Binge eating is not an easy subject and affects people across the world. Many of my clients ask me questions like “How can I stop binge eating?” “Why do I binge eat?” “Why Can’t I stop binge eating?” There is one thing I can tell you for sure, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
For those who are new to my page, I would like to give you a brief background about myself. My name is Jay and I have am a former competitive figure athlete. I have been a personal trainer for 17 years as well as a Marketer for just about 13 years.
I was born and raised in New York and still reside here. Growing up my eating habits were pretty normal. Being raised Filipino my meals were generally Filipino food. One thing I can honestly say is that my parents always made sure my meals were balanced. All my meals were portioned with protein, carbs, and fats. My mother always encouraged eating fruits and vegetables and we rarely had junk in the house, when I say rarely I really mean rarely. It wasn’t until high school did I really realize what Gatorade was, Ruffles, Cheetos, etc! But even then I still knew how to eat in portions, food never affected my daily life. I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full.
Fast forward a few years later and I realized how much I admired my favorite singer in the whole wide world’s body! Can you guess who? I’ll give you a hint.
I was super intrigued by how shapely her body was but not really sure on how to achieve such a sculpted physique. After months of research and investigating I came across a plethora of health and fitness forums. I was overloaded with information that diet, this diet, macros, calories, micros, supersets, cardio, lifting. You name it I came across it. I absorbed all the information like a sponge.
Once I was comfortable I really started to experiment with different types of training and diets. When I say EVERYTHING WORKED, I really mean EVERYTHING WORKED. My body was responsive to anything and everything I tried. I was young, most likely overfed, and had the energy of 10 men!
So what happened? It became an obsession, I could never ever be muscular enough, lean enough, strong enough, or fast enough. Mediocre was never an option. That mindset found bodybuilding or should I say bodybuilding found me. Looking through the divisions and what the athletes had to do to get there was mind-boggling. I read Janet Jackson’s diet and said: “I wonder why it’s not as intense?” It wasn’t until later I realized that everyone is an individual and different things work for different people. Some can work with minimal effort and get great results, others have to suffer like crazy! (We will get into that in another article).
A few years before I even started to compete I already had been through a few “bulks” and “cuts”. So I was sure competing was for me. I would see the fads come and go, kind of like how things are now. BUT one thing remained the same. HARD WORK, WORKS! As you know that is one of the mottos I live by. You can never fail with working hard!
It’s hard to look at these pictures sometimes and realize the sacrifices I made to get like that. I mean don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the process! But like I said sacrifices had to be made, packing Tupperware everywhere, carrying a cooler, measuring every morsel you put in your mouth, meal prep, not eating out, 3 hours of training a day while still trying to keep your relationships in tack, and a full-time job. Still, want to compete?
For me, This is where it all changed. LIVING LIFE ON a food scale. Now realize this was all before apps were the hottest thing around. My Fitness Pal was in its beginning stages, you would either write down your diet on paper or go on the computer and track your food there. I feel sorry for the generation nowadays that look and stare at their phone all day to make sure their “macros” fit. I didn’t think I’d ever stop using a food scale. To me it was life and I would be this doing forever. Packing my food scale on vacation, going to places that only had “clean food” was the norm. It was quite the disaster for years, I had a hard time admitting to myself that I had disordered eating. I had one thing off my diet, and that was it! It was ruined! To me, that meant to go ahead and binge eat! It became out of control eating for a day and sometimes a weekend. I would find ways to justify it, I would always say something like “I deserve this.” or it’s just this one time.” Boy, was I wrong. This went on for years.
Binge Eating at Night
This became a ritual, the weekend came and all I could think about was eating all the yummy goodness that was forbidden during the week. It was junk on top of junk, stuffing as much as I could down my throat, asking my friends and family to go out and eat so I wouldn’t feel guilty doing it alone. I would find reasons to justify why I was eating soooooo much.
After I was done during the day, I would start binge eating at night. Again, justifying how strict I was during the week. I said to myself “Am I stress binge eating?” “Is it impulse eating?” All I know is that had to stop!
Stop Binge Eating
Easier said than done. It took me years to stop. Eventually, I got tired of living off macros, starving and watching other people have fun. If I want something, honestly. I’ll just have it, no guilt. Counting macros made me crazier and very unhealthy. I’m not saying you shouldn’t count macros, at this time in my life it’s just not for me. With all that said here are ways you can stop binging.
1. Eat What you are craving
Overcoming binge eating may take a while, but embracing your cravings may be just what you need. Have some snacks during the week and see what happens. You may be surprised that your weekend binge gets less and less as time goes on. I know this may seem hard to fathom but recovering from a binge is a lot more painful on the mind and body.
2. Don’t Be an Emotional Eater
Before you grab that bag of Potato Chips ask yourself the question of “Do you really want it?” or are you just emotionally eating? I know when my cycle starts I tend to pick on things because my hormones are out of control. Then all of a sudden two weeks later it’s like me appetite never existed, Strange huh? Not really. Being a female we go through phases in our cycle where our body can eat more, exercise more, and put on muscle. CRAZY! But then there is the other half of our cycle where our body needs to move more and eat less before we put on fat. I digress. Point being, think before you snack.
3. Drink Water
Are you serious? Drink water? I used to never believe this, but after trying this, it actually works. If you want to get a little crazy, you can drink seltzer and maybe add some lemon. If you drink enough TRUST ME, you’ll get full.
4. Go for a Walk
5. Talk to Someone
Keeping yourself busy and talking to someone can stop your mind from thinking about binge eating. Seems strange I know! The more you keep yourself occupied the less you are to run and grab and cookies. Deep conversation keeps your mind busy, have you ever wondered when you are focused you don’t eat? Yeah well me too. I can go hours without eating and sometimes the whole day!
Binge Eating Help
Every day can be a struggle when it comes to food, I have been there. If you feel alone, trust me when I say “YOU ARE NOT” You are beautiful no matter your shape, size, race, gender, etc. FOOD DOES NOT MAKE YOU! Please feel free to comment or contact me here if you need a helping hand. 🙂
Stay Strong – Jay