Give me Some Effing Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt: my Struggle With Binge Eating

Does it sound like a hostage situation? Because that’s what it feels like.

I have been trying to stick to a healthy diet and get more movement in during the day. Sounds like it wouldn’t be too hard, right? Nope.

One of the ways I deal with stress and anxiety is by using food, so not being able to reach for chocolate right now is killing me. OK, not literally, but it is hard. Today I am going to talk about something that most people do not know about me. I don’t talk about it because I am ashamed of it.

Not only do I use food as a coping mechanism, but I have a history of binge eating. I have a tendency to not only binge but to do so in private. I have hidden food, hidden evidence of a binge. Binging makes me feel good in the moment but terrible afterward. Full disclosure: there is a bag of Russell Stovers chocolate in my desk drawer right now. I bought it yesterday after lunch in a moment of weakness and ate a lot- making sure that I purchased it, stuck it in my drawer, and gorged on it while my office mate was at lunch.

When I am in a low period, I would describe it as an almost obsessive thing; an internal struggle going on all day long. It feels like my inner two-year-old is having a nuclear tantrum. It feels like a hostage negotiation with a terrorist inside my head.

My mind argues with itself: Find something to eat… No, I don’t need to snack… I can’t handle this, I have to have food… You just ate an hour ago, it’s OK… OMG, I can’t stand feeling my stomach growl any longer, it’s been growling for three hours… Just a small snack won’t hurt… Stay strong… @#$&*!, why do I have to deal with xyz? I don’t give a @#$%&! any more, I’m going to get some chocolate… Drink some more water… I can’t drink more water, I have been in the bathroom all day long… Just give me something to get through this… Dude, you were in unmedicated labor with your kid for almost 24 hours, you can handle this… You’ve been good today, you deserve a treat… ‘Treats’ aren’t everyday food… You’ve already blown your diet, just eat some more, you can start again tomorrow…

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On and on my brain goes around and around. If I get annoyed; when I get frustrated; if I get pissed off; when I am feeling sad; if I am bored, and so on. Nine times out of ten the terrorist wins, my self-control dissipates.

I know I need to make the effort to be healthier, not just for myself, but for my family too. I want to be a good role model for my kids. I want them to grow up with a healthy relationship with food. I want to feel good. I want to feel good about myself. I want to fit in my clothes.

Often I start out with good intentions. Today I am going to eat healthily, log all my meals, stick to my eating plan, this is the day it is going to stick! But then the day goes to shit and I am jonesing for something to take the edge off. Finally, I give in, eat a ton of stuff, and then feel horrible. I have repeated this cycle for years. I have been successful in losing weight, but keeping it off is hard.

Yesterday I read Never Binge Again by Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. Right away I identified with everything he said. I resolved to start living by the principles detailed in his book and to trust the process, after all, nothing changes unless you change. So, here’s to a new beginning and success. Today I am changing.

Find the book here. You can download the Kindle version for free.

Disclaimer: Any opinions or reviews of the product(s) listed above are my own and I have received no payment or other compensation for reviews of products or services.

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