13
Jan
09

How I learned to stop bingeing

Theoretically, this story starts when I grew some boobs and my mom freaked out, started dieting me.   I have various strange and painful memories of searching out potato chips in unusued appliances and car trunks,  getting up late night when everyone’s asleep to eat meals of canned soup and tater tots, frozen fried chicken, pizza.  Other memories are of feeling like I ruined my diet by eating a strawberry, when only celery was on the menu.  Diet pills that made me play piano all day, then go jogging late night, after everyone was asleep (hiding from cars, of course).   Weight yo-yo’d like crazy, as you might imagine.   And so went my teenage years.

Reading a paper on my first job out of school, I saw a recruitment ad for a binge eating study at Stanford.  I’d never heard of bingeing, but figured what the hell.  It was based on a book for bipolar disorder (never heard of that either)  by Marsha Linehan, and we learned such things as emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and other such stuff.  It sounds strange, but I’ve known other eating disorder therapists to use a newer book by her, which I would actually seek out and buy if I wasn’t so lazy, or resistant for other reasons, like being sick and tired of the whole issue.  Anyway, slowly I learned (much later, but learn it I did) to sit with my emotions, even if they’re uncomfortable, without having to stuff myself, or drink, or fight, or any other compensation.  I can just feel bad.  This is where I am emotionally now, and I’m trying with moderate success to make my life better so that I don’t feel so bad all the time, maybe even occasionally feel good.

So I lost my excess weight a few years ago, moved in with the boyfriend, kept it off for a year or so, then started gaining it back.   When I had gained back about 45 pounds out of a possible 60, I decided that I had more work to do.  I had been a binger and dieter and disordered eater for so long, I had no idea how to eat normally, and obviously I wasn’t doing it right.

Anyway, this is disturbing to me, so I’ll write more some other time.  I’m still off ciggies and not gaining weight (probably not losing, though).  Hope all is well with anybody who reads this.

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8 Responses to “How I learned to stop bingeing”


  1. January 14, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! It is inspiring to know how others are getting on. It’s comforting to know that there must be people out there who understand me. So take care and keep up your good work!

  2. 2 myweightylossjourney
    January 14, 2009 at 1:00 am

    I’m a binge eater too. I think I’m prone to compulsion. I used to smoke too, and I replaced the cigarettes with food. Not good! I’m on my way to a new thinner me by not having bad food in the house (kind of working!)

  3. January 14, 2009 at 8:57 am

    LSD: I tried to comment on your blog, it doesn’t seem to work. This is something I love about the blogosphere, it’s comforting to realize our suffering and struggles are not unique.

    Myweightlossjourney: I’m no longer a binge eater, not even really compulsive anymore. Some, I’m sure, is age (I’m 40 now, presumably an adult who’s old enough to have her shit together), but most is the uncomfortable unpleasant psychological work I’ve done on myself the last few years.

    Thanks for commenting!

  4. January 14, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I thought it was totally relevant, and I’m very interested in reading about your experiences here, especially given that you’ve studied nutrition and biochem (I’m a nutrition student myself, and I’ve done my required biochem, blech.) But I did remove the link back to your blog, simply because other readers might find it triggering. I hope that’s alright with you.

    I actually don’t find weight loss talk terribly triggering myself, as much as I just don’t want it to happen in a HAES or fat acceptance forum, so I’ll be reading. Thanks for passing me your url.

  5. January 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Wow, you’ve been through a lot.

    “my mom freaked out, started dieting me.” I didn’t realize dieting is something one could do to another person! 😉

    Hope you find your healthy eating habits soon!

  6. January 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks for reading and understanding, Peggynature. As I mentioned, I don’t fit neatly into weight loss communities, either. Kind of like my politics-mostly left, but with some wild swings to the right, based on what’s healthier for the planet and ecosystem.

    MamaBearJune: I definitely get lazy (creative?!:-) with language sometimes, especially if I don’t know a better word. I really do feel that having a neurotic eating disordered mom screwed me up, and I will likely spend the rest of my life undoing the damage. I guess that’s what parents do, screw up their kids.

  7. January 15, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    My parents dieted me too! I feel you there! Wow. This is an amazing post and I hope you will share more about it!

  8. January 19, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I have found myself slipping back into binging. I never had issues with cigarettes…food was always my fix. I can never seem to consciously stop binging. It seems like whatever stressor was triggering me to binge has to go away first and by the time I realize I’m not binging anymore I can’t really put a finger on the exact stressor.


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