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Yessica Lee

My Journey of Overcoming Binge Eating

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bryn Mawr chapter.

My first semester at Bryn Mawr was hectic. For no reason, or for any reason, I was stressed. The new environment was overwhelming, and I turned to food to feel better, only to feel worse by the end of the day. Going to the gym was a chore and a punishment to get rid of my guilt for having an unhealthy lifestyle. This routine went on for the entire fall semester of my freshman year.

Then, winter break came. Being out of school with much more time to reflect on myself, I realized how unsatisfied I was with my life. Although I was still binge eating, I didn’t even get much instant gratification out of eating, either. It had just become my habit. So I promised myself to reflect on my diet more honestly, then slowly improve my unhealthy relationship with food. 

First, I simply wrote down what I ate every day. Before, I was dishonest to myself about my food intake. Whenever I would overeat, I told myself “it’s fine”, yet felt so guilty by the end of the day because I was extremely bloated. Food journaling helped this unconscious diet. After I started to journal, I was much more aware and was able to adjust my meals to a better portion and better macronutrients. Food is so important. It not only gives energy to our body to function, but it also affects our hormones. Reflecting on what I eat, how much I eat, and how I feel by the end of the day has helped dramatically in improving my unconscious binge eating.

Also, slowly eating less processed food and transitioning to natural food helped my overeating. I know it sounds hard, and I’m not gonna lie, it was so challenging! But that’s why I didn’t drastically stop eating processed, salty and sugary food. When I tried to cut it out of my diet entirely, I found myself overeating the next few days out of more stress and more hunger for those foods. Instead, I ate alternatives to unhealthier meals. Rather than buying sugary fruit juice, I made my own smoothie with veggies and fruits of my choice. I still eat chips and ice cream, but I eat much less often and in much smaller portions.

Ultimately, my journey has more to do with being comfortable with my eating habits than anything else. When I used to binge eat, I wanted to hide what I ate and how much I ate from others because I was so ashamed. Now, I am aware of my diet and am working slowly to eat healthier, so my shame has gone away. My body is fueled by a good balance of healthy meals and comfort food. 

Although I still slip up sometimes, binge eating is not my habit anymore. I’m proud of how comfortable I am with eating. I hope many of you all can build healthy relationships with food instead of feeling guilty or ashamed of what you eat.

Yeri Lee

Bryn Mawr '23

I'm an international student studying philosophy and sociology from Korea at Bryn Mawr College. I listen to K-hiphop the most (but also enjoy Frank Sinatra, Queen, etc). Talk to me all day about current events, philosophy, and history!