I’m going to take a different approach to health over the holiday season. I can’t seem to encourage certain people to start transforming to a healthy lifestyle in the face of intended binge-eating. I’ve even been told not to talk about the subject of health until after New Years. I really don’t understand this as bing-eating is a serious compulsion in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food. Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal. But for some people, overeating crosses the line to binge-eating and it becomes a regular occurrence, usually done in secret.
I remember as a kid, my aunt hosting the New Years day family get together. Aunt Lizzy was a fantastic cook and really went all out to serve those foods everyone loved. Unfortunately, after the meal, most of the men passed out in the living room watching football leaving the women to clean up. In those days the women served the meal while the family ate and then they ate afterwards. This is what saved them from being as obese as the men.
Please understand that this was the custom and the number of passed out people was the sign of a well cooked meal topped off with cigars and whiskey.
When you’re a binge-eater, you swear you won’t do it again. But again comes quickly as you are required to take leftovers home. You may be deeply embarrassed about gorging and vow to stop. But you feel such a compulsion that you can’t resist the urges and continue binge-eating. There is no treatment for bing-eating without first having a strong intention to stop. Usually a heart attack or diabetes prompts a change in eating habits and you go unwillingly to the hospital or doctor. But here is a fact you have to totally understand; in 60% of heart conditions the first symptom is sudden death. You don’t get another chance.
There’s one symptom that can foretell your future; weight or fat gain.
You may have no obvious physical signs or symptoms when you’re a binge-eater. You may be overweight or obese, or you may be at a normal weight. However, you likely have numerous behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms, such as:
Eating unusually large amounts of food
Eating even when you’re full or not hungry
Eating rapidly during binge episodes
Eating until you’re uncomfortably full
Frequently eating alone
Feeling that your eating behavior is out of control
Feeling depressed, disgusted, ashamed, guilty or upset about your eating
Experiencing depression and anxiety
Feeling isolated and having difficulty talking about your feelings
Frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss
Losing and gaining weight repeatedly, also called yo-yo dieting
After a binge, you may try to diet or eat normal meals. But restricting your eating may simply lead to more binge eating, creating a vicious cycle.
The first thing to decide is to get off this unmerry-go-round and transition to a healthy lifestyle that allows you to eat all the right foods you want and also gives you a variety.
I do know of a program that does exactly that but it would be a waste of time if you haven’t decided that you’ve had it on your present lifestyle and turn yourself in. I’ll help you with the rest.
Warning: If you’re having a heart attack or other threatening symptoms, please call 911.
Paul Turnbull 727-643-8376