I've opened up about my experience with binge-eating disorder (BED) before. I've had my ups and downs, but I was at my worst during last summer, the summer of 2018. While right now I'm somewhat managing it, the cravings and lack of control are starting to creep back up on me.
After returning back to college after spring break, I have had at least one doughnut—if not two or three—every single day. While that might not seem like a HUGE problem to the average person, to me, it's a big red flag. Having a doughnut every single day for the past month means that I'm not only losing my self-control, but I'm also losing the ability to tell myself "no".
The thing about binge eating is that you feel like if you don't eat something right then and there that you're just going to die. You feel like if you don't consume something at that moment that you just wouldn't be able to handle it. And so you eat. And you eat. And you eat. And you eat...
...And you just can't stop.
So while as of right now the worst of my problems is eating an entirely too sugary doughnut every single day, tomorrow I fear that it might be just as bad as it was last summer. Maybe eating a family size bag of BBQ chips, a box of Cheez-its, a bowl of ice cream, a bar of chocolate, some mac & cheese, a yogurt, and who knows what else? Because that's what almost every single night of my life looked like for three months last summer. While I feel good when eating every piece of food that goes inside my mouth, the guilt that follows (and the stomachaches) is excruciating.
I know I shouldn't eat that much. I know I'm going to feel guilty afterward. But I just can't stop myself. And so then you want to do something to make all the pain go away. That's what leads to bingeing and purging.
I've never purged through vomiting. Of course, I've thought about it before, but then again, what person with BED hasn't? Then there's always laxatives, overexercising, or restricting. And trust me, I have a lot of experience with those remedies. And I'm ashamed. It only adds to the guilt that I feel and the emotional pain that I endure. Because I know I have the power to say no, but then again—I don't. And feeling powerless, in any situation, is what really takes a toll on someone. After crying almost every single time I binged last year, I dread feeling that lack of control this coming summer.
And I've said this before and I'll say it again. I HATE when people tell me that I'm skinny. Because I'm not skinny from default, I'm skinny from deceit. Anyone can intake too much fiber or too little calories or overwork their body for days on end. So don't tell me that I'm skinny and that I don't have to worry about eating too many doughnuts, because neither of those is true. Don't tell me that if you ate three donuts a day that you'd be obese, but I would be too. It's a matter of illness and eating disorders are no joke. Don't tell me that just because I look like I'm healthy, must mean I'm healthy too because trust me, I'm anything but healthy.
So while summer creeps up on us and you and your friends spend your days happy out in the sun, I fear the time I have on my hands will be spent bingeing. I'm watching my self-control slowing slips out of my hands—and I can't bear to go through that again.