A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Caging the Binge Monster

I know you guys are getting tired of reading about my frequent binge episodes, and quite frankly, I'm tired of telling you about them.  But I think posting about this crap is helping me in some way....not exactly sure what way, but I think quitting posting or shutting down the blog would end up being way more damaging than writing all this garbage out.

Today was a really bad day.  Yes, ANOTHER really bad day.  They're so frequent, and I feel the need to apologize for that, but it's simply how my life is right now.  This is the second week in a row that I didn't get paid.  I was supposed to have 2 weeks of pay left on the unemployment, pending on whatever's going on in Congress right now...and yet, I haven't received either one of those checks.  I'm holding my breath that all the paperwork that I had to fill out last week when I didn't get my check will be processed by this Friday and I'll get BOTH checks and can actually pay the people I owe.  At least that is my hope. 

I didn't even have the heart or guts to ask Dwayne for any financial help this week, because he came through for me so valiantly last week.  That, in turn, led to an argument, and it just grew and grew and I was pushing him away as hard as I could.  It's really for his own good....I don't want to pull him down into the muck and mire with me.  It's depressing down here.  How did all of this affect my eating today?

I had a 200 calorie breakfast scramble at 7am, right after I found out my bank account was still empty.  And then at noon my sister, nephew and I were out shopping at Goodwill for some clothes and we had a really big lunch around noon.  This is where I felt myself starting to slide downhill.  I got lost while driving around looking for a particular road, Cyress was in the backseat whining, it's been raining all day and my windows were fogged up and I forgot the driver's side one is broken.  I tried to roll it down and it FELL down and startled the crap out of me.  I pulled over and finally got it back up, got back on the road and a van pulled out in front of me while I was going about 45 mph....Amy and I both threw our arms out to the side (as if we were trying to keep Cyress from flying over the front seat) while I slammed on the brakes, and then I went to cussing at the van (like they could hear me), telling them I've got a kid in the car!!  Were they trying to kill the baby???  Yeah I know...it was bad to cuss in front of the youngin'.....but it was just one of those stressful days. 

Right after that I told Amy I feel like binge eating today.  She said, "Awwww....I'm sorry......I know what that feels like."  Even though she's a twig and I didn't believe that she really knows what that feels like, the fact that she was sympathizing with me got me teary-eyed.  It felt like someone cared, but was it enough to stop the cycle I was in?  We stopped at Quik Trip to get gas and I got a medium caramel macchiato and a brownie.  I drank half the coffee and threw the rest out when I got home.  I shared the brownie with Cyress and Amy, so I ate about half of that.  That was my attempt at trying to save myself before the whole day was ruined.

I got home about 3:30p I think and started drinking water....lots of water.  Argued some more with Dwayne through email....texted Billie and cancelled the gym for tonight....cried for about an hour, took an hour nap, woke up and cried some more.  I knew what I was headed for.  Didn't I just do this last week?  Yes I did.  Am I going to have to go through this every week?  I don't know. 

I guess the first bit of good news is that I'm now acutely aware of when a binge is coming on.  I've read in other blogs where people say they kind of "wake up" in the middle of one, after they've ingested 4,000 cals, and can't even remember how it really started.  I may have been guilty of that in the past, because before I started blogging, I really didn't know what bingeing was.  To me, it was my "normal".  I didn't know there was an actual term for eating like a moron or stuffing down your emotions or stress with food.  But now that I've been at this blogging thing for a while, I'm all too aware of what's going on....what leads up to one, how quickly the downhill slide is if you enter into one, and how amazingly fast it's over with and how many calories I can eat in such a short amount of time.  I'm also becoming aware of just how horrid I feel afterwards.  The guilt and disappointment in myself is overwhelming.  It's absolutely suffocating.

That's actually a good thing, because if I keep concentrating on that when I feel a binge coming on, then hopefully I'll be able to stop myself more frequently, and they will be fewer and farther inbetween.  I've just about decided that emotional and stressful stuff will always trigger the binge feelings for me.  Kind of like once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, no matter how many years you're in recovery.  I'm thinking it's also once a binge-er, always a binge-er (no, that's probably not a real word, lol). 

Back to the eating.  I woke up from my nap and drank some more water.....I think I've had my usual (3) 32 oz. glasses so far today.  Then Shane called me at 7pm and asked what's for dinner.  Sh*t.  I was trying not to cook dinner because it was one of those desperate feelings of eat absolutely nothing else today, or you're going to eat everything in the house.   I hate to sound so extreme, but that's the truth for me.  Some days are just like that.  I told him I'd make some chicken tenders in Rotel for soft tacos, because I knew I just had those a couple of days ago, and they didn't sound that appetizing to me tonight, so I shouldn't be tempted.  So I made them, and I didn't touch them.  It's 8:30pm right now, and I haven't had another bite of food since that 1/2 of brownie this afternoon around 2:30pm.  I think I made it through the binge feelings w/o doing too much damage for the entire day.  I had a big lunch, and fattening snacks with the brownie and coffee.  But since breakfast was only 200 cals and I haven't had dinner, I think the overall day may still be intact. 

There's nothing saying that I won't be back on here Friday if I don't get my check again, telling you how I ate 10 bacon double cheeseburgers.  I'm not brazen enough to claim that kind of victory over bingeing.  But I made it through today.  I stopped the cycle before it really got out of control, and I feel pretty good about that.  It's still a crappy day and I feel bad in a lot of other ways, but there's one tiny gleam of hope that I get to hold onto for today.  I have to believe that the more I work at breaking this cycle, that the better I'll get at overcoming it for longer periods of time. 

Other than the big lunch today, I've done really well with my eating and exercise this week.  I'm still looking forward to my weigh-in this Friday....I'm not dreading it...and that's a good feeling.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs one step at a time."  -Mark Twain


  1. Your doing a good job..you are really starting to understand what causes all of this and that's really important to know..I know you will get to where you need to be..just keep focusing everyday..have a good night..kelli

  2. sounds like a victory today! I did hear on the radio that unemployment extensions were passed in a bill that included some business tax cuts...maybe good news is on the way.

  3. I hope you get a check soon. I know how hard it is to find work in this crappy economy. Keep the faith that things will work out and you'll end up in a better place.

    Keep practicing, eventually you will be able to boot that little binge monster bastard out the door for good.

  4. oi... Tammy.. i could cry just reading this.

    i'm so proud of you.. seriously.

    i just realized that i did not drink ONE ounce of water today.. seriously.. not one...

    and my pre-dinner snack tonite? half a box of chocolates, the christmas kind ones, where each one is 80 cal each.. i think i ate 10 of them..... we wont' look up the fat..

    a client delivered to them to me as a thank you present. I guess she doesn't really like me.



    you rock.

  5. I think it is important to post in the good times AND the bad. I hope you get both of your checks this week. Keep your chin up.

  6. good job on stopping the binge...
    Oh, and if you ever feel like eating the kitchen sink...cut up a ton of veggies...put a teaspoon of oil on them and bake them till they are crispy and salt the heck out of them and eat them till you think you'll pop..
    almost as good as chips.
    And about 100 calories for three bell peppers, 1 zucchini and 10 mushrooms.

  7. awww, i can totally understand how financial duress can lead to overeating. i am a student ant there are times that i don't get my financial aid on time and literally all i want to do is sit in the car and ingest mcD's. i've never been a binge eater but can definitely relate. keep going, i love that you are trying to stay positive.

  8. Wow! I was expecting so much worse, but I honestly think you did fine! No, it's not great to have all your calories in the first half of the day, but you did what you felt you needed to do in order to get through relatively unscathed and I think you turned this into a success. Way to go, girl! You are learning!!!

  9. I'm so glad to read that your going to keep on blogging, I think it really helps to just unload all of those feelings into words. You are going through so much right now, I don't think anyone could go through this and be perfect on eating and working out. When I'm having a stressful time (usually when my son is sick/going through surgery/and I'm not able to sleep or when money starts getting tight, I make a point to work out. I am already feeling down and depressed and I think that's when my body needs it the most. And NEVER have I finished working out and wished I hadn't when I am like that.
    I think it would help you right now to carry a pad of paper and pencil around all day and make yourself wright down EVERY BITE you are putting in your mouth. It might make you be more careful.
    The last 3 nights I have struggled with a craving for something sweet around 7pm (and I know if I put one thing in my mouth I won't stop till 3000 calories are in me) so I have been telling myself that I'm not hungry, the feeling is just my body going into my reserve fat to get what it needs and it seems to be working for me.
    Hang in there! You have so many ppl here cheering you on! You have the rest of this month for the personal trainer, get every penny out of her!!

  10. The best thing about your blog to me is that you are honest. On a good day or a bad day, you are just plain honest. Thanks for being you and sharing your struggle. We all struggle, but you have the guts to share it :)

  11. Sounds like the rest of the week has been good other than the binge lunch, and I agree it provides balance to shout it all out on the blog. If this were WW, you just would have used all your bonus points. Move on!

  12. Like others have said - seems to me like this was not a bad binge day at all. Living inside this kind of day is different though. I know you probably were fighting the urge to cut loose all day. The fact that you didn't is remarkable. And yes - keep blogging. Your honesty is helping you and others, Tammy. Hang in there.

  13. Crap, Tammy. ANYONE would be tempted to binge with all the stress you're coping with now. I hear the desperation in your voice, but I also hear reason. And compensation.

    Of course, it's better to eat healthier all day rather than skip dinner to compensate for a coffee and brownie, but a lot of people would just throw their hands up in the air and say, "the day is already blown, I might as well eat this Sara Lee pound cake." Which you didn't do. So there's victory there. Embrace it sistah. It's one step forward.

    Emotional (or stress, or sadness, or loneliness) eating is tough. We all have those impulses, but I'm proud of you for catching yourself before you went too far. Recovery from bingeing is also emotionally difficult, so it's kind of a double whammy. Just do your best to navigate the feelings without adding to the problem. Easy advice to give, I know, not always so easy to follow.

    I'm here and I'm rooting for ya.