Thursday, January 29, 2009

A "Good" Day

My counsellor doesn't believe in good and bad days. It is her belief that by labelling a day or behaviour as "good" (not binging/not overeating/maintaining control) or "bad" (binging/overeating/losing control/starving/restricting/purging), we set ourselves up for the very extreme behaviour which we are either rewarding or punishing ourselves for. I have to agree with her, it can be a dangerous mentality and feed the behaviours (no pun intended) that we are trying to break, which in turn cause the negative behaviours. However, I have to call it what it was: today was a good day. The second consecutive day in my adjusted 7 day cycle of not binging. And I feel good as well, both physically and emotionally. It is nice to wear sweats because you are feeling lazy and want to be comfortable, rather than because the button on your jeans is digging into your bulging gut.

That being said though, it is coming up to the weekend, and I hope that I am ready for it. Historically speaking, this is when I do some of my "best" binging. My counsellor thinks it is because I don't have a routine during this time, which makes me susceptible to Ed's temptations. So I am trying to be proactive this weekend. I have done my best to fill up my schedule and occupy myself so when he comes for me, I will tell him to fuck off. I'm anticipating him coming and have already started preparing reasons as to why I won't be with him. I am going to work tomorrow. I will go to the library. I will volunteer. After a long absence, I will go to church on Sunday. I have plans without him on Friday and Saturday night. I don't worry about him coming for me outside of the house, because I do my binging in the privacy of my house, so his fast food friends have no sway over me.

So all I can do at this point is hold my breath and hope for the best. Here goes nothing!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Recommitting to the Declaration and my Goal of the Week

Today was a pretty good day. I woke up feeling like ass, and I'll be honest, I still don't feel great in the stomach, but definitely better than this morning. When I woke up this morning, I thought that as punishment, I wouldn't eat much today, to lay low. But as the day went on, I got hungry, so I resisted the urge to starve myself (not so much resisted as WANTED FOOD), and ate rather healthily throughout the day. But don't think I didn't think about straying from the healthy choices. Sweets from last night were still in the house, and my computer desk had remnants of the cookie dough from last night. Despite all that, though, I was able to stay focused, and survived today (whether it was willpower or a food hangover that kept me in line, I don't know...). What I am pleased about though, is that I spent a better part of the day in the house, by myself and didn't overdo it.

I am slightly worried about Saturday night, though (Danger Day). My counsellor suggested a "plan of attack" for dealing with this day, and it was to make sure I am not alone in my house, so I don't have the chance to binge. However, my friends bailed on a night on the town and my bf is abandoning me for a UFC fight, so I am frantically trying to make replacement plans just to be out of the house during this time. I know if I can just make it through one weekend without binging, I can make it through another. It's all about baby steps.

So I am recommitting to my goal I set forth at the beginning of the week, except now my week will run Wednesday-Tuesday. So day 1 is down, 6 more to go. Wish me luck!


Comin' Down, Comin' Down, Comin' Down...

...Spinnin 'round, Spinnin' round, Spinnin' round'

Here I sit approximately 9 hours later, and the more I think about it, food (being my drug of choice) is really not that different from alcohol. I am suffering from a food hangover, similar to how I've felt after a night on the town, and the more often this happens, the more often I am waking up with a "food hangover". I mean, we've all said these things while we're drinking: "I am going to sleep this off", "I shouldn't have eaten so much last night" (I shouldn't have drank so much last night), "I am not doing this again for a long time".

And then there is the "comin' down". I binge on sugary foods (chocolate, peanut butter, sweets, etc.), so you can imagine that's quite a sugar rush for your body. But then when you come down off of it, you just crash. I get a little shaky, my heart races and you just lose your energy, and for me makes me want to sleep. Perhaps how a drug addict feels coming down off their high. I've not figured out if I want to sleep so I don't have to stay awake and acknowledge what I've done, if it's because I'm actually tired, or if it's coming down off a sugar rush that drains me.

I'm not exercising this morning as I usually do because I feel too crappy (Please don't misconstrue my desire to exercise this morning as a desire to purge my body of last night. Exercising is something I enjoy as it makes me feel good about myself. I feel so strong and empowered when I'm running or kicking butt in a cardio class). So because I ate too much last night, I am not going to start my day off with this feeling of empowerment and enjoyment, like I start most days because my stomach feels so bad. The more I think about it, this is an addiction. It is a fucked up addiction because it makes you eat so much and it tells people that you are disgusting for doing so.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

He Came For Me on A Tuesday and Caught Me Off Guard

I have the knowledge to stop, but it isn't that easy. I met with my counsellor today and while she acknowledges how far I have come, I feel as though I'm getting worse. Just when I thought that I had identified Saturdays as my "Danger Day", I screw it all up with a Tuesday binge (so out of the norm for me).

It started with having company over after dinner, so there were sweets around for the purpose of our guests. Having given myself permission to have one sweet, that quickly lead to eating a quarter of the pan of squares - it was so out of control. Then my "go big or go home" mentality took over and it was game on. Needless to say I feel pretty sick in my stomach right now.

Today when I met with my counsellor, I realized that Saturday seems to be my "Danger Day". So we set up a plan of attack for how I would react come Saturday. This included not giving myself the opportunity to binge by surrounding myself with people, and when I left her office, I felt ready to do so. I am a very structured person and I enjoy planning out my life, knowing what is going to come next, but what I didn't anticipate was when he came calling on a Tuesday. I was not equipped to fight him today, he "sneak attacked" me. And I let him. Rather than mentally and physically removing myself from the situation, I let him seduce me with his sugary treats. And here I sit, wishing it would all just go away, how easy it would be if my drug of choice weren't food. If it were alcohol, I could not go to a bar, to a liquor store. If it were drugs, I could not buy them or hang around people who have drugs, but as my counsellor explained, we need food to live. There is no avoiding food. And through having these problems with food, I have replaced its intended purpose (i.e. survival), with self medication. But what am I medicating myself from, what is so bad in my life that I have to run to food to comfort me? These are the questions I am working through in counselling. I never thought of myself to be one with problems - I come from a good home, have a loving family, a devoted boyfriend, but deep down, am I missing something? Companionship? Am I lonely?

I need someone out there to help me with this. Perhaps you are going through something similar, I know someone is.



Monday, January 26, 2009


This is a new week, the last few Mondays seem to start out like this for me, it is when I get to the weekend that everything seems to be forgotten. But right now, I have hit the re-set button and I am moving into a new day, a new week, committed once again to myself. It's all I can do at this point.

I have done my best through exercise this morning to "purge" my body of the harm from the weekend. But I am going to resist the urge to starve myself and restart this week with nourishment and things that are good for me. I am going to go back on my diet plan, the one that I started on back in the summer. I have never really acknowledged stopping it because I follow it for about 5-6 days of the week for the last 5 weeks or so (come to think of it, nowhere in my diet plan does it say to eat yourself into a sugar coma until you feel sick), but this week I am making the commitment to myself to follow it through for a solid 7 consecutive days. This will not be easy as I have a dinner meeting this evening and plans to go out with the girls on the weekend.

The good thing about busying myself with commitments is that being around others I won't have the opportunity to binge by myself, and Saturday seeming to be the day I need to make an extra effort to resist the temptations. I never want to feel like I felt yesterday and Saturday - both physically and emotionally. This is just so emotionally draining, the ups and downs.

So there it is: My goal for the week is to see through the week without binging, 7 consecutive days. I hope to achieve this through setting daily meal plans for myself and sticking to them. These will include small daily treats for myself so I do not feel like I am restricting myself. (You may think that by compulsively planning what I will eat in the course of a day is a controlling process, but this is how I do things and it works for me - I am a "list" person so to speak, at work/school, lists keep me on task and focused, so while this may not seem like a good idea for some people, this is what will work for me.) And who knows, maybe from there I can make it another 7 days. But baby steps for now - one day at a time.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Go Big or Go Home...

...If someone were to write a biography of my life, this would be the appropriate title. When I commit myself to something, I often take an "all or nothing" attitude, which has been great for my school work, my professional life and everything in between. When I was following my diet plan through the ass-half of last year, it was what enabled me to be so succesful in losing weight and following a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, after my last post last night, I literally ate my own words - and peanut butter, lasagna, frozen chocolates, 100 calorie cakes, deserts and more. I had no sooner written my pride of a succesful week, when I thought I should have a small bite of something. 30 minutes later I was suffering from a serious case of "gut rot" and guilt. My reason for even staying in last night was to work on a school assignment that should have taken no longer than an hour, but took me about 4 hours to finish due to my distractions.

Today was no better. After attending a lunch party this afternoon, this has likely been my biggest day of failure to date. I had 4 (yes 4) slices of pizza (in my defense they were not huge slices but everyone else on average had 1-2 slices) and a chocolate bar (in case yu're wondering what kind of lunch party it was, it was at the movie theatre with a volunteer group I work with). So I thought that would be my day, but halfway through the movie we saw, I started thinking about how I had already blown my "diet" and should get something on the way home.

When I stopped in to get something at the grocery store and didn't find what I was looking for, I went to another store in search of something chocolatey and sweet. This turned out to be a huge brownie with marshmallows on top and was amazing, if I do say. But it didn't stop there. While sitting in front of the computer once I was home, I polished off 3 more chocolate bars (regular size) and had a plate of casserole for dinner. You would think I might be full by this point - and I was, but he was tempting me, telling me I needed more. So I went to my good friend PB (which is down to about half a jar from yesterday), ate some frozen cookie dough, more deserts and finished it all off with some chocolates. If I thought I had a bad case of "gut rot" yesterday, well that was nothing.

As I'm typing this I don't think I have ever felt so sick in my life. I won't be going out with my friends tonight because I feel so sick and I think I actually have too much sugar in my system as my hands are now shaking. It is this "go big or go home" mentality that is going to be the end of me, which was what I did last night and today. And I can't throw up. Not because I don't want to, because I do, but I can stick my fingers down my throat all I want and can't seem to bring anything up. And what's scary is as sick as I feel, I still want to eat more - to taste food in my mouth, to taste anything.

Now, I know I have a lot of information on how I should be fighting this, and I was fine until yesterday but I got caught up in the ugly grips of binging and am paying for it now. But I guess this was the point of my blog, so I can document my ups and downs. I can't even express how much I hate myself right now as I'm sitting here crying.

I was going through a community newspaper yesterday and came across an ad for Overeaters Anonymous. I had no idea such a thing existed, but perhaps is something I will look into. It follows the format of Alcoholics Anonymous and Gambler's Anonymous, which is comforting since this tells me that there are people in this world who recognize food as an addiction - something I have been unsuccessful in convincing people that this actually exists. I was on their website and fit most of the criteria as an overeater on their homepage. I am hoping to attend a meeting this week just to see what they are about. What I am looking for is a community of people who understand this, and this could be just the place to find it.

I am going to try and sleep now, as early as it is, with the assistance of sleeping pills, as I just want to sleep this off. Hmm, I've found myself saying that very thing after a night out on the town as well, interesting correlation between excessive drinking and eating - maybe they aren't so different after all. I mean, have you ever heard someone say "I wish I drank more"? People usually say "I shouldn't have drank so much". Just replace the word "drank" with "ate" and it is essentially the same thing. Interesting...

This "go big or go home" attitude is just what my counsellor was speaking to when she suggested RESTART. When I find myself thinking "all or nothing", it doesn't have to be like that, and any moment is a moment to start over.

So, wish me luck this week, I know this is not going to be easy as I fight the urge to overeat, and undereat to compensate for the last 24hours. I look forward to checking out this Overeaters Anonymous this week.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Right Now I Am Not Eating

So this was the first week of my new commitment to myself, and I must say, it isn't as easy as saying "this week I am just not going to binge". Given my newfound commitment to respecting myself and my body, I find myself thinking about food a lot. What makes it hard, is right now for example, I do not feel like I am just sitting at my computer and typing, but I am sitting here not eating. This has been a way of thinking for me for a while now, that I find myself out with friends or at school, rather than focusing on what we are doing, I am thinking about how I am not eating, which has been the hardest part of my week. But through the week, in an effort to not restrict food from my diet, I allowed myself to have a small treat here and there.

Today I was out with friends today and we stopped at a coffee shop and the doughnuts had caught my eye behind the counter. I started internally arguing with myself on why I couldn't have one, but then I thought about something my mother told me, learned through years of yo-yo dieting, which is by depriving myself of foods that I like or want, I will only set myself up for failure, and I realized that through restricting foods through the week or in public, I am setting myself up to crash and burn when I am by myself, which is when I binge. So I ordered this chocolate filled doughnut and not only did it taste amazing, but 5 hours later, I don't even feel guilty about it, where if I had thought about how much I wanted it and didn't have it, I would have had it on the brain tonight and might be back to where I was last Saturday night.

Given that I am in on a Saturday night by myself, this would normally be prime binging time and I have actually surprised myself that I have not made my way to the kitchen for midless eating. I do have to say, I picked up the (new) peanut butter jar several times to contemplate taking a spoonful but realized he was only trying to control me, and I know that I wouldn't stop at one spoonful, but only once I begin to feel sick in the stomach or start scraping the sides of the inside of the jar.

The counsellor that I am seeing on a bi-weekly basis had some really good advice for me, which has helped me get through the past week, especially this "peanut butter moment". She said when I find myself mindlessly looking through the fridge, or binging on whatever the food of the moment is, is to separate my thoughts from his, and ask myself if this is what I really want - what am I really looking for in the jar of peanut butter? In addition to disordered eating habits, I have low self esteem and mild social anxiety (both of which I am working on as a commitment to respecting myself), so for me, perhaps I'm feeling lonely, or sad about my day, or frustrated with life. Everyone has their own reasons for giving into their own addiction and these moments you look to medicate yourself with whatever your drug of choice is. So through identifying what I'm really feeling at the moment, taking a few deep breaths and mentally questioning what I am doing has given me the power to take a step back and say, "I don't need this". And feeling this empowered and in control feels so much better than the self loathing and resentment I would have felt after binging.

So all in all, this was a pretty good week, not necessarily easy, but I have accomplished my goals of not binging and respecting myself through the week. I am just taking this one day at a time - one week at a time. I hope next week is as much of a success as this week, and who knows, maybe it will even be a little easier.

Thanks to those of you who took the time to email me through the last week. I think you would be surprised at the people who identify with this feeling of being misunderstood in not having a traditional eating disorder. I hadn't really thought about how disordered eating might affect men - the men in my life eat the most unhealthy foods and then whine about losing weight and their "bulk". But there are men out there who go through this as well - this type of thing doesn't just prey on women and I hope we can provide help and support for one another, regardless of who you are. Please feel free to post comments and questions. I would love for this to become some type of forum that we can discuss these issues through the anonymity of the Internet with understanding people.

Take Care


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Committing to Change

The following is taken from a journal entry I wrote last night. This proceeds a week of what I thought was the beginning of a new me, a new outlook on food and life. But then on Saturday evening before leaving for a party, I found myself alone in my house, looking for a treat. The treat of cake turned into an all-out binge fest in which I ate a lot of food, so much that when I finished I was feeling sick to my stomach. This binge included an extra piece of cake, cleaning the icing bowl, eating frozen cookie dough, finishing off the 1kg peanut butter jar that was opened two weeks ago and emptied through the course of several binges (not once was it used on toast or a sandwich - its intended purpose) and fudge.

I eventually made it to the party but was NOT feeling good (as you might imagine). I ended up leaving after about an hour since I was feeling so sick. I came home and slept for a few hours but awoke to the tempting cries of more cake, which was finished off with mint chocolate, more cookie dough, fudge, cool whip, chips, peanuts and M&M's (in my defense the last three were all in nearly eaten bags, but the disgust I felt when I threw out three empty food bags was beyond disgraceful). This all followed by crying and self loating, and starting a journal for myself. I decided I can no longer live like this, and have made this commitment to myself, similar to the Declaration of Independence written by Jenni Schaefer. I am sharing this with you as part of holding myself accountable for my eating behaviours.

(He, him, ED and other male pronouns refer to ED, or Eating Disorder. In her book, Life Without Ed, Jenni identifies her eating disorder as an abusive relationship with an abusive man named Ed, which I have also used to identify the controlling thoughts of my food addiction.)

This was written at 2:08am this morning.

Today I will make a promise to myself to respect me and my body. I will banish all neagtive thoughts from my mind because I deserve to be happy. I have also made a commitment to *N to stop abusing her body through over-eating, trying to purge and physical abuse. I do not treat others the way I treat myself and I deserve the same respect that I give to others. I will no longer give into the controlling nature of him. Today I am leaving him and will not be seduced back by his ways. He will no longer hypnotize me with a jar of peanut butter or his other weapons which he uses against me. Through leaving this part of my life behind, I will take food back into my life, not as comfort for loneliness, sadness or boredom, but for a way to nourish myself in a respectful manner. I cannot allow myself to be addicted to him anymore. When I am with him, I get depressed and he makes me hate myself, and for what? A feeling of sickness, regret, self loathing and more. I wouldn`t let a human treat me this way, and I will no longer let him.

This emancipation from him will include more than over eating, but also his controlling nature. I will allow myself to have any food desired within moderation and in a controlled environment. Allowing myself to have small treats will be my ammunition for when he comes for me. When he comes, my ammunition will be distraction tactics, such as brushing my teeth, checking my email, calling a friend, etc. The people in my life love me and are here for me, and are perhaps the most important resource I have in fighting him. I give permission for myself to use their help as they would use mine, because I give myself permission to value myself.

Through living by these words from now on, I will no longer go to bed feeling as sick as I do now. I will begin to love myself and honor my body.

ED, we are through; its over; you can no longer torment me; your seductions will not work here any more. My desire to beat you is stronger than my will to let you beat me.

Love *N

*N and the Binge

Hello and thanks for visiting my page.

I have created this as a means to reach out to others who might find themselves in my situation. What is my situation? It's not quite an eating disorder, but what is more commonly becoming known as disordered eating. The best way I can define this is as having irregular and unhealthy eating patterns, and for me means binging. Binging commonly goes hand-in-hand with purging, or bulimia, however inducing vomitting is not something that comes easily to me - not for a lack of trying of course (I know that is wrong). Bulimia is a serious disease for many people and it is not something I want for myself, but I find myself, once I have binged standing over the toilet with my finger down my throat. I often do this until my throat is sore from trying, but have not once been able to physically throw up, which could possibly be some sort of divine intervention - not being able to throw up. On several occasions I find myself crying and punching my stomach, not necessarily as punishment, but just trying to get the food out because it feels so bad inside me.

A typical binge for me begins with finding myself alone in my house - a time when I can binge in peace without someone to judgingly watch. It often starts with allowing myself to have something small, but then realizing that allowing this was just a tease and that I need more, so I take more. Followed by 30 or 40 minutes of losing control and eating anything in site (for me it is usually chocolate, desert type foods and even spoonfuls of peanut butter), followed by a realization of what happened, and then resentment/guilt/self hatred and finally sadness. I often end these binges crying into my pillow for having allowed this to happen, knowing that it was wrong from the beginning.

Many people do not understand that food is an addiction, and for many, happens to be the drug of choice. In the past I have found myself wishing for an alcohol or drug addiction because at least people around me would understand that. I know, it is an aweful thing to wish and is something that kills many people each year, but people understand these more so than a food addiction. When you can't stop eating people just think of you as disgusting or "just stop eating", as if you are an idiot and had never thought of that before.

My purpose in setting up this page is to connect with others out there who are experiencing this type of food addiction, and want to stop, but are unable to through their own lack of self control. It is my hope that we can support each other and offer advice and encouragement.

A little bit about me:
I am a 25 year old female who has never by any means been overweight or had an eating disorder. I had always prided myself on not falling into fad diets and not being one of those girls who obsess over food - one that a guy would have a good time with at a restaurant because I would order real food rather than rabbit food. Over the summer I started following a popular diet program and took me from 156lbs., to 137lbs over the course of about 6 months. Over these months I began to become obsessed with food, my life would revolve around menus, calories, fat, etc., and I stopped enjoying food. It became more of a comfort for loneliness, sadness or whatever negative emotion I might be feeling. Since the holidays, I have jumped up to 144lbs but want to catch this while it's early since an underactive thyroid is working against me and given my destructive eating habits I will likely surpass my original weight. The only thing I have working with me in helping fight this is that I exercise on a daily basis.

Over the last two months I have sought professional help for this emotional eating and know the theory behind healthy eating but am having a hard time practicing it. Over this period, I have also read a helpful book which has allowed me to identify means for fighting disordered eating. Life Without Ed by Jenni Schaefer has been a big support for me, and while I do not suffer from anorexia or bulimia, the controlling mind of one suffering from unhealthy food relationships is a common trait shared among many women suffering from disordered eating, or an eating disorder.

I have taken some of her suggestions, which I will post in the coming days. My hope with this blog is to be able to provide support to those out there who are suffering from this problem, as there are many resources for anorexia and bulimia, but not disordered eating, although everyone is welcome to share their thoughts and help each other. Through developing virtual realtionships, I hope to find a reason to be accountable for my actions and that we can empower each other to fight this together.

I just want to feel healthy and normal again and no longer go to bed feeling sick from overeating, to stop hating myself for doing this to myself, and to be happy again. Please feel free to leave your comments, I look forward to hearing from you.