It’s episode #200 and I have a special treat for you in this one! I’m sharing several entries from a journal I had in 2007, which was during my binge years, right after the worst of my bingeing. You’re going to hear word for word some of the thoughts I had during that time, some of the struggles I had, and you’ll hear a very detailed account of a binge I had.
I have no doubt you’ll resonate with some of what I was thinking and did and you’ll see that you’re not alone.
Hi! Episode #200, woohoo!
As I thought about what I wanted to do for this episode I came up with a fun idea.
Or at least, I thought it was fun and I had a lot of fun preparing it.
I’m going to share some of my journal entries from 2007 that I wrote on a website that had a support group for people who binge eat.
And I’ll also share a little commentary as I go through them.
I hear so many stories from other people in my Stop Binge Eating Group Program and stories people share with via email and share with me on social media.
And I’ve for sure shared a lot of my stories throughout this podcast but I want to share with you, word for word, some of the things that were going on in my head.
Now, 2007 was an interesting time for me. I was living in San Francisco and then moved to Los Angeles.
And when I started writing in this online journal, which was in August of 2007, it was after the worst bingeing time of my life.
Unfortunately I don’t have entries from the worst times but there was still a lot of interesting stuff in the few months that I was actively writing here on this site.
I had my longest streaks of not binging during this time. I’ve had people ask me if it’s normal to do well for awhile and binge and the answer is yes. My bingeing was all over the place…and you’ll hear a little about this too. But overall when I think of the entire 10 or so years that I was bingeing, there were times when I’d binge a few days in a row, times when I’d do it once a week, times when I’d go for several weeks without doing it.
There were of course many factors that contributed to this but I say this to tell you there is no normal when it comes to binge eating. Everyone is different.
And frequency of bingeing doesn’t necessarily reflect the internal mental struggle that a person is going through.
I saw in my entries times when I was struggling and fighting but didn’t binge.
I somehow made it through but the obsessive thoughts about food, calories, and losing weight were still present.
And I’ll tell you, I wrote about calories and losing weight A LOT in my entries.
There were over 150 entries that I wrote and most of them talked about calories and losing weight.
But I won’t be sharing all of them here, I just picked out some that had interesting thoughts, or at least, I thought they were interesting.
There were a lot that just complained about work or my roommate or where I talked about how I was doing well so I didn’t include all that.
Just the good stuff.
So without further ado, let’s get to the first one. And this was actually my first entry on the site.
August 8, 2007
I have been struggling with binge eating for as long as I can remember but it has gotten worse in the past few years. I can’t talk about my problems with people I know because I am too embarrassed and only my best friend knows I have a problem…but she’s not very helpful because she doesn’t understand and doesn’t know how to help. She doesn’t even acknowledge that I have a problem and I feel like either she’s ignoring it because I don’t bring it up or she thinks I’m over it.
I have my good days and my bad. I was doing really well for a few weeks and even lost 5 lbs. And then I had about 5 bad days out of 8….and today was one of them, which is why I found this site. I don’t know how to help myself or even what someone else can do to help me but at this point, I’m ready to try anything.
How many of you have had an experience like that when you’ve told someone about your bingeing? This is why it can be so helpful to find people who get it. And not only that but, someone who can actually help you. I found a lot of support on this website I was on and I think support groups are great and I actually had some good streaks of not bingeing while I was active on this site but, it wasn’t until I found someone who could help me that I actually stopped.
So that’s entry number one, a little introduction.
August 19th 2007
One thing that bothers me about people is listening to them talk about how great food is. For example, my roommate was eating a chocolate mochi ice cream ball tonight and was so expressive about how amazing it is. I’ve binged on them before so trust me, I know how amazing they are. It just sucks because I try to tell myself that food isn’t as great as I think it is and then people without a problem like me express how it is. Sometimes it makes me just want to start screaming, “Yes I know how great it is! Eating that is the most amazing feeling in the world! It makes everything else seem so unimportant and I cant think of doing anything else right now except eating that! And after I eat it I want more and more and more until I think I’m going to throw up!”
The funny thing is that I could say that to someone and they would laugh along and agree that they feel the same way….but they don’t. The thing is that I feel so much more intense about it and I really would feel that way and do all those things. That other person is just saying it but would never actually do such a thing. Or if they would actually do it, it would happen maybe once but with me it could happen everyday, a few times a day if I could. So my point is, I hate it when other people talk about food, and how much they love it, when they don’t realize that their feelings don’t even compare to how much myself and all of you feel.
My roommate also comments on how she has an “unhealthy obsession” with certain foods she really likes. No honey, you have no idea what that’s really like. I have an unhealthy obsession with french fries, ice cream, peanut butter, frosting, soft baked cookies, etc. meaning I could eat it all day everyday….I highly doubt you would do that so don’t tell me about your unhealthy obsession.
Or when people ask me why I don’t want to eat something. Why??? Because if I do I won’t want to stop, that’s why. If only I could tell these people my real thoughts, but I can’t. To explain how talking about food like this is like talking about getting wasted some night with an alcoholic….or telling them how good it feels to drink, or ask them why they don’t want a drink, or a sip. It sucks to have a problem you can’t just share with the world. For if I did, I would feel that every time they would see me eat, they would be thinking about my problem.
I don’t even know what to say about that one. I so clearly remember feeling that way. I was so angry about my problem and how other people didn’t have the problem and that last line…I was so afraid that if I told people they would have their eyes glued to me and be judging me so hard when I ate. Which is interesting because previously I said that I told my friend and she didn’t seem to care. I know everyone reacts to things differently but it’s interesting how even though I saw how my friend reacted to knowing about my bingeing, I still believed that everyone else would be the complete opposite.
But, yeah, this entry is something. So angry. Have you ever had thoughts like mine? I bet I wasn’t alone in thinking this way.
August 22, 2007
So its been 2 weeks since my last binge and I’m so happy about that. But as I sit here, watching yet another rerun of 90210, which is such a great show, I’m still thinking about food. Sometimes I feel like its just a matter of time before I do it again. I could easily walk over to my kitchen right now and eat about 1000 calories. I know I would totally regret it after and feel like shit but I could very easily do it.
I was just thinking how fun it would be to eat all my ice cream sandwiches, or bake some frozen french fries, or eat anything else I have. It would sure beat sitting here another day as I wait for my ankle to fully heal. (side note, I had a badly sprained ankle at the time). But I know that in the end it would so not be worth it. I’d binge for about 30 mins maybe and then feel like crap for hours and hours and maybe even days knowing that my 2 week streak is now broken and I have to start all over. The only way I would be content with eating too much is if I’m with friends and having a good time….not by myself to cure boredom.
So it makes me wonder, will I ever not have the urge to binge? Is it because I haven’t been binge-free for long enough or is it because I will never be rid of this feeling? Or maybe the feeling just won’t come around as often but I’ll still feel it sometimes. So I guess I just need to stay strong to get through these times. It will get easier….I think….I hope. It has too. But you know what, nothing is worse than being a binge eater, for me. So as long as I’m not bingeing then I’m doing something good for myself. Its the worst thing about me right now so getting rid of it can help me to focus on the next thing, what ever that may be. I know I’ll never be perfect, and neither will anyone else, but we can all do our best to be the best we can be…and for me, its not being a binge eater anymore. So even if this awful feeling never subsides, not giving into it is the best thing i can do.
2007 Kirstin. I wish I could talk to that version of myself and tell her that it will get easier and yes, you will stop feeling the urge to binge. And that goes for you too.
August 24, 2007
I hate grocery shopping. I would love to make a list, give it to someone, and have them go for me. Because I eat bananas and apples everyday and cucumbers most days, I need to go like once a week since fruits and veggies only last so long. Every time I go its like a test of my willpower. I remember many many times where I would pick up a treat or two, sometimes more, and devour it as soon as I got home…even if it was a whole box of something, chances are that box would be gone by the end of the day…or the end of the hour. It’s such a struggle to walk by all those yummy things and think about how delicious they are, or if I’ve never had them before then how delicious they must be. I try to avoid the aisles where the goodies are but sometimes I find myself walking them….why? Maybe to test my willpower, maybe to reminisce about the days of enjoying them, maybe cuz deep down I really want to buy something. I don’t know. But what I do know is that I’m good on my way there but as soon as I walk in I get nervous that I’m gonna walk out with something bad that I know I shouldn’t be getting. I’ve been doing good lately and haven’t bought any sweets; except I buy ice cream sandwiches because I know I can enjoy them in moderation unlike a lot of other junk food. Making it through a grocery store trip and not buying crap just to go home and binge on it makes me feel just a little more “normal”.
Anyone else feel that way about grocery shopping? I totally remember walking the aisles like that and I think it was for all the reasons I said. I would tell myself a lot of the time, “I just want to see…” Like I wanted to see if there was anything new that was exciting. But yeah, grocery stores were stressful. And being someone who goes once a week, as I’m sure most of you do too, I’m so glad that I no longer feel that way. I can pick out my food, maybe grab a joy food or two, have no mental drama, and be on my way. And no food gets eaten on the way home.
Now this next one is short but I got a kick out of it so I thought I’d share.
August 27, 2007
Took a nap and feel much better. Its so easy to not think about food when you’re sleeping, hehe.
Okay, next one.
August 28, 2007
I was just looking for a new apartment (I’m moving by the end of September) and one I just looked at said “Jack in the Box across the street”. Oh hell no! I will not even think about getting that one! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve binged off their food…I even started getting embarrassed that the guy at the drive-thru window started to recognize me like I was a late night regular. One of my habits during my lowest time was going to a fast food drive thru, eating whatever I got in the car, then going to another fast food place, eating in the car, and maybe even going to a third. It makes me sick just thinking about the fact that I would do that. I never want to do it again. These are the things that make me happy to live in a city where I walk, bus, and cab everywhere. There’s less temptation for drive-thru’s, one of my major weaknesses, since my car is a 15 minute walk from my apt.
Oh fast food. I can’t even tell you how many times I binged on it.
And have you ever avoided living or going somewhere because a fast food restaurant or store was nearby? Yeah, I looked at two apartments in person and that one I mentioned was definitely not one of them.
August 31, 2007
Peanut butter has been a problem for me for the past two years. I never bought it so I never had it in my house, but things changed when I lived with my last roommates. I remember nights where I would spread pb on bread and eat that…and then do it again….and probably again. Sometimes I felt like I always had to have things in 3’s, its weird. Its like “mmmm, that was good, I want another” and then “ok, just one more cuz it was so good”, and then be done….or move on to something else. Anyway, sometimes I would just eat the pb by the spoonful, omg so good. That was a big problem for me while I was living there cuz I’d keep eating it and they’d just keep buying it. Now my current roommate buys it too! There were many times I’d eat right out of that thing, saying I’d just have one spoonful and ended up having 3 or 4….and that stuff is full of calories. There was even one time I remember buying a replacement because I had eaten enough that she would have noticed and I was too embarrassed. I remember being relieved when she wouldn’t buy it.
How dare my roommates buy food that I binged on! Seriously though, that was tough. And I’m happy to report that these days, I almost always have peanut butter in my pantry and haven’t binged on it in years. You can stop bingeing on the foods you binge the most I promise you!
Now this next one was interesting. I’d been doing well for awhile and decided to come up with some stats. Now I’ll share this just because I thought it was interesting but I can’t emphasize enough that there is no normal and your stats are not supposed to be like mine. You may binge more, less, or the same…and it doesn’t matter. This was just a period of time in my life that I got curious about and it’s probably not useful for you to compare yourself to me here….especially if you’re bingeing more.
Okay, disclaimer over.
I wish I had found this site sooner. I feel I may have been able to get to this point sooner and it would be nice to be able to look back at my progress and see where I came from. I know that I’ve only written about one binge since I’ve been a member, which was the night I joined, but trust me, there were thousands before that night. The only reference I have to my past bingeing episodes are my memories and my food journal program on my computer that I have only been using since March. I wish I had a journal starting at least from the end of 2005 which I feel was when I started getting to my worst ever and I gained the most weight in such a short period of time. However, I decided tonight that I wanted to get some facts about myself using my food journal so I can see what’s been going on the for the past 6 months or so. So, since March 15, 2007, here’s the stats I came up with:
I have binged on 20% of the days not including my recent 3.5 weeks of no bingeing, I averaged going 4 days in a row without bingeing, the longest I had gone was 16 days. I was in the double digits of no bingeing days 4 times, and I never made it to double digits until the end of June. The foods I binged on the most were ice cream, french fries and soft-baked cookies (but I know I didn’t need my journal to tell me that!) The most I ate in one day was 5,000 calories, I went over 4,000 cals 7 days, over 3,000 12 days, and the rest were well over 2,000. Remember, these stats are from a period of time when I was gradually getting better, not during my worst. I don’t really know if there is any sort of conclusion that I can come to from this but there is something I can say to those of you who are still struggling to get past day 1. I may be here, binge-free for 3.5 weeks, but I didn’t just say one day, I’m gonna stop bingeing and I did. I tried and failed tons of times. I was at my lowest point 1-2 years ago and its taken me that long to get from my lowest to my best. Even as I look at my stats, I was going from 1 day to 7 to 3 to 5 to 4 to 9 and back to 0 between binge days. Then all of the sudden I hit 16, then 10, 12, 13, back to 0, 4, and now three weeks. I guess I was just ready.
The only thing I can think of that has made a big impact on my desire to be binge free is my upcoming move and attempt at a dance career. I need to be thinner to even think about making it in that world and I’ve pushed back my moving date a few times but now its Oct. 1 or never. It’s crunch time. The only way I can get down to my goal weight is by not bingeing, no questions asked. So cutting that out of my life was a necessity. Now I know that’s not the only reason I’ve gotten better cuz we all know that’s not enough or else we would all be binge-free right now. We all have our reasons to stop doing it but we need so much more than one goal to make us better. You need to fix the things in your life that are causing you to want to binge and find other ways to deal with your issues so bingeing is no longer an option. Easier said than done I know. But I guess what I’m trying to say here is that it may take a year or two to get from bingeing everyday to not doing it for weeks so don’t get frustrated when you can’t get out of the cycle. We all have different needs and different reasons why we binge so you need to figure out your own steps to recovery. The only thing I can say that definitely works for everyone is never giving up.
Look at me being a little amateur coach there! I have no idea where that all came from but, one thing I was onto for sure was that part about the reason I was doing well, because I had a compelling reason why. I wanted to lose weight and be thin so I could get jobs as a dancer in LA. Which by the way, I never got any jobs as a dancer but, it’s all good. I’ve done other awesome things since then! But anyway, I also said that having the reason isn’t enough, which is so true. I love what I wrote here, “You need to fix the things in your life that are causing you to want to binge and find other ways to deal with your issues so bingeing is no longer an option.” Yes girl! But what I want to know is, what things did I think I was fixing during that time? Because I don’t think I really fixed anything and that’s why my bingeing continued for years after this. I know I was very focused on my actions and making rules around food and counting calories but I for sure was not changing my mindset like I needed to…which is what ultimately led me to stopping. I thought I was fixing things and I love my positivity but, there was still so much work for me to do.
Alright, here’s another quickie:
September 7, 2007
Boys suck….but they will not lead me to a binge…and neither will my roommate being gone for 1 1/2 weeks.
That’s right Kirstin! They will not lead to you binge!
And then, on October 6th, a few days after I moved to LA, this entry happened…
October 6, 2007
Relapse, relapse, relapse!!! Well My friends, it happened. I binged last night. It came on slowly but in the end, I can’t describe it as anything else. At first I thought about writing just that and leaving out all the details but then decided it would be more beneficial to relive the entire day/night and share it with you all as well. So get ready cuz this is gonna be a long one.
My day started off great. I had a cup of tea, oatmeal and a Nutri-Grain bar. I decided to spend the day walking around my new area to check out what it has to offer (restaurants, shops, etc.). About 3.5 hours after I had breakfast, I found myself ready for lunch while at a mall. I chose a salad at one of the food court restaurants, chicken, 3 types of beans, tomatoes, and 2 types of lettuce…and a piece of cornbread. Yummy! I made my way home after that and when I got home, about 30-40 mins later, I wasn’t feeling very full. I think salads don’t fill me up as much as I’d like, especially since I’d been walking around all day, so I should have eaten something heavier. I had pizza left over from the night before (I bought it last night for dinner assuming I’d eat some of it the next day too. I know its not the best option but I had spent two days getting my apartment together, I was tired, and didn’t feel like going out so pizza was the easiest thing for me to do). After one piece, I was still a little hungry so stupid me had another. I would have been better off with something smaller, like a bar, but no, I went for another piece.
So I went on my way to do some more area exploring, walked down a really fun street too, and on my way back I made my way past a Pink Berry (a very popular frozen yogurt place). I have wanted to try it since I saw there was one near my new place. So I figured this: I’m going to try it eventually, so I might as well just get it out of the way now and stop thinking about it whenever I pass by. So I tried it and seriously, it wasn’t even that good! I wasn’t a big fan of the texture. I prefer my frozen treats soft and creamy and this was just neither. But of course I ate the whole thing, stupid me. Side note: I don’t plan to get a job until at least November so I’m trying to not spend too much money but still have a good time. So if I am spending money on something, I don’t want to waste it. I think I’m going to need to change that idea. I shouldn’t have eaten that whole frozen yogurt. I’d rather waste the money than put all the extra shit in my body. I also need to be smarter about what I’m spending my money on.
After the frozen yogurt incident, it was time to make my way back home. When I got here I was trying to decide what to do for the evening. I was pretty tired from walking all day, for about 6 hours with small breaks, so I decided to hop in my car and cruise around the city. I could find my way to the beach for future reference, find out where my gym is, check out where some of the nightlife is, etc. Before I left, I ate the last two pieces of pizza. Why? I’m not really sure. I don’t even remember if I was hungry. But I ate them. After that, I started thinking about how unsatisfied I was with my frozen yogurt earlier. I was ready for something really tasty and was really disappointed instead. So then I was on a mission. I wanted to go get another frozen yogurt/ice cream/whatever, to satisfy my craving. I knew I was already up around 2000 cals for the day but I figured this would be it and I’m done, no biggie. I found a place right near my house and stopped in. The lady there asked me “is this before or after dinner?” And I didn’t know what to say. What was my dinner anyway? The pizza? The pink berry? This? Who knows? I just laughed and told her it was after, just to sound normal. Then she proceeded to tell me that I must not have been satisfied with my dinner if I’m getting this. So true though. I wasn’t satisfied with the pizza or the pink berry. I only had the pizza cuz it was there and I should have figured out what I really wanted and gone for that instead. The problem there was that I wasn’t even hungry so it probably wasn’t even food that I wanted anyway. I would have been better off if I had just skipped the second two slices and went for the second ice cream instead. Note To self: figure out what I really want or else I won’t feel satisfied.
So get this, that second frozen yogurt I got wasn’t good either! What disappointment! I need to stay away from all those “healthy” versions and from now on, just go for the real thing…or at least make sure I’m finding a good version by only trying them while with other people who say its good. And just for the record, I ate that whole thing too.
Time to cruise. I was having a good time, driving around. Then I started thinking about how much it sucked I never got to have a good frozen something. I thought it would be a good idea to find a Cold Stone Creamery, Baskin Robbins, something that I knew would be good and kick the craving for good. As I was driving along I came across a Carl’s Jr. I thought it would be a good idea to get some of their amazing criss-cut fries. Seriously, they’re probably my favorite fast food fries. Now, I don’t know how I went from getting ice cream to french fries but it happened. It doesn’t even make sense. The sad part was that I didn’t have any cash on me so I had to put like $2 on my card. The drive-thru guy must have thought I was a wacko…I kinda thought I was too.
So kept on going and eventually came across a Cold Stone and was so excited but still had no cash and felt stupid as I kept using my card for such small amounts. Luckily, (luckily?), there was a Bank of America (my bank) a few blocks away so I stopped at the ATM and took out $40 so I would have cash on me anyway for the next few days. When I tried to find a parking spot near the Cold Stone, the closest spot was like 4 blocks away and I wasn’t about to walk that far for this so I left and gave up on the ice cream. I thought it was a blessing in disguise but we will soon find out that it didn’t really make much of a difference. I actually may have been better off if I had gone there….since that was what I really seemed to have wanted.
After that, I was on my way. A little later, and I honestly don’t remember what was going on in my head, but I thought it would be a good idea to stop at McDonald’s. I chose to get more fries, but, if you get the large ones you automatically get a prize (they’re doing the monopoly thing again). So I stupidly ordered the large ones and won money for toys r us…yay, I can go buy myself some toys. Then, of course, I ate the whole order. So I may not remember why I made that McDonald’s stop, or why I wanted more fries, but I do remember what I was thinking about as I mowed on them. First, I was trying to decide if I was walking into a binge. I was going to just ignore this incident and count it as an overeat but after realizing that I had just stopped at two different fast food places and got fries at both, as I’ve mentioned before this was an old binge habit of mine, I reluctantly admitted to myself that I was in the beginning of a binge. I was also having that out of control feeling that we all know and love…I mean hate! I was in that frame of mind and knew it was gonna be hard to get out of it, especially since I still had a ways to drive before I got home and would be confronted with more temptation.
I’ll never forget what happened next. I sat there thinking about what I was going to say in my journal, how I could let you all down after I had been so strong for over 8 weeks. I had to confess or else I’d just be lying to myself and all of you. And then I thought “I don’t even care, I’m happy right now”. Seriously, and I wasn’t even kidding that was really how I felt. I’m happy? I’m happy cuz I’m eating a large order of fries from McDonald’s? Sad. And let me tell you, I also remember a few minutes after I was finished eating them I started feeling really sad. The complete opposite of what I had been feeling however many minutes before. Then I cared. What’s even worse is that after this, it didn’t stop. Along comes burger king. I thought “ohhhh, dulce de leche cheesecake. That will make up for the bad frozen yogurts from before.” For real? How can I still be thinking about that after stuffing myself full of french fries? Well I was, but unfortunately I was unable to get into the lane I needed to be in to turn into the parking lot in time so I had to keep driving. But don’t worry my friends, another one came along eventually. But, they didn’t have what I wanted so I had to get the butterfinger cream cake instead. And it was free! Haha. The bitch in front of me at the drive thru was at the window for like 3 mins (a long time in fast food time) complaining about whatever so the guy working there felt bad and gave me my cake for free.
So now it’s the homestretch. Time to get home and sit on my futon, thinking about what I’ve done. Oh, but not just yet! I decided to stop at a 24 hr grocery store and get a pint of ice cream to spend my time with when I get home. What a “great” idea. I walked in and came across the bakery first. So I browsed and picked up a slice of red velvet cake, which I’ve heard like every celebrity praise, and moved on to the ice cream aisle. What caught my eye was the cake batter ice cream, one of my faves, but they only had it in the big size, whatever that is, so I just got that.
Now, those cake people are evil cuz they actually included a small fork with the cake so of course I began to eat it on my way home. And let me tell you, the cake wasn’t even that good and the frosting, which is usually my favorite part, was gross! What are all those people talking about??? And just so you know, I didn’t eat the whole slice…just half. After that, I opened up the ice cream and began to eat that, with the little fork, for the rest of the way home and while I drove around looking for a parking spot.
Once I parked, that was it. I put all my trash, including the rest of the ice cream (I’d say I ate a max of 2 cups, maybe not even, I have no clue) into the plastic bag I had and threw it all away on my walk home. Gotta get rid of the evidence right people? I don’t want that shit in my car or in my apartment.
Once I got home I don’t think I’ve ever felt so sick in my life. I was wishing so bad that I could throw up but I know I don’t have it in me to do that. I was even hoping my body would just want to throw up anyway cuz it’s just too full. I sat down to write this journal last night but didn’t even get one letter out before I decided I felt way too sick to do anything but lay in my bed….so that’s what I did. The feeling eventually passed and I was able to get up and turn off my computer and brush my teeth but had no energy to take off my eye makeup and wash my face. I woke up twice through out the night, a typical binge consequence, and was hot both times, another consequence, but didn’t sweat, thank god. Luckily, I slept long enough to avoid a binge-hangover so I don’t feel so awful today.
So there’s my story. The question now is, how do I feel? Honestly, not as bad as I ever thought relapsing would be. I feel this is an important part of recovery. Its not that I think everyone who has gone 8 weeks should go and binge, but I feel its going to help me in the long run. Its weird, but I think that the whole time I was not bingeing, I was kinda expecting this to happen but hoped it wouldn’t. I’ve noticed lately that I haven’t been eating as well as I’ve liked to, so maybe this incident will give me a little kick in the butt to be as healthy as possible so this never creeps up on me again. I know last night it crept up but maybe this has been gradually coming for a week or so. Who knows?
I don’t think of it as all my hard work being ruined, cuz its not. This is a time when all my hard work is going to help me. One bad night can’t ruin all I’ve learned throughout the past 8 weeks. All this means is that I have to start over at day 1. I know I can do it again, If I’ve done it before then why not again? I know that because I’ve gone for so long it will be much easier for me to get back on track than it would have been if I had only gone 1 day or 1 week. Basically, I’ve done the relapse and now I don’t have to worry anymore about it.
As I was lying in pain last night, I recalled all the thoughts and feelings I had throughout the night that I haven’t felt in such a long time. Its kind of like I forgot what it really feels like to binge, but now I remember. I remember all the horrible things it does. I may have felt on top of the world while I was eating those fries but I felt terrible all the rest of the time. Its sad that I needed to actually feel all that to remember why I stopped, but if that’s what helps me in the long run then I can’t be so angry it happened. I know there are reasons why I did it last night (being unsatisfied, tired, lonely, and whatever else) but if I’ve gotten through these in the recent past without eating I know I can still do it. Today is day 1, and this time I’m gonna go longer than 8 weeks!
The best thing I can do is learn from this. Here’s a few things I’ve taken away from this experience:
Don’t eat salad as a meal cuz it doesn’t usually fill me up and I’ll just be hungry again very soon. However, I will have one if its full of tons of things that will fill me up or if I’m just having a quick bite to eat before a planned meal in an hour or so.
If I don’t like something, then don’t eat it. I’d be better off not wasting it in my body and having something I actually like instead.
Don’t be unsatisfied.
Don’t eat if I’m not physically hungry. I feel like sometimes I get nervous that I’m gonna be hungry later and there’s not going to be anything to eat…then I have to suffer with my hunger pain. Just remember, there will be something to eat nearby so don’t be afraid of being hungry later.
Don’t waste my money on this bullshit, especially now that I’m unemployed. I’d like to not have a job as long as possible and I don’t want bingeing to get in the way of me enjoying a stress-free life. Bingeing is not what I want to be spending my money on.
Eat what I really want, not what’s there. This goes back to the satisfaction things again.
So I’m sure there are other things I’m taking away from this but these are the ones that are clear on my mind right now. I’m sorry if anyone is disappointed with me, or if I’ve let anyone down, but understand that relapses happen. I’m human too. I’m really surprised with how I’m taking all this and am just happy to start fresh today. Day 1 is today, Saturday October 6, 2007 and 1 year from today will be my one year anniversary!
That was something wasn’t it? There’s just so much I could say about it but for time’s sake, I’ll just say this. Just like I was proud of myself then for how I thought about and handled this incident, I’m proud now too. I didn’t make it mean there was something wrong with me, that I was a failure, or that all I had done didn’t matter anymore. I believed this was something to learn from and I love that I even took the time to write out what I learned. And I think I had some good insights in there and if I were to coach my past self right now, I would dig into each of those learnings even more to get even deeper, more useful lessons from them and come up with even better strategies.
But wow, I’m proud of myself for taking the time to write this all out and this being the most extensive description of any of my binges that I have in writing, I’m so happy I did write it.
I love how hopeful I was at the end too. And unfortunately one year later was not my one year anniversary.
On December 27th, just a few months later when I was back in the Bay Area visiting family and friends for Christmas, I wrote this entry.
December 27, 2007
In the words of Britney Spears: “Oops, I did it again”. I encountered a binge last night. Now, if I’ve been drinking and have impaired judgement, does it count if I binge? I was very buzzy (I wasn’t drunk or else I wouldn’t have been driving). But my answer to this questions is yes, it counts. Its like when people use being drunk as an excuse for cheating on a girl/boyfriend….please, worst excuse. Therefore, I don’t feel I can use it for this either. I guess I kind of saw it coming. I was careless last Wednesday at work, I ate too much on Christmas eve and day, and then last night was the killer. Its like it was just building up and if I had only not let myself go in the first place it wouldn’t have escalated as it did.
I was hanging out with friends last night and I remember when the idea first popped in my head. They were talking about stuff I didn’t know about and my mind started wandering and in popped “Jack in the Box” (a fast food restaurant). So for the rest of the night, when I wasn’t involved in conversations I would think about it. When I left the bar at the end of the night, I went to the “JitB” near where I’m staying and it was closed. So now I was on a mission for something to eat and since I had my mind set on fast food, that was what I wanted. I found a 24 hr drive thru McDonald’s and got fries and a cheeseburger, both off the dollar menu. Then, it was time to find another place and I found another 24 hour drive thru mcd’s. There I got chocolate chip cookies cuz I wanted ice cream but they didn’t have it. So I figured I’d try for one more place to try and get the ice cream I wanted. You’ll never believe it but I found a third 24 hr mcd’s (why are there so many? And why aren’t any of the other fast food places open so late?). There, I actually had a different experience. I asked for ice cream and they said they didn’t have any so I got fries instead. When I pulled up he said it would be a few minutes and told me I didn’t have to pay for them. I thought that was nice. Then he asked what kind of ice cream I wanted and I told him an M&M McFlurry and he made me one, also free of charge. Then he proceeded to ask my name and shake my hand. Guess it pays to have the drive thru guy think you’re pretty!
So after it all, I only ended up spending like $4 so at least I didn’t waste a lot of money like I used to. I think there was a lot that went into this relapse. The two things that I think most lead to it were being back at a place where my bingeing was at its peak (the house and the area) and giving myself the opportunity to be careless because I’m on vacation and cuz of Christmas. It was definitely another learning experience, I felt like crap after, today I feel bloated and hungover, but I went to the gym and feel somewhat better.
So I’ve decided to do things a little different this time around. I’ve done the counting days thing which was great and I’ve gotten to 8 weeks and 11 weeks. But this time I’m just going to say that 2008 is going to be a binge-free year. I’m not going to count the days, I’m just going to do it and hopefully at this time next year I can say I’ve had my first binge-free year. Am I disappointed I binged? A little, but its not the worst thing I’ve ever done. It’s time to just get back to healthy and hope I haven’t gained too much weight while I’m here! I still have a few days left of my vaca so I’ll just continue to try my best and come away a stronger person.
And that is it. That was the last few months of 2007.
And I ended the year without much of a plan except to just not binge which, is not a great plan. And again unfortunately, 2008 was not a binge free year.
It wasn’t until 2016 that I did have my final binge and 2017 was my first binge-free calendar year….and I’ve been binge-free ever since.
So, there is some of me, and I hope you found some of you in what I wrote back then, and see that you’re not the only one. And know that it’s possible for you too to stop the madness and stop bingeing.
Keep encouraging yourself, keep believing in yourself, and get to the root of the problem. I’ve given you so much about the root of the problem throughout these 200 episodes of the podcast but sometimes, we do need more than just listening to someone talk about it. We need to have conversations and talk with someone. And that’s what we do in my Stop Binge Eating Program.
If you want help getting to the bottom of this and stopping for good, go to coachkir.com/group to get info about the program. When this episode is being released I’ll be in the process of updating the program so some specific details will be missing from the website but, as soon as details are finalized, they will be posted. And you can always email email@example.com to ask any questions you may have.
Alright, I hope you enjoyed this 200th episode, I for sure had a good time going down memory lane and although I don’t have a ton of other journal entries that talk about my bingeing, I have some and maybe I’ll share more in the future.
Until then, keep going and don’t give up on yourself.