Let the Binging Begin..

Today I was trying to remember where my binge-eating began. It started way after I developed an unhealthy relationship with food.

There are a handful of minor binges, before the real problem began. My first binge happened freshman year of high school. I wouldn't even really call it binge eating because it doesn't even come close to what I did later. My first intentional binge came before weighing in at my first Weight Watchers meeting. I scarfed down two drumstick ice cream cones... but just wait.

It wasn't until two summers later that I began a spiral that would last another six years. That summer I started the Atkins diet. It was such a success - the first week I lost several pounds. I made it to 145 pounds before my senior year of high school started.

If you're reading this you've probably tried every diet imaginable like myself - so you know how Atkins works. Basically, you have to get to ketosis, the stage where your body burns fat for fuel. It takes about two to three days of eating nothing but proteins to get there.

A couple months into my senior year I discovered I could eat a carb here and there and rebound with a quick trip to Ketosis. But then - came one of the worst habit-forming discoveries yet. On Friday nights, after cheering for our football team I could eat anything I saw and gain about 5 pounds. The next day I could continue eating everything, to gain a total of 10 pounds. When Sunday rolled around, I would re-start Atkins, get into Ketosis by Tuesday or Wednesday and lose the 10 pounds by Friday (the next time I had to get into my cheerleading outfit).

I don't think I've ever admitted this - to anyone. I'm still not really admitting it on this anonymous blog - but I did that every. single. week. Ten pounds up, ten pounds down.

Eventually the eating got out of control. When the weekend rolled around I went to the grocery store and blew up to $50 on junk food, food I planned to eat the moment I made it to my car. When I drove out of the grocery store parking lot I even stopped by the Wendy's to grab an order of fries.

Of the several days I did this - I remember one in particular. I stopped by a park on my way home. There I sat in my car and began unloading my grocery bag:

-French Bread
-Fried Chicken
-Potato Wedges
-Pre-made Cookie Dough
-Ben & Jerry's Half Baked Ice Cream
-Wendy's french fries

I sat in my car eating, eating, and eating. Sometimes when I did this I would cry, but not this time. I just ate. I didn't think about how each thing tasted. In fact, I don't even like donuts. I just stuffed it down my mouth like I was the garbage disposal in my kitchen. I just sat there, eating, void of emotion. There was nothing wrong. I was just eating.

I finished with everything I could possibly stuff down my throat and threw the evidence leftovers away. That's when it hit me I had eaten thousands of calories, thousands. But the best part - I had something new to worry about, not what was going on in my life - but the calories I had just consumed.

I've always been outspoken about alcoholism... and have always found it easy to criticize people who "drink their sorrows away" and people who "run away from their problems by drinking." Now I realize, I was doing that -- just without the alcohol. I was doing that with food.

It's been quite some time since I've had a binge like that one. Now they're smaller - they usually consist of a bag of Dove chocolates and another bag of Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Does the fact that it's smaller make it okay? Absolutely not. I'm working on it. I think admitting I have a problem specifically with binging is the first step.

First step - check.


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