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Binge Eating Disorder: A Christian Counseling Approach to Care

It is unquestionable that binge eating and obesity have a devastating impact on an individual’s life (Darby et al, 2009). The decreased quality of life makes those with BED a burden not only to themselves, but to those around them.

Scripture tells us that God will give us the strength to overcome binge eating.  1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God is faithful and we will not be tempted beyond our abilities.

Next the Bible tells us that we are not to worry about anything, including what we will eat or drink.  In Matthew 6:25 and Luke 12:22, Christ says that we are not to be anxious about our bodies.  We are more than merely our clothing or food, and God will provide our every need.  Instead, as Romans 12:1 states, we are to trust God and present our bodies as living sacrifices.

Finally, binge eaters must see that God does not look at physical appearance.  Instead, he looks at the heart of every individual.  1 Samuel 16:7 tells the binge eater that God does not look at people in the same way that people look at people.  God focuses on the heart, not on outward appearance.  Psalm 139 tells us that we are made uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully by God.

Homework Assignments

Those who suffer from BED should be encouraged to meditate and memorize Scripture in order to replace distorted thoughts with biblical thoughts.  Appropriate passages that teach Godly attitudes about food and body image should be assigned.  Suggested passages are Romans 8:28-29, Psalm 139 and Matthew 6 (Fitzpatrick & Cornish, 1997, p 406).

A food journal should be kept so that the binge eater can see how much food she is putting into her body at any given time.  Times of temptation should be noted in order to help the binge eater determine any patterns or situations in which she is particularly vulnerable.

Daily activity or exercise should be assigned, as it is part of a healthy lifestyle and it also promotes healthy weight loss.  This is to be done in accordance with the individual’s ability (Fitzpatrick & Cornish, 1997, p 406.)

Finally, some cognitive behavioral therapy homework assignments may also be helpful.  The dysfunctional thought record (DTR) is often helpful in tracking negative and distorted thoughts.

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