Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Topic: The Dreaded Binge

I know, two days of posts in a row. Yea, weird.  I'm super busy with work and life but what's in my head has to come out or I won't be able to sleep or focus.  I was kept awake last night writing this in my head.

As part of my morning routine I read my dear friend Bebe's blog.  Yesterday she posted about binge eating and it really affected me.  (Please read here before continuing. Okay? Ready? Good.)

Binge eating is a real thing. A hard thing. And something that I struggle with to this very day.  And I imagine I always will.  For those of you who have never battled their weight you won't understand this struggle. It's like trying to understand the emotions of a recovering meth addict if you've never been one. You just can't.  But let me try to explain it.

Binge eating isn't what a lot of society thinks it is. It's not that meal where you decided to have a bacon cheeseburger instead of the salad you had planned to order at a restaurant. Nope, that's a splurge or an indulgence. A binge is where you're not hungry but you have an overwhelming urge to eat all the food. Literally all the food.  And then when you run out of food you go find more food to eat. And when it's over and you're surrounded by food wrappers and you're still not full but overflowing with guilt desperately trying to hide the evidence of what just happened so you don't have to admit to yourself or anyone else that you just at 3,000 calories in under an hour. THAT my friends is a binge. 

My last binge was a week ago. I got home from work, figured out what I was making for dinner. Then grabbed a bag of chips & a jar of salsa from the fridge. When the chips were gone I finished the salsa with crackers. When the salsa was gone I finished the crackers with a jar of pimento cheese. Then I needed something sweet so I ate some chocolate covered graham crackers and gummy bears. Then I needed salt again so I ate some salted peanuts. And then I looked at the clock, realized it was time to start dinner, hid the empty packages, made dinner, and ate it like nothing had happened an hour before.

It's the oddest feeling to need food for no other reason but to satisfy some deep random urge to eat. Most times I have no idea why I binge. Other times I do. A boredom binge or an emotional binge? Is it self sabotage? I love my body and feel great so I must eat all the food and have a reason to hate myself because I don't deserve to be happy?

I hear people say that to stop binging you just keep healthy food in the house so at least you'll binge on good food. And I have even gone as far as locking up the junk food in the house to prevent myself from getting into it when the urge hits. Yea, those things don't work. If there is food I don't have access to, I just find other food. Regardless of whether it's "healthy" food or "junk" food, it's still mass quantities consumed quickly. 

How does one prevent this? How does one stop it? I know when I'm binging. And in the moment, I'm completely unable to stop. The only possible solution I can think of that would stop a binge is to never leave me alone. I don't binge in front of people. It's embarrassing.

I think the only reasonable and rational solution to binge eating is to accept it and move on. If every other aspect of my diet is spot on. If I focus on being healthy the rest of the time, maybe, just maybe, my binge habits won't have a negative affect on my weight.  So far, it's going great.  I can be better at it though. Going out for a run or hitting the elliptical after an epic binge might counteract some of the damage. But in the moment, I'm mentally not in the place for that activity.  Plus, with a belly full of junk that's just asking for a barf-fest.

As Bebe says "One day at a time.  That’s all I can do.  So that is all I will do."


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