Saturday, January 8, 2011

Uncomfortably Numb

I can’t remember the last time I had a binge. That’s really saying something for me. I’ve rarely had gigantic binges, but they were binges all the same, and I've had them since elementary school. It went hand in hand with hiding food, but that's a whole other story. Binges generally involved bread with butter, quesadillas, stuff like that. Not always carbs though – I’m a big meat fanatic. I love fried chicken. I also love Chinese food. Actually, I USED to love those foods. Reading them now, and thinking of when I binged on them, they sound pretty gross. I never got quality food – it was always yucky grocery store deli counter quality. I’d buy one of those big combo plates of Chinese food, go home, and eat the entire thing. Past the point of feeling sick and into that place where you feel almost nothing. Identifying binging for me actually isn’t as much about the amount of food as it is about the mindset while I’m eating that food. There were times where I ate just a couple of slices of bread with butter, which while high in calories are not a huge volume of food, but I consider that a binge. Why? Because I was numb while eating them. I felt compelled to eat them. I didn’t really WANT them, I wasn’t physically hungry. It was like there was this hand shoving me to the kitchen, compelling me, pushing me to eat it. And I was taking the real me, the me that I wanted to be, the one that thinks “hey, do I even want to be eating?” and smothering her with bread and butter. Numbing her. Stupifying her so I didn’t have to listen. And only later, when I was laying on the couch with way too much food in my tummy to feel good, would she resurface and remind me why I didn’t want to eat whatever it was that I ate.
I have no idea when or why this has changed. But it has. The other night hubby and I were laying on the couch eating some kettle corn from a bowl. I poured a bit more of it from the bag into the bowl and continued snacking. Just a few moments later, I started feeling nauseaus – my body was just screaming STOP! It’s comforting that you can retrain your body. That you can relearn how to listen when it tells you that you’re full. I’m grateful that my body has been so forgiving.
I’m a firm believer in never say never. I can’t say that I’ll never binge again – chances are that I will, even if I get to my goal. I’ve lost weight before and then cycled back. There’s times even now where I feel that hand giving me a little nudge - “There’s something in the fridge your really like! Let’s eat some. No, let’s eat it all!” But for whatever reason, something is different right now. I’m really listening to what my body needs and I’m thinking about what’s best for me. I’m going to stick with it. I really like being the one in control.


  1. I hear ya Maude!

    I have that little voice too. In fact, i completely agree with you about feeling 'in control'. It's what i want most out of this journey, even more than weight loss or additional energy. I have felt 'in control' of what i was eating the last few days, even if i have been over my weight watchers allowance. It's all been planned and controlled, and that's really something for me.
    Being over my points allowance on foods that are planned and controlled and carefully decided on is very different than being over my points by eating everything in sight, like on a binge, or mindless eating. People that aren't on a weight loss journey might not understand that, but it means something to me

    Great post

  2. Ahhhh yes, I know that comfortably numb feeling so well. Feeling more control of those binges now is such a wonderful thing because I haven't had that control in many, many years. Good for you maintaining that control too! I'm very proud of you! :)

  3. Sounds like you need to work on building up your tolerance for junkfood!

  4. I completely relate to this post, Maude. I was hooked on reading it from the very beginning because it sounds so much like me. I read a lot of other blogs from women who are in maintenance and they say that they'll never get heavy again or overeat again, or......but I'm not one of those people, unfortunately. I will always be a food addict. Period. I certainly never 'want' to binge again, but I too know that's an unlikely statement. All I can do is take it day by day, be as conscious of my emotions as I possibly can, and make better eating choices than I did the day before. Excellent post, and thank you for sharing this.

  5. I really like that you identified that a binge is not just about volume of food. Indeed, it is so much more than that. In the past, people have been surprised to hear that I have binged on 'healthy foods' and I know I'm not alone in that one. I classify my binges by the feelings I have. It's like you said, it's like an out of body experience that you feel powerless to stop. Scary and unsettling. Thanks for posting this.