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Cookie Dough at Pathmark

This is a common scene in my life. Sometimes, the food is already in the house, but more often than not, I find myself walking at Target or at my local grocery store to buy junk food.

Typically, my binge food of choice includes a combination of snack cakes and barbecue chips (I need the sweet and salty mix), but I’ve also opted for Oreos and whole milk. Celeste pizza for one, Hot Pockets, pepperoni/salami slices, and slim-jims are often included in the haul.

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The food is often laden with additives listed in Jillian Michael’s Slim for Life as ones you should absolutely avoid at all costs. Hydrogenated oils. High Fructose Corn Syrup. BHT/BHA. Nitrates/Nitrites.

IMG_2091I feel nothing when I’m binge eating. Absolutely nothing. I don’t sit with my box of cookies or bag of chips sobbing. I don’t watch depressing movies and feel like I need to eat bon bons as tissues pile on the sofa. [Actually, when I’m really depressed, I can’t eat.] Sure, I overeat when out socially, but that’s not an emotional thing at all.I don’t seem to have any emotions when this happens. Sure, if I’m going on a binge after a semi-successful streak of eating right and exercise, I have a slight internal battle, but it dissipates pretty much by the time I decide between Lays Honey Barbecue and Kettle Brand chips.

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Sometimes, it’s hunger and the frustration of eating all the “right” foods (fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, etc) and feeling like a bottomless pit of hunger, but truthfully, the general trend is that binge eating is just something I do. It’s triggered more often when I’m calorie counting or thinking about losing weight, but it’s definitely still an issue regardless.

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Thing is, binge eating doesn’t make me feel guilty. I know I need to get a handle on things, but there is no emotional connection. I don’t look at the empty boxes and wrappers and feel anything.

Except sick.

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I feel a little bloated and gassy. More often now, there is a little bit of reflux. It’s not something that happens if I eat a high fat meal. I can eat avocado and eggs fried in coconut oil without any ill-effects. I had buffalo wings last night and there was nothing. Even eating half a pizza at CPK, red velvet cake, and appetizers usually won’t do anything, but the combination of Little Debbie cakes (with their hydrogenated oils and sugar listed twice in the first two ingredient slots) and potato chips is a different story. 

Godiva chocolate covered strawberries in Snob Mall

So, why can’t I stop?Now, I can slice up a couple sweet potatoes and deep fry them in olive or coconut oil with no problem, so it’s not like I can’t eat deep-fried, fatty foods. But I know that the chemicals and the amount in conjunction with each other is causing a huge problem beyond weight gain. 

Eating the blackout cake

When I know how horrible these foods are for me, and when I know the kind of damage this is doing to me, I should have scared myself into an all-organic, grass-fed, free-range, vegan diet (yes, I’m aware that the grass-fed and vegan thing cancel each other out). I feel like if I were to go onto  The Biggest Loser and get that full battery of medical tests it wouldn’t scare me. People go on the show and see that they have heart disease, diabetes (diabeetus!), excess hydrated fat, and other major health issues. Those people take those results and it motivates them to make changes.

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I’m just not one of those people. And maybe it’s because I haven’t seen any test results that tell me I have high blood pressure or that I’m at risk of dropping dead from a heart attack. Maybe it’s because my handheld body fat monitor only tells me that I have 35% body fat and not the 40-50% that some people see.

IMG_1464I don’t even think the scare-tactic approach would make a bit of difference. 

I’ve been considering that calorie counting isn’t the best thing for me, but I also know that eliminating any specific food doesn’t work either. Still, can someone actually go from binge eating to eating normally without going on a restrictive diet in between (like cutting out carbs to curb sugar cravings)? So, what will? Why can’t I get a grip on this thing?

IMG_1771Perhaps I should just set a goal to get on one of those TLC documentaries about people who weigh as much as a cow. That might be more obtainable.

(But not really. No matter what I eat, I haven’t broken that 200 pound mark. I would have to put a lot of effort into weighing as much as a cow.)

But I look at the food some people binge on, and it’s beyond anything I can even imagine. Multiple burgers, fries, liters of soda, bags of chips (I can’t even finish a full bag some days), entire large pizzas, candy, cake, cookies, and more- all at once. In comparison, my “binges” don’t even qualify for the label of a “binge.”

I cannot stand the thought of counseling or going to an OA meeting (the online OA meetings are scary), so I’m more or less doing this on my own, and it just seems like an impossible task to conquer.

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