Bingeing – Michelle Sparkes


" I binge a lot. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to die from how I abuse my body with food. I hate the way I eat. I have a bad relationship with food."  Elizabeth

I hear you Elizabeth. I’m so sorry. It’s a truly AWFUL place to be. I had very similar feelings in my late teens. I couldn’t believe I didn’t burst or die. Part of me wanted to do both. I hated myself so much. My binges reflected both a desperate hunger to feel okay about myself and extreme self-punishment for not being the person I thought I needed to be. I went from the image on right to the image on left in around two years...

Age 15 - during the period of my hospital admission

Age 17 - two years following my hospital admission 

Let me encourage you Elizabeth, there is a way through and forward. It's not easy and it will take determination and effort but you can get there. You just need the right information, skills and support. Most importantly you need to hear (again and again) that you deserve LIFE and nurture and good things. You really do.

Three things that can help you right now:

1. Experiencing self-compassion - the ability to be kind and compassionate to your self. Imagine someone you cared for feeling the way you feel. What would you want to say to them?  What would you do? We are far kinder to others than we are to ourselves when we struggle in this space. Below is a link to an excerpt that chronicles this difficult time in my own journey to help you identify with your inner struggle more deeply in order to generate more compassion towards YOUR SELF.

2. Attending to your emotional hunger - binge-eating reflects an attempt to deal with emotional pain and conflict. Apart from eating regularly to reduce  the physical/starvation triggers that lead to binge-eating,  we need to  identify and attend to our emotional hunger. Below is  a link to two audios that will help you think about this for yourself.  I recommend you read the excerpt first.

3. Connecting with others - nothing beats the power of a healing relationship. Connecting with others in a support group  (especially face to face) will likely be helpful. Beyond this the therapeutic relationship offers a safe place to explore and unpack your unique challenges in order to  heal and soothe and find a more health-full and hope-full way forward.

Don’t lose hope Elizabeth. There is a way forward. If you want my help get in contact

About the Author

Michelle is a physiotherapist and professional counsellor with lived experience of anorexia, EDNOS and binge-eating in her teen and early adult years. Founder of Women Worth their Weight, and author of Illuminating Anorexia Michelle is passionate about helping people recover from these health and life consuming problems.