Is a binge still a binge if you don’t eat everything you were planning on? For me I don’t think it is. I am REALLY trying this whole “Living in the Grey” thing and if I am not looking at myself through a perfectionist’s glasses, then I did well. This morning I woke up and continued to eat from last night. My plan was to have a green juice. I ate mini eggs, rice chips, chocolate covered almonds and candy. I don’t even remember it. If I didn’t have a stomach ache I would say that it didn’t happen. I don’t understand this part about binges. Why do you have no control? Why can’t you think about anything other than “I must eat everything” ? I don’t know the answer to that. What I can answer is that I will consider this a success. I didn’t eat everything. I stopped. I never stop. Will I resume eating later this afternoon? Maybe. Will I resume eating after I’m done this post? Maybe. But it’s still better than doing it all at once. It’s closer to being normal. I had a friend once tell me that your eating disorder is never stationary. “Your binges are either getting better or getting worse”. I think this counts as getting better.
Throughout my journey with eating disorders I have had countless “Day Ones”. If anyone has gone through this they would know what this means. A Day One is the first day of a typically drastic lifestyle change. Majority of the time this means “no bingeing/overeating/new diet”. Would I like to be the kind of person that could say “I will eat for my body and it will look how it looks and I will love it anyways”? Of course I would. OF COURSE. But I can’t. I care about how much I weigh. I care about how I look. I care about how my jeans fit. At this point it is unrealistic (and likely dangerous) for me to say that for this “Day One” I will throw diets in the garbage and eat for how I feel. No. My feelings dictate how I eat. Is that wrong? Absolutely. But baby steps.
This Day One is different from other Day Ones because this day I have already failed. I am afraid of failure. I am afraid of not being perfect. All or none. All or none. You are perfect or you are not. And being not perfect is not acceptable. You exercise twice a day or you stay on the couch. You workout until you want to puke or you don’t work out. If you don’t work out then you eat shitty food. If you eat some shitty food then you eat A LOT of shitty food. You’re living a healthy life or you’re living an unhealthy life. Here’s the problem: the world is not black and white. How do I know this? Jillian Micheals said so. And it’s true. Am I fat? No. Am I skinny? No. …but how can that be? If I’m not skinny then I MUST be fat right? Wrong. I know this. I know this stuff more than anyone else. I would be a fantastic life coach/motivational speaker/eating disorder therapist. I can give out fantastic diet and fitness advice. But for some reason I can’t do this myself. I have no tolerance for people who half ass something. You planned on going to the gym 5 times this week and you went 4? Fail. You had a chocolate bar? Fail. Might as well eat 20 chocolate bars.
I am fully aware I am an emotional eater. Food has always been a comfort for me. It makes me feel safe. I can’t study at the library because I can’t have food there and it makes me panic. I have WAY too much food in my cupboards because I’m scared to have no food. But what has food ever done for me? Through food I made myself overweight as a child setting me up for years and years of bullying. Through food I am successfully damaging my intestines perhaps beyond repair. Through food I make myself feel miserable. I have never used food FOR me. What would happen if I used food for me?
I’m not going to pretend that I will never eat food again to make me happy. Food is not just fuel. It’s not. BUT what if I used food to make me feel better physiologically? What if I used food to make me heal from inside and to give me energy and nutrients? I’m sitting here writing this with my big bag of bulkbarn candy, chocolate, various other things. I went by myself and spent 22 dollars. I never used to go by myself. That would have been embarrassing. But I wanted the food more than my dignity and I went and bought a tonne of food all for myself. I’m not bingeing on it right now (I did earlier) but I’m just casually overeating with it. I don’t even want it to be honest. But now that I have it “I must eat all the rest”. I think that needs to stop first and foremost. No more black and white. I want to live in the Grey. What is living in the Grey? That’s eating anywhere between not quite enough and a bit too much. Grey is not starving. Grey is not bingeing until I can’t move. Grey is in between extremes. So today is Day One of living in the grey.
I asked my friend to go to Kiwi Kraze with me tonight because I felt like eating shitty food. That’s why I went to bulk barn because my day would already be ruined by going to Kiwi Kraze (black and white right?). I’m going to have a Grey Kiwi Kraze though. I will have a bit of froyo, a bit of fruit, a bit of nuts and maybe a reeses pieces or two. It wont be just fruit. It wont be $20 worth. It will be Grey.
Description of stereotypical Day Ones:
1. Starts at breakfast
2. Involves little to no exercise (food first, have to get used to it; don’t need to punish with food yet since food is perfect today)
3. Involves a shower and bed sheet change (…??? I dunno I just want to start “fresh”)
4. Involves dietary restrictions ie No more carbs, low carb, just vegetables, 2 fruits, etc
5. Involves dietary plans and exercise plans and weight loss plans ie I will have lost x amount of pounds by some arbitrary date.
6. Doesn’t work.
Today is the first of a new kind of Day 1. Tonight I am not going to binge on the rest of the candy to get rid of it. Tonight I am not going to go to bed so stuffed that I can’t move. Tonight I am going to read a book before going to bed instead of after watching tv and getting all hyped up by whatever it is that I was watching. Tomorrow I will not have a food hang over because I will be going to bed after eating like a healthy, mindful person. Tomorrow I am going to eat how I feel like eating while asking myself “What can this food give me?” And the answer will not be to fulfill an emotional void. Today is the first day of living in Grey. And while the bulk barn was on the side of Black, I’m not eating the rest so it’s still just a shade of Grey.