February 29, 2012

Losing Faith

I binged today. I wasn't even stressed out. I have no idea what the trigger was; maybe there wasn't one. All I know is that I decided to let myself have a bowl of these garlic parmesean cracker things and that I couldn't stop. I finished the bag, and then moved on to other foods (coconut macaroons, yogurt, granola cereal, etc). It feels like for every step forward that I take, I take two steps back.

I've been thinking about starting to track my calories again. The therapist suggested that I stop this, but I feel like I've gotten worse since seeing her, so maybe it's not helping. I still used to binge while I was tracking, but I think it may have been less often. It's hard to remember. Everything sort of blurs together nowawdays. I don't even remember what it was like to have a normal relationship with food anymore.

I feel so gross and fat now. I feel fat all the time actually. It's really starting to get to me. I've been skipping a lot of class lately, which is very unlike me. I feel terrible about myself, the way I look and the way I am. I hate these behaviours and these thoughts which have taken over my life. Like now, all I want to do is go to bed and wait until tomorrow so I can try again. But I am losing hope... I want to lose weight, but with these binges I keep going in the other direction. Do you think tracking will help? Thoughts?

P.S. Okay, so it's later now and I am having a full blown panic attack. I can't believe this is happening to me. I can't do this anymore. Oh my god. I am gaining so much weight (at least, I feel like it, I haven't actually weighed myself because I'm too scared) and I can't stop. I don't know what to do anymore; I don't know if I can do this anymore. How do you stop? Why can't I stop eating? Oh god. Please help me.

I can't handle this. I hate myself. I hatehatehatehatehateHATE this.

February 28, 2012

One More

I think I need to add an extra rule to my contract.

4. Even if you mess up,  carry on with the rules. (Messing up is NOT a license to binge/break more rules)

I had a stellar day yesterday, and today was going well until supper time. Even so, I didn't fall too badly off track. I still feel pretty confident that I can keep going with this. Just one day at a time.

February 26, 2012

New Rules

I desperately need to make a contract with myself. After today's severe binging (the worst in awhile) I need to do SOMETHING to stop this from happening. I am so scared by my lack of control. So these are some new rules I am setting for myself and that I WILL follow until I get back on track.

1. No eating after 8 o'clock.
2. Absolutely no eating between set meals/snack times. Not even to taste.
3. No eating while preparing meals.

Snacking is usually what throws off my plan and sends me spiralling into a binge, so I hope that by cutting that out, it might help. My binges are also usually worst at night, so a curfew might limit the damage. I think I will start with these rules as this should be hard enough. Wish me luck.

Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

I hope that when you read this, you are doing better than I am now. I have just spent the day binging. It’s not a good feeling. Physically, I feel ill. My stomach feels stretched and uncomfortably full. It’s hard to breathe. I feel bloated and fat. When I look in the mirror, I see a fat girl getting fatter. I don’t want to be this way. It’s not worth it for thirty seconds of pleasure. I don’t even remember how that food tasted anymore, but I will feel like this for hours. It’s just so easy to get off track. Sometimes it doesn’t even take a trigger. Sometimes it just happens. I don’t know what happens in those moments of weakness, but I hope that when you read this, you will remember to be strong. Remember how it feels like after the binge. All this shame and disgust and anxiety. Think of how it will feel to say no. To resist the urge to eat senselessly. Each day is NOT your last opportunity to treat yourself. There will be many, many more chances in the future. So hold on now so that you can really savour those moments. Hold on so that when those moments come, you don’t have to have this battle. Hold on and stay strong.

Remember what this feels like. Think of what you can be.


February 25, 2012

Small Victories

Well, I am back on track. Sort of. It hasn't been a perfect couple of days. (Again, that word perfect. It's such a struggle for me to remember that perfection is NOT my goal). I am doing okay though. No binges, knock on wood. I did have more dessert than I intended last night, but I managed to cut myself off before I went crazy. And today, I did have that extra slice of banana bread I said I wouldn't eat...but one slice is better than the loaf right? I am hoping that each day I can get a little better in saying no to that extra indulgence. I don't want to cut myself off from treats entirely. It's the extras I'm worried about--that extra snack when I'm not really hungry, that second serving of dinner simply because I don't want to stop eating.

I also have small triumph to report. Today I battled hunger and won. Being hungry is always such a stressful experience for me. Because of my IBS, I used to get severe cramps if I let myself get too hungry. I've learned to be afraid of hunger. It's been difficult for me to relearn how to tolerate this sensation. But today I was out at the mall with my mom and didn't have the opportunity to eat (at least, not any of my safe foods, but that's another issue for another time).  I nearly had a panic attack when I started to feel hunger pangs and couldn't eat. But I toughed it out. I kept telling myself that nothing bad was going to happen if I waited an hour. Eventually, the hunger pangs faded and so did my anxiety. We went home, I made lunch (and didn't even overeat, another small triumph) and everything was fine.

Small victory, but still it's nice to report a victory and not a failure.

February 23, 2012


Two days, that's all I lasted for. Two good days and I'm back to my sick habits. Today started going downhill when I had lunch an hour earlier than usual because I was starving. This meant that I was hungry mid-day, which meant I started snacking, and once I started, I couldn't stop. And of course because then I had messed up, I just kept going. I ate an entire jumbo chocolate bar after dinner. I keep trying to tell myself that it's okay, it's not the end of the world. I'm not going to get fat from one bad day. But it alternates with phases of intense anxiety. Because it's not okay. I'm not getting better. And I am putting on weight because of these binges. I think that working on a paper for school all day triggered it. It put me into a different head space and once I get into the frenzied state of mind, it's hard to get out.

It felt so good to binge while I was doing it. So satisfying. The food is just so good. It's after that that the horrible feelings start sinking in, the "oh my god, what did you just do?" feeling. And now I'm all worked up about it. I'm already freaking out about tomorrow. I'm going to have to drive to work tomorrow because we're having a winter storm, which means I won't get my usual half an hour of walking in. I'm somehow convinced that combined with tonight's binge, that'll cause me to gain weight. And my mom asked me to bring this new type of ice cream home, which I know I'll have to try and that I WANT to try. It just all adds up. Why can't I be normal? Don't normal people drive to work, over eat sometimes, and have ice cream and maintain a normal weight? Not everyone obsesses over it. I hate this part of myself, or my disease.

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

February 22, 2012

Bottled Hope

I wish that you could capture a feeling and keep it in a bottle. I've had a good two days. Two days binge free. They haven't been perfect. There have been moments of discomfort and anxiety. There have been moments where I've eaten more than I meant to. But for the most part, I've been able to keep my negative thoughts at bay. I have actually been able to COPE with imperfection. And that is my number one goal.

I haven't been as stressed as I usually am these past two days and I'm sure that's a factor in my eating. Stress seems to trigger many of my binges. But life is full of stress and I can't simply turn to food everytime life gets a little hectic. Somehow I need to remember how THESE days feel and use that when things get tough. How do you do this? I know I'm going to try.

February 19, 2012

A Bad Day

It has been a bad day for me. I have been stuck in that frenzied eating mindset all day. It started off this morning when I snuck a taste of the cheese buns my mom brought home. That ruined my "perfect" eating plan and things went downhill from there. I figured that since I had already messed up, why limit myself? I ended up eating the rest of a bag of croutons, two whole cheese buns (not to mention picking pieces off of all the others--a disgusting habit I know), a whole thing of yogurt, numerous handfuls of dry cereal on top of my main meals. It got worse when I went to work and was offered jumbo cookies by one of my coworkers. I had intended to cut myself off after I ate dinner but this was too great of a temptation. Even grosser is that I ripped the cookie in half and threw half out so I wouldn't eat it all, but then ended up digging in the garbage to retrieve it. I hate this disease. And to make matters worse, my family ordered Chinese while I was at work and so when I came home, I had to "treat" myself even though i'd already consumed more than a healthy amount of calories for the day.

And now here I am, stuck with my usual feelings of shame and disgust. Most overwhelmingly, I feel disappointed, frustrated and hopeless. I had such strong intentions that today I was going to control myself, that things were going to get better. But this keeps happening. No matter how many times I resolve to fix it, it never happens. I last a day at the most. It terrifies me, this lack of power.

I don't know what to do anymore.

February 18, 2012

To Grandmother's House We Go

I'm having a mixed day. It started out well (it usually does). I always have a ton of willpower in the morning. I knew that I was going to my grandma's house this afternoon and that I would be bringing a pie. I had mentally decided that I would allow myself to have a piece, but that I would only have one. But around lunch time I started snacking on croutons, and once I let myself go a little, I typically go all the way. So by the time the pie rolled around my resolve was shaky. I ended up having a bigger piece than I had intended, and then another piece after dinner, and then little slivers I cut off in secret after that. Between the two of us we ate nearly the whole pie. I probably would have eaten even more if I hadn't been so busy trying to hide my behaviour from my grandmother. All in all, I don't think it qualifies as a full out binge. I didn't lose total control, even though I ate much more throughout the day than I intended. It's difficult for me to tell whether I am overeating by "normal" standards or by my own. I don't feel as awful as I usually do about it, but I am having a good day self-esteem wise. I had a good day yesterday and so I'm much less bloated.

So while it hasn't been my best day, I definitely don't feel as disgusted with myself as I usually do. I know that I can get myself back on track tomorrow (at least, this is what I am planning for). I don't know if it's just a good day or if it's just a step in the right decision, but I feel that maybe today has been more positive than it has been negative (even if there has been some obsession and shame mixed in there).

February 16, 2012

New Beginning

My name is Leigh and I am a compulsive overeater. I started this blog on the advice of my counsellor who suggested that I find an outlet to talk about my issues. It's a long story, one which I'll get into shortly, but to put it simply, this is where I am hoping to keep track of my progress as I begin my recovery from binge eating disorder and a perfectionist tendency that has taken over my life.

A little bit about me and my history...

I am twenty years old and a full time university student. I work part time in retail and as you can imagine, I'm usually pretty busy. I live at home with my mom, step dad and dog who I love to bits. I have four siblings as well, but none of them live in the same household (so I kind of get the best of both worlds). Although my family is aware that I have "eating issues" they don't know that I am seeing a counsellor or that I have been diagnosed with binge eating disorder. My best friend is the only one I have told.

I have struggled with perfectionism all my life. I have always been an overachiever and an anxious individual. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I believe that this is the moment when my eating troubles began to develop. Over the new few years, I gradually became more and more obsessed with food and body image. It started with the elimination diets (which are a regular part of treating IBS). I became preoccupied with the idea of restricting my food intake and losing weight. I liked that I could have so much control over my diet and my body. I never verged on Anorexia (my calorie intake has always been at least average) but it didn't take long before I was eating only "healthy" foods and denying myself indulgences. I started to become afraid of certain foods. I told and still do tell other people that I avoid these foods because they upset my condition. And while there's some truth in that, I think that the underlying reason is more because I believe they will cause me to gain weight.

About eight months ago, my food obsessions took a new turn. Whenever I would allow myself a taste of a "forbidden food" I would get out of control. I began binging. I started allowing "bad foods" back into my diet, but instead of enjoying them in moderation, I devoured them in excess. One slice of pie would turn into half of the entire thing. And then a tub of ice cream. And then several cookies. All within a couple of hours. Once I began eating, I couldn't stop. At first this happened only once or twice a week. Now it is to the point where I am binging every other day, and even on the days that I don't, I feel that I am eating too much (even when what I am eating might be considered normal by some standards). I don't remember what normal eating is for me anymore. Everyday I agonize about eating too much.

My days now are consumed with thoughts of what I will eat, when I will eat next, and if I be able to control myself. I've tried to stop restricting myself as much but I find that I am still in the habit of calorie counting and avoiding certain foods. I am sure that I would be Bulimic if I could purge. The only thing preventing me is that I cannot make myself vomit and laxatives are too dangerous with my digestive condition. As such, I find myself binge eating and then feeling even worse for it because I am convinced I am gaining weight and wreaking havoc on my health. I have gained about three pounds in the last month and am terrified I will become obese if this keeps up. I should mention that I have never been considered overweight. My BMI is 21.4 and although I am not "thin" I am certainly not "heavy".  I hate myself for it, and I know it's illogical and the product of a flawed society, but I cannot help seeing myself as "fat". No matter how hard I try to talk myself out of it, I want to be thinner. I want to be "perfect".

So that's a brief history. I am sure that there are many more things that will come up in the course of my blogging. I don't know what I am hoping to get out of this. Hopefully insight into why I have these problems and what I can do to fix them. I also hope that in having some place to report to, I will be more motivated to carry through with the changes to aid my recovery. I would love to hear other people's thoughts and stories--people who are currently struggling or have recovered from eating disorders. I know that this is going to be a long and challenging journey and I'm not expecting a fix overnight.

I just hope that this is the first right step in the direction of healing.