Friday, October 12, 2007

Reflections on Binging

I had an emotional experience in a grocery store the other day. It was so intense that it took me this long to be able to blog about it. It is very intimate and personal... which may seem odd... unless you have ever had an intimate, personal, intense relationship with food.

It was almost like unexpectedly running into your ex-boyfriend in the grocery store. He was the love of your life, your soulmate, your everything. You shared everything, confided your most guarded secrets, and turned to him for comfort in your hardest times. He has seen you naked. But then there was the breakup, the painful recovery and time apart. You had almost forgotten. And then you turn the corner of the canned pea aisle and there he is, in your face. That's how it was for me the other day. I was in a new store. If you don't have a Yole's Fresh Market in your area, BE GLAD. I casually sauntered over to the bakery aisle just to see the goods. I do this often in my usual stores, and it never bothers me anymore. In my past life, as a binge queen, I used to drop by the store with the goal of buying myself ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I wanted to eat. I would look in the bakery case and ask for 2 or 3 different desserts. I would go to the cake display where they had individual slices of cake for sale, and I would hold each one up to eye level, to discern which piece had the thickest frosting, and buy that one. I would go to the frozen foods aisle and search through all the Haagen-Daz pints and bars and pick the one I wanted. I would buy a box of frozen eclairs, cream puffs, and a huge bag of Totino's Pizza Rolls. And a bunch of Coke. All this in ONE trip. All the while, I would be so excited, like a kid in a candy shop (literally) knowing that I could have ANYTHING I wanted!!!! I would head to the checkstand with my cart packed with crap, buy it all, and head home to eat EVERYTHING I had bought before the kids got home from school. I would feel horribly sick from all this, but eat it anyway. I have done this so many times in the 3 or 4 stores I usually shop at, that there is really nothing left in the bakery case or the freezer aisle that I have not already binged on. So, it doesn't really appeal to me anymore. After all, the stuff never tastes as good as you think it will.

But I digress. The other day, in Yoke's Fresh Market, I walked calmly over by the bakery. I was not hungry, not craving anything, not even considering buying anything unhealthy. Then I saw it. A binger's paradise, aka nightmare. That case had EVERY treat I had EVER dreamed of having, that my usual stores do not carry! Handmade chocolates!! Hand dipped truffles!! ALL kinds of pastries, cakes, pies of the unusual variety that I used to DREAM about!! My mouth hung open. I just kept looking and looking. Then I saw them.... Nanaimo Bars. Oh my GOSH. I used to literally DREAM about them but didn't know where I could buy them. And there they were, 2 varieties, and only a buck or two each. I cannot even express the physical reaction I had when I saw all this stuff. My first impulse thought was, "WOW!!! I want one of THOSE, and one of THOSE, and THOSE.....I want to take them ALL home and eat them ALL right now." Major flashback to binge days. My second thought was, What the hell am I doing???? And I turned the cart and raced away, breathing a sigh of relief. Whew!

Then I hit the freezer aisle. I have NEVER seen so many frozen desserts!!!!! And new kinds of ice cream!!!! Peanut butter cup bars! Fat boys! Premium flavors!! Again I flashed back to just months ago, when I would have taken my pastry-laden cart and added a bunch of frozen goodies to it as well. I booked it out of there! I was just there to get a few basics. But every aisle had new stuff. Special premium bacon. Yummy cheeses. Delicious spreads and crackers. New kinds of soda. By the time I got to the organic food aisle, I was exhausted. I was almost shaking. I still hadn't even gotten the bread, but I muttered to myself, "I have to get out of here." It was literally too overwhelming for me, seeing all the new foods I have never tried. I left without the things I came for.

I almost cried on the way home. It was too much to put into words. I knew I would blog about it eventually, but I had to let it settle in my mind first. The deep, intense emotions and the real physical reaction I had about the foods was undeniably powerful, like missing that old boyfriend that you lived with for 10 years and now is gone. You see him in the store, and it does something to you. You can't put it into words. That food, all those foods, those darn Nanaimo bars, have seen me naked. I confided in them, and they betrayed me. And so, I can't go back. I walked away. Better things are ahead for me, and there is no going back now.

13 comments:

Ada said...

You should face the problem with confidence and determination. It's not right to escape from your obesity. I had the same problem, however, fortunately i met a BBW on largefriends.com and she shared her secret to lose weight with me. here i advise you to do as me:
1.Set goals. You'll be better able to make a realistic weight loss plan if you know how much weight you want to lose.

2.Identify your weaknesses. Are you a bread fiend? Do you have dessert after every meal and every snack? Is McDonald's your second home? Find the weakness and throttle it. It does not own you, you are stronger and cooler than to allow some silly little craving to knock you off your path.

3.Throw away anything you know is tempting. Those cinnamon buns with 500 calories each? Gone. The ramen noodles in your cabinet? Gone. The problem is that this is not always feasible. Often times we are not the only ones in our homes and therefore the call of the food must be withstood. In this case, out of sight truly is out of mind. Put unhealthy, unfilling foods in a drawer or in a cabinet that you rarely use. Put them all together to make a particularly unappetizing sight. Don't place them all in a decorative basket out on the counter. Place them in a drawer. A drawer heaping with pastries rarely looks like anything but a drawer of fat.

4.Eat less, but eat more often. If possible, eat 4-5 meals a day. This helps your metabolism and blood sugar to stay level as well. This does require a change in your schedule. Eat less within 6 hours of your bed time. You're less likely to burn the calories closer to your bed time. It's fine to eat a large breakfast and lunch because your body will be working on burning those calories for the whole day. Large dinners are likely to go unburned and converted into fat....

honib1 said...

okay you realize we are related.. we are sisters right??? I am telling you.. we could have written those words together I know how it feels.. when I was 16 and got my drivers license I would go to the Winn Dixie that was near my high school if my folks were out of town and I had my moms car.. I would ditch school go to the grocery and buy Icecream and Apple Jacks cereal.. and little debbie bars and binge til my hearts content.. ohhh my friend it gets worse.. I had this painted steel milk jug in my bedroom at the time.. I would buy apple jacks or fruit loops pour the whole box in a garbage back then either hide it in my milk jug or under the bed.. and eat it whenever i wanted.. the thought of getting caughter never worried me cuz i would lock my door.. it was so soothing at that time to eat that crap.. when i went to boarding school I ate out in the open most of the time... My mother was a stickler for my weight ... since I was 10 and went on my first diet which I was put on my my pediatrican.. I would cheat as often as I could and I can tell you where I first cheated and how wonderful it felt and then how guilty I felt.. I have had binges where I would wake up in the middle of the night sick as dog and be in the bathroom begging God to help me feel better and then I would promptly run downstairs and binge again the second I felt better.. now thats SICK.. I did that kind of stuff in into my early 20s.. and then the binges got less and less.. I wish no had put me on a diet at 10 years old.. I wish no one had made an issue of food when I was growing up.. the teachers at the grammar school knew not to let me get desserts... like the other kids.. all I wanted was a damn icecream sandwhich.. just like everyone else..but no.. so food and I had a very intensely intimate and hidden affair ... So trust me on this.. I can relate... very very much...

hanlie said...

Wow, this is powerful stuff! You are doing great! I am so impressed with you for hightailing it out of there...

I can so relate. At one stage when I was working I used to have an office far away from everyone else. I would have lunch in the canteen, then go to the grocery store and buy a whole bag of goodies (food was my poison, not dessert) and eat, eat, eat. I've been a sneaky eater for a long, long time. Many people could never understand why I was so fat, since I didn't "eat that much" in front of them.

I still get the urge, but give in to it much less often now... I'm learning that food is never going to fill the hole where my self-esteem should be. Only self-esteem will do, and I'm getting there!

I can't say that I agree with Ada about having unhealthy food in the house. Your husband and children need to learn to eat healthy too, because your weightloss is a lifestyle change that affects the whole family. If you don't change the lifestyle of the whole family, you're setting yourself "apart", and will more than likely regain all your lost weight when you revert back to eating like the rest of the family. We should not be eating like the "world" - the world should be eating like us, and we start this trend by teaching good nutrition to our own families.

You are always an inspiration! Thanks for another excellent post.

Lyn said...

Thanks guys for the wonderful support you always give me! I so appreciate all your feedback.
Ada, I felt the need to respond briefly. When you say, "It's not right to escape from your obesity" I think you must misunderstand. Obesity is, to me, a prison. And it IS absolutely right for me to break free from it. I have been confined by my weight for far too long. And the day I am no longer obese will be the most wonderful, freeing day I can imagine. Perhaps if you read some of my earlier posts you might understand what I mean when I use the term "escape." I am not running away from obesity in fear, as in escaping from a scary monster. In fact, I am facing the entire issue with more confidence and determination than I ever have. I am finally succeeding and becoming healthy, and I am so proud of that! I feel stronger than ever! I am breaking ALL the ties that have bound me and kept me imprisoned in fat for the last 10+ years and I feel great! :) Sometimes, when we are newly healing from an addiction (mental or physical or emotional) and we are faced with certain situation, retreat is truly the best option. While I am strong, I am no fool, and standing around a bakery case full of Nanaimo bars is just asking for trouble!

Your tips are generally good ones that I am already using in my life, except for #3. Well, I do throw away what is tempting, sometimes, or just not buy it.But I assure you that if I had a drawer full of pastries, it would last about 2 seconds before my kids inhaled every last stinking bite! I have teenage boys...LOL! So, while I do occasionally buy them things I would not eat myself, I try and provide them with healthier snacks such as fresh fruits, whole grains, popcorn, nuts and trail mix. They enjoy these foods and they are setting up for a healthier life.

Thanks for your insights!

Chubby Chick said...

Good for you! You faced temptation head on... and you resisted! You WON! And you should be SO proud of yourself! This is a major accomplishment. This is major progress. It really is!!!

You are so right... better things really are ahead! :)

Lauren said...

congratulations, I am so proud of you, which probably doesn't mean much. I had an experience yesterday with a food I used to binge on being new in my new supermarket. Look how much you've changed. And I'm sorry, but the first person's comments made me mad for you. You are doing what you need to do for yourself which is obvious if you really read the blog instead of saying "oh a fat chick, she must not know what to do, I will tell her" Ok, sorry, it's that TOM

alexis said...

the old memories must have been tough to rehash... but on the other hand, you should feel proud that you're able to just walk away now. u've come a long way!

The Lassie said...

I kinda agree a little bit with Lauren there...

Anyway, I can so relate to this - I doubt I would have been strong enough to even turn around and leave. You should be proud of yourself!

LouBob said...

You are such an inspiration to me and you'll reach your goals because you have such determination!

Heather said...

aww I am sorry that you had that experience. But thanks for sharing it and writing about it. I used to get SO excited when I would go to the grocery store. If was having a bad day, I would feel so much better shopping around preparing myself for all the things I would go home and eat. So I understand how you feel. And , just as I would tell a friend to not hang around an exboyfriend that was always upsetting her, I would tell you the same thing. Do not go back there. Yes, you cant spend your life hiding. But to have a reaction as you did, I dont think its worth it to go there and get that feeling again. You can shop many other places until you feel ready. And you will be ready, just maybe not yet.

Goaledgirl said...

I think you just took the biggest step in your weight loss path. What you did took so much courage!! You should be so proud of yourself. I know I am proud of you!!!

Cameron said...

This is an almost exact description I had in a grocery store while struggling with anorexia. I went to the store with my boyfriend, to pick up something (for him) for dinner. I was completely unprepared for the anxiety and fear that overtook me; I ended up having to wait for him outside. Just goes to show how similar (in emotion) all eating disorders are.

BTW, I just found your blog, and I'm reading from beginning to end. So far, it's fantastic! Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you for sharing this experience!!! Lyn, you are an awesome woman. I know it's 2012 and I am glad that I found your blog!!!

I agree with what you posted in repsonse to an earlier post...bottom line

You do you. No one walks the exact path you walk. Only you do. You do what is best for the best You.