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Living binge free (thoughts about Binge Eating Disorder)

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.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
LYNSEY723 1/2/2013 12:57PM

    I'm glad you got through the urge to binge without doing so! I understand the feeling and it is great that you were able to push past it! You are doing so great!

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JADOMB 12/28/2012 5:22PM

    You are right, some of us are fortunate that we don't have that weakness or illness. But so many of us also have had other weaknesses or illnesses that we have had to battle. I'm not even sure if anyone has escaped these human weaknesses throughout their lives. Many of the ones that say they don't, probably are just in denial about something they do have issues with.

The thing is, that no matter what one has to overcome, it never fully leaves them. So their battle is never over with, it is only controlled. You have done very well in fighting your demons and I have faith in you that you will continue winning. I am very proud of your honesty and your accomplishments. May God continue to help you in your times of needs.

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MOVES327 12/28/2012 2:22PM

    Your willingness to share so much about your journey on this blog is very inspiring. Thank you for this. emoticon

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IUHRYTR 12/27/2012 11:11PM

    Annie, I wish I could give you a big hug for being strong today. That is how positive responses become habits, by one daily victory at a time. I'm so happy for you and I know you are proud of yourself. We are. -- Lou

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ALLIE5041 12/27/2012 10:55PM

    Congratulations on resisting the urge to binge! I know how hard that can be. I wish you all the best in 2013 :)

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RAGGEDRECOVERY 12/27/2012 7:21PM

  I've been a binge eater for most of my life, with periods of sanity alternating with out of control eating. The only thing that has worked for me is to join Overeaters Anonymous. This is an addiction and the 12 step model has not only relieved me of the desire to binge or overeat 95% of the time, it has given me a new spiritual life.

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OOLALA53 12/27/2012 7:19PM

    I've come to believe I don't have to have a thing wrong to get the urge to binge. Just the memory of something that sent me bingeing before can stimulate the urge. The great thing is realizing it's just a mirage and it does me no harm to divert myself from the urge. I don't worry anymore that I'm missing some clue that will make it all easy.

By the way, many thin people also love food, think about it at non-meal times and remember the pleasure of it. Yes, they are different in that they don't commonly gorge and make themselves feel rotten from overeating, but they also tend not to feel bad about liking food. They realize that food can play a big, pleasurable role in our lives without it being a crime.

I salute you in this continued journey in putting food in its proper place in life. Try not to feel guilty because it's taking longer than you want. It's a multiple year journey for most. Everything else is the exception. emoticon

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NOMORENOMORE 12/27/2012 5:01PM

    Excellent description of what it "feels like" to want to binge. I've been binge free since 11/1/12. It's hard but we can do it!
emoticon emoticon

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MIDROAD 12/27/2012 4:52PM

    That's awesome! I am so sorry your struggles are so hard and wish I could say or do something helpful but all I can offer is my support.

God bless you,


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