Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend

Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend

People say that those who have a weight problem are lazy. They say people who eat a lot are greedy and have no respect. Many say they even deserve to die. Some people who read that probably don’t believe it, but many more of you know it to be true because you actually be someone who says it. But what if you met someone who is active and eats a lot? What if they go to the gym for an hour a day? What if they told you they played sports for almost their entire life and on certain teams was actually the star player for several undefeated seasons?

I’m sure you wouldn’t believe them. Hell, it doesn’t sound remotely true at all. But it is. And that person is me. I’m 5’3,clinically diagnosed Bi-polar, and weigh 172lbs. And it’s not because I’m lazy. I lift every day. I do squats all the time. I do cardio 4 times a week. When I swim laps in a pool, I do it for a minimum of 90 minutes. And I was a halfback soccer player for 17 years. I wasn’t always overweight. In fact, only 4 years ago, I weighed 135lbs.

I have an eating disorder. A binge eating disorder. I can out eat every guy I know and probably the guys reading this. I’m sure your laughing. Laugh at this. On August 2nd, 2015, my new fitness trainer told me to eat like I normally do, write it down, and bring it in to our first session. Here are the results:

- 1 entire roast chicken

- Domino’s pan pizza with triple cheese and pepperoni, entire pie minus crust

- One 2 liter Coke

- 1 20oz Coke

- ½ Marie Calender Key Lime Pie

- 3 Cheese coney’s

- 1 Big mac w/ Large fry, Dasani water 16oz.

- 1 Arby’s medium roast beef sandwich

Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend

I’ll never forget what my trainer said to me when I brought in the list. “I said write down what you eat in a day, not a week.” I told her that was a day. And she said she couldn’t believe I was the size I was eating like that. And just when she thought it couldn’t get any worse, I told her I tend to eat like that 3-4 times a week for the past 5 years. She then told me to go to the doctor make sure I had no diseases or diabetes or high blood pressure. I went to three for good measure. And all three came back with the same: other than my weight, there was nothing wrong with me. Everything came back normal

At this point, you are either on two sides. You either are completely flabbergasted at the amount I took in or you don’t believe that I really did that. If you are part of the latter group, feel free to discontinue reading at any time.

But for the former, I’ll let you know why I ate like that. If you remember, I mentioned at the beginning that I’m clinically diagnosed as Bi-Polar. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 20 years old, even though I was showing signs at the age of 13. My parents thought I was just moody and would grow out of it, so they didn’t think much of it. And I was very socially awkward. I wasn’t pretty. I’m not white. I don’t have long blonde hair and blue eyes. I had my tonsils taken out when I was 2 which resulted in my having a boring, monotone voice. And I was bullied a lot in high school and college. So how did I cope with the rush of emotions and rages? I turned to food.

Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend

At first, it was just an extra Hostess cupcake or a couple stolen fruit roll-ups from atop the refrigerator. No big deal. In high school, no one noticed my food intake. I hid the evidence all over my room. The top of my closet, in between my mattresses, in between the pages of my yearbooks, and when I got a license, I even started hiding the boxes and wrappers in the truck underneath the spare tire. I had no friends at school, no boyfriend, I had a sibling with an addiction to something else, but I had food and music class.

Then college came. I weighed 117 at the time. I thought I was going to start over, be different, be more girlie, and more outgoing. That shit backfired with a quickness. First, I made the mistake of going to an HBCU, which are infamous for hazing, but since I went to a white high school, I didn’t know that. I was hazed so bad by the marching band my first year of college that I lost my academic scholarship because my GPA dropped below a 3.0. I got section leader of the clarinets my second year and all but 3 upperclassmen quit my section because they didn’t want to be under someone who didn’t ‘cross their section’, especially since I was a sophomore. Then I was blamed for one of our graduate assistance being fired for hazing when the band was told to stop doing it. First, I never hazed anyone a day in my life nor would I ever. Second, I had no clue he was still doing it. To this day, I actually have no idea why people blamed me.

Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend

But they did. No one talked to me. My section wouldn’t listen to me. The dancers were threatening to jump me and told me to keep my eyes open if I didn’t want my ass beat. The band director’s did nothing. So every day, before band, I had a Burger King Double Whopper with bacon and cheese. And after band, I had a Burger King Double Whopper with bacon and cheese. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, that’s what I had. And when I got home, I ate a box of oatmeal crème pies to help me sleep and study.

I transferred back home. Weight: 130. I even had a boyfriend, for a month. I knew the guy since 6th grade and he always made fun of me for being so ugly and having terrible hair and horrible acne. I ended up asking why he changed his mind and he said I got hot. I asked what he wanted for Valentine’s Day. He said nothing and he wasn’t getting me anything because I didn’t do anything to deserve it. He dumped me 3 days later, the day before Valentine’s Day and a week before my birthday. The night he dumped me was the first time I ate a whole pizza by myself. And I ate a whole pizza every day for 3 weeks straight before adding in multiple burgers and liters of Coke several times a week. My weight didn’t change.

Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend

Then I started my intern experience. That’s the moment in my life where I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar. I was having black outs at the internship. Some days I’d be talkative, others I’d have to call off because I really thought I was going to strangle someone. But every day, without fail, I had several burgers or a pizza or 5 cheese conies all washed down with liters upon liters of Coke or Mountain Dew. I almost didn’t graduate because of it. If my supervisor hadn’t recommended me to see a psychiatrist, I probably wouldn’t have graduated. Of course, she never recommended me for anything else. Not like I expected her to.

This is where the weight begins to pile on. I weighed myself the day I graduated. I went from 135 to 147. Really not a big deal. 6 months later, I get a job. A job where I’m told I suck. A lot. A whole lot. Like, a few times a week. And it wasn’t just me. Every staff meeting, we were all told how terrible we were at something. It didn’t matter what it was, they’d find something.

So I ate. I ate a lot. I ate through the job. I ate through the failed relationships. I ate when my ex threw me across the room and injured my shoulder. I ate when I was told I was ugly. I ate when I was told my hair was horrible.

Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend

Food food food food.

Food didn’t call me ugly. Food didn’t hurt me. Food didn’t make fun of me. Food didn’t care that I wasn’t tall or that I’m monotone or that no matter what I did at my job, it would never be enough. Food isn’t mean. Food doesn’t forget my birthday. Food doesn’t demand sex. Food doesn’t judge.

Food was my friend. It’s there for me when I need it. It doesn’t leave me. It fills the empty hole that has consumed me for as long as I can remember. It began getting to the point where I bought food just so I could sleep next to it. No, I’m not kidding. I would buy 2 pizzas: 1 to eat and 1 to sleep next to until it started to rot. Or I’d eat a burger and leave the container on the pillow next to me. Sounds gross, but my apartment was impeccable besides my bed. My mom saw it once and offered to clean my bed and wash my sheets and I almost flipped. I thought I was going to have a panic attack at the very thought of the containers and pizza crusts and chicken bones not being there.

Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend

Don’t worry. I don’t do this anymore, not since I got my trainer. My highest weight was 183 a month ago and I’m down to 172. I haven’t had a burger in I have no idea how long. I have no desire for pizza. Cake is a turn off. Now I’m craving salads and baked chicken breast and fish and fruits and that’s what I eat.

But I just wanted everyone to know that overeating is not always a result of greed or laziness. While I ate, I went to the gym, I played sports, I ran track, I did marching band, I swam all the time. I wasn’t necessarily trying to out exercise my diet. I just don’t like laying around. I have to be doing something. But when it was time to eat, it was time to EAT. And eat I did.

So next time you judge someone for overeating, find out first why they do it. There’s no excuse why someone eats like that, but there’s always a reason. And yes, there is a difference. I may not be a fat 300lb person (only by the grace of God), but I can eat like one. Every day is a struggle, at least, for me it is. But I’m still going to push back and find some purpose in my life and break my addiction to food.

Binge Eater: Why Food Is My Best Friend
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Most Helpful Guy

  • Fathoms77
    I believe the overwhelming majority of people who are overweight are fat for no other reason than they chose to be. The tor**** of excuses is, typically, just that: Excuses. And for a country that's critically obese and unhealthy, it's extremely dangerous to assume that it's beyond these people's control. It very rarely is.

    But in cases like this, I'm always interested in the psychology of the issue because it makes it verifiable. Like anorexia or bulimia, it's a real sickness and not merely an excuse. What I think most therapists will tell you is that binge eating is connected to some other deeper issue, and it usually hinges on self-esteem or self-image of some kind. Or, as in your case, it hinges on another disease; here it's bipolar. As bipolar is often punctuated with depression, your subconscious may have squirreled away constant thoughts of "still not good enough, not healthy enough" when you looked in a mirror, even after all your exercising.

    And the result was the emergence of another disorder where, essentially, your brain wants to punish you and wants the lie to be true. It says, "you're not unhealthy; I'll SHOW you unhealthy." Perhaps this is why binge eaters almost exclusively binge on the worst food imaginable. Looking at that list up there, you'd have difficulty finding a worse lineup in terms of health impacts; it's just loaded with fat, sugar and cholesterol, and no redeeming characteristic to be found (no fruits, vegetables, not even a discernible necessary nutrient, really).

    But of course, The disorder is a nasty sonofabitch that wants you to suffer, like so many disorders. Which makes it doubly difficult. I think it's great that you're making the strides you are, though, and it's just a shot in the dark, but I'm willing to bet that if your binge eating is fully under control, your bipolar symptoms will be less frequent and severe as well. :)
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girl

  • Anonymous
    Hmmm... I have never eaten so much like that. My parents usually allow me to buy lunch outside, but I have to eat at home for breakfast and dinner. I'd get reprimanded if I spend anything greater than $10 in a day, because the money is really theirs. I lived with my parents during my college years, so they really controlled my lifestyle habits.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      My parents had no idea I was doing and they still don't know it's that much. They think it's like a few extra slices of cake and that's it, but as you can see, it's way more. But I lived on college campus when I was 18 and I've had my own apartment for years. I'm 26 now so they still have no idea. I've had a job since I was 16 so I always just bought it myself and they never inspected the cars enough to notice.

    • Anonymous

      At home, I ate a traditional Chinese diet that was rich in fiber and vitamins, heavy in vegetables, and light on meat. I still got overweight, because of the fast food I was consuming for lunch. :P

    • Anonymous

      Once I cut out the fast food, processed food, ready-made food, and restaurant food, it was considerably easier for me to lose weight.

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • xobrowneyedbeauty
    i feel you girl. i was bullied in elementary school and started turning to food around the age of 8. i haven't had a healthy relationship with my food in my whole life! how did your trainer help you stop doing that? i've been in therapy for a year and i still binge when anything goes wrong. :(
    • Anonymous

      She and k are the same age and when we are training, I talk to her about my problems. She's really positive and encouraging and she said she's not going to give up on me. It's really just the support and the fact that she will help me even if I'm not in a training session with her. It's one of the few times I really felt someone outside of my parents really cared about what happens to me so I listen to her.

  • OhioNativeForLife
    If you substitute the junk for healthy food and lift weights, you would have no problem
    • Anonymous

      Lol, 10,000 calories is still 10,000 calories, it doesn't matter what food I eat, it's still too much

  • ThatGirl19
    What's so dangerous about this disorder is it can so easily turn into anorexia or bulimia and family and friends never notice until it's too late. I recommend seeing a therapist before this happens to you to really see what the reason is behind your stressful relationship for food. I always thought for me it was about beauty or wanting to fit in but when I talked with my therapist it was more about being lonely. I didn't have many friends growing up and my parents were hardly ever home and food became this great way to fill the void inside of me whether I was overeating or restricting and overexercising. I wish you luck and I urge you to ignore the negative comments made by sad lonely people possibly suffering from an eating disorder as well. You will get through this just try to get help as soon as you can so you can live a life where you only eat when your hungry and not to fill a void.
  • Dtegesd123
    I think they eat a lot to feel happy. Being full and on a sugar rush is one of the best feelings in the world.
  • RJGraveyTrain
    I am glad somebody finally made a take addressing BED.
  • redeyemindtricks
    I had severe manic-depression (what's now called bipolar 1) as a teenager, too.

    My addictions of choice were (1) music, and (2) hands-on work in my father's automotive garage.
    In both of these senses, my father's understanding quite literally saved my life.

    (1) Music:
    Unlike a lot of other parents, he understood that music played a huge therapeutic role for me -- and that, sometimes, the only way to deal with everything going on inside my head was to just crank it up and literally drown out the world.

    (2) Hands-on work:
    I can't count the number of times he'd get up in the middle of the night -- two, three, four in the morning -- and drive me down to the shop to weld car bodies together, literally forgoing *his* entire night's sleep just because **I** couldn't sleep.

    No matter what I do to repay my father for everything he did for me, it could never be enough.
  • somebodysaycheese
    I think the problem with people is they dont realize obesity is a mental illness. Like they dont realize it stems from something. Noone logically chooses to be fat ( well most) just like noone choose to be super skinny or not identify with their body. Most people no matter the amount of facts you put in their face they will still hate fat people. Me , my story is long. But eventually i got the help i needed mentally and lost the weight. Problem is not many people can get the help they need because doctors are still prejudice against fat people. Oh and yea , people should know fat people suffer from bulimia at higher rates than thin people.
  • RainbowFanGirl
    I am a bulimic binge eater as well. :( I know how you feel.
    • Anonymous

      I'm not bulimic but the binging part is hard to break. I almost wish I was bulimic so I wouldn't keep it all in but I love the feeling of being constantly full, makes me feel not so alone.

    • The US FDA recently (within the last few years) approved Vyvanse for BED. If you aren't opposed to pharmaceutical interventions, you may want to consider giving it a shot (you can pm me for more info)

  • 99percentangel
    I feel you girl.
  • Anonymous
    Why you'll look like a cow in 10 years because of your "best friends" XD
    • Anonymous

      If you read the Take, you would know why.

    • Anonymous

      too lazy

    • Anonymous

      I kinda figured that out for myself after reading your asinine and ignorant comment.

    • Show All
  • Anonymous
    I thought I was a binge eater until I read this. I don't eat nearly as much as you did, but I still think the amounts that I eat when stressed are too much. I've been really depressed since 6th grade, so I turn to food for comfort. I gained a lot of weight that year and it made me feel ashamed, but I can't seem to lose it either (to be fair, I don't really try). My weight changes often, but it stays between 140-150 lbs.

    Food is my comfort. When my family is torn to pieces, I eat. When I'm home alone all day and night, I eat. When I'm failing school because I can't focus for shit, I eat. When I hate myself to the core, I eat.
    Here's what I consider a binge: A bowl of chips, a few cookies, and a full bag of buttered popcorn. Sometimes just eating chips or a chocolate bar makes me feel ashamed. I know it doesn't seem like much to you, but I'm a very inactive person, so every calories counts.

    I enjoy food, but I hate it at the same time. It's my enemy, yet my stress reliever. Also, since I am depressed, I have very low energy levels. I feel tired 24/7. Because of that, I eat simply to fuel my brain, in hopes of getting stuff done in school. It doesn't even work, but I still "binge" for that reason.

    I'd try to wrap this up with a point, but I'm too tired to think...
    • Anonymous

      That's still binge eating. I just happen to do it to the extreme.

  • Anonymous
    Food is the best haha. I feel for you though, this was sad to read :( I think too many people hurt you.