Binge-Eating Self-Talk

You’re out of balance, and definitely out of control. You want — no, you need — to eat ALL the food. A whole lot of it at once, until it hits the button that says “Enough!” Except, when is that going to happen? And then you coast through a good patch, where you seem to have some semblance of control, and everything just rolls along merrily for a while. Maybe that whole ghastly chapter of your life is over. Maybe you’ve outgrown it, or discovered some more healthy obsession to take its place. For a while, there is a degree of relief. Until…

And you know what? So what. Even at the best of times, the body doesn’t look that great, and maybe it’s time to just stop caring about that. It’s the mind that really matters, and the spirit. There is no real health problem going on, and instead of fretting and beating yourself up about the occasional food orgy maybe you should just sit back and be grateful that you’re not one of the millions of people on earth who are still starving.

Maybe it’s simply time to stop feeling “depressed, disgusted, ashamed, guilty or upset,” to quote the Mayo Clinic’s list of negative emotions. After all, it’s not like you’re vomiting the food up after you eat it. That would be really disgusting, and you’re not there yet. Not even close! You don’t dabble in laxatives, you’re not that far gone. You’re not out there compulsively exercising for six hours every day.

Okay, once in a while you get a little crazy and “put away” a whole bag of groceries, but not in the cupboard. There was that time last week when after about five minutes, you weren’t even hungry anymore, and you kept on eating for — what, two hours? Not quite two hours.

So what? Take a look at the world. People are out there shooting up schoolrooms full of kids, right in front of God and everybody. At least I keep my problems to myself. The door is closed, the shades are down, I’m eating a whole large pizza with breadsticks and dipping sauce on the side, and not hurting another soul. So, all you haters out there, just deal with it.

And what’s the big deal? Once in a while I slip up and eat too much. And okay, it’s been going on for decades, but here I still am, standing upright and able to tell the tale. Thanks for pointing out that my jeans don’t zip up all the way, but you know what? I have others. And if I still need some new ones, with an even bigger waist, I can afford another pair of pants. I got that stuff handled. I’m doing fine at my job, no complaints. Yeah, that one boss keeps looking at me sideways, but he’s retiring next year anyhow.

Anyway, my best friend growing up had monstrous eating orgies. Maybe I caught it from her. And she got over it. At least I think she did. I haven’t seen her in a few years, but I’m sure she’s fine. She did graduate, after all. Oh wait, I wasn’t going to think about how I lost that scholarship anymore. It’s making me think about that bag of chips I stashed in the basement to make it harder to get to. But you know what? Maybe I’ll just take a little walk down there right now. Stairs are good exercise.

I’m taking care of business. Sure, I have stress and maybe a negative self-image, but who doesn’t? None of us are perfect, and at least I’m not out there attacking strangers or dynamiting power stations. I get bored, sometimes I eat too much. At least I don’t drink. Shoot, I know people who should be institutionalized, and I’m nowhere near as crazy. Sure, I have anxiety and depression, who doesn’t? I don’t have insomnia or diabetes or sleep apnea. I’m not socially isolated, I got plenty of friends, and most of them are in worse shape than me…

And blah-blah blah, blahblah blah blah blah blah, and blah, blah-blah, blah-blah blah, blahblah blah blah blah blah, blah, and blah-blah, and blah-blah blah, blahblah blah blah blah blah, blah, blah-blah…..

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Binge-Eating Disorder,”, undated
Image by Pat Hartman

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

Food & Health Resources