Something I remember all too well is that intense feeling of excitement right before a binge session. It was an overpowering excitement, like the feeling you got on Christmas Eve as a kid. The anticipation was almost better than the actual event.
When I was 250 pounds, I definitely had food issues. I didn’t know what a calorie was, I didn’t know what a portion size was and I didn’t care. I thought I was eating healthy. I wasn’t. A lot of my problems were Boredom Eating. I used eating as an escape and as a hobby. Most of the overeating was in front of the television. I was bingeing on food and mindless TV.
But every once in awhile, I would participate in what I’d call an “intentional binge.” I planned it. It was usually on a weekend, so Friday night I’d stop at the store and get a bunch of treats that I wanted. It was usually a carton of my favorite ice cream, some mint oreo cookies, a gallon of milk to go with the cookies and maybe some candy bars, too.
I’d go home and order a pizza and eat the whole thing by myself and then tear into the desserts I’d bought. While this didn’t happen a lot, it happened more often than it ever should have. And I loved it! I ate all of my favorite foods and enjoyed every sweet bite of it.
Check out some of my old posts regarding binge eating:
Like I stated in the beginning of this post, the anticipation of the binge was often more enjoyable than the actual eating of the food. I don’t know why–maybe it was comforting, or familiar, maybe it was just about the ritual of eating my favorite foods in massive quantities. The point is that it a mindful act: I prepared for it.
How are things different for me now?
While I still struggle on occasion with binge eating (often times more fighting the desire than actually doing it again), I am doing pretty well. It’s been years since I’ve actively planned a binge eating session. In fact, I don’t even remember the last time I did it.
Having a steady exercise routine helps a lot with the urges to binge. I find that when I exercise I feel happier, healthier and in turn I want to eat healthier things. I also find that when I consistently eat healthy foods, I don’t crave the JUNK as often, either! I firmly believe that junk food has additives in it that makes you crave it more–but if you cut it out, that craving disappears.
Something else that helps is having a partner who is supportive and (usually) understanding. There’s also a level of embarrassment — I don’t ever want to binge eat in front of Michael. The idea of it makes me cringe, and that cringing keeps me from ever doing it! It brings me out of that moment of “oh, I would love to eat a bunch of my favorite foods that I haven’t had in years” and back to the moment of “I really don’t WANT to do that.” It’s funny, Michael was out of town for work a few months ago and I had that anticipation of “I could do anything I wanted and eat anything I wanted all weekend long!” What did I end up doing? I bought some Indian food from Trader Joe’s and watched a bunch of Netflix. Not exactly a binge. Thankfully!
Now your input: did you PLAN binges?