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How to overcome binge eating problem

answered 10:00 PM EST, Thu May 17, 2012
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anonymous anonymous
I have a problem with binge eating. I think I am trying to fill some emptiness within myself with food, but no matter how much I eat I can never feel whole for very long. I am getting very obese and I am disgusted with myself. I feel like I do not know how to change the course of my life but I feel as though I need a spiritual solution because I believe I have a spiritual problem. I am 29 and I live alone. I have a high paying job but I am not a happy person.

Penny Bell Says...

Penny Bell P. Bell
Master of Counselling, Grad Dip Counselling, Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy, MACA
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Eating disorders can be difficult to overcome because food is part of our everyday life, and with overeating we have to find ways to control our eating rather than stop it.  This requires us to examine our automatic thoughts and behaviors around eating, and our consequent feelings.

I’m not sure why you believe you have a spiritual problem, I’m assuming you are relating your feelings of emptiness and not feeling whole to a spiritual issue. I’m wondering if you are using food to fill a gap that belongs to something else – love, for example.  Sometimes we comfort ourselves with food because it is easily available and we can be sure of it, whereas people are fraught with difficulties, for example they can reject us or abandon us.

My suggestion is that you enter counseling to explore your sense of emptiness, and the reasons you are choosing food to fill the space.  Binge eating is often carried out when a particular stress triggers the behavior, and this also needs to be explored.  As well, I suggest that you attend a 12-step group, for example overeaters anonymous if there is a meeting near you, and if not any 12 step group will be fine.  At the group you will be offered a sponsor or accountability partner to help and support you in your quest for change.  Finally, if you are not attending a supportive friendly church, make sure that you do this, and there you can begin to address the spiritual aspects of your problem.

Once you have tapped into your inner strengths and resources through doing all of the above, you can think about what kind of program you would like to undertake to lose the weight – but not before you have sorted out the underlying issues or you may just be setting yourself up for failure.

I wish you all the best with it.

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Penny Bell - Master of Counselling, Grad Dip Counselling, Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy, MACA
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