Proud2Bme | Binge Eating Disorder: The Real Story

Binge Eating Disorder: The Real Story

Binge eating disorder affects more people than anorexia and bulimia combined, yet it gets nowhere near the media coverage. Teens are now breaking through the shame to let others know they're not alone.

In a recent Teen Vogue article, author and blogger Sunny Sea Gold opened up about her own roller coaster relationship food. When she was sixteen, she ate a half a dozen candy bars in a frenzied binge one afternoon--candy bars that she was supposed to have been selling for a school fundraiser.

"I'd been obsessed with dieting and calories since I was thirteen, and any attempts to resist junk food always ended with me eating stuff by the bag, box, and tub; but after downing those candy bars that day, I knew something was wrong. I didn't have anorexia, because I wasn't starving myself, and I didn't have bulimia, because I couldn't actually get myself to purge...It turned out that I had something I had never heard of before: binge eating disorder (BED), an illness characterized by frequent overeating during which you feel out of control and then very upset afterward. And I wasn't the only one suffering from it."

Here's a video Sunny made for her book, Food: The Good Girl's Drug:

Sunny went on to get help for her eating disorder and she is now a devoted advocate for eating disorders awareness and prevention. She spoke to teens who are dealing with binge eating, and her article details their experiences. We pulled few highlights...

Kelsey, a seventeen-year-old high school senior, confessed that she feels so ashamed about her behavior that she eats in secret: "When my mom leaves, I sometimes go straight to the kitchen so I can have a huge pig-out with no one around."

Vanessa, also seventeen, tried to stick to "healthy" foods when she was bingeing, but after seeking help to overcome her binge eating disorder, she's realized that there's a more intuitive approach to eating that is much healthier for her: "I've learned so much through therapy and reading books about why my relationship to food was the way it was...Overeating was a way for me to lose control and stuff down my feelings. I let myself eat what I want, healthy or not. So now I don't go out and overeat healthy food when what I'm really craving is little bit of junk."

Emily, nineteen, felt a sense of relief when she realized that there was a name for the behavior that was causing so much chaos in her life: "I knew that I didn't like my body and that I snuck food and overate regularly, but I didn't understand that it was a psychological disorder at first. Finally being able to put a name on something I've struggled with my whole life was the most important step toward getting healthier, both physically and mentally."

Binge eating disorder is a serious eating disorder, but recovery is possible. Check out our binge eating disorder page for more info. Need support and referrals? We've got you covered.

Read Sunny Sea Gold's Teen Vogue article for more real stories from real teens.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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