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It’s Official – I Have Binge Eating Disorder. . . Now What?

By Ann Marie Knapp

Pizza Deliveryman Man Behind BoxesFor someone who had struggled with binge eating for close to 15 years, finding out that Binge Eating Disorder had become an official diagnosis was both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I thought, “Finally, someone gets it!” On the other hand, I now have a diagnosed eating disorder.

In addition to the multitude of emotions that can trigger my bingeing, I felt sadness, shame, despair, loneliness, self-loathing, and hopelessness. Initially my diagnosis become an excuse: “Well, I have BED so I guess this is my lot in life.” That led to a never ending barrage of horrible self-talk. How’s that for a Trigger Soup!

How I went from “I am a binge eater” to “I have Binge Eating Disorder ”

Long ago when I started down the path of my recovery from BED, I had to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t going to happen overnight. I had to learn to give myself the patience and grace I’d give a small child who was struggling. If that child was hurting, I wouldn’t offer her food to cover it up. I would comfort and soothe her. And I would never say the negative things I said myself to that child, would I?

Over time I made a shift in my identity. I was blessed to attend a retreat specifically focused on recovery from Binge Eating Disorder. The reality hit me on the first day when I learned that I was not alone!  I am not defined by my eating disorder. I am not defined by my size. I am not defined by my past. And I am not a woman who reinforces my uncomfortable emotions with my own script of horrible self-talk.

I am not “a binge eater.” I have Binge Eating Disorder. It is what I have, not who I am. And that can be healed. I can use my experiences to inspire and encourage others to reach for healing and recovery. I am a loving, caring, hard-working, spiritual, beautiful woman, and I am learning to let those define me now.


About the author

Ann Marie became a student of Mindful Eating in 2009 after she and her husband Jason met Michelle at a local book signing where she discovered Am I Hungry? for the first time. As God's plan unfolded in her life, Ann Marie's path evolved, and she became Michelle's Administrative Assistant in 2013!


  1. Amen, Sista. Indeed you are a loving, caring, hard-working, spiritual, beautiful woman!

  2. As are you Charlene! Your journey is inspiring to me! Thanks for the sweet words.

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