Thursday, December 27, 2012
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but years ago I was diagnosed with binge eating disorder. Before that, in my teens, I used to be bulimic. In the process of trying to recover from the binge-purge cycle, I managed to stop throwing up after a binge but I couldn't get my binging under control no matter how hard I tried. I gained A LOT of weight because of that.
Needless to say, my relationship with food has always been problematic. I love food. I'm obsessed with food. Even as a child my thoughts were often centered around eating and most of my childhood memories have something to do with food. I was a thin child and remained normal weight until I was about 16 years old. That's when my binges started and could last for days. I messed up my metabolism, my body and my mind in the process. For years, I was depressed and I hated myself every single day. I couldn't bear to look in the mirror when all I could see was myself getting fatter even though I was desperately wanting to be thin. Those were dark times. I cried myself to sleep and didn't leave my room for days. I remember the dreadful feeling when I realized all my clothes were getting too small for me to wear. My parents were worried sick and I felt like I was letting everyone down. I was feeling hopeless and so out of control. Back then, and even way before that, I was never normal about food. And now, after years of struggling to find balance and peace, I still find myself haunted by the same old ghosts.
Today I got the urge to binge. This is difficult to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it first hand, but I'll try. All I could think about was eating an entire box of chocolate at one sitting. The urge was so strong that it almost felt like a physical pain of sorts, kind of like hunger but a lot stronger. I have been allowing myself a few pieces of chocolate every day so I know it's not because I've been depriving myself or anything like that. I also know that if I had not allowed myself to have those small daily chocolate treats, it could have been a lot worse. But when I got that feeling, all I wanted to do was eat, eat, eat and eat. I wanted to keep on eating until I could not eat one more bite. It's crazy how it can happen just like that. When it gets to the point where all I want to do is binge, nothing really seems to help. Having a small portion of the food you're craving doesn't really help because you want to eat LOTS AND LOTS of it. I did however eat a small portion of chocolate and I tracked it as well. The only thing to do is to wait it out. You have to distract yourself, bribe yourself, write it all down, do something - anything - instead of the one thing you want to do: eat.
I really don't know what brought this on. I have been doing really well. I've been eating regularly, I haven't deprived myself, I've been getting enough calories, and nothing upsetting has happened. Maybe it's just because it's been about a month since my last 'binge' and now I'm being tested. All I know is that I was able to fight back and I'm grateful I now have the tools that make it a lot easier for me (SparkPeople, you guys, the nutrition tracker...).
It's such a scary, powerful thing. Sometimes it happens because you're stressed, bored, anxious or something else is going on in your life that is triggering the need to binge. But sometimes there is no obvious trigger, it just happens. Like today. I'm glad I was able to fight back today and I pray I will have the strength to avoid it in the future as well. I ended up consuming about 1,500 calories today which I am so, so, so very proud of.
I joined the SparkTeam called Living Binge Free today. I really hope I'll find the support and courage I need to be able to live my life binge free in 2013.