For help with these issues, please contact:

Jane Rachel Kaplan, Ph.D., MPH

902 Curtis St.
Albany CA, 94707

Binge Eating For Personal Freedom

Print article

At times when we want to binge, it seems that personal freedom is at stake. We want to be able to eat as much as we want of whatever we want including and even primarily, sweets. We feel free, autonomous, unconstrained in the moments of the binge. It's as if the binge tells us we are free beings. Yet, we know that true personal freedom is really not about eating sweets.

When we feel very little personal freedom in some aspects of our lives and when self-esteem is low and we feel trapped by ourselves, we may have no better option than to express our needs for autonomy and freedom by eating lots of sweets, by bingeing. Though we may not like it, we need to respect the part of us which uses food to express our important need for personal freedom.

As we get healthier, we can grow beyond expressing our needs for freedom in this way. We learn new ways of feeling free and independent; ways which involve not thinking in extremes and forming honest and loving relationships with ourselves and others. These new ways are not easy to learn and it is the work of recovery to learn them through trial and error. We then develop ways to make good choices, assert and express ourselves which begin to feel more lively and expanding than does bingeing on sweets.

It takes working on ourselves to find these new and sweeter freedoms, but it is worth it. It is worth to be able to say, I used to binge on sweets to feel free inside. I don't blame myself, I needed to then. I now have healthier ways to feel free and I feel very good about my progress.

Copyright 2011 by Jane Rachel Kaplan. Published at www.optimaleating.com.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Jane Rachel Kaplan, Ph.D. All rights reserved.


Dr. Jane Kaplan Ph.D., Psychologist Provides Eating Disorders Therapy in the SF East Bay area, near Berkeley, Albany. Weight Management Coaching, Psychology of Nutrition and Healthy Eating Counseling, Individual, Group and Family Therapy for Anxiety and Depression.