Variability in self-esteem, moods, shame, and guilt was explored in a sample of 78 women (37 who binge and 41 who do not binge) attending a large university. Results indicated that women who binge reported significantly greater fluctuations than women who do not binge in state self-esteem, negative affect, shame, and guilt. In addition, contrary to the hypotheses, self-esteem and positive affect increased prior to all eating episodes for women, including binge episodes for women who binge. Women who binge also reported lower levels of state self-esteem and positive affect, and higher levels of shame and guilt prior to binges than controls prior to their eating episodes. Theoretical implications of the differential role of shame and guilt are considered. In addition, results are discussed in terms of support for a self-nurturance explanation of binge eating in nonclinical samples of women.