Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Binge Monster

Man, I don't know what is wrong with me today. I have been fighting it all evening. Usually, I am pretty accustomed to eating healthy. I rather enjoy it. I have stopped thinking of food all day long like a crackhead trying to get his next fix, and for the most part any thoughts of junky foods are fleeting and unemotional. But today was one of those days. One of those hard days where Oreos and french fries are dancing in my head, and no matter how often and how firmly I dismiss them, they keep coming back.

It started in WalMart. Nowadays I don't generally have any problems when I shop; I just ignore the junk and buy what I went in for. But not today. Somewhere between the yogurt aisle and the frozen foods, I started to get those old cravings. I glanced at the frozen pizzas and wished; but I dismissed the thoughts and walked on. Then I saw ice cream. Cookie dough ice cream. But I kept walking. By the time I got to the snack aisle I was in a wistful trance, remembering how I used to come here and buy WHATEVER foods looked like they might taste good. I would fill my cart with anything and everything that I felt like trying. And I would go home and eat some of everything... until I could not fit another bite into my body. An hour later though, I could fit more bites, and I did. I would just eat and eat all day until it was almost gone. A whole cart of food. Why? To experience the tastes, the textures, the smells. To go into that zone in my head where nothing else matters but the food. It was all about me, all about never saying NO to myself. All about getting whatever I wanted and eating it.

But today I couldn't do that. I just CAN NOT bring myself to do that anymore. I started to get upset. I was irritated that I could not buy that ice cream. I was annoyed about not buying chips. I picked up a bag of honey mustard pretzel bits. Boy, did I want those. I caressed the package, feeling the crunchy nuggets through the bag. I turned it over: 140 calories per serving. Per 1/3 cup serving. WHO EATS A THIRD OF A CUP OF PRETZELS?? I know a small bowl would be a cup at least, and that's 420 calories. I put them back.

I wandered through the aisles. I watched people nonchalantly throwing bags of Cheetos and boxes of mac n cheese into their carts. I was jealous of that lady in front of me grabbing bags of Doritos and putting them in her cart with the potato salad. When I got to the bakery aisle I was really mad. Look at all those cupcakes and pies! Why, there was a time when I would buy 2 or 3 or even 4 pies because they looked good and I wanted to try them! And now... now I felt like the rich kid who has fallen into poverty. Now she can't have all the goodies she used to have. Now she has to sit and watch everyone else eat them, while she suffers hungrily over a bowl of lentils.

Well, except, I like lentils. And really I don't like bakery cake. And in fact, I am more like the poverty-stricken street urchin who has suddenly inherited a pile of gold. I have struck it rich, haven't I? Because it's not that I CAN'T have that junk food, it's that I am CHOOSING BETTER. There is something terribly sad about the kind of nutritional (and emotional) poverty I was living in when my life revolved around a cartload of junk food.

And so, I ate my healthy dinner, and, still craving and wanting and obsessing just a bit about cookies and chips, I sat down here to blog instead. Because as much as a part of me wants to go whip up a pan of brownies and eat the whole thing right now, a better part of me knows that THAT is not what I really want. (The old me is screaming, "OH YES I DO! THAT IS WHAT I REALLY WANT!!!") But ya know, I just sigh, and ignore it, and go brush my teeth, or take a walk. Because I would rather be in WalMart having a tantrum that I didn't get to buy the junk foods I crave, it isn't fair, and it sucks, than in that old, fat, 278-pound body having a tantrum that I cannot lose weight, it isn't fair, and it sucks.

Being fat is hard. Losing weight is hard. Maintaining is hard.
Choose your hard.

25 comments:

Ranaesheart said...

There is a brutal honesty in your words that rings so true to those of us walking the same path; bless you for putting into words the craziness that goes on in our heads. Well done and bully for you with your triumph! It can be done!

Anonymous said...

You did a great job. I always try to remember the "after feeling" when I am fighting with my "binge self". The bloated, gross, guilty feeling, screaming inside my head "why did I do that, I know better, etc.". The cravings will and have diminished and you are doing awesome!! Remember the quote "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels"!!!

Joy's Journey in Weightloss said...

I am new to your blog and I love it! Today's post was brilliant and something that I go through quite often. I am just starting my weightloss journey. I will reread this post at my most vunerable moments. Thank you!

Louise said...

Well done. We all fight the Binge Monster from time to time (yes, even us non-obese people). I find brushing my teeth and/or going for a walk/run works for me too.

Sock it to 'im!

Take One Stripper Pole said...

No matter how much weight we lose or change we make ... I think a little bit of the Binge Monster will always exist. You are right it is all about choice. Way to go on fighting the little devil off!

Anonymous said...

You. Are. Amazing.

Lisa

MizFit said...

I feel for you and hope that this amazing post...your honest and powerful words...was cathartic.

this is a new day.

you CAN do it.

Miz.

Pandora said...

A true non scale victory! Three cheers for Lyn!

spunkysuzi said...

That's what i have to learn to do, win the argument with myself. I'm still at that place that when it's bad enough i give in and i have to learn to remember how bad i feel after i do give in. It's a learning process after all. And reading how someone else deals with it is great, as there was a time i didn't know other people did this as well.

Jeper Drai said...

I know how you feel. I still crave some of my favorite binge foods. Breads and cheese and peanut butter and chips (sometimes all at once). However, when I do the grocery shopping, I casually compare my basket in the check out line with others. Its amazing the crap and shit people buy. It borders on "Non-Food".

BTW, the pictures are fabulous. A big congraduations on no longer being "severely Obese" I am also desparate to turn the corner and escape the "Obese" label.

JD

JD

Katschi said...

...and when you wake up the next day, having NOT binged, isn't that a great feeling?
Lyn, you have a real talent for expressing what so many of us are going through. I love visiting here.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point katschi, when I wake up in the morning one of the first things that pops into my head is how I did on my plan the previous day. If I stuck to plan I feel great and motivated for another good day, if not, I am remorseful and resolve to do better today. I really prefer the first feeling.

Just wanted to check in on you Lyn, happy to see it looks like you are hanging in there and doing well.
Schmoodle

Big Girl said...

Another great post. You are right. It is hard. All of it is hard.

I glad however, that the scale is moving in the right direction and you are making the right (hard) choices.

PaulaM said...

I wish I had your strength ...

Anonymous said...

Choose your hard. I'm going to write that one down. Amazing post.
Heather

new*me said...

neat post today! The thing I keep reminding myself when I feel the same thing coming on......it's not just that these foods will make me gain....they are just not good for my body......or anyones bodies...skinny people included. I am trying to think of my body as an expensive new sports car. Food is fuel! Don't put junk in that glorious body!!

ptg said...

Love the post - so very, very true.

For instance, last night I wanted Taco Bell. Craved Taco Bell. Could practically taste the fat greasy goodness going down my throat.

But I didn't have it. I had a Lean Cuisine pizza instead with my Mr. Pibb Extra.

Not Taco Bell, by any means. But a small little victory nonetheless.

Honi said...

HONEY LIKE U SAID its all hard.. but once you get there and touch the difference of feeling better that really outweighs the other stuff.. I fight those temptations.. especially when my weight does not budge.. I want I want I want .. and then I start saying I need.. and when I finally realize that what I want and what I need are two entirely different things.. then I suddenly feel better.. for going with the needs instead of the wants.. have a great day!

Heather said...

I definitely have days like that where I have the "munchies" and want to eat everything in sight. I avoid the store at all costs on those days and stay out of the kitchen at work. but they pass, and I know you will get through the cravings.

thinner.me said...

I just visited your blog for the first time and love it! You take the words right out of my mouth...and the Doritos, too! I will be adding your blog to my blogroll. You are a great motivator!

Dinah Soar said...

Haven't we all been in this same spot!!! Taking it a day at a time and being satisfied with inching forward---which is progress---will get us where we desire to be.


What always surprises me is how I can go to bed craving something fiercely or being so "hungry" and wake up the next morning and nothing sounds good...in fact I'm not even hungry. Which just goes to show it is a head thing as much as anything.

Only when I go to bed hungry and wake up in the middle of the night hungry, or the next morning hungry, do I know it is/was true biological hunger.

Because I am allotting myself more food than in the past, and being satisfied with a slower loss of weight, it is rare that it happens.

Ceres said...

Ugh, I hate the binge monster... You never know when it will attack. One minute you're doing fine, enjoying your new, healthy lifestyle, eating properly, exercising regularly, and then it will hit, and you have to be prepared, because it's never easy to say "NO, GO AWAY!". Like you're saying, you just have to pick your hard :-)
Great post, once again!

nmburleson said...

Oh my gosh I can relate to your post! I'm 5'1" 278lbs my heaviest was 287. My mainstay was ice cream. I could eat 2, 3, 4 half gallons a week easy! Thanks for sharing you are an inspiration!
Thanks for the post!
Natalia

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for putting into words the thoughts and feelings that I struggle with! It is SO hard to walk past that chip aisle, hard in a way that I never was able to express with words, but you did it !

I think you are terrific writer--I think that at some point, you should gather your blogs into a book showing the experiance of weight loss and the struggle with binge eating! So many people would benefit!

Good luck!

Zentient said...

Your rich/poor metaphors are lovely prose! The deprivation mentality is a torment - there is never enough and something is always wrong. Switching that to knowing that you always have all you need and things are simply as they are, is a miracle. It's called peace. May peace be with all of us!