Monday, June 4, 2012

B is for Binging

Day two of this challenge and binging is the word which came to mind amongst budgets, boyfriends and babies, neither of which I felt compelled to dive into as a topic today. I could talk about those nonstop, but one of the directions of this blog has to do with weight loss, therefore I choose binging for today.

Our country is getting larger and larger by the day. Statistics are thrown in our faces on a regular basis about the "fattest cities" or "children are fatter today than yesterday" and so on. And it's true. I'm a people watcher although I don't particular enjoy being the subject amongst other people watchers. By paying attention to my surroundings, it's rare to see a slender person anymore and when you do, it's almost as if you're seeing something which isn't real. Average sizes in this country have gone from petite to a size 14, a size which I aim for actually. But also, as a people watcher, I can't look at someone and determine the root of their obesity, just as you can't judge mine. I'll be open with you however and let you know, I'm obese for a number of reasons: PCOS, emotional binge eating, and possibly hereditary although I'm not too sure it falls through a gene line. I say that because although you may see an obese mother with obese children, it doesn't necessarily mean it's hereditary, but perhaps poor education. Unfortunately, my own daughter is overweight and it tears me apart. Although not diagnosed yet, all signs with her are also pointing to PCOS, but this is another story for another day.

In a previous blog, you may remember reading about my previous binges of Cheetos. This particular one stands out the most to me. Yesterday, you learned of my anger issues of the past which also lead to emotional distress. I can't begin to tell you how many times, at that point, that my emotional distress turned me over to binge eating sprees. I acknowledge this today and I avoid binge eating, but wish I could've done that before reaching my near 500lb mark. A few weeks ago, I was joking with my boyfriend, halfheartedly, that I was going to eat a whole cake, and this was in the midst of some stress I was going through. Honestly, had it been three years ago, I probably would have eaten a whole cake if it was within reach while going through this stress.

Stress binges are the worse! After demolishing a bag of chips, you become even more stressed because now you're feeling sluggish from the junk food and you're mad at yourself for eating it in the first place. Instead of doing something about your binge, this binge turns into another binge to cover up the feelings from the previous binge! Or when life is falling apart, comfort foods make you feel better, except when you binge and eat several pieces of fried chicken and a plate full of mashed potatoes, because now you feel bad yet again and you dwell over this too.

It's a cycle. It's a cycle that is extremely hard to break. One of the ways for me to break this cycle was to stop buying it. This doesn't always help because then I would just go out and buy it, so I started leaving my debit cards at home if I were to leave the house. I remember a few years back, I was running an errand during a stressful period and stopped to pick up some fried chicken. My intention was to only eat a couple pieces of this chicken and put the rest away. Before I knew it, my stress demolished that chicken! I also keep very little gas in my gas tank. I am currently unemployed due to company closure, no fault of my own, and therefore I don't need to keep a full tank of gas anymore. This decreases the likelihood of me going out and getting stuff I don't need because if I go, not only do I have to stop to get the items, but I also have to pump gas and I don't always want to go pump gas! Typically, unless it's Sunday, there's 1/4th tank of gas in my truck or close to the point the light will come on.

Recently in church, my pastor touched on a sensitive subject when it comes to overeating and how so many of us eat more than we need, which leads to sinful behavior. All of us do this, rather we are skinny or not. I know a man who is tall and skinny, but can easily put away 3 or 4 plates of food. (Don't you wish you could do that?) However, does this person really NEED that food? Whenever I eat, I try to keep that sermon in mind and remember that my body is a temple and I need to protect it. It's not always easy to do, but I find cooking smaller portions help me eliminate the need to binge.

The first thing we all need to do as binge eaters is find the root of the problem in order to tackle it. I knew mine was stress. After we find the root, we need to figure out solutions. Mine were to stop buying it, keeping the tank low in gas, and leaving debit cards at home. And then, we work on the problem. Easier said than done, but it can be done. I find myself in prayer a lot more these days to help me through it, but if you're a non-believer, you may want to consider therapy to help you through your emotional distress. Binging isn't a choice we make, it's rooted by something much deeper and until you find those roots, binging will continue to be your friend but your body's worse enemy.

(Edited to add a link explaining PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

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