Balancing Val

Defining A Binge

Posted on: September 13, 2010

Id like to say that I am proud of myself for not bingeing on food for a little over two months.

. . . Then it occurred to me that I still may be bingeing and not realizing it.

When I was training for ‘bodybuilding’ I was on a very strict calorie limit. I was denying myself not only calories, but whole food groups! Because I didn’t truly and honestly want to be in a bodybuilding competition for me and me only, you could imagine how hard I rebelled against the whole diet process.

It’s started out with a taste of peanut butter WHILE I was preparing something bland to eat. Then I took some more. I made the food I was supposed to make but I realized that I went a little bit over my peanut butter allotment for the day with the tastes.

And then, it was as if the skies opened up. I was standing in the doorway of white and sprinted past the grey into the black door. More peanut butter was consumed. Then I’d probably make toast with butter because I love bread and couldn’t have any. I opened the same fridge that I opened literally minutes before but this time all of the food was labeled ‘vacation’ instead of ‘restriction’. Id continue to eat. It was labeled this because I continued on until I was stuffed beyond belief . . . And then I woke up as if my mind was on a vacation for a whole 10min.

I’d sprint past the grey again, this time bringing guilt and shame along. I’d stay in white room for as long as I could trying to undo the damage by further restricting and telling myself how stupid I was for not having willpower. This would last for a bit, but I always went back.

These days I can say I honestly don’t do that anymore. But what I have noticed is that I still binge but on a lesser scale. For instance when I come home for lunch I’m usually ravenous! And usually, I don’t have a solid meal prepared. So as I’m trying to figure out what I want, I usually pick at so many different things while standing. Finally I make something and when I realize what I made is not something i wanted, I pick some more.

Previously I wasn’t calling that bingeing, but you know what?

It is . . .

I may not be eating AS MUCH as I used to back in those days, but no matter if it’s a rice cake or an ice cream cake, my mind is still on vacation.

I am choosing to eat unconsciously to help deal with the fact that I didn’t spend the time to figure out what I want and actually prepare it and sit down with it.

I am choosing to eat unconciously because I don’t feel like dealing with the stress I have from work no matter how big of little it may be. I would rather move right on to eating so that I don’t have to feel the uncomfortable feeling of stress.

The funny thing is, if I had just not eaten while preparing and let myself feel the stress, by the time I actually ate, it would have passed and I would have actually enjoyed my meal and been satisfied.

I would have chosen to take care of myself and walk away feeling great about that decision and great about me!

But I Don’t . . .

The good thing is, now when I do this, my binge vacations are not alone. My Inner Voice slips into my suitcase and just observes things as they happen.

Later, I ask what it saw and it tells me all of the above.

What defines a binge for you? What do you do to learn from your mistakes?


15 Responses to "Defining A Binge"

Yep, you’ve got it. Binging is about the behavior and not the food or quantity of food. Binging is checking out and that can happen with grapes as easily as it can chocolate cake.

Great post! Eating mindlessly is so easy to do, especially if oyu are in a habit. I know when I get stressed about school or studying, I tend to just eat eat eat without thinking so I dont have to focus on doing schoolwork.

I can’t add much more–Christie said it all!

Any time I “check out” while eating, that is a binge to me.

Aren’t you overanalysing it to smithereens? If you eat intuitively – and that means LISTENING to the body’s cues – eating ‘unconsciously’ wouldn’t be an issue because you’d eat less of the ‘conscious’ food anyways. You’d feel that you’d already eaten šŸ™‚ The body doesn’t care what you think of what you do, it feels nutrition coming in. And please don’t call it a ‘binge’, you’re doing your head in.

Hi M!! šŸ˜€

I totally understand and agree. I have a good handle on what intuitive eating all of its concepts however . . .

The problem is that I am STILL not practicing them as much as I should be. I tend to override my bodys signals lately, which leads me to unconscious eating.

To me, this is a sign of a problem that is deeper then food.

The magic of ‘intuitive’ anything is that you follow your gut and not your head. Ie – it is something you do NOT practice; intuition comes to you while you’re busy with life. Letting go and that sort of thing.

I think it’s sad people punish their bodies for the shit that’s in their heads. Ah well . . . one day.

I disagree that it comes without practice. It’s not like one day I could just wake up and do it easily. Especially after living on the other side for so long.

I agree that once you have enough trust and comfort with it, it truly becomes intuitive but at the stage I’m at right now, it’s not coming easy and without a lot of focus and consciousness.

“Listening to the body’s cues” is what got many people overweight in the first place, eh? šŸ˜‰

I don’t agree with that. I believe that our bodies know how to regulate and control what it wants and needs. It’s our MINDS that override this and leads us to binge and over eat. Our inner wisdom is always trying to keep us healthy.

I agree with what you’re saying. It’s not easy to start overcoming these little bouts in our minds, but when you start seeing the silver lining in them and finding your own grace..they get easier. I still struggle at times of recongnising it all, but I don’t punish myself anymore for it.

Keep on keepin’ on šŸ™‚

I don’t consider ANYthing binges anymore, (sometimes overeating, sure) but the label of a “binge” represents too much negativity & subsequent self-torture… so it’s like I’m judging my eating if I use it. So I don’t.

Interesting POV. That word does bring negativity with it.

Thanks for stopping in! šŸ™‚

If I’m eating without control, whether keep making trips back to the buffet table, running back and forth to the kitchen for scoops of peanut butter, or picking uncontrollably at something laying around, it might as well be a binge. It’s not the amount of food that defines a binge, but the manner in which the food is consumed.

Can’t place a reply to your reply, Val, so here goes. It comes down to how you define the mind: In a chemical sense you can’t draw a clear line between body and mind. Hunger by itself is regulated by various hormones that signal the brain. Eating high energy food makes us feel good, as our body rewards us for indulging in this self-preserving activity. But the positive feeling of eating can also serve as a replacement for other positive feelings we lack – eating out of frustration, depression or stress.

In that sense, yes, the mind is misleading the body.

Yes and I believe that things like sugar, alcohol, artificial sweeteners really do wonders screwing around with your natural chemistry!

A healthy body wants to keep a healthy body. When our mind interferes and all those gross chemicals . . . We got a problem šŸ™‚

My problem is getting my body to the point that it wants to keep it that way. And yes it’s easy to say cut out this and that but at this point restriction is not a good thing to add to the mess I’m in and came from.

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  • Ayla: My easiest dinner recipe? PB + banana sandwich. Takes 2 minutes which makes me a very happy girl.
  • kristisn: Yum! That looks like a great dinner.
  • Kate D: After two scarring experiences stuck in big city rush hour traffic (facing the wrong direction) while on vacation with my parents I totally understand

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