And the mental battles continue…

by Christine on October 18th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Eating Disorders

Some of you may be long-time readers of my blog, and some of you may be newbies to my blog. So forgive me for re-capping before I dive into my latest launch.

 

I’m not I wasn’t your typical overweight woman. I didn’t overeat on a regular basis. In fact, I had a lot of control over food. I had a lot of willpower when I felt like exerting it. I had a remarkable ability to follow any diet to a T. I ate healthfully. I watched my calories. I exercised, sometimes normally and sometimes obsessively. The weight just didn’t come off though—in fact, just the opposite. The weight kept piling on. I turned to extreme measures and even went 70 days without eating a thing. (read about that here)  Crazy, I know, but willpower just isn’t something that I was lacking.

 

However, I would still consider myself a binge eater. For me, it has so much to do with emotional issues. I didn’t necessarily have the easiest childhood, for reasons that I’m just not going to get into right now.  A lot of those circumstances were entirely out of my control.

 

But a lot of my emotional issues are within my control. I am a headcase, people. I’m a bona fide nutter. Thank GOD people can’t read minds, because they’d institutionalize me in a heartbeat.

 

I think I can boil most of my self-induced emotional issues down to my outside relationships. I just don’t connect with people. I come across as cold. Aloof. Uncaring. A little weird. Scatterbrained. Self-righteous. Judgemental. I’ve learned that I have expectations of friends and family that are unrealistic and not normal. In fact, I’m a highly sensitive and emotional person, but I internalize everything.  People hurt me. All the time. And so in return I oscillate from wanting to isolate myself from the entire world to wanting to jump into the world with both feet and win the world over. I try too hard. I care too much.

 

I’ve known all of this, of course. And it’s easy to see the correlation between needing to be loved and accepted, the feelings of rejection, and my relationship with food. When I feel hurt and spurned, THAT is when I reach for the bag of cookies. Actually, no, scratch that. I tend to yearn for Chef Boyardee and grilled cheese sandwiches. In massive quantities. And no matter how much I eat, it doesn’t calm the hurt inside of me. Of course, afterwards, I feel rotten, bloated, fat, and like a self-sabateur. Because I am.  It can be a terribly self-defeating cycle.

 

And so, despite having a great ability to control my food and exercise 95% of the time, there will always be that 5% emotional eating that flares up and is outside of my control.

 

This weekend I had another episode, and ironically I didn’t even recognize it as an episode until today, three days later. It’s just that much a part of normal life for me, I suppose, that I don’t even see it for what it is. There was another situation where I felt rejected, unloved, unimportant. And sure enough, I opened a can of Chef Boyardee that I keep hidden in the way back of my pantry and heated it up.

 

The gastric band is a fantastic tool for a binge eater like me. There are just simply certain foods that I can’t eat with the band. And I simply cannot overeat with it. I started to wolf down 6 bites of Chef Boyardee (because eating slowly and feeling emotional just don’t go hand-in-hand), got stuck, barfed, and then threw the rest of the food out.

 

In fact, a lot of banders, including me, find that stressful situations make the band even tighter than normal. (You can read about why that is here)  That’s been the case since Saturday, and I’m having difficulty keeping any food down at all. I should probably get a small un-fill, since this seems to be a re-occurring problem, but I’m hoping that the tightness will pass.

 

I wish that there was a device, like the gastric band, that can turn the crazy off in my head.

 

All this makes me realize—yet again—that although I’ve gotten my weight under control at last, that the work to fix some of the emotional problems that contributed to my weight problem is ongoing. Losing weight has solved a lot of problems in my life, but it certainly hasn’t solved them all. This is an ongoing battle…

 

What are some tools that you use to equip yourself against the mental battles you face?

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  • Amandakiska

    I can relate to so much of what you’ve said.  I too was always active and typically ate healthy foods.  Unlike you, I just kept eating once I started and had difficulty stopping.  I also expect a lot from others and frequently find myself let down.  I’m not sure if I’d say my expectations are unreasonable.  I’ve always thought they were pretty reasonable and it was just other people that were lacking, but maybe I should explore that a bit.  Thanks for sharing on this topic.  I appreciate your perspective.