Compulsive Eating

In trying to understand why I am the way I am, I look for names. Binge eating has never seemed to describe exactly what I do, but I think that is because of how binging is portrayed in movies and TV shows. I’ve never parked myself in front of the fridge and eaten until it was empty. I’ve never filled my grocery cart with seven kinds of ice cream, five bags of chips, and ten boxes of cookies.

Googling around just now, I found a cross-reference on a binge eating post to compulsive overeating. Am I a compulsive overeater or a binger?

Unclear. It seems to be a distinction of degree, of quantity and frequency. It seems to me that it may be a distinction without a difference.

One thing I started to wonder as I searched: why call it compulsive overeating? Why not just compulsive eating? Wouldn’t it be compulsive eating any time you were eating for reasons other than hunger?

Do we need the extra judgment of calling it overeating?

Shame factors into it either way. I think the reason I’ve never been the person you see in movies with a grocery cart full of junk food is that I am unreasonably conscious of what I put into my grocery cart.

I assume other people are looking and judging. On more than one occasion, when buying a cake at the grocery store, I’ve purchased candles and balloons to make it look like I’m buying the cake for someone’s party. I’ve even gone so far as to have the bakery staff write a birthday message on the cake. Happy Birthday, Barbara!

I don’t know anyone named Barbara!

I’ve never told anyone about this. Who knows what propelled me out of bed at 3 a.m. to start confessing like this. Oh please, please, please—I hope that admitting this helps me stop it.

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