I feel strongly about bringing more awareness to the struggles of binge eating. This post delves into details and thoughts of my first binge. If this topic could be triggering to your own thoughts and experience in any way, please read with caution or wait to visit BBF later.
I remember the night vividly.
I sat on the chair in my parents’ home, a laptop across my lap – chilly, tired. And hungry. The words for my five page essay on a Spanish play wouldn’t flow. My spreadsheet to plan out my meals and macronutrient counts for the following day kept distracting me.
I have to make sure I get this right. It’s worked well so far. I can’t believe I lost another four pounds this week! What can I cut to still make progress. I bet I could lose another five pounds. Yes. I can. That will be my next goal.
With smugness across my face, I set my thoughts on my new goal. I couldn’t see that losing over twenty pounds in ten weeks did me no favors. I couldn’t see I weighed significantly less than optimal for my body – even less than I weighed on the day of my fitness competition. I was, literally, starving.
My body – neglected, in need of food, searching for energy to keep itself awake and functioning – finally overtook my control.
I need something. I didn’t eat dinner tonight because I told my mom I wasn’t hungry, so I have a little wiggle room from the day. I can have a teaspoon of peanut butter. That won’t hurt my goal.
I went to the refrigerator. I pulled out my jar of natural peanut butter and my food scale. I measured out my teaspoon of peanut butter. It tasted better than anything I had tasted in a long time. I packed everything away and laid the spoon in the sink, to return to my chair and finish my essay.
Only now, the thoughts of peanut butter consumed me. I told myself one more spoonful won’t hurt and returned to the refrigerator for one more scoop. I returned to my chair, only to stare at my screen until, like a moth to a flame, I found myself, spoon in hand, at the jar again.
Time and time again. Sneak a bite. Try to focus. Sneak a bite again. Until suddenly, there I sat, looking down to an empty jar of peanut butter at after 2 am. Shame washed over me.
I did not understand what had happened. How did I get so off course? Yet, somehow, food continued to rule my thoughts. I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I snuck over to the pantry. The door creaked ever so slightly as I opened it, making me pause with dread that someone might figure out what I planned to do. I felt disappointed at the selection – low carb wraps, bags of brown rice, bottles of olive oil, cans of vegetables.
Then, from the back corner I saw my brother’s special box of PopTarts.The only junk food we had in the house as I had convinced my mom to not buy anything “sugar or fat laden” because of my “diet”.
The wrapping crinkled in my fingers. I ever so carefully peeled it away, in fear of getting caught. I took my first bite and the sugar hit me. It was my first taste of anything besides plain oatmeal, protein powder, chicken, eggs, an apple, or raw vegetables in months. It released an almost euphoric response and suddenly the entire box disappeared, leaving me digging in the trash to hide the evidence.
I went to bed in tears. Stuffed…but more empty at the same time. My mind could not understand what happened. I lied to my brother the following morning about where his breakfast could have gone. I skipped a class that day to finish my essay. And I didn’t allow a single morsel of food to cross my lips that day either. Sadly, it was just the beginning…
- How have you had to “conquer yourself” in the past?