I haven’t really talked about the subject of Binge Eating or Eating Disorders on my blog because I felt like I wasn’t really qualified to give advice. I’m not a dietitian. I don’t have a medical degree and I am definitely not a mental health professional.
With the recent outrage against Marie-Claire and the much needed discussion in the blogging community about Eating Disorders, I wanted to share my OWN experiences with compulsive eating. And let me stress this again: I am not a professional. This is just my story.
I haven’t addressed it honestly because I thought my blog is pretty self-explanatory. I mean, I wasn’t 250 pounds because I ate salads and watched my calories!
I don’t know that if I can really say I was a binge eater when I was obese. I was definitely addicted to sugar. I had a sweet tooth that was out of control. I was also ignorant to portion control.
If you haven’t checked out the blog Fit to the Finish, you must! Her story is amazing. She lost 150 pounds. One of her recent posts sparked a memory for me. She told a story about her Confession Brownies.
I have a similar story. I used to bake. A lot. I loved baking, it was something I did very well. I’d try new recipes and once in awhile I’d alter the recipe or change it up (which is very unlike me because I am a Recipe Follower). I’d bake brownies from scratch, I made the best chocolate chip cookies you’d ever eat. One of my favorites to do was Lemon Squares.
Mmmm. My mouth waters at just the thought of Lemon Squares.
If you remember last weekend, I posted about the No Pudge Brownies I made. I will admit it’s been awhile since I baked anything. I did not trust myself to have those things in the house. Just the thought of it caused me anxiety.
The only desserts I’ve had in the house the last year or so were those chocolate chip cookie dough packages you can buy at the store. Why? Because I’d bake one serving at a time and I did not overindulge.
We also had ice cream in the freezer off and on. That used to be a big no-no for me because ice cream was one of my trigger foods. Our freezer isn’t easily accessible (you have to bend down to open it) which seems silly but just that fact alone makes it so I rarely look in the freezer.
There have been some recent stressors in my life lately.
Some things I’d rather not blog about, plus the stupid IT Band injury that’s sidelined me from running and most cardio machines. It’s been a frustrating time in my life. Feeling out of control of things is often the cause for people to resort to emotional eating. I know I fall into that category…
When I was 250 and I’d bake, I remember feeling like those treats were calling to me. I’d try to avoid them. I’d try to “be good.” I’d try REALLY hard not to keep eating them…but then my willpower would falter and I’d eat them all.
That happened too many times to count in my life. It’s embarrassing. It causes me shame even to this day. Cutting the brownies out of the pan length-wise so it didn’t look like I’d eaten half of them already.
Well this weekend those damn No Pudge Brownies brought back those feelings for me. Suddenly it felt like they were calling to me. Those brownies (and cupcakes from a friend) were all I could think about when I was in the house.
“I want a brownie.”
“Those cupcakes were amazing with cream cheese frosting.”
“I can’t have dessert, I’m way over my calories already for today.”
“Don’t eat a brownie. You had candy at work today.”
“I should just eat them all so they are out of the house!”
To shake myself out of these behaviors I told myself to STOP obsessing. Who cares if there are brownies on the counter in plain sight? That doesn’t mean I have to eat them all.
And it’s OKAY to eat one brownie. Or two. I don’t work out and eat healthy to deny myself of treats once in awhile. I talk about moderation a lot and sometimes simply reminding myself of my 90/10 Rule is enough to snap me out of it.
- Realize I’m not perfect. And I DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT.
- Grow from my mistakes. And ask myself, “Is it REALLY a mistake?”
- Remind myself it’s okay to have negative emotions and eating them away is not the answer.
- Anticipate potential stressful times and don’t have trigger foods in the house during those times!
- Keep myself busy during times when I feel like I might have an issue.
- When I get the urge to bake, take half of them to work or give them to friends and only have a few on hand in the house.
- Continue my normal exercise routine. I do not punish myself with exercise when I overeat. Exercise is an outlet for stress and it also makes my body feel good. I want to keep it that way!
I’m not beating myself up for eating more treats the last few days. It’s not worth getting upset about. Life is meant to be enjoyed. I don’t work out as much as I do to NOT eat and NOT enjoy living.
QUESTION: Do you have any tricks or tips to avoid bingeing?