Dear Diary - Thoughts of a Binge Eater

Yet again, I’d done it. 

I’d binged.

What was the matter with me?

I’m so weak.

With no self control.

Or willpower.

I’m useless.




How can I face people I saw last week celebrating the success of losing weight and being thin when today I weigh more than I did before I started?

I’d embarked on a cleanse which was being ran by the women whose bootcamp classes I went along to.

With their support, the information folder AND being able to attend extra bootcamps, there was no reason why this wasn’t going to be successful.

It was great to be surrounded by like minded women all wanting to lose weight, tone up and be happy.

This was going to be the one. I could feel it deep inside.

I followed the cleanse to the letter and truly, from the bottom of my heart, I mean - TO. THE. LETTER.


I wasn’t allowed sugar, carbs, dairy or alcohol.

Nor was I allowed fruit until a certain stage in the cleanse.

The same with root vegetables.


The list of foods allowed was pretty minimal.


For me, it didn’t matter.

What did matter - I’d be thin at the end of it.

Thoughts when starting a diet ie happy, confident, be thin

I loved the feeling of starting a new diet or cleanse.

The anticipation of the weight falling off and being so happy in my new, slim body.

Life would be so much happier and better when I was thin. I was excited.


I’d do loads more with my boys because I wouldn’t be carrying around all that extra chub.

We’d go swimming and the beach more because I’d feel confident in my costume.

I’d get the family photoshoot organised because I would feel proud of how thin I am.

I’d go shopping for some smaller sized clothes.

I’d go out with friends and not feel like the “fat friend”.


I could hardly contain myself for the changes that were coming my way.

Photo of Arlene Cullens

Hi!  I'm Arlene Cullens

Loving life in Scotland with my husband and boys.

I love walking in nature beside the sea or river, board games with my boys, building lego, reading and jigsaws!

My mission is to empower at least 1,000 women to break free from the cycle of binge and emotional eating while taking their power back around food.

Free Free Resource - Bin Bingeing in 3 Steps

In this free resource, I'll show you 3 Steps to Bin Bingeing that will transform your relationship with food. 

This is for motivated, entrepreneurial woman who are ready to take action now to live a life 100% in control of food.

CLICK on the resource above

Photo of Arlene Cullens

The days flowed by, I kept focussed and before I knew it, the cleanse was finished. Support ended. Extra bootcamps stopped.

In total I’d lost just over 16lbs in 4 weeks.

I was on cloud 9.

I felt fabulous.

I could feel the happiness radiate from me.

I’d already decided that I’d keep it going until I’d lost 2 stone in total. I could do this. I was committed. I would be thin and happy.

Picture of birthday cake and balloon

That weekend, my son celebrated his 6th birthday - a Scooby Doo party. 

It was being held in the communal hall in our apartment building. 

I prepared lots of fun games, prizes, photo booth and ordered in pizza. 

I felt brilliant in my maxi dress and received lots of compliments on how great I looked having lost weight. 

Mid afternoon, when the party finished, I got back upstairs to our apartment to put away things. I suddenly felt starving and realised I’d not eaten all day. I opened the fridge to grab something. The only food that I was allowed to eat was lettuce and cucumber. 

I’d filled the fridge with the party food so there had been no room for my allowed foods. 

Panic filled me, I had failed to plan for myself. I was so hungry and I started stressing about what I was going to eat because everywhere I looked, there was nothing that was on the cleanse. 

Then, I saw the left over pizza. 

Ok, I thought, 1 slice to take the edge of the hunger to be able to think more clearly and make a good decision on what to eat. 

I bit into the pizza and OMG it was amazing. 

I’d forgotten how good pizza tasted. 

I carried on tidying up but my focus was on pizza. 

It was shouting at me to eat it. Teasing me. 

A second slice disappeared then another until I’d eaten 5 slices. 

My stomach was so full. Why had I eaten to the point of feeling sick? I couldn’t figure it out. I was confused. 

I had been so committed the previous 4 weeks of following the cleanse plan, restricting food types and depriving myself of the foods I really loved.

A short time later, my husband came up with our boys. 

The birthday boy asked for some cake so I cut some slices. 

As I licked some butter icing off my finger, 2 big slices disappeared.

OMG what just happened!

I kept reassuring myself that I’d get to the supermarket in the morning and restock the fridge with foods I was allowed.

I couldn’t understand what I’d done. 

It was like an out of body experience watching myself eating all that food.

I went to bed that night feeling a failure, shameful, anxious, bloated and very down.

The next morning, at the supermarket I felt sick at the thought of having to put the foods I’d been eating for the past 4 weeks in my mouth. I just couldn’t face any if it.

Instead, I opted for delicious smelling fresh baked bread, brie and ham. I told myself I wasn’t going to the sweet or crisp aisle but there I was putting my favourites into the basket in generous quantities.

As soon as I got home, the crisps were open as I was slicing the bread and making a sandwich. I had 2 rounds of sandwiches that lunchtime as well as more crisps, a full family sized bag, and 3 bars of chocolate. Again, I was stuffed.

I felt possessed. Like I couldn’t control what I was doing. Not being able to stop eating.

I held so much shame for the food I was cramming into my body and not being able to stop.

This binge episode lasted for 18 days.

18 days waking up promising myself I’d only eat certain foods to get back on track. Every day it would be broken by lunchtime. I’d berate myself for failing, again.

18 days of secret eating. I was too embarrassed for anyone to know.

18 days internally putting myself down for lack of willpower, being able to stick to the cleanse and not getting back on track.

18 days criticising my body for being fat, wobbly, imperfect and useless.

18 days putting all the weight on I’d lost over the 4 week cleanse and some more to add to insult.

My self worth, confidence and positivity faded as each day passed by.

I was so unhappy, I was grumpy, food consumed every thought.

I’d failed at that cleanse, so I started researching other diets and plans until ….

Just like a light switch was turned on, I was back in the game.

Starting a new diet on Sun (we lived in Dubai at the time).


The Binge / Diet Cycle Diagram

I have no idea how many times this happened to me in my life. Many, many times.

What I hadn’t realised at the time, I was on the hamster wheel that is the Binge Cycle.

When I started my own journey to ditch dieting and bin bingeing, I realised it was all about restriction, deprivation and permission.

When I stopped restricting and depriving myself and giving myself full permission to eat any food types, I stopped bingeing.

It was a huge lightbulb moment, and it felt quite magical.

I often wondered why I hadn’t seen the pattern over the many years.

I now know I was so deep into dieting, which led to the bingeing, I would never have made the full connection.

Even if I had made a connection, I wouldn’t have known what to do to stop it.


I’m so grateful and thankful to be free from dieting and bingeing.  

You can't image how much brain space has been freed up.  I've stopped being mean and hurtful to myself which has allowed my confidence and self belief to grow to enable me to train as a coach and set up Arlene Cullens Coaching. 

5 years ago I couldn't have done this even though I desperately wanted to, and I tried to, because I didn't believe I was capable or worthy of being successful.


Why don't you come and be one of the 1,000 women I'm dedicated to helping break free from the binge cycle?

If my story resonates with you and you’d like to know more about me and what I do, you'll find me here:-


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