So pizza is a binge food for me and I usually will eat a whole pizza by myself if I order one by myself.
Basically I’ve learned a couple of preventative tips for me!
1. I’m more likely to binge if I am too hungry. I mean duh, but the best way for me to prevent binging is to eat.
2. I do this thing where I want pizza on Monday but then talk myself out of it and out of it. Then on Saturday when I’m exhausted I Order and eat it all. Then feel bad.
Basically it’s a weird dance with actually eating and choosing it eatlier so it’s not A Thing.
3. I also have store versions of binge food. It’s was easier for me to order a pizza or go to the pizza joint down the road and get one and binge it all. But I also know if I get those tiny personal pizzas that are like… $1 at Walmart, I still have pizza AND save money, and instead of a large pizza, it’s technically just a couple servings of pizza.
Basically, I am trying to figure out the balance of having food available that is easy to make and eat and also being aware enough of my triggers to understand when I want to binge.
And sometimes, I just binge. Sometimes it’s conscious. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I realize that I am full and content after x many slices or chicken nuggets, and decide NAH FUCK IT AND MY MENTAL HEALTH. HERE I GOOOOOOOOOOO. and eat the rest anyway, to the point of feeling sick and uncomfortable.
I’m also trying to differentiate between eating a larger volume than I am used to and a binge. For me, it is the control aspect of it. I can feel the binge mentality even if I eat like…. a whole package of jello. It’s not a caloric binge, it’s a mental shift from eating to I HAVE TO EAT IT ALL RIGHT NOW OR ELSE.
So, sometimes eating even a LOT of pizza isn’t really a binge for me, because I am actually responding to pleasure and hunger cues and listening to them. Sometimes, eating half a pizza is a binge.
Basically, binging is a terrible mix of ignored hunger cues and mental health/ED.
But most importantly, I’m working on giving myself self forgiveness. There is no such thing as perfect eating. There will be times when we eat too much or find comfort in food. A big part of reducing those behaviors has been allowing myself to take away the guilt that I associate with feeling too full. The more I forgive myself the less likely I am to continue a binge for several days.
Also, a quick word on “emotional eating.” I think it is okay to emotionally eat. Food IS comfort, and sometimes it is the only comfort we have in a day. And it should be comforting and pleasurable! For me, I’ve noticed that my SAD ANGRY EATS have gone WAY down when I ALLOW myself to seek comfort in food. (It’s a total mind fuck. And it is okay if there is a learning curve for you in terms of reducing misplaced food guilt!)
So instead of “gah, I’m having a shitty day and I said I was just gonna eat healthy shit today, but here I am in the drivethrough, better get a fucking milkshake too, I’m such a fucking failure.” I try to change it to “Man, I’ve had a shitty day and I would really like a burger. I’m going to eat it and maybe even a milkshake! Maybe I am hungry and it will help me balance my sugar levels…. actually i really want something fruity, maybe I’ll get a smoothie instead.”
I think when we remove the guilt from food, we are actually able to listen to what our bodies need. This isn’t to say that we need a smoothie instead of a shake and we should always make that choice! There really aren’t GOOD or BAD foods. But, where the first scenario reinforces the shame of eating what our bodies are telling us we need, plus adding a food as a sense of shame, the second neutralizes the guilt, and we are able to really listen to what our bodies are wanting (in this case, I would probably be low on iron and bloodsugar, hence my cravings).
Basically, eating disorders of all kinds rely on restriction, guilt and shame. When we work on breaking out of those self-imposed rules, we can find more freedom with our food choices. It isn’t always perfect. And that’s okay! There is no such thing as perfect eating and removing that expectation allows us to find progress through recovery.