely to receive care.

But this narrow demographic does not accurately reflect the diversity of those who experience these illnesses. Far from it. Eating disorders affect people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, body sizes, classes, and abilities. They’re not just a “teenager’s problem” or a “white girl’s problem.” They’re not something that affects only wealthy people, or only cisgender people, or only people of any other social group. Eating disorders don’t discriminate in these ways; they span across all social categories.

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5 Things Not To Do After A Binge

Dr. Jake Linardon

**Content warning: This post includes discussion of purging behaviors. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed. The following information is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for professional treatment.

Dr. Jake Linardon (Ph.D.) is the founder of Break Binge Eating and works as a Research Fellow at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Jake’s work involves trying to better understand and treat eating disorders, particularly through the use of innovative technologies. Jake has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, across the world’s leading psychiatry and clinical psychology scientific journals, and serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Eating Disorders and Body Image. Jake is passionate about increasing access to evidence-based care among people with eating and body image issues. Learn more about Jake on his website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

When looking for resources to help you deal with binge eating, chances are you’ll come across content that discusses strategies to prevent or stop the behavior.

While I’ve personally covered what to do after a binge eating episode, little has been written about what not to do after a binge.

This is a very important oversight because many people are left not knowing how to behave after they’ve had a binge. Such knowledge is critical if you are to fully break out of the binge cycle long-term.

Let’s change this.

In this article, I’ll discuss five important things that you shouldn’t do after an episode of binge eating.

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Episode 37: Binge Eating Disorder and Anorexia as Long-Kept Secrets with Susan Burton

A young person journaling outside

Episode description:

Susan Burton is an editor at the public radio program This American Life and a former editor of Harper’s. Her radio documentaries have won numerous awards, and her writing has appeared in Slate, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and others. Susan’s debut book, Empty: A Memoir, is out now from Random House.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Susan tells us about Empty, a personal story of her eating disorders long kept hidden. In describing her experience with binge eating disorder (BED) and anorexia, she poignantly recounts how the illnesses felt both destructive and protective, both safe and stifling. They functioned in part, she says, as ways to cope with longing and a deep desire for human connection. Understanding now that BED and anorexia were equally harmful and isolating, Susan shares myriad lessons from the perspective of someone still recovering. In this liminal space of recovery, she continues to learn how to sit with discomfort, balance emotional highs and lows, and practice self-compassion with the help of therapy and family support.

Empty is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Connect with Susan via her website, Instagram, or Twitter.

Learn more about The Emily Program online or by calling 1-888-364-5977.

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Practicing Mindfulness in Life and Eating

A woman practicing meditation

Most mornings before I get up, I make a point of listening to a guided mindfulness-meditation tape (1). Each time I repeatedly try to focus on my breath as instructed, following it as it flows in and out of my body. Sometimes I can keep my focus on my breathing for several breaths but not much longer; then my mind wanders off…. to the day ahead, the night before, somewhere, anywhere but where I am, right there, in that moment with my body and with my breath.

Why, you might ask, repeatedly go through something I find so difficult to do?

Because I have seen the positive differences it has made in my life. Being able to pay closer attention to whatever I am working on. Being better at really listening and hearing what others are saying. Being less automatic in my responses and being more fully present to what is happening as it is happening. I am not much more than a novice at this, but I have learned how mindfulness can be helpful in life in general and more specifically in the areas of food and eating.

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