Emotional eating, compulsive over-eating, and binge eating disorder are different ways of saying your eating patterns have become dysregulated. You may alternate between periods restrictive eating (“dieting”) and periods of loss of control over your eating (binge eating). Food serves some alternative function, beyond nourishment and basic enjoyment. It may be a comfort, a tool for control, a source of escape, a way to punish yourself. Thoughts about food may take over – how to control your eating, how to hide your eating, how to lose weight, how to avoid hunger.
Clients may or may not have experienced weight changes. You may have tried diet after diet. Weight may come off initially, but you struggle to maintain the diets long term or to keep the weight off after the diet has ended. You may have given up and feel like you inhabit a body that is no longer yours. Diets don’t work because they don’t address the underlying issues – your relationships with food, your body, and your emotions.