I am a former binge eater. I was diagnosed with this eating disorder at 15 years old. I used to be able to down three 2-L bottles of root beer and five party-sized pizzas in one sitting.
My parents thought at first that I was just too hungry after coming home from softball practice. However, they put their feet down when they realized that I was eating the same amount of food even on days when I had nothing to do. That was when they took me to a child psychologist, and we all found out that I had a binge-eating disorder.
At the time, I held my ground and insisted that I was unaware of the issue. All I said was, “I love food. Perhaps I couldn’t control my love for food.” But deep down, I had suspicions that my binge-eating habits stemmed from stress. It was the early 90s, after all, and everyone had a specific picture in mind of what a cool kid looked like. There was no way for me to be seen in that manner, so I ate my feelings (literally).
Now that I am no longer a binge eater, though, I help binge-eating kids to get over it. I facilitate group therapy for them during the weekend, and it is apparent how their social interaction works in their favor.
Unfortunately, all group activities have stopped since the state governor has asked everyone to avoid leaving the house. The coronavirus is still wreaking havoc all over the world, and the lockdown is the safest preventative measure.
I can still meet the kids but only via Zoom or Skype. We cannot hang out anymore, as we have typically done before. It saddens me as much as the children, but I think the lockdown is suitable for young binge eaters.
You Cannot Sneak Out To Pig Out
When I was trying to overcome the binge-eating disorder, I was not the most effortless child to rehabilitate. My desire to overeat was too intense, to the extent that I would pretend to go to my friend’s house to hang out. The truth, however, was that I would walk to the nearest McDonald’s and buy as many burgers as possible.
Thanks to the lockdown, the young binge eaters cannot follow my previous example. No child below the age of 18 is supposed to be seen out of their house, so no one can sneak out. Hence, they need to make do with what’s in the pantry.
Your Parents Can Watch What You Eat
The ultimate challenge for the parents is to make the binge-eating child’s relationship with food healthy again. It is not enough to order the kids to go on a diet because it can trigger their rebellious side. Hurt feelings can pave the way for other eating disorders, you know.
One vital thing you can do is to watch what your child eats. Reduce the number of servings they can get little by little, and explain this plan very well. This technique may not work if they feel like you are working behind their back.
There Are Many Indoor Activities To Keep Your Mind Off Excessive Eating
The lockdown is also ideal for kids who want to curb their binge-eating habits because you can try many indoor activities with the family. For instance, you may do a reading relay, build a massive puzzle, or paint a specific object and see who has recreated it best.
If you notice, such activities are not too physically strenuous. The reason is that exhaustion can make anyone hungry. Your goal is to get distracted from hunger pangs, not to end up entertaining it.
I wish I can say that binge-eating disorder is less challenging to beat than other eating disorders. It has taken me five years to see put my spoon and fork down when I am full. Despite that, the rehabilitation may speed up due to the lockdown, considering you don’t have sources of temptation everywhere.