Eating to Binging: How Much is too Much?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I will admit it. I love food and I love to eat. I know those two sound weird and you would think they would go hand in hand but not always so. You can love food (ex. Chefs, foodies, etc.) but not love to eat (ex. overeat, abuse food etc.). Youc can also love to eat but not love food (ex. picky eaters etc). I happen to have a love for food like a foodie but also love to eat. It can even be diagnosed as a disorder, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeater, food addict. All three, thats me. It's a dangerous combination as I love to try new things, in fact if there is something I haven't tried I will go out of my way to try it but then I have no boundaries to stop.
I do most of my binging at home, ordering from take-out restaurants (not fast food). I can sometimes buy enough food that can feed a family of four or maybe more but just for myself. I know no limits. My life has never really had limits. Being the only child I pretty much got whatever I wanted. There was no discipline, no rules, no limits. I was a good kid, just pretty much free to do whatever I pleased and for the most part that was eating. Since my childhood issues weren't resolved as a child these issues has moved their way into my adult life. I spend money carelessly buying whatever I want and I eat carelessly as well, whatever I want. The downside of behaving this way now as an adult as I am responsible for my own actions so I must learn to change or I will self-destruct.
Life is about choices and yes I can continue on the path I have, eating my way through it, but the consequences are not pretty. My quality of life has suffered. I'm very ambitious but all my ideas and dreams are just that, only in my head and not a reality or part of my life. I don't consider myself living, just exsisting. Working to pay bills and cover the expenses of the lifestyle I have created for myself. In my ideas and dreams I want more from my life, I just have to work toward merging the line between what is and what can be.
All of that brings me to my present problem: How to distinguish the difference between eating too much and binge eating. Binge eating can be described as rapidly eating an excessive amount of food. In my opinion, binges are thoughtless and impulsive. It's done and over with before you even realize what you even ate. Since this is the norm for me I don't know what is considered binge eating and what could be a slight indulge. In my past efforts to lose weight I never really controlled my binge eating, I just reduced my intake and kind of dealt with the issue as something I could not change. This time around I want to change my bad habit by focusing on and praising days I don't binge so that will help me get through the days when I am weak to my food demons. In order to do that I have to do some searching to find out where the line ends from maybe eating a bit too much to where binge eating begins.
Here are a few examples that I am dealing with this week. If anyone has read my blog from last year they would know that I deal with sleep eating issues as well. Those aren't controllable at all and I have to pretty much control my surroundings as its much like sleep walking but I have uncontrollable urges to eat and since I'm sleeping I can't stop myself from eating. Most of the time I don't know what I've done until I wake up and find wrappers in my bed. It doesn't happen very often but I think it happens more when I'm trying to lose weight as I spend most of the day making choices about what I eat and denying myself things my food demons want as its not good for my diet plan. I think when I sleep at night the urges come up since I'm most vulerable at that time and if you push something down and down and down, eventually it will come up again and for me that time is when I'm sleeping. Sunday night I had one of these episodes where I ate an entire bag of pop chips while I was asleep. Granted one bag is 3 oz. and three servings and in Weight Watchers world 6 points I believe but points add up. That was a binge, it was excessive, and I wasn't hungry.
Then I have days where I am working out what to eat and what not to eat. For lunch on tuesday I had a flatbread pizza from Trader Joe's there were 2 servings in the box and I ate the whole thing. Was that binging? I was eating lunch and most times I do double up on servings. I don't feel that it was excessive but it was the whole flatbread pizza. I just think I had a large lunch but not a binge. It could have been a binge though, I'm not for certain. Last night I had Wendy's for dinner. I had a half blt cobb salad with a jr. bacon cheeseburger and a small fries. Was that a binge? I definitely made some choices that were for the better. I ordered a small fry instead of a large, I got a half salad instead of a whole and I ordered a jr. bacon cheeseburger instead of a bigger sandwich. I sat down before I left and really thought about my choices so I could make a informed decisions and not let my food demons choose for me. So because it was a well informed decision does that not make it a binge? The amount of food may have been a bit excessive but I have definitely done a lot worse before.
I need to know what is a binge vs. not a binge because I plan to create some sort of visual like my weight loss paper clip chain (adding another paper clip each pound I lose) to acknowledge every day that passes where I don't binge. I haven't determined what that visual will be yet, I'm working on it. When I do binge then my streak will be over and I will have to start from day one all over again. Hopefully that will encourage me not to binge on days when I need to be uplifted.