Binge eating recovery is typically an ongoing, life-long process of growth and insight.
Treatment is about helping people and their supporters successfully start the process of healing, knowing it will not be a perfect journey, but that change is possible by working through the ups and downs. Over time and with proper treatment, those with binge eating disorder (BED) can find a much more peaceful relationship with food, their bodies, and themselves.
The experience of living with binge eating disorder is as distressing as any other eating disorder. Most people who struggle with BED feel tremendous guilt about their behavior and they often believe it is a willpower issue; that they are simply not “strong enough” to stop.
In today’s weight obsessed culture, people with BED often assume recovery is synonymous with weight loss, and treatment recommendations are made in support of that erroneous goal. This “treatment” is often promoted by well-intentioned friends, family, and professionals, but with binge eating, dieting is a causal factor in the development of BED. So it’s essential for treatment professionals to provide alternatives to dieting, and for improving health and body image. In fact, weight loss as a goal of treatment – as opposed to goals of improved self care – can be damaging to the process of recovery.
It’s also important to remember that relationships with food and eating behaviors are the symptoms of more profound underlying factors for most people with binge eating disorder.
For recovery to be lasting, people typically work with trained therapists, physicians, and others to address any underlying mood disorders, family dynamics, and complications from trauma. Ultimately, individuals must learn to treat themselves with the compassion and self-awareness needed for lasting recovery.