Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Revenge of the Binge

The last couple of nights, I've been stopping off at the local pharmacy before I get home and greedily stocking up on chocolate and twinkies and those ritz crackers with the processed cheese in them.

Monday I did OK. I bought four chocolate bars, had a bite of each, and threw them away. Not bad.

I could cope.

Yesterday I got through the donut, the cookie, and yogurt pretzels before I managed to stop. I threw away the twinkies and the king-sized chocolate bar uneaten. I could have just stopped at the yogurt pretzels. Nothing wrong with eating some yogurt pretzels if you're hungry, but when I'm freaking out about food, I obsessively grab anything I can get my hands on.

It's not even about eating it. I throw most of it away. Realizing I could feel just as good buying it, eating one thing, and throwing the rest away was pretty liberating. But that's the fascinating part about it: it's not the eating, it's the having stuff to eat part that I'm craving.

The thing with knowing I'm a binge eater is knowing exactly what's triggering the obsessive need for a calorie-rush composed mainly of sugar and salt in processed food form. I didn't buy myself lunches this week, and was too tired to cook lunches on Sunday, which turned into me frantically looking through the freezer, finding something sub-par, trying to eat it at work and gagging on it, and being starving by the time I went home. I tried loading up on other frozen meals, but I bought cheap sub-par ones again because the choices at the place I stopped were limited, so Tuesday I was freaking out as well.

I'm also seriously stressed out, and stress is a big trigger. I know it's stress because it's the acquiring of the food that seems to be the part I'm really, really craving. The hunger part could be satisfied with one serving of something. The binge part has to do with stress. When I'm stressed out, I want food around me. It's the idea that I somehow internalized growing up, "If we have food, everything will be OK."

And being stressed, I also crave a sugar high, which would certainly make me feel less depressed - for a short while, until I came down off it and spent the rest of the night looking and feeling despondent. Which, of course, is exactly what happened.

Binge behavior is really, really weird. It's almost weirder now that I buy stuff and just throw it away. It seems ever more weird and hysterical than actually sitting down and eating ever everything did. I mean, eating would make more sense. It would be more clearly about hunger. But then, of course, it's not, so obsessive-collecting behavior makes more sense.

The moral of the story is: I've gotta fucking take care of my food issues at lunch and not try and cut calories there or eat something sub-par that's primarily composed of processed foods stripped of all nutritional content.

It's a great way to send me tail-spinning.

And that's not a place I need to be right now.

3 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Yeah binge behavior IS really weird. Wish I could take one bite and throw the rest away haha (not that it's any easier on your wallet or your psyche). I also find that if I don't do lunch or daytime food right, then that's the #1 trigger for a binge (combined with stress, which is usually magnified if I am hungry!)

Food issues suck. But you're not the only one who has them, by far. :\

Posted by Amber

Anonymous said...

I'd definitely go for the bigger lunch. Sounds to me like a lot of energy and even money being wasted. This is where you're missing the MA training--an excellent stress outlet. 

Posted by ThomH

Anonymous said...

Unsolicited advice? An apple (or something similar--a pear, an orange, a glass of V8, an organic carrot [non-organic carrots taste like mulch] etc.) every day. Perhaps even more than one. I know it's a cliche and it's not the same as a balanced diet, but it does make up for a certain amount of junk food.


Posted by Molly, NYC