Full Disclosure: This post was a hard one for me to write and even publish. I actually wrote another draft of it almost a year ago but immediately deleted it. I didn’t want anyone to read it or even know about it. I’ve been asking myself should I even release it. But you know what, my story may help someone else. So, please read on.
I am a binge eater.
It feels so strange to put a label on something that I’ve been dealing with most of my life up to now. But that’s the proper label for what this is.
Let me explain.
I know that my relationship with food is really screwed up. It always has been. Ever since I was a child. More than it has ever been.
As a child, I remember looking forward to desserts. Really, I just looked forward to just eating in general. The food my parents prepared to eat was just not appealing to me.
I was a super picky eater. I am still but 1000 times better than I used to be.
Back to the story.
Instead, I consumed sugar. All kinds of sugar in the form of chocolate, cakes, cookies, etc. It was my drug of choice. I’d rather have fast food over a home cooked meal.
I was one of those kids.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I did eat food that my parents made. Reluctantly! But sometimes, I just didn’t want it. Somewhere, the balance between eating regular food and eating sweets completely shifted to the unhealthy side. It never really switched back. I can say that this was very early on. Before I even reached 10 years old.
The trend continued from being a kid to being a teenager and even a young adult. I consumed more and more food because I felt like I could never get enough of the good stuff. I was making up for lost time. Or I was just making up for what I thought I was missing.
Eating food was a comfort for me. It was a friend that never judged or even disagreed with me. It just wanted to make sure I was happy. I was only happy when I ate.
I would eat in secret and hide food and dessert wrappers from friends and family. I would eat alone because I didn’t want anyone to see how much food I was consuming. It was horrible and pretty disgusting when I look back on it now.
No one ever knew. If they did, they never said anything about it: maybe not to make me feel bad about it.
No one should ever have a destructive relationship with food like this. Food is fuel for the body, not a treat. It’s not something that you countdown for. The big show of the day.
In my mind, eating was and still is something to look forward to. It’s become a reward and that’s the wrong mindset.
For the last couple years, I don’t know where my mind and body split but it happened. Before this split, I had no food issues for several years. I thought I had beaten this binge eating issue. I would just eat food because I needed to eat.
Somewhere in time, that changed.
Instead, I wanted to eat all the things. I’m not necessarily hunger. I just want to eat. The cravings are out of control. I don’t act on all of them but I do act on some.
Sometime after my gallbladder was taken out, my “willpower” went with it. Maybe it was slow weight gain that just made me want to say “forget everything I was doing”.
I’m not really sure but I really felt like I failed what I had started back in 2011. I had lost 300 pounds but didn’t know how to really keep it off.
I didn’t heal all the wounds that were still open and clearly visible.
Over the past few months, I started working on myself. I’m really trying to figure out what makes me tick. I’ve really been thinking about my triggers. What makes me want to eat certain things? Am I actually eating enough every day? Should I eat more often? Should I have a little bit of something to curb having a lot of something?
These are all questions that I’ve been thinking about. Binge eating is a serious issue. It’s something I’ve dealt with my entire life but just never did anything about it. For others, it’s a different type of ordeal. Read the book, Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen, if you want a similar perspective.
I’ve been a binge eater my entire life. My relationship with food was never healthy back when we first lost weight. I really have to fix this broken relationship before I can really move forward and lose the weight again.
Like anything, it’s a process. A work in progress. It’s something that I’ll be working on for a long time.
Do you struggle with your relationship with food?
What triggers you to overeat?