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.