Subjective definitions of binging

The word binge is brought up for food intake that isn’t even a binge and this can be problematic.

We just need to look at the definition of what a binge is, not even taking into consideration how it’s classified in a eating disorder context:

1.) (Noun) A short period devoted to indulging in an activity to excess, especially drinking or eating. 

2.) (Verb) Indulge in an activity to excess. 

The crucial term there seems to be excess. Let’s go ahead and define that with the dictionary:

1.) An amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable. 

2.) Lack of moderation in an activity. 

The important words here are “more than necessary, permitted, or desirable” and “lack of moderation.”

Let’s say someone ate three Oreos and calls that a binge. A serving size of Oreos according to the company is three oreos. So even if someone were to argue that the person in question felt they ate more than was necessary or desirable, or that it was “lack of moderation” for them because their usual diet is “eating next to nothing,” eating three Oreos is well below eating in excess. In fact, the person could have had another five Oreos before “moderation” could be called into question.

What is never acknowledged is that although binging is “subjective,” the definition of what binging is, both in the usual dictionary and in the context of eating disorders and food addiction, you aren’t comparing your “binge” intake to your “normal” intake. You are comparing it to what a normal, healthy human being would be doing. So although eating three or five Oreos is abnormal to you, it’s normal for the average human being, and therefore, it does not technically fall under a “binge.” 

When I first attempted self-recovery, I easily polished off 2500-3000 calories a day, and that didn’t, in any way, fall under a binge because although it was in “excess” to what I was used to, it would not be in excess to what a non-eating disordered human being would eat on a day to day basis.

It’s not about how much you think you overrate, it’s about how much you ate in comparison to how much a non-eating disordered person would eat in the same situation. We need to remember, eating four fun-sized mars bars or five grapes or five Oreos or one donut does not, in any way, amount to a binge episode — and most of all, that we shouldn’t feel guilty for fuelling our bodies.

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