Our keynote speaker for Body Image Awareness Week this year was Chevese Turner from the Binge Eating Disorder Association. We wanted to bring something different to campus to show the different facets of eating problems and binge eating disorder is often overlooked or not even considered a problem, but it is. Turner has dealt with her own problem with binge eating since she was 5 years old and it was great to hear her story, how she’s recovering and where she sees her newly-formed association in the future.
Did you know that Binge Eating Disorder affects 3 times the people as anorexia and bulimia combined? Yea, that’s huge.
But what exactly is Binge Eating Disorder?
- Frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often thousands of calories) in short periods of time
- Feeling out of control over eating behavior
- Feeling ashamed or disgusted by the behavior
- There are also several behavioral indicators of BED including eating when not hungry and eating in secret.
With many eating disorders, no matter which one it is, feeling out of control and ashamed of the behavior is a HUGE warning sign. Eating should be an experience and cause you pleasure, not shame. If eating or anything to do with eating causes you shame, please talk to someone you trust, or email me.
What are the complications of this disorder? Many of these are linked to obesity and include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Heart disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Gallbladder disease
What I’m always pleasantly surprised about is how these talks go because as someone who’s recovered, there’s always a sense of understanding I have with the speaker. An eating disorder is an addiction just like alcoholism or drugs and while each person has his or her own reason behind it, the feelings are generally the same. Whether you restrict food, binge on food, or purge, you’re trying to compensate for something or “fix” an emotion.
The most important thing is if you are suffering from one of these addictions, PLEASE get help. Recovery is one of the hardest things you’ll go through, but it’s worth it 110%. I promise. Turner said that she’s been in therapy for 15 years and while she’s doing well, she still has slips. With more attention on Binge Eating Disorder, she hopes more people get the help they need so they too don’t have to be in recovery for decades.
Have you ever had a problem with food? How are you doing?
In other news, no one wanted to share their favorite part of their body with me this week 😦 Oh well! I understand it was a challenge, but I hope this week (and in the next weeks), you listen to your body, treat it well and love it. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!! ❤