Stop … It’s Reflection Time.

So, I binged again today.

I got up and thought, “The problem is that I’m trying to count calories, and the rules make me nervous. Fine, get rid of them, and just put dieting aside for right now. Nothing says you have to lose weight you’ve gained right away. Just forget about it for right now.”
Well, I reckon the freedom went to my head, because although I started off with a healthy breakfast (“I’m not the hungry, so I’ll have yogurt. Haha! I am full of triumph!”), the day just spiraled downward from there. At the very least, though, I have to give myself credit for putting a cap on the situation; yesterday, I said, “I hope I never binge again, but if I do, I want every subsequent binge to be smaller than the last.” So, my current caloric intake to beat was 5,795 (taken from yesterday’s binge). Thus, today at most I’ll eat 5,295 calories. Next time, I’ll hopefully catch myself and only eat 4,795 calories, and so on until I don’t binge anymore and binges become normal indulgences.

But, there’s more to beating this than just setting goals of bingeing a little less than during the last episode. Do I need to go to therapy? I don’t know. Let’s start by really, REALLY looking into why I think I binge.

1. I think I binge because I’m bored. I’m not a very social entity (probably because I’m trying to lose weight 90% of the time and most social activities involve food), so my life basically entails going to the gym, coming back to room, going to class and then coming back to my room. IT’S BORING. Do I have plenty of work to do? Yes, but work is boring, and whenever I am sitting around my room I am spending most of my time thinking, “Can I eat yet? Can I eat yet? Huh? Can I eat yet?”

2. I think I binge to avoid thinking about how incredibly lonely I am. Like I said, I’m not very social, and while part of this is because I avoid restaurants like the plague, the other part is that I never bonded with anyone at my college. I’m awkward, I’m shy, I’m strange, I’m nerdy, and this doesn’t bother me, but the thing is I like other people like me, who are a little morbid, a little extreme, etc., and I never met my “pack” at Brandeis. I’m also from a low-income home, and while I’M NOT SAYING THAT WEALTHY KIDS ARE A CERTAIN WAY, well … there’s definitely a noticeable divide sometimes.

And, I’m a Roman Catholic at a Jewish school, which means that trying to find a boyfriend is practically impossible. Two years ago, I was engaged to a Jewish boy from Brandeis, and part of the reason the relationship went sour was his mother was dead set against the idea of a non-Jew entering their family. She was a horrible woman, and if she were here now I would probably take my shoe off and beat her with it. Regardless, I can’t really be bothered to get emotionally attached to a dude here at Brandeis, because I don’t want a repeat of that situation.

3. I think I binge because I’m freaked out by failure. I can’t fail at a diet if I don’t try, right? So, if I start tomorrow post-binge, I have a nice, clean slate, and I will totally follow my plan until I am done losing weight this time. But … while cheating just a little is better than bingeing, it’s like … my brain doesn’t understand that concept. It’s like, I start each day and everything is fine, but then as the day progresses (some days, that is), I begin to think, “I kind of want a big lunch, but, oh man, what if I get hungry later and I don’t have enough calories? OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod what am I going to do?” This is a hard one to explain, this “black and white,” “clean slate,” “perfect streak” mentality. But, if you’re a dieter, chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about.

4. I think I binge to avoid being at my goal weight. Now, this is an odd one; every time I start a diet, all I can think of is, “Dang, I can’t wait to be done!” But, I think I’m afraid of getting there and still having to keep my eating habits in check. It’s like, while I diet and subsequently binge, I have an excuse to not eat well. But, if I make my goal weight, I have to be on my toes all the time. And, when I did hit my goal weight, the pressure got to me. It was incredibly intimidating to be at my goal weight and still have to keep an eye on my calories and eating habits. But, physically, I feel/felt great. It’s just that my mental state was a mess.

5. I think I binge because I’m stressed. No, really; the last time I binged (prior to this week), I was studying for a Politics midterm. Remember Jakarta? Honestly, I think I abuse food the way some people abuse alcohol; I use it as a way to forget that there is work to be  done or there is the potential for failure in my future. And, I binged this week because I’m staring down four incomplete projects/papers and an upcoming final. And, I’m stressed about gaining weight over the holidays. So … I binge.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Now, do I need therapy, or just a distraction? For the moment, though, I think I’m going to give up dessert products and see if that helps my appetite—I wonder, sometimes, if I’m addicted to sugar. Regardless, this is a good time to take a break from the sweet stuff, as all the on campus food facilities are going to closed for the holidays. So, it’s kind of hard to buy cookies when the stores are shut up.

Bleh … I feel like crap. Whenever I get done with a binge, I never say, “Boy, that sure was worthwhile!”

Edit: And another thing, I think I binge because I want what I can’t have. Most sweets, etc., are too high calorie to include a daily basis (and, even people that eat normally don’t do so for just this reason), so my day-to-day food becomes unappealing in comparison. “I don’t want this tuna! I want cookies!” But, at the end of a binge, the food I’ve eaten is never as good as I thought it would be.

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3 Comments

  1. balanceinbites said,

    November 24, 2009 at 9:30 PM

    Yup. Check, check, and check. Doesn’t it suck so much that we can logically think of these reasons/answers, and yet, when and where and how the binge monster strikes is still beyond me. And yes, I will definitely let you know how the search for therapy/the therapy itself goes.

    Um, ok, so not to sound all creepy stalker chainsaw man (wait, what? What, all creepy stalkers have chain saws, right?), but if you want to get together for weekend long run sometime, I’d be down. Fun company with no food to worry about! AND a running companion! See, my social network of friends is well, somewhat slim, and so, yeah. Sometimes I’m willing to expand. My NETWORK OF FRIENDS. NOT MY ACTUAL SELF. /facepalm

    Believe me, I’m totally just throwing this out there, so no pressure. Also, Brandeis is fairly large trek away, I realize. /end psuedo-creepiness

  2. November 24, 2009 at 11:56 PM

    Man, yeah, it does suck, and I just wish there was a way outside of tattoing reasons not to binge on my hands to remind myself NOT TO BINGE.
    Also, I probably came off as a total sad sack with my “Bloo-hoo, I’m so lonely spiel!,” but regardless I will totally take you up on your pity offer; I would LOVE to run with you sometime, particularly since you seem so rad and not chainsaw-stalkerish. (I know you are safe person from the Internet, because none of your pictures have you holding weapons, so everything is cool!) It probably won’t be anytime soon, since I am a) currently in the midst of finals/essays etc. and b) going to be out of the Boston area for a bit with winter break, but as soon as I come back, we should most def. make an appointment.

  3. balanceinbites said,

    November 25, 2009 at 12:27 AM

    Oh pfft, it was totally not a pity invite. Or maybe it was more pity on myself, because I need more running buddies that I can relate to ^.^ And indeed, I only bring out my nunchucks and/or chainsaws and/or broken beer bottles when cameras are not around! I am entirely 100% safe! 😀

    And yes, I’m also pretty busy around the holidays and such, so sometime at the beginning of 2010 sounds good to me. Besides, we can jump start our new years resolutions with a long run =D

    Note: Once I reach my goal weight, I’ve been considering for a while now, getting a tattoo of some sort. I was thinking of some sort of meaningful small graphic that will remind me of my journey. But now I’m thinking of (IF I get down to 128…) getting “HOLY CRAP DONT EAT SHIT” tattooed on my forehead. Backwards. So it’s right side up in the mirror. >.>


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