But first, do you remember how I rarely binge on Mondays? Well, as of yesterday (Monday) morning, I was 7 days (one full week!) binge-free! As of this morning, I'm restarting my count. whomp whomp
So, why did I binge last night? I can't really figure out the deep down root cause. I can tell you I felt tired and empty. Mostly empty. The real problem is, I don't know why I feel empty. I honestly, truly love my life. There are a few things I would change, but I'm working on those. And, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why I get this instinctive urge of "must stuff big black emotional hole with fatty fried foods and sweets."
Which brings me back to the idea of going to therapy. In finding a new therapist, I had to make a couple of decisions. First and foremost, should I find someone near work or near home? I decided on near work, because it's easier for me to take a long lunch or go immediately after work, than have to worry about making sure I get out of work at a certain time and if traffic is going to allow me to make evening hours for someone near home. I popped over to my insurance carrier's website, got lists of people who are super close to work, and started calling. One wasn't accepting new clients, one didn't call me back, and one just plain sounded scary. Do I keep looking for a new one? Go back to my old one? (I liked her, just wasn't sure I wanted to delve into this with her. I was looking for someone who specialized more in food addiction and eating disorders.) I'm back at Square One, and not really sure how to proceed just yet.
Back to the book. In Chapter 3, Ms. Morrone suggests some reason why one might binge:
- Instant gratification
- To feel in control
- As a tranquilzier
- Stress relief
- Anger or depression
- Protection from sexual intimacy
I certainly eat out of boredom. Does that make sense? No! If I'm bored, maybe I should exercise. Or read. Or watch tv. Or play a game, call a friend, do some work. Basically, there are many things that cure boredom. Eating shouldn't be in that list. Same for stress relief. When I gained weight in college, and then again in 2007, I pretty much decided I was a stress eater. Again, there are so many things I can do to relieve stress that do not involve eating. Hmm... The first thing that pops into mind...exercise. I sense a recurring theme. Other stress relievers: sleep, bubble bath, journaling. I never realized that instant gratification could be a cause of binging, but now I realize that it definitely can be. Not as often as some of the other reasons, but it definitely happens. Mostly it goes like this: Oh, potato chips, that sounds good. Mmm...potato chips arrrre good. I'll just have a few. *crunch crunch* Wait...did I eat that whole bag?
The other three, to feel in control, as a tranquilizer, and because of anger or depression, all go hand-in-hand as far as I'm concerned. Though never officially diagnosed, I do believe I've suffered from depression, and can name a few periods of time where it was pretty bad. And I ate and put on lots of weight during those times. And even if we go back to the beginning of this post, it's clear that this latest binge was caused by a need to sedate myself and feel in control of something, anything.
Where do I go from here? I think it's time to make a list of the reasons I binge and the things I could do instead of eat. That might be a good starting point, ya know, if I remember to refer to it.
Update 11/29/11: I ended up in full-on out-of-control binge mode thru Thanksgiving. It wasn't pretty. But Friday I pressed the rest button and am now 5 days binge free! Oh, and the list of non-eating things to do is complete.