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How do I Stop Pigging Out?

answered 08:11 AM EST, Fri October 21, 2011
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I’ve always been very careful about what I eat and about getting enough exercise and I have always managed to stay at about 110 pounds or less (I am 5 foot 6). Over the last few months I have gained almost 20 pounds. I know I look really fat and I even have a roll of fat that hangs over my jeans. It makes me feel disgusting to look at and I need to get back to my healthy and happy weight.

The reason I have gained weight is because I have started having these food binges like 2 or 3 times a week. I’ll eat normally at work all day and then I’ll get home from work and lock the door behind me and go to the kitchen and eat a totally ridiculous amount of food. Usually bread and crackers and pizza and things like that and a lot of milk and ice cream and basically whatever else I can get my hands on. After I finish eating I always feel physically terrible and so guilty and pathetic too and I swear I’ll never do this to my body again. But the problem is when I get the urge to go and pig out it’s like I can’t control it and then once I start binging I can’t stop myself until it runs its course.

What can I do to get back in control over myself? I have always been a very disciplined and in-control person so it’s killing me that I can’t even control myself to stop eating like a pig.

William Anderson Says...

If we were to meet, I'd want to know a lot more, like how old you are and what your history has been with food, dieting and exercise. Are you a working teen? Have you been happy with things up until a few months ago? Are you an adult? Have you had these food and weight struggles for a long time? Have you read anything about these sorts of problems? 

Without more information, I can only guess at the best advice to give you. The good news is that you might be catching a very dangerous disorder early, before it can do a great deal of harm. If you can nip it in the bud, you can avoid a lot of suffering and risk of serious problems.

The bad news is that it appears you are at risk or perhaps even fully involved with a serious Eating Disorder that could become life threatening, not just tormenting, as it is now.

The first order of business is to stop beating yourself up. I know you feel awful about these binges, but having them does not make you a bad person, and with the right help, you'll be able to get better. And the sooner you get the help, the sooner you'll start to feel better.

Also, you need to be nicer to yourself about having some fat. You need enough on your body to be healthy, and if you are accurate about your height and weight, it sounds like you haven't had enough to fight infections and make all the other systems in your body work properly. I know it's more than you are used to, so it seems like it's too much, but it may be that you are just not used to having a proportioned adult body, and you need to get used to it. Also, it's just not healthy to be so critical of having some fat, even a roll or two. We need to be nicer to people with fat. My daughter has a bumper sticker that says "Mean people suck", and I agree that we need to not be mean, especially to ourselves.

However, the recent onset of bingeing and the gain of 20 pounds in a few months, is alarming. It means you need to get together with an Eating Disorders specialist right away to get the situation assessed properly and develop a sensical plan to deal with it. You need to resolve this problem immediately to eliminate the risk and the torment you are experiencing. If you make an appointment now, you'll be able to stop the torment and be feeling good about things very soon. Look for a licensed therapist who specializes in Eating Disorders. If you look in the Yellow Pages and search the Internet and can't find one, please contact me personally, and I'll make sure you find one. 

Know that you are not alone. Many people have had problems like these, and solved them to become happier and healthier than they have ever been. I'm one of them.

Best wishes.

 

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Page last updated Nov 09, 2011

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