Guest post III – why we binge-eat

Friday, January 27, 2012 Permalink

Today I bring you the third and final guest post in my series. You may have noticed that I have taken the opportunity to share with you, some of the inner-workings of Schmiet’s mind. She’s currently a bit gun-shy and fears she’s been over-sharing, so I’ve taken the initiative and thought that I’d try to decipher for you what’s happening in that twisted little mind of hers.

You don't LOOK like...Last post I talked about her binge-eating behaviour, which continues to plague her many years after her ‘eating disorders’. It occurred to me recently that she sees it as a defined time in her past… as if she could rule a line under her anorexic and bulimic years. However, her recent re-focus on weight loss and meagre success has meant she’s become increasingly self-conscious about her binge-eating and mindset issues and fears she may never lose the weight she needs – or maintain it – until she battles some of her inner demons.

Naturally I’ve been trying to convince her that it’s not necessary. And frankly I think she was fine before she started losing weight. I mean, going through life alone and feeling unhappy as a big fat failure really isn’t that bad, particularly with food to comfort her. And I’m still trying to convince her of this fact.

Last weekend she was reading a blog post from Chubby Girlfriend, of Boyfriends Make You Fat fame, about binge-eating… which has led to her (and therefore my) pondering on the issue this week. The article from her blog (below) which I think is from Shape magazine here suggests four reasons we may have a problem with binge-eating.

Chubby GF said she could relate to the first two. Schmiet and I looked at the list and said, “Well, 2 and 3… obviously. They’re no brainers,” but then she read the title of last one and I noticed she was a bit gobsmacked. Because the heading for number 4  is basically saying YOU BINGE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BINGE. Well, sort of (when in fact it refers to the oft-discussed emotional eating).

But firstly back to numbers 2 and 3. Number 2: Anyone who’s read her blog knows she regularly confesses to ‘black/white’ thinking. I suspect she blames me for this – as if I am a little pitchforked devil sitting on her shoulder competing with an angelic creature on the other, resulting in her either ‘dieting’ or ‘not dieting’. This may *ahem* well be the case and… as a result, her all-or-nothing approach means that she can (at times and which comes as a surprise to me) be ridiculously stringent… naturally resulting in subsequent food blowouts as soon as I am able to convince her she needs some ‘relief’ from her fastidious way of life.

As for number 3: readers would also be aware that guilt is the bane of her life. She goes on and on about it. I come down on both sides of this argument. Guilt-free living has its advantages, that’s for sure… (I mean, HELLO, living life without repercussions!) but sometimes when I really fuck with her mind the guilt become so overwhelming food is the only thing that quells the gnawing anxiety.

And, now to number 4. As we noted, the article is essentially referring to emotional eating. Yep, sure… even non binge-eaters can be emotional eaters, but the thing that struck her as she read down the page was the heading: …You’re feeling the need to binge.

OvereatingShe’ll usually say that she’s out of control when it comes to her binges (usually leaving herself in my capable hands). I encourage her to literally inhale thousands of calories of food until she’s beyond full. She barely tastes what she eats and with little consideration of the consequences. (Naturally I let her think that tomorrow, she’ll get back on that dieting wagon; and encourage her to just keep going with the binge-fest because she’s already had a calorie blow-out and so she might as well keep going and make the most of it!)

But…. damn this article! It made her realise that they’re planned. A slight ‘a-ha!’ moment for Schmiet as she decided the heading was right. Sure HER motivation is emotional (usually anger in her case) and sure she’s wanting ‘comfort’ from SOMETHING – but I plan our binge. I look forward to our binge. I often fantasise about our binge. “How many bags of corn chips will we buy?” we wonder. “Will two 250g blocks of chocolate be enough?” we ask. “No? Okay, we’ll get two blocks of chocolate and a bag of caramello koalas. Oh…. and maybe some hot chips. You know… just case everything else isn’t enough.”

Sure there are other times when we prowl her kitchen and search out whatever’s on hand… and many a year passed when she could not keep flour or sugar – as I would convince her  that a faux cake batter-binge would be sufficiently fulfilling. But I no longer have QUITE that hold over her. It seems.

zipitSo Schmiet realised, while her binge-eating is mindless, they are usually meticulously pre-conceived. Even if it’s us in the supermarket throwing things into our shopping basket. I often remind her that, sometimes, eating (and not just eating meals, but over-eating or binge-eating) is the only thing that gives her pleasure in her day. She’s tried the self-help article suggestions: spoil yourself with pampering baths; take the time to read a book. Blah blah blah. Frankly it doesn’t cut it. It’s not fulfilling to me so it’s not fulfilling to her.

So where does this leave us. Her and I? For a change I’m not exactly sure. As for her… she’s wondering if she’s clinging to her binge-eating ways like a drowning man to a life buoy. She’s wondering if it’s not just the food itself that is the emotional crutch, but also the binge-eating habit as well. Just when I think I know how ‘we’ think, feel and act, Schmiet learns something new about herself – often something over which I have no control. And… she’s hatching a plan. I can feel it in my waters…. as Schmiet’s great aunt and my namesake would claim.

As for what’s next, well… she’ll have to fill you in.

Signing out for now with love and kisses (and a few caramello koalas)
Myra

xxxx

22 Comments
  • KCLAnderson (Karen)
    January 27, 2012

    You’re a pretty smart cookie (sorry for the food reference), Myra…

    • rockafellaskank
      January 27, 2012

      Hee hee…..

  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    January 27, 2012

    I can’t wait to see what Schmiet has in store for you Myra – I’m sure it’s going to make you squirm just a little bit more and then give in.

    • rockafellaskank
      January 27, 2012

      Ha! You’ll understand this Liz… I contacted Anita’s office today, as you suggested before Christmas. I haven’t made an appointment yet (need a referral) but I decided it’s something I need to do.

      Deb

  • Miz
    January 27, 2012

    Im with liz.
    squirm a lotlot and then CAVE 🙂

    • rockafellaskank
      January 27, 2012

      I definitely hope so… from Myra’s POV, I mean!

  • Marion
    January 27, 2012

    Hi Deb! I’ve honestly thought a great deal about this issue of why I binge. When it comes to food, like you, I do find myself with multiple personalities–the rational health-orientated one, the exasperated overwhelmed one, and the food-addicted one. Yes, I greatly enjoy the feeling of being stuffed! It feels almost perfect with such contentment of a sugar high, endorphins going bonkers, and every need being met. It isn’t just tasting the yummy food that’s addicting, it’s the lovely drug effect after eating that is enticing too. Don’t the cares just melt away after a huge meal?! It’s like getting drunk over and over on food.<<That is the problem for me. I know what it is, but am unsure how to tame the beast.

    🙂 Marion

    • rockafellaskank
      January 27, 2012

      I so very obviously understand Marion!

  • Sasha
    January 27, 2012

    I just wanted to drop you a quick note, because I’m falling behind on my reading, but I am VERY much looking forward to reading this, when I can find some quiet time to digest it… so to speak.

    • rockafellaskank
      January 27, 2012

      Thanks Sasha. I did a big blog-read myself yesterday so know what you mean!

  • Karen@WaistingTime
    January 27, 2012

    Ah, binge eating. I suspect #2 plays into it for me.

    • rockafellaskank
      January 27, 2012

      Yep… I’m worse if I cut something out… like carbohydrates cos then I eat nothing BUT carbs for weeks on end!

  • Julia @ Boyfriends Make You Fat
    January 27, 2012

    Sometime I think bingeing has to do with rebelling, too. You’ve been writing about people who diet and people who’ve never had to… that not-tasting binge eating (I’ve done it too many times) is like the f you to food – “See, I can eat you too!”

    • rockafellaskank
      January 27, 2012

      I think you’re right Julia. I often eat my anger, if that makes sense.

  • Julia @ Boyfriends Make You Fat
    January 27, 2012

    Also, I love how cute and smart you are in your online pic, while your online name is rockafellaskank. Too funny!

    • rockafellaskank
      January 27, 2012

      The Rockafella Skank name came about cos I wanted to call my other blog ‘Write About Now’ and remembered there was a Fatboy Slim song by that name… however the domain name on WordPress was taken AND I found out the song is actually called Rockafella Skank (I have no idea why)…

  • The Thin Seeker
    January 30, 2012

    This is so true. We tend to give into our id side more than the rationale side of our brains. It is so hard to get rid of that craving once it has been implanted into your brain.

    http://weightlossthesearchfortheskinnierme.blogspot.com/

    • rockafellaskank
      January 30, 2012

      Indeed… I really struggle. In fact, IF I don’t follow through I’ll graze on everything else until I eventually have what I’ve been wanting all along!

      Thanks for visiting.

      Deb

  • J.
    January 31, 2012

    So I have been reading these posts and contemplating a response to follow up on our last interaction. If you are suffering from eating disorders (not claiming you are or aren’t – I’m certainly no expert), then I’ll grant I could have had more empathy for your situation.

    That said, I still think the core suggestion may be true – perhaps you need to get some help. Not talking padded rooms or countless hours sitting on a couch talking about your navel, but something focused on eating disorders or a sponsor (I’m going to guess there is a bingers anonymous because there is for everything else). If I’ve read your posts and pages correctly, you have been more or less battling various binging and anorexia style problems for 20 years without any semi- or full-professional help.

    If something doesn’t work after a while, perhaps it’s time to try doing something different.

  • quotes on lost love
    February 18, 2012

    Guest post III – why we binge-eat Diet Schmiet I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are incredible! Thanks! your article about Guest post III – why we binge-eat Diet Schmiet Best Regards Cindy Agata

    • Debbish
      February 18, 2012

      Hi Cindy, I wrote the post (pretending to be my inner critic, or from her point of view). It was a really good exercise – talking about me as if I was someone else! I’m glad the post was able to help and thanks for visiting!

      Deb

  • mode blog
    February 23, 2012

    lovely!!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts