I still make myself laugh sometimes. I really thought when I started this healthy lifestyle journey that I would reach an ‘end.’ That some of the ‘bad’ things would disappear and no longer be an issue.
Joke’s on me.
A weight on the scale? Permanently changed/banished behaviors? Some sort of finish line?
I really had no idea what I thought would be the ‘end’, but I was so sure there was one. I thought that once I got healthy, got to a normal weight that some of these problems would simply just disappear.
An old friend came to visit two weeks ago.
And that’s totally a euphemism for ‘something shitty that I was really, fervently hoping I had killed/abolished/changed/was going to stay the HELL GONE FOREVER just knocked me on my ass… ‘
My old friend showed up again.
was am a binge eater.
I always dressed that up, when I had to say anything at all, and said I was a compulsive overeater. Which is true — that’s a component of the problem I battle.
Overeating can be sporadic, no guilt/shame, just a bad habit. An overly full belly from time to time
Binge eating is a whole different animal.
Binge eating disorder (BED). “BED is a medical condition, and it’s the most common eating disorder in the United States. People with BED regularly eat large amounts of food while experiencing a sense of loss of control over the eating episode. They often feel guilt or shame after eating. Characterized by eating when not physically hungry.’
Hunger has NOTHING to do with it. Nothing.
Binge eating sucks. Big time.
There I said it.
For me a binge gets started when I’m sad, not being active and things feel increasingly out of control. The more of that toxic combination there is in my life, the more I lean toward food for gaining that control, that ‘love’, that comfort…
I know binge eating is an issue for people — one we do NOT talk about. Yet BED is the most common eating disorder in the US. ( Healthline). I know from conversations, texts, emails, FB messages that this is not something I’m suffering with alone. There’s a bunch of you out there suffering quietly. Miserably.
Last big binge for me was before my mom died. Over 8 years ago. 2009. I’ve done some overeating in that time since, for sure. But not a planned, purposeful binge.
I thought I’d ‘cured’ binge eating. Or had it buried deep and totally under control.
Until 2 weeks ago.
This binge caught me totally by surprise and none of my new, healthy, hard-fought habits were worthy of stopping it.
It scared the shit out of me. And I couldn’t stop it.
The binge lasted 4 days.
No one knew I was doing it. When I finally reached out for help the friend I told said ‘I didn’t know you were binging’… To which my reply was ‘Because I didn’t want you to know. I’m damn good at this shit. Damn good. If I didn’t want you to know, you would never know. But I need you to know now and I need help.’
I can tell you that as far as binging goes — I had not lost any of my skills… This episode was methodical, anticipated, carefully planned, enjoyed, deeply hidden, devastatingly successful. I was thrilled to be doing it. Mortified when I was in the midst of it. Sad and broken and totally beaten down after the first bite.
I reached out for help at day 4.
I quickly got appropriate help. I got support. I was reminded that I am loved.
I was also harshly reminded that this is a cunning foe that I have to keep working to learn and understand.
So what was the binge?
Trail mix. Freaking Costco trail mix. I bought 4 bags. They each weigh 4 pounds. I paid cash. I ate a bag a day for 4 days. I ate it all day long. Quietly, a serving at a time. Hidden away and portioned out so no one would suspect or question or figure out what was going on.
Your mind is trying to do the math. I’ll save you the effort… Each bag was 36 servings with 9,600 calories per bag. 38,400 calories, 3,360 grams of carbs over 4 days. (In my healthy eating ‘norm’ I eat about 1,500 cals, and limit carbs to 90 grams per day…)
Yeah. The scope of this binge is even more horrifying when you put all the numbers on paper.
And I was also eating ‘regular’ meals so that no one would catch on to my binge eating.
And entire bag a day, for four days.
I was somehow able to stop the binge, even though I still felt totally out of control and sad and frantic. I reached out, which goes totally against ALL instincts in a binge eating haze. And then I began to battle the shame and guilt and failure that comes on the heels of losing total control over food. The shame and guilt of hiding my binge. Feeling isolated and alone and terrified I would be found out. Or that it wouldn’t stop. Or that all of my hard work to learn to run and reverse T2 diabetes and lose weight would be GONE because I could not/WOULD NOT stop eating.
This is an old friend I would be happy to never, ever see again.
I simply have to understand that s/he may show up again at any time for the rest of my life.