DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel as though I am developing an unhealthy relationship with food. I have found myself binge-eating throughout the day, when I normally would not do this. I eat two meals a day, lunch around noon and dinner at 6, but I have never had a hunger issue. Now, I find myself searching for cookies or fruit snacks at random hours, and I just can't bring myself to stop. I don't want to go as far as to say I have a binge-eating problem because this is fairly recent, yet I would like to look into this somehow. Should I consult a therapist or my primary care doctor? I don't want to diagnose myself, but I have never felt these urges before, and I want to get myself under control. -- Bingeing, Detroit
DEAR BINGEING: What's key here is that you believe you are bingeing. That means you should check it out. Start by making an appointment with your internist, preferably a doctor who knows you well. Prepare for your appointment by paying attention to what's going on in your life. Are you under extra stress? What, if anything, is bothering you? Write anything that comes to mind in a journal so that you can keep track. Notice when you are eating. That you do not eat breakfast may be an issue, as many health professionals believe that breaking your fast in the morning is key to a healthy metabolism. Take your research about your eating habits to your doctor, and learn some next steps from there.