For over a decade, I believed that I was a compulsive overeater. Now, however, I know the truth about my so-called compulsive overeating.
I’m Not Alone in My Compulsive Overeating
For so long, I believed that I was the only one who struggled with eating too much, eating in secret, and constantly thinking about food. In 2007, however, when I stepped foot into my first Overeater’s Anonymous (OA) meeting, I finally felt seen. (Read more about what lead me to my first OA meeting in my health journey story.)
Sure, I knew that many people wanted to lose weight and eat healthier, but for me, the issue seemed to be greater than what any diet could fix.
I ate in secret, seemed to constantly think about food, and regularly would sit on the couch while consuming an entire bag of my favorite “junk” food. Afterward, all I would be left with was a stomach ache coupled with intense feelings of guilt and shame.
Finding the small OA group in Green Bay, Wisconsin, showed me that I was not alone.
Am I a Compulsive Overeater?
As a teacher, I always encourage my students to question what I say and what they read. Just because you read something in a book, hear it on the news, or read it on the Internet, doesn’t mean it’s the truth. I, therefore, also regularly question what I’m told, read, and see.
Before long, I began to ask, “Am I really a compulsive overeater?”
On the OA website, there is a five-question quiz to see if OA is right for you. Here are the five questions:
- Do I eat when I’m not hungry, or not eat when my body needs nourishment?
- Do I go on eating binges for no apparent reason, sometimes eating until I’m stuffed or even feel sick?
- Is my eating affecting my health or the way I live my life?
- Do I have feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment about my weight or the way I eat?
- Do I eat sensibly in front of others and then make up for it when I am alone?
As I read these questions, there have certainly been times in my life in which all of these questions have pertained to me. Does this mean, however, that I am a compulsive overeater? No. If you answered “yes” to the above questions, does it mean you are a compulsive overeater? No.
I’ve been able to heal my relationship with food, mind, and body only after throwing out all dieting apps and books, moving my body out of respect, and coping with my emotions with kindness.Tweet
Hello Intuitive Eating
In 1995, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch published the book “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach”. I, however, didn’t find the book until 2021! (Download your free intuitive eating guide here.)
Upon reading the book, plus others outlined in my “The Best Intuitive Eating and Body Positivity Books to Read ASAP” blog post, my suspicions about compulsive overeating were confirmed. I’m not a compulsive overeater after all!
In my childhood, I felt out of control around sweets due to the restriction imposed upon me by my well-meaning parents. Through my teenage years, I felt out of control around sweets due to the bombardment of “diet” messages from my family, friends, and society. Finally, in my 20s, I felt out of control around sweets due to the emotional abuse I experienced in my marriage.
I’ve been able to heal my relationship with food, mind, and body only after throwing out all dieting apps and books, moving my body out of respect, and coping with my emotions with kindness.
Although I did not find intuitive eating until 2021, when I began the road to improved health, I was essentially applying all of the following 10 principles of intuitive eating. I just didn’t know what it was called.
Are you ready to get off the diet roller-coaster, stop obsessing about food, and learn to trust your body? Good news, you’re in the right place!
I offer coaching to help you get into a peaceful relationship with food, mind, and body—so that you have the energy and mental space to focus on all the other important relationships in your life.
Instead of daydreaming about improved health, book a 30-minute breakthrough chat with me, your food, mind, and body coach today! With an experienced coach by your side, you can improve your overall health and live the life you’ve always dreamed of!
Please note: My coaching programs aren’t appropriate for people struggling with active eating disorders (i.e. those who are engaging in dangerous behaviors such as purging, or those who are engaging in food restriction or bingeing once a week or more). If you have an eating disorder, please see the National Eating Disorders Association for referrals instead.