• Sara O'Malley

To The Binge Eater During Social Distancing: We Will Get Through This.

I have shared with you all my struggles with binge eating disorder, and the last time I shared a blog about it, I hadn't been binging in a while.

However, in the last month since I have written, COVID-19 and social distancing have happened. The world has completely changed as we know it. I can no longer go to the gym. I can no longer go on as many work appointments, I don't have the option to go into the office when I want/need to.

I was okay for the first two weeks. I was finding ways to work out at home, which was new to me, so it was fun. I was making meals three times a day, which I hadn't been doing before, which was also great. I thought - I'll be in the BEST shape of my life after this. No happy hours, no restaurant outings? No parties? I'll literally be ripped.

Then week three happened. I was tired of cooking. I was bored. A beer at 2pm sounded like a great idea. Two bottles of wine at night also seemed great - because - NO need to get up and do anything tomorrow! Take out? YES! I'm so tired of cooking. Dairy Queen at 8pm after the baby is asleep? WHY NOT?! There's literally nothing else to do. I will burn those calories tomorrow, because I have all day to move, right?

Nah. This did not happen for me. Hungover via alcohol and food, I was tired. My workouts started getting worse and less frequent. I had cake in my house from my husband's birthday and I ate it five days in a row. I had maple cinnamon buns from a local store, and I ate those after the cake was gone. I ate a snack at 2pm when I had lunch at 1pm because I was bored. I made banana splits two nights in a row. I ate four handfuls of trail mix last night before bed when I was NOT hungry at all.

(Said cake ----> the BEST carrot cake in the world with cream cheese filling from Starry Night Bakery in Westminster, MD!)

The self-loathing starts. I got so down on myself one night that after I ate a piece of cake, I totaled up ALL of the calories I've burned since February 10 (when I started tracking on my app), finding the average number of workouts a month I did, average number of calories I burned per workout, and seeing how much it had changed. I also looked in the mirror for about 20 minutes at my cellulite on the back of my legs and my extra skin from child birth. And then I laid in bed and cried for an hour until I fell asleep. THIS is Body Dysmorphic Disorder. THIS is binge eating guilt. THIS is what many of us are dealing with not only during the pandemic, but in our every day lives. When we have the time to be at home and dwell on it/binge on food, it's even harder.

Here's a list of things I've been doing to try and STOP binge eating during this pandemic. Because, right now, all the Prozac in the world ain't helping:

1. Pray

2. Read a Book

3. Go on a Walk

4. Drink More Water

5. Clean the House

6. Write a Card

7. FaceTime a friend

8. Dance

9. Color (with or without your child)

10. Meditate

11. Volunteer for an Elderly Neighbor

12. Work Out (if you haven't that day

13. Call Your Therapist (if they are open - mine is not - and I need to find one that is)

We will get through this. We will come out on the other side of this stronger in one way or another - and if we gain a few pounds in the meantime, IT. IS. OKAY. Please reach out if you want to talk through this. Let's be here for each other.

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