Binge eating is unfortunately something that a lot of bariatric patients struggle with before having weight loss surgery. Binge eating is a severe but treatable eating disorder characterized by recurring episodes of eating large quantities of food. People often feel shame and guilt after an episode, but they feel like they cannot control it when it happens. After weight loss surgery, binge eating is still possible. Many people think that weight loss surgery will be the cure for binge eating, but that is not the case.
After weight loss surgery, binge eating does get harder. Your stomach is smaller and you cannot take in as much food as you used to. However, it is still possible to go on a binge, even if it is spread out over time throughout the day. Binge eating means that you eat more rapidly than normal, you eat until feeling uncomfortably full, you eat large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry, you eat alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much you eat, and you feel guilty after eating. You might not have all of these symptoms, but they are very common for people with this eating disorder.
It is important to recognize that binge eating will not just go away after surgery. It takes work to control binge eating disorder and a lot of that work comes from understanding why you do it in the first place. One of the best places to start is understanding when it started. Have you done it since you were a child? Did it start after something traumatic happened? Understanding where it all began will help you in learning how to manage it.
Learning to live with binge eating disorder starts with you. Starting therapy to address the issues that cause you to binge eat can be extremely beneficial. This is why having a support group after weight loss surgery is so important. You do not need to feel embarrassed about binge eating. Talking to people about it will help you with understanding why you turn to those behaviors. Learning how to cope with stress in a healthy way will also help you with binge eating. It is important that you find other methods to get through difficult times, instead of looking at food for comfort. Remember, you are strong and can get through this. Bariatric surgery is not the fix-all, but it is certainly an amazing tool that can help you with binge eating. Focus on understanding yourself better and utilize all of your tools to help you through this. Don’t let binge eating define you. You are so much more than what you eat.