Tonight’s Evening Activity–bingefest!
Tonight I came home from my shift at the co-op and after a small dinner proceeded to totally binge. And I mean binge like I haven’t done in awhile, since before I stopped eating sugar two months ago. Granted, my binge involved healthy foods, not ho-hos, chips, and ding-dongs, but nevertheless it was a binge (out of control eating). Of course this was all done as I was STANDING UP (another one of my personal no-no’s) in my kitchen as I was prepping for lunch tomorrow. It was pretty comical, actually, to see me stuffing my face with cacao cookies and simultaneously steaming broccoli. You didn’t know I was such a good multi-tasker, huh? I knew exactly what I was doing when I was binging. I could have stopped myself but the food tasted too good and I wanted to keep on eating, plain and simple.
Why am I telling you this? For a few reasons. First, it always helps me to “out” myself after a binge. It brings me back to reality and forces me to deal with what just happened. Usually I just tell Matt. Now I have the blogosphere. Second, I want you to know that even though I write a health and wellness blog, that I am a holistic health counselor and an NYU nutrition student, I have disordered eating at times. In fact, out of control and binge eating (especially with yummy sweet things) has been a part of my life for quite some time. As healthy as I might seem, and yes, I am very healthy, I certainly don’t have a halo around my head. And to be perfectly honest, nobody does. And lastly, I want you to know that just because you have a setback, or two, or three, it’s OK. Life as you know it isn’t over (Remember the definition of normal eating, too!) There’s always the next meal or the next day to get back on track. I can’t tell you how many crying fits I’ve had, so many nasty things I’ve said about myself after a binge like this. Of course that only made me feel worse and cause me to binge more. Talk about a downward shame spiral!
My dear friend Yiska of Redefining Diet likened our relationship with food and eating to being on a staircase. If all goes well, we hike up that staircase and make progress towards our goals, whatever they may be (losing weight or not eating dessert for example) However, there are times (like tonight) that we stumble a little bit and fall back a stair or two. But we never fall OFF. There is no “wagon” to fall off or get back on to. It’s just one big staircase that we are climbing, and sometimes we’re up and sometimes we fall. Sometimes we slip up and eat something we think we shouldn’t, and other times we’re right on track. But we always get back up and keep climbing.
I’m proud to say that this binge experience was different from previous ones. Yes, I fell down some “stairs” and ate an entire bag of these chips. OK, let me be honest. It was a bag and a half, also some kale chips, and almost a full container of raspberries. But afterwards, I called Matt into the kitchen, showed him the empty wrappers, and proceeded to smile (my mouth still full of food). “Um, I did something,” I garbled to him. He knew right away, smiled back and gave me a hug. Afterwards we talked about what had triggered the binge (If you don’t have someone to confide in, a journal can be a wonderful friend). In this instance, I think it was anxiety with starting up a school semester, the pressure I put on myself to excel, and the exhaustion I know will come from working a full time job and going to school at night (aka worrying).
But I feel good now even though I am totally addicted to refined carbohydrates again. I learned that just a few days of eating irregularly (filled with breads, chips, etc) can really throw me for a loop. I now know, absolutely and positively, how sensitive I am to quickie carbs and this is the motivation I need to get back on track in order to feel my best. If I learned that lesson from this binge, well, it was worth it. Am I happy that I downed an extra 800 calories tonight? Not particularly. But the fact that I came out of a binge with a smile on my face, still loving myself, is worth its weight in gold. Or, chocolate? No, gold.