Weighty Matters

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on June 9, 2013

I started to call this ups and downs but switched to ons and offs because it more fits the old “being on the wagon or falling off the wagon” phrasing often associated with alcoholism and addiction.

I fell off the wagon in a big way this weekend.  Can’t explain why but I experienced intense, persistent cravings for chocolate, salty-crunchy, and fat.  Yesterday in the late afternoon, I caved.  This is sort of monumental because I didn’t just take a bite of something.  In order to obtain the chocolate, I actually had to go as far as changing clothes and driving to the supermarket.  The salty-crunchy and fat I had in the house in the form of a remaining bag of microwave popcorn, butter and bacon.  No, I didn’t eat those three things together.  The eating was spread out over several hours and into today.  Obviously, I can’t constantly eat.  My stomach doesn’t hold a lot and if I put in too much, it comes back up.

The extended period of time is particularly bothersome.  This wasn’t one compulsive moment.  Even if the quantities don’t come anywhere near what I used to be able to consume, the behavior is a classic binge.  Wanted became needed became planned became executed and it all culminated in the behavior continuing until about an hour ago.

I wish to hell I knew why I didn’t just fall off the wagon but leapt off in a binging cannon ball.  I’m sifting through the last couple of days, searching for a trigger.  I honestly thought I was in good shape heading into the weekend.  I had supplies in stock for my decided food choices and an exercise plan.  Saturday morning started off great.  I got the dogs out for a walk first thing in the morning, which was a treat because it had been raining a lot since I returned from my business trip.  I went off for a good Tai Chi class and then that Zumba class I’d promised myself.  The day was breezy but sunny and warm, so when I got home after Zumba, I went into the pool to clean out the leaves and sand from the recent stormy weather.

A good shower, planned for lunch, and then I went off to a presentation by an organization that finds and trains shelter dogs to be companions for military veterans who are dealing with PTSD or traumatic brain injury.   When I got home I was enjoying relaxing time with my pups and a good book.   Then the cravings started and I soon became obsessed with eating.

I started working with my anti-compulsion tools but I didn’t use them well enough.  My brain clicked off and that was that.

Woke up this morning filled with remorse and general anger at myself but began to eat off plan almost right away.  It was like I had to eat up all of the binge food.  Really, it would have been so much better had I walked it out of the house and thrown it into the trash outdoors, then run water over it so it would be too gross to eat.

On a brighter note, I walked Nat and Pyxi and then went to the animal shelter and walked a couple of those dogs too.  Came home and swam, jogged and otherwise exercised in the pool.

Overall, I feel like crap mentally and emotionally.  I thought about not blogging about it, so that I could hide the binge from the family and friends who read my posts.  Then I decided that avoiding and hiding the issue smacks of not being authentic.  I’m ashamed and embarrassed and have kicked into the old thinking of feeling like I’m disappointing other people.  However, concealing my weekend relapse from others is a form of denial.  Denial is dangerous.  It aids the disease behavior.  So, here I am, calling it what it is… a relapse into compulsive overeating.  The amount doesn’t matter.  It’s the behavior that’s key.

In the grand scheme of things, figuring out why it happened isn’t the priority.  It would be nice, of course, and could possibly help me avoid a similar trigger in the future.  However, recovery and abstinence from behavior comes from resisting the urge to eat off plan regardless of the trigger.  (There also might not actually have been a specific trigger for this occurrence.)

What matters most is what happens now  Is the binge over?  Can I resist the next compulsive urge?  The answers are I think so and I hope so.

Tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity to take care of myself.  A day to travel on the wagon.  A day to not give into the cravings and compulsion.

I can do this.  I have to.

Thanks for listening.

4 responses to “Binge

  1. Susanne says:

    You only have to be honest with yourself, and manohman, you’ve got that in spades. Shifting behaviours and life-style — that’ll be ongoing, and sometimes involves a step back.

    Sometimes the “why” of our behaviour is not so important. What is important is that we pick ourselves up, dust off whatever is clinging to us, and move forward. You are an inspiration. We’re all works in progress. Be kind to yourself.

  2. Mimi says:

    What Skye said! Also, if I recall you’ve have several stressful weeks, I wonder if now that you can take a breath and relax a bit the stress is reaching out its ugly hand for payment. Power through this and remember that you are stronger than addiction. Look around you and recognize your many amazing achievements. How many of us have as much to show?

    You have lots of people behind you. You’ll get past this.

  3. *hugs* Remember to be kind to yourself. Beating yourself up for falling off the wagon doesn’t help, and probably makes things worse.

    What jumped out at me from this list of activities was the presentation about training shelter dogs to help vets with PTSD. Is there any reason why a part of that presentation might have struck a personal chord with you?

    Hang in there, babe. We love you, imperfections and all. (What with all being pretty damned imperfect ourselves.)


  4. Skye says:

    It sucks to fall of the wagon. It sucks to feel bad about yourself, to feel you’ve disappointed not only yourself but everyone else.

    But remember: you haven’t disappointed any of us! We are here to support, encourage, and commiserate. You need empathy, not condemnation. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You described it so well — “My brain clicked off and that was that.” It happens. You are recovering from an addiction and have been doing extremely well. You will go back to doing extremely well, especially because you chose to expose it to the light of day rather than hide it away to fester. You had a big hiccup in your recovery and now you will return to your regularly scheduled eating.

    I’m so proud of you for being open about this binge and for not beating yourself up over it, at least not on this blog at any rate. You are still doing amazingly well. I’m still inspired by you.

    Be well.

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