To binge; or not to binge

Thursday, July 28, 2011 Permalink

My nights used to be all about the food. I loathed the idea of eating something boring for dinner.  Whatever I ate HAD to be exciting. And exciting usually meant unhealthy. I’d cook up some steak with a 1kg mound of potatoes, or eat a similar weight in hot chips. I’d get Chinese takeaway and eat most of two meals, although planning to divvy up one for lunches. If I wasn’t in the mood to cook I’d have corn chips. And chocolate. Plus I’d have some red wine or champagne. Of course!

How I enjoyed my nights! I used to get annoyed at those things which interrupted this bliss. Work, for instance was a necessary evil, to pay for the binge-fest. And then I had other commitments with friends or family. I mean, how rude really! Fancy taking me away from my idyllic evenings at home, encased in a cocoon of food to numb the senses and mind!

I don’t want to speak too soon because I have been on a LOT of diets and lost weight a million times only to give up and regain it all (and more)… but it feels different now. Sure, I’ve indulged in alcohol a few times over the past few weeks and I do regret it when it happens and feel guilty about it.  And once I’ve fallen off that wagon, it’s always a bit harder to NOT have some the next night as well.

But… I’m not binging – for the first time in recent memory. I’m not sneaking food or kidding myself. I swear it on a stack of bibles, or on my lust for Richard Armitage.

When I last did Weight Watchers I was incredibly diligent from Monday to Saturday morning when I weighed in. I would then go and binge-eat my way through the weekend – two bags of corn chips and packets of caramello koalas as my Saturday afternoon treat. A scrumptious dinner complete with red wine and champagne. And then Sunday came around and I went back for more. I would tell myself these were my ‘treat’ days after toiling away all week and I’d get back on track Monday.

As a result, any weight I’d lost by the Saturday would have been regained (and sometimes more) by Tuesday’s (at home) weigh-in and I’d have to be doubly good until I weighed in again formally on the Saturday, when the whole thing would start again. And naturally, I felt frustrated that my weight loss was going nowhere and eventually gave up.

I’m not doing that this time. I do sometimes have some ‘treats’ on Wednesday night, but by that I mean I have potatoes with dinner, which I weigh in order to work out the calories. And perhaps some wine.  But, if consuming potatoes on a few nights and wine on two nights (all tracked and recorded) is the worst thing I’m doing, I’m pretty happy. I mean, I’d like to cut down my alcohol to one night a week and will continue to aim for that, but even on the odd occasion I’ve gotten a bit merry (read: pissed) I haven’t been tempted to raid the fridge. Once upon a time I couldn’t keep flour or sugar, because if I had eggs, flour and sugar I could make biscuit/cake batter and a bowlful would be consumed at 10pm at night.  But not any more. Well… not at the moment anyway.

Since I commenced on my journey of eating disorders, I’ve dreamt of the day that a switch would flick, or a light bulb would come on and I’d suddenly be ‘well’ or ‘better’. I’ve always thought that I’d need to know why my eating issues started to make a breakthrough and my lack of understanding of ‘the beginning’ has always made me worry I’d never get past it.

Now, I don’t want to say that I am ‘better’. I don’t want to even THINK I have recovered in any way. And I don’t know what’s changed. Just days before starting this program I couldn’t imagine how I was going to be able to motivate myself to commit to it. The Sunday night before the Monday morning this program kicked off, I ate 1kg of hot chips for dinner (with steak or fish).  So I can’t help but wonder how, when I woke up on Monday, 23 May 2011, I suddenly decided that I wasn’t going to ‘cheat’ in the way I have on so many other occasions.

I want to cross everything that can possibly be crossed to not jinx my progress on this program (and beyond). I don’t want to wake up tomorrow, suddenly tempted to go and buy a couple of bags of corn chips. Right now I can’t imagine doing it, but perhaps if I did it once I’d do it again and again. And again. And the 16kg I have lost in 9.5 weeks would leap back onto my body. And more.

I guess all I can do, is live in the moment, focus on the now and not worry about what I might or might not do tomorrow. There’s always a second – before picking up the corn chips, or before driving to the bottle shop – when conscience can prevail. It’s in those moments I need to remain strong and remember that our choices shape our lives.

  • Fiona
    July 29, 2011

    This is amazing and has made me cry.

    I too suffer with binge eating disorder also and t is was just like reading my own diary.

    Unfortunately I have not had quite such a transformation as it sounds you have. My binging has reduced but not stopped completely but I have noticed that I am able to pick myself up and get back with the program more quickly ie the binge episodes are shorter.

    Thank you for this entry it has given me great strength

    • rockafellaskank
      July 29, 2011

      Hi Fiona

      Thanks for your comment. It’s so hard for others (who haven’t been through it) to understand. I know my friends just can’t understand how I could consume 1kg hot chips or 4 x 200g blocks of chocolate (or both) in one sitting; or why I eat until I’m so full that I can barely move and all I can do is lie in the bath like a beached whale. And… they don’t understand why – when I know how bad this is for someone who’s already obese – I keep doing it.

      I don’t quite know why my eating is in check at the moment and have to admit being a bit too scared to delve into it too much, but I’m hoping that it is ‘for good’ or at least for long enough that I become one of those people who can’t imagine eating 800g chocolate at once….

      Good luck!

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