I Can’t Eat Just One

No, this is not really another post about food but rather about my obsession with it.  My post on the cake I decorated brought to the forefront a battle I have been fighting all my life.

I was a teenager about the time that anorexia and bulimia were just being discovered as serious problems, mostly for teenage girls.  I didn’t have either problem so naturally I never believed I had an eating disorder.  In fact I have been in denial most of my life on this one.

I was bullied and teased about my weight from a little girl well into my late teens.  I would try to go on diets but my parents had the attitude “we will not say anything about your progress because we don’t want to bring attention to it and jinx you”. That is a paraphrase, but the sentiment is right on.  My friends had problems of their own and we supported each other best we could, but when you feel ugly and fat and have no real support, it is difficult.

So, I started to diet in front of people and binge on everything bad behind their backs.  I would eat a huge bowl of raw veggies before supper and then have a small portion of whatever my Mom cooked.  Then I would go into my room to do my homework and grab some of the junk food I had bought at the corner store on the way home from school.  I would raid the cheese slices and other items out of the fridge, being careful to not make it obvious I had taken anything.

This went on for years.  In fact, it still goes on.  I  have a bag snack mix (cheesies, tortilla chips, pretzels, etc) on my desk right now and I keep dipping my hand into it saying to myself that this is the last handful.  At least it isn’t a sweet based snack because that now effects not only my moods but my sugar levels.  And I am not really hiding it from my husband, though the reflex to do so is still in my subconscious.

Like I said earlier, I don’t make myself throw up, I don’t pretend to eat food and hide it away, so I don’t have an eating disorder, right?  WRONG! I binge, plain and simple.  Here is a definition of binge-eating disorder from the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Binge-eating disorder

Binge-eating disorder involves periods of over-eating. People who experience binge-eating disorder may feel like they can’t control how much they eat, and feel distressed, depressed, or guilty after bingeing. Many people try to keep bingeing a secret. Binge-eating can be a way to cope or find comfort, and it can sometimes develop after dieting. Some people may fast (not eat for a period of time) or diet after periods of binge-eating.

Binge-eating disorder can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or weight concerns.

I binge eat when I feel stressed, lonely, down on myself, depressed, whatever.  However, if there is any type of junk food around I will eat it no matter how I feel.  I will even binge on “good food” like cheese, meat, pasta, fruit, you name it.  I think that has become part of my OCD – if something I like is there I have to eat it.

I try to make myself, and others, believe that I have stopped bingeing, and I do my best to not buy things that tempt me. But then something happens to shatter (or even just crack) my self-confidence and boom, I am at it again.

I honestly do not care for the taste of chocolate or sweet things any more, but that doesn’t stop me from eating them.  If they are in my possession, I eat them.  So, I am resisting buying anything sweet by being with others when I shop, or just reminding myself I don’t need it.  If chocolate comes into my possession from another source, I am doing well at giving it to my husband to eat it or dispose of it however he likes.  Even if I see it in the fridge at this point I can’t touch it because he will know.  The knowledge that others are aware of the item can distract me because I “will get caught”.

I have not properly dealt with this issue and I try to tell myself it is because I don’t want to give up these kinds of foods.  But the truth is I need to lose weight for my health and as I become more self-aware, I am wanting to get fit.

So why hold on to bingeing?  I am hoping someone can tell me.


9 Replies to “I Can’t Eat Just One”

  1. I believe that addictive behavior comes from your body’s need for specific nutrients, in this case maybe vitamin C and enzymes. So your taste buds crave fruit, and the junk food you eat have just enough similarity to fruit to keep your taste buds interested and addicted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe the type of foods I crave can come from lack of nutrients (as in the cheese, fruit, etc.); however, in my younger days of dieting, I was getting plenty of nutrients from the veggies and smaller but still well balanced meals I was eating. I understand you are applying logic here, but there is much more to it. If it was just a matter of adding nutritious foods to my diet, I would have kicked this disorder years ago. I do my best to balance out my diet with supplements. What I am attempting to describe in this post is an emotional response.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Lydia, you are a voice for many of us. As a coach of women I look at the emotional component of eating. Some experts say chocolate is about the need for love. Salty snacks that make noise are attached to anger. There are now studies done that show the effects of sugar on the brain to be almost the same as cocaine. You are on mark when you refer to this as an addiction. And, as logicman said, it could also be our bodies request for something. Our body has an amazing way of letting us know what we are needing. When we don’t listen it speaks louder and we have ailments to deal with. For example; I was preparing for an event I was putting on which required many hours while working with my lovely clients and parenting and doing everything else I had on. Then I fell and banged my head. Louise Hay says an accident is never an accident and the funny thing is I knew immediately what my body was telling me. SLOW DOWN. You are doing way to much. Love yourself first, step up self care and SLOW DOWN. I love my body, it is such an honest friend. Thank you for your wisdom, Lydia, I value you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and you are so right. I do listen to my body when I am in pain or my moods swing, so why do I not think it is trying to tell me something when it comes to food. My apologies to logicman. I got defensive; however, I really need to listen to others AND to myself. Thank you both. I am blogging as much to learn from others as I am to pass on what I know.


  3. Oh pain…. When I get back pain I get a weird taste in my mouth and I can’t eat heavy foods. All I can eat is carbs like pasta and yes chocolate. Maybe it’s your pain?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, my pain does affect my eating habits quite a bit. Often if I am in too much pain I just can’t get up and make something to eat. So it stands to reason that I would just pick up whatever is handy and easy. And we all know that junk food can be comfort food…or seem like it at least. Thanks for this insight.


  4. I once threw half a bar(250g) of peanut butter chocolate out the window when I was driving because I was in danger of eating the lot. I apologised to the night critters and scavenger birds who’d end up eating it. I just cant buy that kind of thing at all. When there’s left over cake, I throw it in the bin because, lets face it, it’ll do no harm to the bin, but it will to me.
    Have you noticed how chocolate biscuits are always on special? I charge on past that aisle(and the chips, soft drinks and lollies aisle.) because there’s nothing good down there for me or my family.
    I’m learning how to manage my ‘all or nothing’ personality, but its ongoing.
    Best Wishes.
    Skinny Jeans Mum

    Liked by 2 people

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