This last week my cousin Sophia, was here on a visit and among other things we talked about our childhoods and the abuse that we suffered because of them. While some of the abuse was very different we both share abandonment issues. But what was even more interesting is our way of dealing with our issues. We both developed eating disorders. While I feel that her story is hers to tell so I won’t go any farther with it. I am going to share mine.
Hello my name is Rose and I’m a Binge Eater. Food is where I find comfort. It is a way to fill the holes in my life even if it is only temporary. It is a way to feel full when everything in my life is so empty. I wish I could say that all I get from this binge eating is happiness, but after the euphoria of it wears off all I feel is shame and disgust. After all I’ve just ate a pint of ice cream, half a pie, a chocolate bar and a bag of chips in one setting. How sick is that.
|I was abused, my life now feels empty.||I eat everything I can I get my hands on to fill that.|
|Binge eating is caused me to gain weight and feel horrible about myself.||I get depressed.|
|Being depressed makes me feel more empty||I binge eat to full myself up.|
Every day I have to work hard not to allow food to be my comfort, it is like that blanket or toy that children cling to for comfort. They can’t go anywhere without. Food is my Blankie. I have to remind myself daily that food is there to nourish the body not fill the holes of my emotional soul. My teens and twenties were when I really allowed this behavior to run wild. Now I try to keep it in check as much as possible. Some days I still slip but instead of allowing it to become a never-ending cycle I acknowledge my weakness and then I let it go, promising myself that tomorrow I will do better.
The hardest thing for me was learning portion control. Even on a good day when I’m not bingeing I have no idea what full is. I use to just keep eating till I wanted to throw up, I figured that was full. Now I measure out a portion on my plate eat it and wait 20 minutes if I’m still not full then I go back for more, usually I don’t though because I have gotten good at this.
I’ve also had to remove my trigger foods from the house. Just like certain things can cause a flashback to my abuse, certain foods trigger my need to eat and not stop. Pie, cakes, cookies, candies, potato chips, mac and cheese, these are all things that I have no will power against. If they are in the house I’m going to eat them till they are gone. Of course this is hard when you live with other people, so I try to get them to at least buy things that I either done like or I’m allergic to.
I DON’T DIET!!! Diets have a way of triggering my bingeing. Tell me I can’t have something and that is all I want. It becomes an obsession till I have to eat a hundred pounds of it. That is not to say that I don’t try to eat healthy, I do try.
I’ve also got a list of things to do to distract me from the need to feed. Take my dog outside and play with him. He has fun and I’m away from the refrigerator. Drive along the beach, Call a friend, read a book. Play a video game – preferably either exercise/dance or a shooting game.
The hardest thing for me is when I slip and then I have to listen to a family member or friend get on me about how bad it is for me or how disgusting it is that I ate a pint of ice cream and ½ a bag of cookies. For all of you out there that has a friend or family member with this problem – THIS DOES NOT HELP THE MATTER!!! I KNOW it’s disgusting but you telling that just make me feel shame which throws me into the above cause and effect cycle just making me want to eat more.