For when you’re SO DONE with the binge
RELEASE THE OBSESSION
one urge at a time.
There’s no shame here
You’ve had enough of that—from bingeing on cookies in the office bathroom so it looked like you were “just using the ladies’ room” to avoiding get-togethers “just until I lose those extra pounds.” Wherever you are on your journey, I’ve been there and I’ll help you stop these patterns you’ve wanted to be rid of for years.
I’ll hold the space as you . . .
LEARN WHY YOU BINGE
The urge to binge comes from a primitive part of the brain that runs on autopilot. The urge is not you. It’s just a neurological signal that fires because it’s been trained to do so. Guess what? You can untrain it.
LEARN HOW TO STOP
You’re not flawed. And thanks to neuroplasticity, you can teach your brain to stop reacting to a wiring glitch and start learning a new habit. You can learn to let the urges simply pass. How powerful is that?
TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE
With the ability to diffuse urges, you’ll live binge free in a world addicted to excessive eating and to numbing life with food. Imagine life without bingeing. You’ll show up and be all of who you are. Without apology.
I was a secret binge eater for more than 30 years. At times, I was up to 90 pounds overweight. I used every dollar I had and borrowed every penny I could to get better. I tried every conceivable treatment and have scars to prove it. Literally. (No. The lap band didn’t do the trick.) I begged my dentist to wire my mouth shut. (Yes. I really did that.) I even went back to university to try to figure it out—only to learn that for a substantial number of people, binge eating does not resolve with first-line treatment. Though I’d worked with cognitive therapists who helped me tremendously, I was still one of those people.
In a crisis, I reached out to a life coach. It was a game-changing decision.
Life coaching taught me that I had more power than I knew—and not the teeth-gritted, eyes-squeezed-shut willpower kind of power (though I had that too and had tried to rely on that for many years). My binges ended. Now I help people like you end yours.
TRAINING & CERTIFICATIONS
I had to share what I’d learned. I took the training my coach had taken. I’m a certified life and weight coach going on advanced-level master coach. I bring to my practice decades of work on healing from binge eating, and a track record in helping people end emotional eating. I know the anguish, the obsession, the desperation, the panic, the passionate search for answers. I know the soul’s dream of finding a way out.
Eating can be joyful and nourishing. It’s possible for you. For me. For everyone.
“Martha is a damn good coach—one of the best to ever come through The Life Coach School.”
— BROOKE CASTILLO
MASTER INSTRUCTOR & CO-FOUNDER, THE LIFE COACH SCHOOL
I’ve had the privilege of working with Martha as a weight coach for two months. She gets right down to work sleuthing out areas to uncover the ‘A-HAs.’ We certainly get so much work done in our one-hour appointment. I’ve worked with one other coach and several counselors and I’ve had the most ‘A-HAs’ with Martha in the shortest amount of time. Plus, she’s delightful!
— Jackie C
Martha coached me when I thought the world was against me, and I wanted to vanish into a room and cry for days. Her calm and caring demeanor provided me with coaching that was compassionate and insightful. But, what I liked best was that she made me see I had an option of how to feel. Martha showed me how much power I had to deal with the situation. I highly recommend working with Martha on any difficulty you face.
— Rebecca G
Martha is an exceptional coach. Don’t let her apparent quietness fool you. She brought a permanent positive change in my life. I didn’t even realize I was giving up on a project that I’d invested almost five years of my life in but hadn’t yet achieved an expected result. She listened quietly—without judgement—mirroring back my own thoughts to me in a way that brought a distinct awareness. I made a tiny tweak and now I’m finally reaping the benefit of my hard work and making a positive impact in my life and in my family. It came down to the insight Martha’s inquiry brought. Her help has been HUGE!!
— Hema H
What is binge eating disorder?
In May 2013, binge eating disorder was included as an official diagnosis in the DSM-5 (APA, 2013)—that’s the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
According to the DSM-5, when a person meets the criteria for binge eating disorder, they experience recurring episodes of binging. A binge episode is characterized by two things. First, a person eats more food than would be considered normal in a similar situation and in the same amount of time. (Some binges can last for hours.) Second, a person feels a loss of control over the quantity or kind of food being eaten.
Bingeing episodes are associated with at least three of five behavioural indicators:
- eating past the point of feeling comfortably full
- eating large amounts when not hungry
- eating unusually fast
- eating by oneself to avoid embarrassment
- feeling shame, depression, or guilt following a binge eating episode.
A person experiences clear distress about binge eating, and the binges occur at least once weekly for three months. A person with binge eating disorder doesn’t try to make up for the bingeing with intentional vomiting, excessive use of laxatives, or excessive exercise; these are called compensatory behaviours and they define bulimia nervosa (Herpetz et al., 2011; Tanofsky-Kraff et al., 2013). Binge eating disorder happens outside of episodes of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.
Herpetz, S., Hagenah, U., Vocks, S., von Wietersheim, J., Cuntz, U., Zeeck, A., et al. (2011). The diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. Deutsches Arzteblatt International, 108(40), 678–685. doi:10.3238.arztebl.2011.0678
Tanofsky-Kraff, M., Bulik, C. M., Marcus, M. D., Striegel, R. H., Wilfley, D. E., Wonderlich, S. A., et al. (2013). Binge eating disorder: The next generation of research. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 46, 193–207. doi:10.1002/eat.22089
How prevalent is binge eating disorder?
Binge eating disorder is the most prevalent of the eating disorders. Researchers estimate that 3.5% of women and 2.0% of men will develop binge eating disorder in their lifetime (Hudson et al., 2007).
Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope Jr., H. G., & Kessler, R. C. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3), 348–358. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.03.040
What options are available for binge eating disorder?
Coaching isn’t the only approach to ending binge eating. Other options include cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, mindfulness eating awareness therapy, and self-help. There is strong empirical support for cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) as the first-line treatment for binge eating disorder (White & Grilo, 2013).
I tried CBT with a cognitive psychologist who was an eating disorder expert and it helped me a lot. But it didn’t completely resolve my binges. I binged less often and on less food for sure, but I still binged and still felt extreme distress and lack of control about my eating. And I’m not alone. Researchers (e.g., Wilson & Grilo, 2007) have puzzled over why some interventions, like CBT, that are known to be effective for binge eating disorder still fail to help many people fully or sometimes even partially recover.
White, M. A., & Grilo, C. M. (2013). Bupropion for overweight women with binge-eating disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74(4), 400–406. doi:10.4088/JCP.12m08071
Wilson, G. T., Grilo, C. M., & Vitousek, K. M. (2007). Psychological treatment of eating disorders. American Psychologist, 62(3), 199–216. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.62.3.199
When might coaching be appropriate for binge eating?
Binge eating is no joke. So explore all your options. If you’re generally functioning well in your life and you want to try a non-clinical approach, coaching might be perfect for you. Or, maybe it would be helpful to work with a coach while you’re in another form of treatment. For example, coaching can be helpful if:
- you’re on a waiting list to get into a treatment program and could use some support while you wait
- you want additional support as you go through another program
- you’ve completed another program and want follow up
- you don’t have access to other programs in your area.
It’s up to you. Trust yourself and see what works best for you.
Can men sign up at Holding the Space?
Absolutely, men are welcome. (Hopefully the lotus flowers weren’t over-the-top.) Up to 40% of those with binge eating disorder in the US are men (NEDA, n.d.). Men face societal pressures to conform to stereotypical ideals of male bodies, just as women experience pressure to conform to stereotypical ideals of female bodies.
National Eating Disorders Association. (n.d.). Binge Eating Disorder in Males. Retrieved from https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder-males
Everyone deserves to live fully.
When you invest in your life through your work with me, you’ll also bring nourishment to people who can’t afford it. Because with every hour of coaching you purchase, a portion of revenue helps to create sustainable and accessible food systems.