Even for people aware of eating disorders, compulsive over-eating tends to be forgotten. After all, the danger appears to be less if someone is eating and keeping the down the food. However, the agony of this mental illness is just as real as are the medical consequences. Heightened blood pressure, diabetes, loss of mobility, and depression are just a few of the conditions that can accompany compulsive over-eating.
Instead of seeing this type of eating disorder as less important, we should try to support and understand those who struggle with it. For years, this plagued me. The result was deep self-hatred, poor body image, and longing to starve myself. Obviously this disorder is a serious problem and not something to belittle or criticize.
Here are some quotes that will hopefully raise awareness as well as inspire you. The words are honest if painful. As with other mental illnesses, compulsive over-eating is messy and miserable. Therefore, these are not pretty quotes or happy words. Still, there is hope for healing even from this illness. Behind these agony-ridden thoughts is light for a better future that contains a better relationship with food.
- “Bingeing is such an emotionally frenetic activity that no other concerns can exist in the same space. It is a hell that people who are food-sensitive are familiar with; and, because it is known, it is therefore not so terrifying as some of the problems that are outside our control. Problems like divorce, illness, death.” – health and nutrition author Geneen Roth in Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating
- “We have it in our head that if we fill our stomachs, we’ll fill our hearts.” – author and mother Kate Wicker in Weightless: Making Peace with Your Body
- “In our fast-forward culture, we have lost the art of eating well. Food is often little more than fuel to pour down the hatch while doing other stuff – surfing the Web, driving, walking along the street. Dining al desko is now the norm in many workplaces. All of this speed takes a toll. Obesity, eating disorders and poor nutrition are rife.” – journalist Carl Honore
- “I don’t stop eating when I’m full. The meal isn’t over when I’m full. It’s over when I hate myself.” – comedian and actor Louis C.K.
- “Stop trying to find something in food that will make you feel better. I used to have eating disorders; I’d binge and purge all the time: fried oysters, po’ boys, muffulettas, beignets, coffee and doughnuts. I tried to medicate myself with food when people made fun of me or hit me with a bat in school. I’d always turn to food.” – fitness personality and actor Richard Simmons
- “I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand.” – scientist and US founding father Benjamin Franklin
- “Underneath our nice, friendly facades there is great unease. If I were to scratch below the surface of anyone I would find fear, pain, and anxiety running amok. We all have ways to cover them up. We overeat, over-drink, overwork; we watch too much television.” – educator Joko Beck
- “Almost everyone I’ve ever met who overeats is doing so on behalf of an old self (a discouraged child, an unpopular teenager, a self conscious young adult) who no longer exists.” – founder and chairman of The Chopra Foundation Deepak Chopra in What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution Solution to Permant Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul
- “Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.” – novelist Peter De Vries
- “Fat people aren’t indulging in the “luxury” of their addiction making them useless, chaotic, or a burden. Instead, they are slowly self-destructing in a way that doesn’t inconvenience anyone. And that’s why it’s so often a woman’s addiction of choice. All the quietly eating mums. All the KitKats in office drawers. All the unhappy moments, late at night, caught only in the fridge light.” – Columnist, author, and feminist Caitlin Moran in How to Be a Woman