Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Turn around

The good news first: I've had a Good Food Day today. I got up late and instead of reaching for a carby breakfast of porridge or cereal (2 or 3 bowls) I found I just couldn't face it (more on that later). So I had a diet yoghurt followed by a load of veg I cooked the night before with some fish in parsley sauce (135 cal). And I loved it. I followed it with a caramel Wispa bar. Then I had to go out to see my CPN. We had and a good meeting and when I told her about the continuing trouble with agoraphobia she suggested that once a week someone could meet me at the supermarket and go round with me. Strange that I've never been offered help with this before but then it's rarely been as extreme as it is now. Anyway, that will make sure I get out to the supermarket once a week.

After I'd seen her I was able to do some Good Shopping and I was literally dripping with sweat by the time I got home with heavy bags. It is still VERY warm here (on the SW Peninsular). For tea (as we from the north call it) I had fish pie and plenty of veg and a little salad + a diet yoghurt + low cal choc drink (40cals).

So I have managed a day without any starchy carbs and I didn't even feel like any.

But the reason today has been so good is because last night was so bad - although generally after a bad night the carb monster is still raging. I had a major choc/ cake/ biscuit binge. I hadn't had a binge since last Monday.

The reason for last night's binge? Tuesday is always a bad day because I do my laundry and I get stressed over it and I couldn't face the rest of the evening without a "treat" but instead of buying just one or two things I bought a carrier bag full. So even though I'd cooked a load of veg before I went to the shop I wasn't able to eat it because I can't eat good food when I've just eaten a load of rubbish.

I didn't even enjoy it beyond the first two Cadbury Twirls. I was forcing it down but I didn't want it, need it or enjoy it. I did feel guilty afterwards; that I'd made myself eat food I didn't want. I also felt frightened. Frightened of the effect of all that rubbish. I thought about throwing up afterwards but couldn't quite persuade myself to do it.

Great to feel guilty; that what I did was wrong. And strange to be suddenly frightened. It shows I've come to my senses a bit over my crazy eating. I hadn't binged since the previous Monday, so I went over a week without bingeing. And I wasn't massively overeating dry carbs either. In fact my eating the last week has been more normal than it's been in a long time. Why?

A weird thing happened on the Sunday - I binged and it caused me to cry. I felt miserable that I was putting too much food in my body. Really sad. And then when I got up early on Monday morning after very little sleep I ate the rest of the bingeing food I had in. I got back into bed with the last chocolate bar and when I next looked down at it, it was practically gone and I didn't remember eating it. The down side of eating when you're not fully woken up yet. That shocked me and made me feel really terrible. Like it hadn't been worth it. And I was miserable over my silly binge for the rest of the day. And crying over it.

But I recognised that although I felt bad this was actually a good thing. Whereas before I had cried when trying not to binge, now I was crying because I was bingeing. So my bingeing wasn't reinforced anymore by that feeling of relief and the enjoyment of the food; so I haven't wanted to do it anymore. In fact I had a miserable, down feeling whenever I thought of it last week. Last week when I went to the convenience shop and looked at the bingeing foods I felt turned off, rather than pressing the "go" button in my brain, the lets-just-buy-a-load-of-chocolate-cake-biscuits-crisps etc button that results in a basket full of rubbish.

So why did I reach this point? I think it's because it has just gone too far. It's been going on too long. I'd been bingeing badly almost every day for over 2 1/2 months (with just one week when I didn't binge and ate mainly Readybrek).

Not that I haven't done worse and gone on for longer in the past. But I think the difference is I've never done so little for such a long period of time. I've been feeling ill with pains in the chest, aching, agitation, skin problems. A lot of this is due to sitting indoors hardly moving all day long.

The worst time I ever had in my life was 2002 when put on 6 stone (84lbs) in a few months. But I didn't feel as bad physically as I do now. Why? Well I was getting out a lot more. Just walking into town (15 mins), around town and back again. Walking round with The Bear. And maybe I was just younger then - 30 instead of 37. Makes a difference.

And this time I have really given up on everything. No healing, hardly ever going into town at all, no going to the library. I've only seen The Bear about twice and my CPN twice (apart from today) during this mad bingeing phase.

All this time I have chosen food over people. All "normal life" has been suspended. I have been too ashamed to go out and be seen by other people and spend time with other people. But working through all that stuff about shame has really helped me. A couple of days ago I went into town on my own and sat in a cafe and read a book. I was self conscious and worried who might see me, but I was also relieved and happy that I did it. Not having binged for a week helped too of course. Really annoying then that as soon as I got stressed I binged again.

I think the solution to the Tuesday problem is to go to bed for 2 or 3 hours. Sean (DD of a WL) said that when he felt like bingeing he used to go to bed and when he woke up the need to binge was gone. And Nora (Green Stone Woman) often uses the method of going to sleep when she feels bad and when she wakes up her brain is reset. So this is what I'm going to do next Tuesday. Have to wait and see if it works.

BTW My healer really loved the flowers - she texted me to say she was "over the moon" with them. I hope I'll be going to see her again in the next 2 to 3 weeks. I'm really looking forward to it.

PS I accidentally deleted an email entitled something like "Extremely Confidential". So if you sent such an email, please send again (unless it was junk)!


  1. Well, if I lived anywhere near you I'd go shopping with you, walking with you and have tea with you. Bingeing is a bitch, ain't it? But, I'm looking at it as a habit, like any other, that can be broken. When the urge strikes, you have to have a plan of action. I will often times take a nap, as I realized that urge to binge happens when I'm tired. Or, I'll read blogs or knit or read a book. Anything to distract me.

    I know you can beat this. The impulse is not stronger than you.

  2. 1st of all ... fish in parsley sauce? I've never heard of this but it sounds like something I'd like.

    I agree with Amy ... I'd go shopping with you too and visit and do tea and laundry.

    I can't believe how all this time you were feeling this badly and still you reached out to help me as you did (and you DID help me!)
    So your statement that you chose food over people is incorrect. You chose to help me and I'm so honored that you did. Truly.

  3. I wish I lived close enough to help with that too! And I agree with fitcetera - you haven't been chosing food over people at all, online you've been as active and supportive as ever - and I've seen a lot of your comments, in none of them did you complain about your own state of mind, bring down the mood of people who were in need of support, or do anything other than be there for other people. All you did was do that in an environment (virtual) where you felt comfortable and safe yourself - and that obviously helped you to be that supportive, compassionate, caring person. Nothing to criticise yourself for there at all! On top of that you made your healer happy in the real world as well.
    I think you should be quietly pleased about all that!
    As for the food, it does sound like you have turned a corner there. I had to hit a low point to break out of my binging cycle myself, so I'm not surprised you did too. It is a cliche, but sometimes you do have to hit rock bottom to find your feet and then climb back out. I think your plan to go to sleep for a while next time the urge hits is a good one. If you have a bath tub I find a long hot bath can work too (a shower is less effective unfortunately!) I often take my lap top upstairs when I get that binging feeling - being in a nice warm bed, pinned under the PC< it just seems like too much effort to go in search of food!
    By the way, about reading your book in a cafe on your own - I always feel self-conscious doing that sort of thing too. In fact I started making myself do that on all my recent excursions instead of buying takeaway coffee so I could work on that - so you're not alone there!

  4. You're getting praise and you deserve it. You always have interest in and a kind word for other people. Don't even begin to think that you only have food on your mind. There is so much more. Food is just another something. You've showed real progress. One binge does not end that, just pick up where you left off. You have more good days than bad days and you are a kindhearted soul. Be good to yourself and kind and give yourself some credit. You do lots of things right.

  5. I really can relate to substituting food for people. I did this too - for years and years. I shunned friendships that weren't well established, and made every effort NOT to engage.

    I too wish I lived close enough to you to go shopping & have tea. Take care of yourself, and stay strong. You are strong you know. I hear it in your posts.

    One binge does not throw everything you have accomplished out the window. You know that already, but I just had to say it! :) I did what Sean did too. Sometimes when people ask me how I handled the nighttime eating urge, I give them some ideas, and the last one is always, "Sometimes I just went to bed."

  6. Hi Bearfriend,

    It's good to hear from you again...I check every day to see if you've posted. You sound good, as though you're beginning to emerge from the long period of mostly solitude and bingeing. Like the others, I'd love to shop with you, and definitely sit at the cafe! You could throw my scale of that cliff if we lived closer!

    I can't add to what others have noted about how much you help others through your commenting on blogs, and on your own blog as well. You're the one who has continually suggested I dump the scale, which I'm in the process of doing.

    Bingeing does suck. I slipped last night and binged too, feeling guilty and ridiculous for most of it. Like you, I didn't get the sweet relief of a food coma...rather just self disgust. It's gotta stop, and it will. We're both working on it. So glad Wednesday was a good day. More are coming!

  7. shop, for a new hobby - I find when I'm in a rut - I need a new experience to wake me up, give me confidence, and meet new people. Plus you could find something that helps to feed your soul, and you'd feel 'hungry' less :)

  8. I agree with the above comments in that if we lived near one another I would totally go shopping with you and have tea with you!

    Bingeing is a tough one, and I still struggle with it, though less and less as I get the other parts of my life in order. The guilt and that bloated feeling after? Ugh. I remind myself of that feeling when I feel the binge coming on.

    Taking a nap is very sound advice and really you should take advantage of it if you are able. I find that by charting my out of control munchy times they almost always fall when I am at my most tired.

    Glad to hear the flowers were a hit!


  9. Hi again BF -

    Head over to my blog to pick up another well-deserved award!

  10. Hi Again,
    I see Leslie has beat me to it, but I also have an award for you!

  11. I'm new to your blog, but I wanted to chime in with a similar support. I may not be close enough to go shopping with you, but I am always here if you need an ear to chat at or a shoulder to lean on (virtually at least).

    Far too many of us have substitued food as a companion for people. However, blogging is a great way to slowly work back in people at your own pace.


All comments gratefully appreciated!