D's Story of Freedom

My Binge Eating Disorder started when I was in my early teens. At that time, the fact that my parents talked about weight loss and commented about people's appearance (although never toward me) made me self-conscious about my weight and want to diet. That lead me to the Binge Eating cycle, where I would restrict during the day and binge or overeat almost everyday at night, and finish by using laxative. That period lasted until the end of high school and started again 2 years ago.

In summer 2015, I lost weight because I started doing a lot of biking in the city (which I enjoy), and felt really good about it. In order to maintain the weight or to keep losing more, I started to control what I ate. I would count the calories to make sure that I went to bed hungry. I even created a daily calorie limit for myself (funny for me now). Following that, I continued to lose weight for one year until fall 2016, when I started to Binge Eat again.

At the beginning, it didn't affect much my life because I Binge Eat once a week or 2 weeks, I could "cope" with that (I made sure to eat much less the next days and my weight stayed the same).

In August 2017, coming back from a trip (where I restricted a lot), my episode of Binge Eating became more frequent (3 times a week). That is where I started to attach much more meanings and emotions to this habit. On one hand, food has a capital importance in my life. For example, if I go out to eat with friends or my boyfriend, I will make to to choose the "best" restaurant or meal. I would look at the menu way before going, and even after that, I would be indecisive about what to choose in the restaurant. And when I ordered a meal that was not as good as I thought it was, I became frustrated and disappointed. I would also restrict myself during the day to be able to eat more in the restaurant.

When I am in a BE mode, I (my lower brain) feel so compelled, excited at the idea of eating without limit. On the other hand, I will feel horrible after a binge. Physically, I feel bad, and couldn't do anything for the rest of the day. I couldn't be physically in shape for the next days too.

There were times where I wonder if I would die one day of BED. Mentally and emotionally, I would feel regret, worthless, unproductive, and useless as a person. I typically BE alone at home between the end of class in the afternoon and before my boyfriend came back from his job. I will especially feel so bad and worthless for him to come home to a girlfriend who just eat. It impacted also my social life and my studies. I will procrastinate on my school work, and lower my standard and effort. There are many social opportunities with friends I cancelled, classes I skipped, or work days I missed because I want to BE or feel bad the day after a binge. There is a lot of things I enjoy that I just don't "feel" like doing anymore, things as simple as taking a walk with my boyfriend in our neighborhood. In beginning of 2018, there was a day I told myself I cannot continue like that because I could see myself handicapped with this BED for my whole life, living miserably.

I know I have potential and dreams I want to achieve, so I reached out for help to Lydia's team by scheduling a breakthrough session.

After the program, I feel so much better around food. First, I don't BE anymore, and even if I do in the future, it won't be a big deal because I have the tools to bounce back quickly.

It is incredible to realize that I don't even want the thing that bring me #1 pleasure before. I restrict much less than before, and if even I do restrict, I can spot the restriction chatter and quickly have clarity around that.

Being in the program made me realize how miserably hungry I was before because of all the restriction (to not gain weight), so I am really happy now. I am also able to truly eat what I want and rediscover my taste around food.

Before, I would eat things because they are low in calories or feel pressured to finish food before they go bad in the fridge. Also, I thought I really love dessert and ice cream, but now that I truly allow myself to eat everything, I am not as crazy about sugar as I once was.

As for my body, it became a reliable partner for me because I can trust its hunger and fullness signal, and my metabolism came back too. I started to see myself differently. There was one day I looked myself in the mirror and thought: "maybe I am prettier curvier" (I loved that new appreciation).

Lydia was amazing in teaching us these principles that even made us change our attitude in life. I feel positive about situations I would normally beat myself up before.

Finally, the most important thing I walk out from the program with is gaining trust in myself (feeling of empowerment), knowing that whatever happens in life, I have the tool to be free at anytime.

-D