Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Don't Want to be Ruled by my Food

I suffer from binge eating disorder. Have I ever mentioned that? I haven't gone back to check, but I rather doubt it. I've only ever told a few people in my life, when I decided to seek treatment. I never fully beat it, though, as my time was cut short by summer vacation, and I just never went back.

Take right now, for instance. You know how all of those "stop emotional eating" articles say that cravings go away after 10-20 minutes? I've been battling an insane craving for chips and chocolate (pretty much my go-to binge for several years now, though certainly not the only one) for hours now. Not because I keep myself from having grease or chocolate- I caved an ordered a pizza last night, and pretty much live on Nutella. And I'm actually doing better on social/emotional fronts, so it's not entirely emotional eating, either. I think a lot of it has to do with my pending vacation to Greece, where I know I will be sitting around in a bikini. Just another overweight American wearing far less than they should in Europe. Oh joy. Focusing on the fact that I am overweight just tends to lead to behaviors that continue to make/keep me overweight.

With this particular binge, I can tell that one of two things is going to happen: I'm going to hold out until the stores close (and they close early in this country), and feel a little bit virtuous but mainly denied, or I'm going to give in shortly and go down to the store and stock up. This will lead to elation, guilt, shame, feelings of being gross, feelings of pleasure, happiness that I indulged myself, and disgust that I gave in and am once again stuffing my face.

I have to say, the later is sounding more and more like the possibility. I'm getting really cranky.

I really hate this. I am a smart person. With drinking, smoking, it is so easy not to start. And whenever I think of someone who is hooked on drugs or hooked on anything else like that, I think, why don't they just go cold turkey? Why don't they just... not go for the bad stuff anymore? Yes, there will be some cravings, but you know it is killing you/illegal/what not, so just... don't!

Isn't that hypocritical of me? Recent studies are showing that binge foods, particularly sugar, actually have the same addictive qualities as cocaine. And just not going for it? Not so much with the actually happening in my life!

There is something to be said for overall diet with regard to bingeing as well. [P.S. I can already tell I'm going to go get the chips. My heart rate is actually speeding up because the stores close in 45 minutes and every minute I spend on this blog post is getting me closer and closer to missing out on the stupid chips] When I'm eating healthier overall, I binge less. It doesn't cut it out, but it's there. When I'm living on whole grains and hummus and chia and beans and the like, I get really caught up mentally in eating super well, and binges happen with a startlingly lower frequency. They still definitely happen, but it at least gives me hope that when I get back into treatment in the fall (which I finally accepted that I really need to do just a week or so ago), I'll be able to sort of work off of that. If I can get to a place where I am bingeing less, maybe it will be easier to distinguish the exact cause of the bingeing, since it won't be muddled with mere habit and general poor eating habits.

And you want to know the weird part? When I'm not on a binge, I actually naturally feel full at small portions. People always think I don't like my food, when in reality, I have eaten to the point of fullness. Maybe it's just my body compensating, I don't know. It's not a mental thing, where I'm consciously trying to diet the rest of the time to compensate.

Who knows.

*insert swear word of choice*. I'm off to the store.

P.S. Could someone get on the food authority people to please come up with a better name than Binge Eating Disorder? It makes it sound like it's just a lack of willpower, and a gross one at that, rather than an actual disorder. And trust me, people, it is an eating disorder.

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