Hi guys! I’m gonna continue today with My Food Story (part I here if you missed it)…and finally explain my blogging hiatus I took this summer. Hopefully this answers some of your questions, but please, feel free to comment or email to ask more!
We left off with me finally diagnosing my gluten allergy, but feeling extremely deprived after removing many of my favorite foods from my diet.
Eliminating an entire food group from my diet was not easy. After awhile, I really started to resent it. I would go out to eat with friends, and all I’d want is a normal sandwich, or slice of pizza, or a burger. They were all off limits. Salads were generally the only safe item on a menu.
I hated that I couldn’t eat my favorite foods.
So, in order to feel less deprived, I would fully indulge in the foods I could eat that were very unhealthy. French fries, entire jars of Nutella (ok fine I still do that sometimes), boxes and boxes of gluten free cereal, etc.
I gained weight. I was the heaviest I’d ever been.
Weight Loss/Early Blogging
In January of 2012 something clicked. I felt extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. None of my clothes were fitting right anymore.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself and letting the situation get worse, I decided to do something about it.
Enter obsessive calorie counting.
I joined a weight loss website that allowed me to enter my daily calorie intake, along with the estimated calories I was burning through activities and working out. I started looking at calorie deficits for each day. If my deficit was less than 1,000, I felt like a failure. During a typical week, I would workout for at least an hour, 5-6 days a week. On workout days, I would allow myself between 1300 and 1400 calories. Non-workout days I tried my best to keep it at 1200.
If you dig into the archives of my blog, I hint at my struggles with keeping my calories low enough. I beat myself up over eating a muffin (although to be fair, I am allergic to gluten and do feel like crap after eating it, but the point is, I was more worried about the calories).
So, to sum up, what did I do to myself?
Created more feelings of deprivation. Because I was limiting my calories and trying to structure a perfect diet based on perfect numbers.
Feeling deprived once again made me want to rebel. This is when binge eating first entered my life. In the blog, I refer to it more as “drunk eating”. Or, “shoveling fistfuls of cereal down my throat faster than I could chew.”
The reality was, I had a major issue with food. Classifying too many things as off limits made them even more irresistible to me. I would get fed up with my need to control everything, and would think “screw it, I’m gonna eat whatever-the-hell-I-want and not give a damn”.
Without fail, after every binge, I would feel disgusted, weak, out of control, ashamed, embarrassed…the list goes on. BUT. I never purged. That was a line I could never cross. Instead, I would just endure the inevitable stomach pains and discomfort from eating so much. It was miserable.
In early July, I started to suspect that I had a real problem. And I stopped blogging because I knew I was a terrible example. I also stopped reading many blogs because I needed to stop focusing on food so much. Reading about food, writing about food, thinking about food…. it just wasn’t good for me.
Then I read this (source):
Behavioral symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating:
- Inability to stop eating or control what you’re eating
- Rapidly eating large amounts of food
- Eating even when you’re full
- Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
- Eating normally around others, but gorging when you’re alone
- Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes
Emotional symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating:
- Feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating
- Embarrassment over how much you’re eating
- Feeling numb while bingeing, like you’re not really there or you’re on auto-pilot
- Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat
- Feeling guilty, disgusted, or depressed after overeating
- Desperation to control weight and eating habits
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel out of control when you’re eating?
- Do you think about food all the time?
- Do you eat in secret?
- Do you eat until you feel sick?
- Do you eat to escape from worries, relieve stress, or to comfort yourself?
- Do you feel disgusted or ashamed after eating?
- Do you feel powerless to stop eating, even though you want to?
I had all of those symptoms.
And answered yes to all of those questions.
I was scared.
Who had I become? How did this happen? I was angry that I was letting something as simple and basic as food have such control over me. What was wrong with me? Didn’t I know there were so many more important things in life? More important things to think about and worry about? Why was I putting so much time and energy into food? IT WAS ABSURD.
One more post for you all tomorrow, to let you know more about where I am today, and the steps I’m taking to get better!