I ate mac and cheese and a cookie today, but it wasn’t a binge.

I’m reading “Overcoming Binge Eating,” and it’s kind of terrifying and awesome in the Old Testament sense.

It is extremely sobering to see yourself in the examples given in a scholarly text about eating disorders.

Like, I knew I had been diagnosed with an eating disorder.  Two actually.  The first therapist said “disordered eating” which is like general or not-otherwise-specified fucked up, and the second therapist said “binge eating disorder.”

But I thought I was kind of on the cusp. Like maybe I was just dipping my toe in the eating disorder waters.  I’m not that kind of eating disorder person, no, no.

Except I totally am.

I have not had a binge where I ate an entire bag of Oreos or chips or whatever since I was a teenager.  (Go me!) But my therapist and this book have pointed out, it’s not about the amount I eat, or the foods I eat, but the feeling of loss of control.

And I feel that  a lot.

So anyway, I’m reading this book and it’s pissing me off pretty royally.  And scaring me.  A lot.  (Who knew that showering in the dark was a symptom of a body image problem?? I thought it was just relaxing, but I’m now thinking it’s a symptom of something bigger.)

I discovered that Weight Watchers almost made me bulimic trying to get to my goal weight and then trying — desperately, flailingly — to stay within 3 pounds of that weight to continue to work there.  (You cannot even imagine the shame I felt when I got a letter from the regional supervisor that I was on probation for being 4.2 pounds over my goal weight.)

And I re-discovered the fact that diets are a big part of the problem for me.

*queue ENORMOUS sigh*

I am heavy right now. There’s just no two ways about it. I am 20 pounds over a weight I am OK with and 40 pounds over where Weight Watchers says I ought to be.

And I am really frustrated with the fact that the book tells me that I probably won’t lose any weight even if I successfully complete the self-help program and start to overcome my disorder.

Because — and this is like rubbing salt in the wound — people with binge eating disorder tend to binge on top of general overeating.

And I’m not supposed to diet or restrict because that can lead to a binge.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, BRAIN?  How did we get ourselves into this situation? I’m seriously angry about this and am considering filing a complaint with someone. Maybe God’s West Coast Rep.

I just… What am I supposed to do, then?  How am I supposed to FIX this? (Because God herself knows how much I need to fix things.)

OK, ok. I know what I’m “supposed” to do.  I’m supposed to follow the book. Concentrate on beating the binge demon. Create space for that first. Trust that the rest will follow.

I’m supposed to believe that once I am really and truly in recovery from my disorder, that the weight will come off by itself.

I’m supposed to believe that I can love myself thin.

I’m supposed to believe that magical fairies will come and suck the fat out of my stomach and thighs as I achieve enlightenment and no longer crave chocolate chip cookies or bread, but instead feel overwhelming urges to eat raw kale and lentils.

Wait. No lentils. They’re legumes and the devil’s food.

Or, no, wait. Legumes are a good source of lean protein.

But our paleolithic ancestors didn’t eat them. Probably because they were too busy being chased by saber toothed tigers to remember to soak their legumes overnight.

Because God knows, the only way to get nutrition out of legumes or grains or seeds or nuts is to soak them.

Wait, are we eating grains again?  Yes?  No?

Ok, but definitely not sugar, right?  Oh, honey is OK? And molasses?  It doesn’t matter that both of those are pure sugar?  OH I see. It’s only bad if it’s white.

And our flour is rancid. But wait, we’re not supposed to eat flour. So it doesn’t matter.

And don’t even get me started on butter. But lard is OK. Except, wait, doesn’t it contain saturated fats? What about trans fats?

I seem to have gone off on a tangent here…

The point is, I don’t see myself ever overcoming those thoughts. I don’t see myself ever loving myself thin. I don’t believe that will happen.  I DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

And I don’t know how to fix that part of me.


On Pleasure and Deprivation

It has come to my attention that I don’t (really) know what gives me pleasure — apart from food.

I was talking to my therapist about this yesterday, and most of the things I know give me pleasure aren’t super healthy:

  • I love to binge-read a novel or series of novels. If it’s good, I can literally read all day.
  • Same goes for TV shows. I once watched two seasons of Downton Abbey in a weekend while I was laid up with the stomach flu.
  • Shopping. (Not super sustainable. Also materialistic.)

So I started trying things. There are some things I’ve tried that I feel could (or possibly should?) make me happy, but don’t really:

  • flowers — I like them, but they don’t give me the same kind of JOLT unless they are from my hubby
  • candles — meh
  • exercise — It’s fine; I do it. But it’s never actively given me pleasure or made me happy.
  • massages — They’re fine, but not worth the time and money for me, at least not very often.
  • mani/pedis — same as massages

Here’s what I know for sure makes me happy and gives me pleasure — and is also pretty healthy:

  • long showers — OK, not great for the environment, but I do so love them
  • a clean house — I recently invested in a cleaning service that comes twice a month, and I am always giddy when they’re done
  • reading a good magazine I’m really interested in
  • reading a good book (not to binge status)
  • watching a good TV show (not to binge status)

That’s it. That’s all I’m sure of.


33 Ways to Spoil Yourself Silly


33 Ways to Spoil Yourself Silly

1. Take yourself out to lunch.

2. Do something you loved as a kid.

3. Buy yourself that item you’ve been coveting.

4. Spend an hour diving into the story of a fictional book.

5. Take-off for a weekend solo retreat.

6. Enjoy a restorative yoga class.

7. Explore your city, or a new city, or a shop in your ‘hood—anywhere will do as long as it feels new and exciting.

8. Try a bold new lipstick colour.

9. Take a hot shower until the water runs out.

10. Grab a watercolour paint palette and paper and paint something your three year old self would adore.

11. Hire a personal shopper.

12. Light a beeswax candle and meditate.

13. Make crafts (with or without instructions).

14. Go for high tea with your easiest-to-be-with friend.

15. Bake a cake from scratch and eat the first slice.

16. Make plans for everyone you live with so you can hang out at home by yourself.

17. Buy a bunch of flowers and do nothing but breathe their sweet smell and contemplate their natural beauty.

18. Laugh.

19. Use your finest something.

20. Take the train somewhere and watch the world glide by.

21. Go outside, look up at the sky, close your eyes and bask in the light of the sun (or moon).

22. Dance without a care in the world to music that inspires your movement.

23. Make yourself breakfast and eat it in bed.

24. Try floating.

25. Find an inspiring notebook and a pen you adore and start writing every thought that’s in your head.

26. Treat yourself to an expensive bottle of wine.

27. Do absolutely nothing for ten minutes.

28. Go for a walk in the woods.

29. Hire a chef to cook dinner at your house for you and a group of friends who make you laugh (see above).

30. Try eyelash extensions.

31. Indulge in a day at a Scandinavian spa.

32. Take a nap.

33. Dust off your photo albums and take a trip down memory lane.