So last night descended into another binge (sorry, Julie Ramage but I didn’t see your very helpful advice until after the event, so didn’t document it). It was pretty nasty.
Nonetheless, I got on the scales this morning and discovered I am now 3lbs heavier than when I began trying to lose weight.
The weird thing is, I wasn’t angry with myself. I felt sorry for myself, like a friend stood next to myself wanting to give comfort.
I think that’s really positive.
It was though a real lightbulb moment. It made me really take seriously how much trouble I’m in.
I think I have two problems – sugar addiction and binge eating disorder. I think they’ve happened through a complex blend of physical and psychological factors – physically, I think my gut is over-run with sugar-loving microbes (see my post Guts, Ice Cream & Love) and the only possible response to that is
I’m gonna torch the little b*stards. We’re talking a scorched earth policy here. I refuse to feed them their candy anymore and if they start complaining, the bear gets busy until every last little one is a charred cinder. One day, when all this is long behind me and it’s safe, I’ll let 85% dark chocolate and fruit back into my life. But that’s it. No more sugar, ever.
As to the psychological, writing my post yesterday Poisons & Plan B really brought home to me, in a real face-palm moment, that the seeds of my binge eating were sown in my childhood. Sometimes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and categorically refusing to let a child have the edible jewels that other children routinely enjoy makes them glitter all the more brilliantly.
As Middle Aged Warrior pointed out to me, society really skews our relationship with food, endowing it with qualities of celebration, love and approval. From childhood, we are rewarded with food.
As to the binge eating, I replied to a comment by Julie Ramage yesterday and it really made me think – she asked how I felt when I was bingeing. I replied that, amongst other things, it was great to be feeding unfettered whatever it was inside me that was so hungry.
And that’s a question I really need to answer. What is it inside me that is so hungry?
I think also that once again, I was taken in by the flirtatious winking of a celebrity diet. Every modern woman is surrounded and serenaded by the host of celebrity diets that prop up this billion dollar industry, and which flaunt their charms to us to seduce us; like sirens luring us close with their soft song, secretly smiling when we break ourselves on their rocks, because that means their billion dollar industry still stands safe, because we’ll need it to fix us even more badly now.
I had given alot of thought to my dietary life, behaviours and experiences, and put together a plan that covered as wide a range of foods as possible – because I knew I had a propensity to binge, which had lain dormant for a decade but which I sensed was reawakening. I reckoned that if I fed myself a very wide range of foods the sense of deprivation wouldn’t be sufficient to properly awaken the Bingemonster, and he might decide to just roll over and go back to sleep. However, I found myself distracted by the shiny promise of surefire weight loss (see my post Elle Macpherson made me do it, Miss) rather than trusting in my own wisdom about my own body. I sleepwalked into the worst thing for a binger – a diet that discourages a whole family of foods (pretty much all animal products). Exactly what I had been intending to avoid. So I’m abandoning my Alkaline Experiment, and going back to the diet I’d worked out for myself: Defatting: The Principles (and why your body will always win in the end).
How prescient of me that bracketed subtitle was.
I’m going to arm myself with as many psychological weapons as I can while I’m unravelling the strands of my sugar addiction & disordered eating. The first new addition to my arsenal will be watching the TED talk Julie Ramage very helpfully recommended to me, Judson Brewer’s A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit because that might just be the Kalashnikov I’ve needed.
Lock ‘n’ load, Ladies, lock ‘n’ load.