Binge Eating and Trauma

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I think I’ve recently realized just how much trauma affects every aspect of your life. Like, every aspect. Even when I’m feeling pretty good, I find myself looking for things that I should worry about or that I might have forgotten to pay attention to, almost as if my brain is like uncomfortable with peace. I had an absolutely wonderful weekend, started this week feeling pretty refreshed and then simply my dysfunctional living situation crept up on me again and I binge ate. Now I realize my binge eating may not look like yours, or anyone else’s, maybe to some people they’re like girl… you overate, you ate 3 cookies and two other treats, who cares? But it’s the emotions and mental states that go along with it. It’s feeling temporary relief and then uncomfortably bloated, thinking about working out but not wanting to, but feeling like you should, planning to work out to make what you just did “ok.”

Believe me, I know that’s part of the addictive cycle. It’s just hard sometimes to recognize how it’s connected to a trauma response when you’re going through it and to interrupt it. I failed to do that today. And now just feel disgusting and want to not feel bloated and gross and to swim laps tomorrow… and on and on. I try not to use exercise as a punishment or beat myself up for binge eating, but it’s hard when these cycles have been present for a while. Even if you can acknowledge that some progress has been made, it’s still frustrating when these things keep happening and then you can’t take them back and it feels like you’ve taken steps backwards. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m overeating. Sometimes I do and I don’t care in the moment. Unfortunately it seems my coping repertoire is still very small and if it weren’t for my love of hiking and swimming I seriously think I could be the next guest on my 600 lb life. I’m not being funny.

I know for myself, I don’t really have “slip ups.” If I eat over the threshold of beyond a “snack” then it’s all over and I might as well have three cookies AND ice cream and a sandwich and all of the things instead of choosing just one. I haven’t figured out how to not do that and “start over” in the middle of a day. Usually if I exercise early on during the day, it won’t be a binge day, even if trauma has been triggered. It’s all so hard. So shout out to people who deal with that and who have read my ramble.

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