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How I Stopped Binge Eating

written by: micsan07 • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 10/13/2010

How I stopped binge eating didn't take very long once the decision was made that a change needed to be made. Read on to see how a 19 year old teenager kicked an eating disorder and changed bad habits to a healthy lifestyle.

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    How I Stopped Binge Eating

    How I stopped binge eating was a combination of positive thoughts, small lifestyle changes, and a one day at a time approach to improving my life.

    Binge eating can't be stopped in a day or even a month, however, by concentrating on one meal at a time and then one day at a time, this unhealthy eating disorder can be stopped and beaten.

    I did it and so can you.

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    Get Positive

    You can't even start to get better until you admit that you have a problem with food and eating.

    Binge eaters need to admit to themselves that they have an eating disorder and be willing to take positive steps and small lifestyle changes to become healthier and happier. They need to be willing to accept assistance from family members and friends and come out of hiding their eating habits.

    Secretive habits such as hoarding food, night time eating, and eating meals apart from others need to be identified and addressed.

    Asking a friend or family member to assist in removing unhealthy foods such as chips, soda, ice cream, and other high fat or calorie foods is a step in the right direction. Empty any food stashes that are hidden for later food binges. Ensure healthier food choices such as low fat yogurt, fresh fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, and whole grain crackers are available to help stave off food cravings. These are positive actions that help in controlling what and how much you eat.

    Eating a high fiber snack such as an apple accompanied by peanut butter filled crackers before bedtime will help to alleviate the night time eating habit. This is a small lifestyle change that may help to kick the night time binging and start breaking a bad habit.

    Find family members and friends willing to share a meal or snack with you. Sharing a meal will help to keep food portions within a healthy limit and encourage conversation which will help you to eat slower. Eating slower gives your brain more time to receive signals from the stomach letting the brain know when you are full. Learning to identify that signal and listen to it will help to control food binges.

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    Get Social

    Kicking the habit of being alone when you eat is tough. One of the best ways to start changing this habit is to invite and involve people around you to share in daily activities.

    Instead of eating sitting down to eat a meal or snack, ask a friend to go for a walk around the neighborhood and munch on an apple while walking. Eat a small meal and then go roller skating, bowling, horse riding, or strolling through the mall. Start a moderate exercise program and buddy up with a friend. Visit the sports bar with the friend for a heart healthy smoothie or another nutritional snack.

    Take up a social activity like dancing or yoga. Sign up for a quilting class or flower arranging. Volunteer at a local shelter, hospital, or school. Get involved in one or more activities that will ensure you meet new people and learn new things.

    Helping others is especially beneficial when you are trying to get healthier and kick bad eating habits. If you have a talent like sewing or quilting, shelters are always in need of children or baby blankets. If you can swim, offer to give swimming lessons to those who are not able to pay for lessons. Mow lawns for the elderly, help a nursing mom by babysitting active siblings, or volunteer to help children who are having a hard time in school to read.

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    Get Busy

    You'll find that the busier you keep yourself, especially if it is helping others, gives you less time to think about your own problems. It's also easier to see that many others have very real issues that they are dealing with and, sometimes, it helps to minimize personal issues.

    Staying busy and active in conjunction with being social is crucial to mental and physical well being. These are habits that, once ingrained, will lead to an easing of stress and a lightening of the heart.

    Staying busy really does help to get your mind off of your own problems and issues and start on the road to recovery.

    How I stopped binge eating is concentrating first on one meal at a time, then one day at a time. It is not letting yourself give up days worth of progress because of one backward step, but by forgiving yourself for an infraction, putting it behind you, and always moving forward. Forgiveness and empathy from those close to you don't work if you can't first forgive yourself.

    Forgiving yourself is a positive habit that you must learn. It isn't something learned in a day, but once learned, it will help you to stay positive in every other aspect of life.

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    References

    This article is based on my own experience of how I stopped binge eating. My eating disorder started around the age of 10 and I finally beat this disorder around the age of 19. At that time, anorexia was the only eating disorder that was talked about and not much was known about it.

    It was only as I became an adult that I acknowledged that I had a problem and, even though I didn't totally recognize it as an eating disorder, I worked on my own mental well being to kick the bad habits I spend years indulging in. I told myself that I was tired of being unhappy and alone, so I joined groups and activities. I sought out friends and got busy. I didn't give myself time to think about myself, but others.

    I took up dog training and to this day enjoy the companionship of these loyal animals. I taught school children who were having a hard time different ways to learn to read. I sewed quilts for a local shelter. I learned to dance. I began to enjoy what life could offer and started learning more about my surroundings and what I might be able to offer others.

    I learned to forgive myself and actually started to appreciate the qualities that I could bring to others. When you learn to like yourself instead of finding fault with everything that you are, you find that life has a whole new meaning.