Binge Eating Disorder: IAEDP Pearls of Wisdom

This week’s blog focuses on insightful nuggets gained at last week’s 2015 International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals Symposium. Picture a worldly army restocking supplies for the war against eating disorders. The meeting of the minds rejuvenates my spirit and my toolbox is full with new ammo. I look forward to sharing them with you here, in sessions, and presentations. Enjoy!

Have faith and I will step with you.
Have faith and I will step with you.

Many of you participating in the Food Peace Challenge may have experienced a binge or even diagnosed with binge eating disorder (BED). Melainie Rogers RD and Marissa Sappho LCSW want you to know about their Reframing Recovery Model. It is for those seeking to help promote recovery from BED. I was shocked to learn that almost 10% of us has binge experience. If you have BED, keep in mind recovery is a marathon not a sprint. It takes twice as long to recover from binge eating disorder compared to other eating disorders. How long? 8 to 14 years. Don’t worry, I am with you for the long haul.

Binge eating disorder often serves a purpose during challenging times. It can be dissociative, soothing, [cussing alert] promote the “FUCK IT!” voice, or even punishment.

This eating disorder is worsened when a person tries to lose weight through food restriction. Remember, weight loss then regain is the dieting rule not exception. Whenever a person loses weight, fat and a little muscle is lost. Weight regained is only fat not muscle. When this happens, metabolism and strength are lost. Bummer! Even more, rapid weight loss breaks down even more muscle. Remember this next time you want to find a quick weight loss regimen!

The presenters had a word of advice: to stop bingeing, learn to avoid extreme hunger or panic hunger. Prioritize meal time (that means do not work through lunch nor skip breakfast because of a night-time binge). Many people keep food logs to keep up with meal planning self-care. Even though food logs tremendously help clients move toward eating disorder recovery, they can be tedious and shaming for many to keep. Do you agree?

If so, you will love this advice: instead of writing down your food intake, just put an “X” next to the meal or snack when you eat. Once pattern is as directed by your dietitian (not skipping meals and eating throughout the day), start noting hunger and fullness levels. Do NOT note food choices because WHAT you eat is neutral to we eating disorder RDs. WHEN and WHY information helps us to formulate recovery strategies.

Cussing Alert: The Fuck It voice is very common in binge experiences. It is symbolic and physiologic. Working toward repairing the Gentle Voice ™ helps those with BED to recover. The presenters noted practicing self compassion and mindfulness can help clients begin to repair this side of the conversation.