Flipped Into Binge Eating – The Shame Of Eating

Last week was frightening for me. Not being able to walk, following on from returning home from London because I was sick left me feeling vulnerable and scared.

As well as having anorexia I have binge eating disorder. I had a battle in my mind last week between starving, binging or sticking to the plan. I stuck with the plan initially and then flipped into binging.

I find it hard to discuss binging because I feel both guilt and shame for doing so. Guilt for eating and shame for being disgusting and greedy (guilt is about what I have done, shame is about who I am).

So I feel ashamed. I hurt. And there is further torment. Life is not black Abdul white, one thing or another, I so wish it was. I’m desperate to stop eating, to get back into the (false) control of anorexia, I’m scared I won’t be able to stop eating. I also don’t want to stop eating, I want to binge and have the numbness that comes with the chemical high.

The shame is so intense it’s taken me a few days to decide whether to make this post. It’s easy to talk about my anorexic behaviour, even when it hurts, binge eating is a different matter.


41 Replies to “Flipped Into Binge Eating – The Shame Of Eating”

  1. I’m glad you found the courage to post about this. I completely relate – multiple ways. 1. I battle with food, daily. 2. Finding the courage to post about personal experiences and details – especially if you feel guilt, shame, anger towards yourself. I tell myself to post for two reasons. 1. my story might help someone else. 2. I feel it is important for my healing process to talk/post about what is going on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for having the courage to post. A great many people struggle with food issues, in small or large degrees – I believe it’s cultural and much more widespread than we expect. Wishing you the best. (I once worked in an eating disorders unit in a hospital, and learned from observation what challenging and confounding problems these issues pose and how complicated and wide-ranging they can be. I struggled with a lesser degree of it myself, as I think a great may women do – again, unexpected ways culture as well as individual psychology and family can influence individuals).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jan, thanks for commenting.
      I appreciate you sharing your experiences with difficult eating and your work in the eating disorders unit.
      It must have been good to be able to see the recovery by those who were able to stick with the therapy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So many of us have issues. Different kinds and different degrees, but the feelings are the same. I belong to a 12 step program which advocates that we are only as sick as our secrets. Which I have found to be true. Once we utter what we dislike the most about ourselves, the power it has over us seems to dissipate. We try to deal with things on a day to day basis and hopefully the goods days get longer and longer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for commenting Jude, and for sharing the benefits of the 12steps.

      The spiritual principles of the 12steps have had a profound impact upon the quality of my life in many ways. I’ve struggled using them in relation to food though.

      I need to log into an ABA meeting. Thanks for the reminder.


  4. i’m sorry you had a hard time and i’m so glad you’re sharing your stories. eating disorders like the secrecy; they want to stay hidden. keep speaking your truth. you are strong and you are a survivor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thankyou so much Ali.
      On a separate note, I have just bought focus carica – which I intend to keep as an indoor tree, I know it’s not recommended. I’m going to keep it in a grow tent for 6months, until spring, with lighting that mimics the Mediterranean. Do you have any tips for growing figs in doors.


      1. None whatsoever! I am terrible with houseplants! 😂 But I think your fig will be very happy. It is very therapeutic to look after a plant. Their needs are so simple, and they know how to just, you know, be!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I do not pretend to understand your difficulties. Even those of us who do not have such difficulties will sometimes binge eat, usually when we are feeling low, and then we too feel ashamed and beat ourselves up over it. All of us, no matter what path we walk, we must learn to love ourselves, forgive ourselves and be kind to ourselves. Peace to your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is true. People are not so very different from one another. We just cope in slightly different ways. I think everyone can identify with withholding or excess, whether it is food, exercise, physical pain, medication, work… When it gets out of balance there is a clue we are in some sort of distress and need to listen to our needs.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Your clarity of why you do certain behaviors, gives me hope. I hope you know that in order to change things, you must first realize what it is you need to change. You already know this. You are braver than you know and smarter than I have seen in a person struggling with this. Yes, I know, knowing something is not the only thing required. I also know that you have a problem with things, that things sometimes are not as directly clear for you in your own mind. I applaud you for being strong and moving, in either direction, at least you are still moving, you know.
    I am here supporting you from a distance and will be. I wish you success, one day in the near future . ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Everyone can slip, and it doesn’t mean you’re back to square one. In all other areas of life you regularly make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost all your abilities in this area, e.g. driving, cooking, taking photos.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. A brave, insightful post Richard. This is such a difficult and complex disease to live with. That is what it is and you should not feel guilty or ashamed (although I understand you do). Our culture is responsible for the guilt and shame you feel in my view. You would not feel it if you had broken bones……..
    I do hope you are able to stick to your plan and travel the middle ground between anorexia and binging. We are all here to support you. Keep taking photographs, and keep posting. That way we can keep you in our thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow. Your blog posts are so honest Richard – I love reading them, despite the fact that I am reading about something that you struggle with they are so upfront and explanatory of a disorder that I cannot personally understand completely but your outspoken and real life account helps me try and understand about anorexia and bulimia. Good on you for writing about it even if it makes you uncomfortable. All the best and I hope this is just a momentary ‘dip’ in this roller coaster and you are feeling better and things are more positive soon. ✌

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I just ran into this article and I am keep being amazed by so many common things binge eating disorder includes: emotions or lack of emotions that keep us eating more in order to get that feeling of numbness: “I also don’t want to stop eating, I want to binge and have the numbness that comes with the chemical high”. I had the same mixed feelings about having food as the only source of happiness and feeling miserable about it at the same time. Being ashamed afterwards because you`re out of control, hiding food, punishing yourself for that… It is a pattern that is in common for all of us who are using food for replacing what we really need. If we all have it in common, that means it is not about not being able to control yourself, and that it can be changed. I am done with having food as the centre of everything so I will go for a better life quality instead. I wish you all the best and may the self-respect and trust in yourself be with you :*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey. Thankyou for your comment and it’s lovely to hear from you. Having let go of the shame I’ve managed to stick with the food my nutritionist suggests.

      Please stay in touch. It’s good to hear that you’re going for a better quality of life. You deserve it. Hugs, best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, that is so good to hear, congratulations! It makes me so optimistic to hear all of those stories about getting better and fighting it off, it is a beautiful process that makes us humans and it feels like a piece of a puzzle that helps you get the whole picture. Thank you for your words. Hugs 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Em Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.