Sitting with It: Mindful Binging

This looks like a pretty awesome day, right? Burned a lot of calories, got some exercise, didn't sleep well, but I've lost some of t...

This looks like a pretty awesome day, right? Burned a lot of calories, got some exercise, didn't sleep well, but I've lost some of the weight I re-gained while my neck was rehabilitating.....


But the proof is in the details, right?  You would have never guessed that inside my "Calories Consumed" lurked this monster:

Recommended Serving Size:  4 cookies

I bought them as I was coming home from work.  I know I shouldn't have.  But I wanted a cookie.  I wanted the crunch and the sweetness.  Of all the cookie options at CVS, this was one of the better ones.  4 Lorna Doones has 150 calories.  2 Double Stuf Oreos (my favorite) have 140 calories. I thought I was getting more bang for my buck.  I had the box open before I even got home.  The first four cookies consumed in the time it took to check my mail, go up in the elevator, and go to my door.

But then I continued.

And continued.

And continued.

Until I had eaten the whole box (thankfully I hadn't gone to the grocery store where they have bigger boxes). 

I sat at my computer feeling ashamed and weak.
I felt like a hypocrite. I felt like I had learned nothing over the past few years.  
I had just eaten the same amount of calories in cookies as I burn while running for an hour. 

Then I had the insane thought of "oh man, I wish I were a bulimic, that way the calories wouldn't count."
I fully admit that statement is one of the most backwards and fucked-up things anyone could say. 
Bulimia is a serious eating disorder, not a way to deal with bad choices.

And so I sat at my computer, and logged the 20 cookies that I had just devoured (not even savored).
I sat there saying to myself "it's okay" softly. Repeatedly.
I wasn't giving myself permission to have a binge, I was giving myself permission to learn from it and move on.

I remembered that I had been there before and lived to blog about it.  So I looked up the entry and re-read what I had wrote.  I realized that while I've learned so much in the past two years, that some issues will never go away, and that I need to be mindful/vigilant of them always.

So I titled this blog post "Sitting with It:  Mindful Binging" because most of us who have had experience with food addiction and binges know that the first response to a binge is usually some sort of panic/anxiety/shame/regret; we disconnect from the emotions that caused the binge in the first place.  I think the lucky people see it happening and feel powerless to stop it.  The unlucky people don't even notice it is happening. 

I believe that if we can be mindful of the binge -- that is, to know it is happening and why -- the greater the chances of stopping/curtailing it.  The slower we experience the physical action of the binge the more opportunities we have to allow the emotions to make an appearance.  Make sense?

I know why I was eating the cookies. 
It's more than just loving the crunchy texture and the buttery shortbread deliciousness.
I needed to sit with the feelings -- not the cookies.

The feeling? I turn 31 in a few weeks and I've yet to experience being in love.
And I don't think my grandpa will live to see me in love.
And that makes me sad.

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15 comments

  1. All you can do is acknowledge the action, forgive yourself and move on. Props for owning up to exactly what happened, and KNOW it was coming from somewhere/something that needed to be FELT. That is the biggest lesson of all.
    I've been coping with this exact sentiment too lately. WANTING something so bad to eat, trying desperately to figure out WHY I want that something. and either moving on, or doing it and forgiving myself. Ah, the process.
    You'll forever be a rockstar in my books! xo

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  2. It happens today is a new day hugs dont beat yourself up your only human (-

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  3. Meegan & Wifey:

    The thing I try to meditate on is that if I need to talk out my emotions, I can't do so while my mouth is full, yanno?

    The process is all about forgivness and just gently noting what is happening when it happens.

    Rockstar is as rockstar does, right?

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  4. As far as the cookies, shake it off and start again tomorrow!

    As far as love, it'll happen! Trust in it!

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  5. I hope the love happens soon.
    I love myself enough for two people. Need to start sharing.

    I also have cookies for 2(-4) people.

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  6. I don't even know what to say...

    It takes a lot of courage to put this shit out there.

    Courage leads to greatness.

    We love you so much Robby. It's hard to acknowledge both the binge and the feelings that come with the act of stuffing said feelings with (insert any type of cookie/cake/food here).

    No words of wisdom from me because girl you are already wise beyond belief.

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  7. Tara & Meegan -- btw, before I decided to write this post (that I was strong enough to put it out there) I was going to write it all in a letter to you two cause I knew you'd understand :)

    And more than that -- you'd love me even if I'm not perfect :)

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  8. you wanted a cookie, you bought cookies....you didn't buy out the entire sweets department

    and you considered your options, you didn't just grab and go

    it sounds to me like this was a case of mindless eating, not so much a 'binge'

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  9. It makes total sense. And I believe that mindful binges are very much part of this process...almost a mandatory part. You've got this!

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  10. Cassiopeia--my general rule is that if I want a baked good that i have to make it. Once again, that slows down the time between the panic and the potion. For me, emotional eating is whenever the emotions steer the ship, and a binge is when I ignore the signals that both my brain and stomach are telling me. More than mindless eating, I'm paying attention and yet can't control. It's like being in a fugue state.

    KCLA -- I think we learn from our mistakes waaay more than we learn from our victories -- even if it's just the lesson that we haven't failed ourselves completely, just failed the decision in that moment.

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  11. This post if exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks!

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  12. I'm glad I had the words you needed them

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  13. Keep up the hard work. One thing I’ve found to be extremely helpful and useful as a supplement to my current diet/exercise plan is Fullbar (www.fullbar.com). Not only do their products help you lose weight, they also help you maintain your weight loss.

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  14. What is the app youmusedmfor the top picture?

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I'll do my very best to respond to it in a timely manner!
<3 Robby