Binge eating is not eating too much guacamole at your favorite Mexican restaurant.
It is not mindlessly eating five slices of pizza when you’ve had too much too drink.
It is not going back for seconds or thirds on Thanksgiving.
Binge eating is not stuffing yourself at a buffet because you can’t decide which food to choose.
Binge eating is not feeling sick after eating too much ice cream.
We all continue eating when we are already full because eating is pleasurable.
But this is not binge eating.
Binge eating is loneliness.
It is sitting on the floor in the middle of the day when you should be doing something else.
It is standing with the fridge door open at midnight when no one else is around.
Binge eating is like the ocean. You tip-toe in and feel the cold water lapping at your ankles. You begin to notice the pull of the waves as you are gently sucked out to sea. And then the waves become bigger and stronger. Before you know it, you are violently pulled underwater.
In the back of your mind you wish you could come up for air, but you can’t. The cold you once felt turns to numbness. Hands in the food, hands in your mouth.
You can’t come up for air. You are being pulled, sucked into the pantry. The ocean of food is suffocating you. Hands in the food, hands in your mouth, food in your hair — you eat that, too.
Barely chewing, needing more, more, more. You are tired, but your work is not done yet. You eat until you are no longer you. A fine layer of Dorito dust erases your fingerprints.
Like first stepping into the ocean on a hot day. What felt so good those first few bites is now dragging you under.
Binge eating is not eating past the point of fullness. It has nothing to do with food and everything to do with food. The food loses all taste and power, yet it won’t let you go.
Binge eating is not a lack of willpower or weakness.
Binge eating is body image and weight, fear and sadness, food rituals and fasting and diets, low-fat and low-carb, guilt and depression and anxiety and addiction and shame.