So – I’m going to be brave, and write about my binge behavior for the next few days. You have to know before we start….that this ‘thing’ is likely the biggest shame of my life. I’m able to talk about it now – because I have promised myself that we will stop. (Oh yes , we – this is going to require ME, MYSELF, and I — all of us!) I feel that I am close to ridding myself of this ‘thing‘.
I can’t pin point when it started, all I can say is that I can remember being a girl (possibly 10 or so), sneaking snacks out of the kitchen cabinet — taking stacks of oreos out of the packages my mom would buy. Probably the entire row of cookies if I am honest. Then going back later for more. There were 5 of us kids – so it was easy to blame someone else for the disappearing food and get away with it. “Get away with it”. Such a weird turn of phrase. The only person who would punish me later — was myself. And I promise you, there is no way to ‘get away’ from oneself.
Food, aka meals, were not my problem, mostly. I was not a great “eater” as a young adult, but volume control was never a problem with meals. In college – I remember my senior year, I was living in a single dorm room – spacious, quiet, a lot of freedom to do whatever I wanted. Especially if what I wanted to do was hide – and eat. I didn’t have a lot of money from my on-campus work-study job, but I was on a meal plan, so breakfast/lunch/dinner was served up for me. Yet when I had enough money I would walk down to the store in town and buy strawberry shortcake ice cream bars.
I knew something was wrong when the obsessive thought I would have the entire walk to the store was…how many should I buy? I started with 3. Weeks later (long after this became a habit), I would buy 5 or 6. Since I didn’t have a freezer in my dorm room – I knew I was going to sit on my bed, and eat them all. One after the other. While other kids were over indulging on beer and alcohol — I was secretly gorging myself on ice cream and other sugar snacks.
So – if you are out there thinking — “why the hell would this girl do this to herself?” I can’t explain it. And if you are out there saying (through your tears)..“I understand, because…that’s me too”… I know…that you likely don’t know why either.
By the time my daughters were born, I was a full-blown sugar addict, and was never able to lose my baby weight. To soothe myself, I would buy an entire box of Twinkies and eat the entire box. That’s probably 24 Twinkies in one afternoon. Sometimes I would begin to feel nauseous. (Now a logical person would stop eating them, I know). But what I did was also buy a box of devil dogs or Suzie Q’s — and alternate eating them alongside the Twinkies. This enabled me to eat all the Twinkies I wanted. And I wanted them all. Until they were gone. That’s how binge eating thing goes for me. Eat until the source of my obsession is gone.
It doesn’t make sense. I can’t make it make sense for you, or for me. It just was. For a very long time. For more than 3/4 of my life.
During these 30 years of my life. I would diet and restrict myself for as long as I could — then crash into binge. Then start over, out of the ashes of my own self hatred and shame. I joined Weight Watchers, I tried Adkins, I did South Beach. I tried it all. I would lose some weight…but it didn’t stay away for very long. Because when the flood gates broke…..I would drown my sorrows in cupcakes and whatever else I had been obsessing over while I dieted.
This cycle hurt. And it didn’t begin to stop until 2010. That’s when I joined Weight Watchers for the last time, and met my leader Denise in East Brunswick.
There in that room, (without my knowing it) I began to heal from my binge behavior. Why did it work? And Am I cured?? Haha, well — lets talk more tomorrow and I will fill you in on what happened between 2010 and now. There are ups and downs…but happiness abounds!
Ciao for now….Diane