Sunday, January 31, 2016

Binge Eating Loosens Its Hold

Over at Runs for Cookies, (my very favorite blog to read) Katie has been talking about binge eating and binge eating disorder (BED). This mini series of hers got me thinking and I realized that until I became an adult I had never really thought about the fact that I had been binge eating my whole darn life. When I was a small child I obviously didn't know what a binge was and as a teenager I thought I was only over eating. I was always so ashamed of how much food I was capable of consuming and always thought there was something wrong with me. Especially when friends' parents would point it out. 'Wow, your friend really knows how to eat,' was one of the biggest gut punches I ever felt. Yet I still didn't realize that my issue wasn't unique to me. I really thought until I was in my early twenties that no one else would understand my eating problem, but call it over eating or call it binging; a binge by any other name is still a binge and I had literally been eating my life away since I was 7 years old.



A lot of people associate BED with childhood trauma or depression or something significantly bad. My BED was a result of not being taught early on how to cope with ANY emotion. Be my mood happy, sad, angry, jealous, celebratory, or excited I was never taught how to channel and control those emotions and I feel like I have always felt things exponentially more severe than others which was not a good combination. Of course, I don't completely blame my mom or my grandparents or great grandparents who raised me. My great grandparents were too old and my grandparents and my mom were dealing with their own issues that created a ripple effect into my life. They themselves didn't know how to control their own problems and so how was it going to be possible for them to even recognize that I had any let alone teach me how to control them.



I have mentioned before that when my mom married my step-dad when I was seven years old and I had to leave the only home I had ever known with my grandparents, that my eating problems worsened. I distinctly remember  being somewhere around 8-9 years old binging on an entire box of Popsicles and another of fudgcicles while I listened to my mom and step-dad argue on the phone. I distinctly remember eating not one but two bags of dry top ramen alone in my room, though I don't really remember why I was alone. I remember going out to dinner and gauging how I ate so that I was NEVER the first person done. After the last bite of my dinner this feeling of mourning would come over me and I would feel tempted to reach out and steal the food off other peoples' plates. I remember that my favorite part of going out to eat was dessert and that when I looked down at my empty dinner plate and felt that gut wrenching remorse of being 'finished' that I was always quickly comforted, knowing dessert was coming. I used to hoard cookies and crackers and candy as if people were purposely keeping me from it. I would steal candy from my teachers' special jars that were meant for rewards during class. If someone told me I could only have 1 or 2 of something (such as cookies) I would make sure to sneak extra.



And all of the above was before I even started puberty.

Now, as an adult, looking back on my childhood I can pinpoint a couple places in my life where I could technically say, THAT was a moment that triggered my binges but what I often wonder is where exactly were the adults in my life and why didn't they recognize the huge problem brewing. I can answer that, just as I did a couple paragraphs up. They were busy; working and dealing with their own short comings and life issues but part of me always wonders that if they had caught my disorder early would things have been different for my emotionally and physically?

Now, as an adult, I look at my issues and I try to compartmentalize them. I try to figure out what emotions trigger my binges more than others and what foods exacerbate the urge. Anxiety, sadness, and anger are the biggest contributors to my binges but distraction and being busy helps immensely when an urge comes on. I have had to teach myself this technique but it only works 50% of the time.



Anxiety, which I experience most often in the evening, as I said is a huge trigger for binges. My mind races and I worry unnecessarily about things 100% out of my control but it is as if my mind is 100% out of control because I cannot stop the inundation of unwelcome and often scary and horrifying scenarios that plague me. Depression and sadness is also one of the biggest provocations toward a binge. Regret and remorse about things on a regular day I generally don't feel regret or remorse about often hit me like a ton of bricks. My divorce, adopting out my favorite cat, disciplining my children too harshly (verbally, of course) and a whole other slew of things create the perfect melting pot for a stormy binge sesh.



And the funniest thing (which actually isn't funny at all) is there don't have to be specific foods in the house to be conducive to a binge. If there aren't chips (my biggest trigger) or ice cream (my second biggest trigger) I will just as happily (or unhappily as it were) chow down on cheez-its, hand fulls of peanuts (which I don't necessarily like) a dozen cutie/halo oranges, string cheese, peanut butter, tostada shells plain, plain white rice (which I generally loathe) . . . and the list goes on and on . . . basically a binge will happen regardless of what foods are in the house. As Katie said, the only way to 100% escape or avoid a binge is to literally remove every ounce of food from the house.



I am currently 13 days binge free. Two weeks tomorrow and I am slowly plodding forward. I have found removing the white flour (all wheat by-products) and most of the white sugar from my diet (there is still a little in the flavored creamer I use) has helped immensely with hormone stability and therefore mood stability and I am better able to cope with any severe emotion I may experience without tending toward a binge.

Last night my ex husband got mad at me because after he invited us out to dinner and he invited himself over to our house I gently sent him home because my girls had had plans to watch a movie with my mom. After he got home I got a barrage of texts from him saying all kind of ridiculous things from how I am keeping him from his children, to I need to pray and ask God to take away my blinders, to simple craziness like how I lied to him when I said the girls didn't have plans (I hadn't known about their agreement to watch a movie with my mom when I told him we didn't have plans) and things similar. On any other night I would have put the girls to bed and sought comfort in the pantry and the freezer and the fridge only to be followed by another round of pantry, freezer, fridge. Thankfully, I was able to pray it out, give it to God and go to bed without consuming ANY-THING except a glass of iced tea because I was parched. Even though I fell asleep irritated and agitated and seething, I was also deeply calmed by the effect that even though HE thought he could control me FOOD was losing its hold on me.



Until next time . . .

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Hard Time Letting Go

My ex husband and I have been on awesomely civil and completely platonic terms lately and I keep thinking to myself how much better friends we make than spouses or lovers. When sex is eliminated from the equation I found we actually have quite a bit to talk about. Our kids obviously are the main topic but we also have similar interests in foods, music, traveling etc. For several months now we had been just chugging along with our bad selves getting along and everything was hunky dory.



Then his big.bad.hernia came into play and suddenly he needed me to help him at the doctors with interpretation (because even though I am not competent enough professionally, I am totally competent enough to translate for my ex husband) We spent two weeks together almost every day going here and there for exams and cat scans, MRIs, consultations etc. We got pretty close, all the while remaining 100% platonic.

During this time of his big.bad.hernia he was on some medications for the pain. Medication he was supposed to take and NOT DRIVE. Well, being the rebel without a cause that he is, HE DROVE, and do you know what happened? He got in an accident and as if that wasn't bad enough, his insurance had expired about a week before. So, now he has his big.bad.hernia, an un-insured motorist accident AND about $1500 in damages to his car. He took his car to the shop with the help of one of his nephews and all was good because, hey, he has another car . . . which upon trying to turn it on DIED. He took it to the same guy who was fixing his other vehicle to find that to fix everything that was wrong with the second car it would cost him about $1800. (deep sigh)



Then as the saying goes, when it rains it pours, he gets sick and not just runny nose, sore throat, cold with a fever kind of sick . . . but all out vomiting, high fever, body cramps, severe flu kinda sick. Which brings us to yesterday morning which is about two days past the peak of his illness. He is finally starting to get better and I get a phone call from him. Sassy answers and I tell her to tell him I can't talk because I had just spilled melted frozen strawberry juice all over the wood floor and I needed to clean it up before it stained. Well, apparently it was life or death because he told Sassy he needed to talk to me NOW. He hasn't done that in a very long time.



A little back story. My ex husband lives with one of his nephews. He has three here in the United States. The one he lives with. The one who helped him with his car and another one who likes to be unto himself and doesn't play a huge role in any of our lives. That being said, the nephew who he lives with is quite the heathen and has been for as long as I can remember. A very ill-tempered, hot blooded, mean spirited, sarcastic and negative individual with nothing nice to say about anything. Well, my ex husband had mentioned while he was sick that this nephew had been acting strangely, saying strange things and doing even stranger things. My ex husband didn't think much of it, but in the back of his mind he thought the behavior was much like his brother who had started having psychotic episodes before being moved back to Mexico.



That being said, come to find out, the night before last, his nephew had called 911 citing that people were coming to kill him and that he was going to kill himself. The ambulance and police came and took him the the ER where he was admitted and is now being held for mental instability. His case was elevated to being held against his will due to mental instability and now he is refusing to take the medication that calms him. I am running relay translation for my ex husband over the phone and then out of nowhere while I am talking to my ex he says, 'Don't you want to get back together so the girls can have the love of their father with them every day?'



And the rose colored glasses have been taken off. Reality has returned and once again I am faced with letting go . . . It is so very hard for me. But I can't keep doing this . . .

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Recreating Me and Stuff

I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately. Ok, maybe not literally soul searching. That's weird. More like delving deeply into pondering my life and how I am living it and what I am doing right and what I can do better. I have also been a spectator to the lives of those around me. (Not in a creepy way) Those closest to me who share their issues and trust me . . . and I have caught myself thinking about their problems, how they often parallel my own and how we could fix them.



I have been eating well. I have my days where I want ALL THE FOOD but there haven't been days as of recent where the green monster emerges throwing it all to hell. In my last post I don't know if I mentioned how much weight I had lost. If I didn't it was probably smart of me, but I believe it was somewhere around 15 lbs. Now, more than a month later I still have only lost about 20 lbs and I believe that is sadly because CANDY, CHIPS AND EXTRA BREAD AT DINNER . . . even though I stayed within my calories of between 1500-1920. But as of a week ago I have eliminated white flour and white sugar (aka all that is good in life) from my diet after watching the 'Fat Head' documentary. In all honesty bread, pasta, candy and pastries aren't my go-to craving anyway and so to get rid of them isn't this monumental, ground breaking thing. I am really having to watch my intake of potato and corn chips though because they are technically on my 'ok' list of things to eat, but in extreme moderation. My brain rejects this ideology.



. . . and with that, I have been feeling tugged toward going back to church as of recently as well. We haven't been since before summer vacation (If I was Catholic, I suppose I would need to confess and do some hail mary's or something) and I really feel like it would be good for both the girls and myself. (as if that isn't immediately obvious -- to the fellow Christian) The human side of my rejects this idea, however, and complains, 'But then I'd have to, you know, GET UP ON TIME and GET DRESSED and (God forbid) LEAVE THE HOUSE.' I am still working on convincing that side of me that all of that is ok.



How adulting should be                      How adulting actually is

I recently went for a Spanish competency test where I found out I severely over estimated my competency. Thankfully, I am considered fluent. Unfortunately, I was not aware of how to say some of the medical terminology required of me and sadly the words for HEEL, CLOT, PIMPLE AND MISCARRIAGE completely evaporated out of my mind no matter how long I sat there and ground my teeth or scrunched my eyes closed trying to get them to come back. Needless to say, the interpreter company has not called me back. (insert sad face)



I always say I am hoping to write more in this blog and it seems I am really picking up steam with writing at least once a month! I'm gonna try to make it twice a month very soon. Until then . . .

Ohhh! Lastly, I am placing a countdown. Wahoo!! I am so stoked for April!

www.MyVacationCountdown.com Ticker
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