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 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.