37: Binge Eating Disorder: Shifting Your Perspective with Dr. Key

Oct 30, 2023

This week I’m covering a sensitive topic that millions struggle with, but not many are willing to talk about. This condition is shrouded in stigma and shame, which is why I felt it was particularly important to have an open and candid discussion about it on the podcast. This week I have Dr. Siobhan Key with me to have an honest and enlightening conversation about binge eating disorder (BED).


I’m so grateful to have had Dr. Key on the podcast with me this week, as she was able to share some of her personal story with me, and how that’s shaped her philosophy and practice as an obesity medicine physician, certified weight loss coach, and emotional binge eating expert.


Binge eating and restriction are often accompanied by deep feelings of shame and guilt, and while those emotions are understandable, they can be very isolating and aren’t an accurate reflection of what the disorder actually is. Binge eating is characterized by sessions of extreme overeating which are often followed by periods of intense restriction. This yo-yo pattern is emotionally tumultuous and can wreak havoc on both physical and emotional health. The cycle can be broken though, and the first step to recovery is understanding. 


Dr. Key describes binge eating as a coping mechanism for mental distress. It’s the brain’s reaction to intense negative feelings, and defining it in this light can help relieve the shame that often plagues the one suffering. Emotional binge eating is a trauma response, and is not a reflection of you as a person. Working to address the root of the problem and exploring the events and emotions surrounding a binge can be a powerful tool in recovery. 


So how do you even begin to explore the root cause of that binging response? Talking to someone about it is a huge step in the right direction; it reframes your thinking in an empowering way that can be very difficult to do on your own, and puts you back in a position of control over the disorder. Getting another perspective, especially that of a physician or expert, pulls you out of your head and emotions, and allows you to see what’s going on in an objective way. 


It’s also important to know that you have options, and while it may take some time to find resources and tools that support you in the best way possible, it’s worth it. Exploring your options when it comes to physicians and being open to discovering the best road to recovery for you is important, and can make all the difference on your journey. 


If you struggle with binge eating disorder, tell your doctor or visit NEDA for more information and resources.

Connect with Dr. Key

 Thriving As A Physician Podcast

Weight Solutions for Physicians website