Sunday, November 15, 2009

A binge unfolds

Wha-a-a? That's a crazy title, huh? What it means is that over the last couple of days, I've felt myself slipping back into some disordered thinking, and worse, disordered eating. Upon returning from the trip and finding myself at a new low weight on this journey, not to mention writing about the relative peace of normal eating on vacation, I found myself starting to restrict my food intake. Just a little the first day back, then a little more on Thursday, and by Friday I was feeling quite depleted and empty. EMPTY and tired.

At the crux were a couple of things:
1) I was ready to fast forward this weight loss. Eat less, lose more. Eat next to nothing - even faster. I dabbled with anorexic eating many (28+) years ago, as well as laxative and diuretic purging. Believe it or not, I never became bulimic because I couldn't make myself throw up. Of course I'm glad about that now, but back in those days my eating was screwy in many and varied ways different from its screw-up-ness of today. Yet those restrictive notions were working on me this past week.
2) I knew I had a party a friend's house Friday evening to celebrate a gal's 1 year AA anniversary, and I realized I'd been planning to tie on the feed bag in a major way for the event. This group of women can cook some good food, and when I got honest, it was clear I'd been eating too little for a couple of days in preparation for major consumption of mass quantities of all not nailed down during and after said party. Stupid crazy behavior that I know doesn't work, and generally am able to avoid in my current incarnation.

So here is the Friday sequence that unfolded into my first binge eating in several weeks. By lunch time Friday I was ravenous - truly empty-stomach hungry. I had brought a sane lunch, which I ate, but it didn't "do it" for me. In a couple of the classrooms, the staff had done cooking projects yielding some decadent sweets, which I staunchly resisted and declined. Until I didn't. And finally, about 1:30 in the afternoon, I wandered down the hall to one particular room and asked if they had any of their confections left...I had one small 2 inch square of something, and the switch flipped. The rest of the afternoon, then on into the evening at the gathering, and even after I came home, I ate. Healthy delicious dishes alternating with heavy desserts, handfuls of nuts...on and on. A bona-fide frenzy of out of control eating. Interesting is that during the party, friends who hadn't seen me for a while were commenting on how they could see I'd lost even more weight! "Ha", I thought - "and I'm in the process of packing it back on in this very moment."

I woke up Saturday feeling surprisingly okay given the onslaught of food my body had sustained the night before. I felt the episode was over, and the binge "out of my system". But again, I restricted my food all day (attempting to compensate for yesterday's iniquities is rarely a successful venture), keeping intake very bland and austere. After a sane dinner, I started making repeated trips to the kitchen foraging for anything with which to concoct something tasty. I keep no junk around anymore. So in order to do too much damage, I'd have had to either get very creative, or go on a food run. Thankfully I was feeling too lazy to go out, but I did manage to eat too many nuts, some toast with butter and Trader Joe's Pumpkin butter ('s amazing!), and a piece of cheese. It was not a bad episode because of the limits provided by empty cabinets and lazy self.

I wasn't going to confess all this bullsh*t because I want to sound better and saner than I feel. But again, what good does withholding my truth do me? I think I'm okay today - I've gotten in 2 walks (despite the achy knee...I figure it's going to be surgically fixed in a matter of weeks, so resuming some walking is safe within reason) and have eaten sanely. No crazy restricting. But the thoughts of not eating keep popping up. Damn! I'm sick of having an eating disordered mind. I've just written about what eating too little led me to over the last 2 days, and still I'm tempted to try and not eat.

The biggest reason I'm writing about this is that I want to keep this day sane. Eat healthfully. Resume my short-lived truce with food of the last couple of weeks where we peacefully co-existed. Just this day. It's back to one moment at a time for now. But hopefully I will note tomorrow on my blog that I got through yesterday (today) without falling back through the binge chute.


  1. Take some deep breaths. It is good to come to the understanding by trying to speed up our efforts it ends up in catastrophe. I hope that today and tomorrow is better! Forgive yourself and move on. Glad you are back and posting!

  2. Hi Leslie. Ooooops! I'm sorry to hear about this.

    Strange thing ... you ate reasonably and normally while you were away and lost 2lbs. Yet when you get back you think you need to eat very little to carry on losing weight. Maybe you were just trying to *make sure* you kept on travelling in the right direction.

    Luckily you know the answer here - to eat a reasonable amount and just hold firm.

    Hope today is a Good Food Day.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  3. I used to do the same cycle....overeat, overexercise, starve, binge, exercise, starve, overeat....quit. If you want something sweet, portion it out. Sometimes I love these gummy peach things. 6 are 150 calories. I schedule them into my daily calorie intake, I also have high calorie days. At least one per month. That way I don't fall into a deprivation mindset...which for me is lethal.
    Glad you caught yourself. Now you can pull out of that kamikaze dive. lol
    Here's to a better tomorrow.

  4. I think I never went bulemic either because I couldn't make myself throw up. I tried ipecap once or twice, and it was so awful, I decided that I'd rather be fat. Lots of weird eating behaviors in my past, as well. I still have a few, but I've consciously decided to allow them.

    Now I don't allow myself to binge. I make myself eat, even if I don't want to, to prevent it. I won't allow myself to try to lose weight if I binge, so I mostly eat to not binge (or did at first, now I eat to not binge and lose weight). It's been a long time now, and I no longer ever feel like I'm going to, but I force some behaviors that discourage it. And if I'm fighting in my head because I want to eat something and I shouldn't, and I start getting "that feeling" I'll make myself eat it, just to stop the headgames. I just don't allow that weird ED thinking in. Works for me, anyway. I'll always be strange with food, but I keep it within the realm of kinda strange, not out of control.

  5. Thanks for the comments on my blog! :)

  6. Leslie, hang in there, girl! You have been such a help to me, and I wish I could return the favor! You caught yourself and you're turning it around--proud of you for that! I've let the same kind of episodes turn into 2+ weeks of eating like a maniac with disastrous results. Thanks for being honest. You know, it really does help, doesn't it? :D

  7. You had two major things happen -
    your trip
    your knee news

    and both of those are enough to cause a reaction.

    Even though the trip was a plus and knowing what is needed for your knee can be seen as a plus - both things should have come with a warning flag to be HYPER vigilant.

    I used to have to watch myself LIKE A HAWK for three full weeks after one of those events and you had two at exactly the same time.

    I think that I am now down to about three 'on the edge' or 'vulnerable' days with an event.

    But I have to be extremely careful where I 'put myself' for those three days. Because I am an accident waiting to happen.

    I remember long ago reading that AA meetings (at that time) meant that people stopped drinking and started smoking.

    Then non-smoking AA meetings became available. Would you say that eating is now a common addiction transfer associated with meetings?

    As you look around - is the food healthy based? Are the people thin and healthy? Or is there codependency and enabling going on?

    Not suggesting that you not go to your MEETINGS. But maybe you can't subject yourself to the food part at this time.

    And as you said - over eating and under eating are two sides of the exact same eating disorders coin. And you are a long way ahead of most since you SEE this. I would suggest going back to writing all your food out in advance. Balanced, healthy, portions, meals. And then that is simply what you eat. You don't over eat it. You don't under eat it.

  8. Leslie - I feel your pain, I really do. You put into words so well what is going on with lots of us. It's those damn impulses that come out of nowhere when everything seems to be humming right along. Damn the impulses!

  9. I can't tell you how many times I did this - both during the years up the scale, and during my weight loss year. And even today, 12 years later, I can still feel it starting.

    You described this all so well. You can get it under control - just one choice at a time! I'm in your corner.

  10. Dearest Leslie, thank you for the continued wonderful comments on my blog...I am embarassingly behind on my blog like a week!! Forgive me please!

    I love those photos you posted!! Awesome!! So glad you had a lovely visit with your daughter and Wally is just too cute....I love those furry critters.

    Never feel bad about posting the craziness...that's what these blogs are for!! As far as one minute at a time....hell, I've been doing that for the better part of 5 months now, lol. For some of us (like you and me, lol) apparently it's going to take a little longer to fully get a mental grip on this crap. That's ok...we'll get there, no matter how long it takes....and thank God we're not alone, eh? Have a beautiful, sane day. :)

  11. I liked Vickie's suggestion of writing your food out ahead of time. I know this helps me when I am tempted to eat too much (not happenin' that I am tempted to eat too little!) And I like Diane's suggestion--just one choice at a time.

    For me, when I was tempted to 'lose the weight quickly,' I would remember my mantra, can I do this 'for the rest of my life?'

  12. I love your honesty on your blog! It's those 'little things' (like dealing with the doctors and your knee, or even happy things like visiting your daughter for the week) that we all have to work on to find a balance in our lifes. Your honesty on your blog is what gets me through those times too. We all can do this together :)

  13. We all appreciate your honesty and your friendship. Please visit my blog to pick up a new award

  14. Hi, first visit to your blog. Do you keep a journal of what is going on emotionally when you feel the urge to binge?