Oh, just some observations

Flatten Your Tummy in 5 Minutes a Day!

This Is Why You Can’t Lose the Weight

Tone, Tighten & Turn Heads

What’s Your Diet Doing This Weekend?


That’s just a selection of some subject lines from my email inbox right now. I think I am signed up to every healthy-eating, weight-loss, low-fat bikini-body-pushing mailing list known to man. I wish there were a binge-eating box in my email settings that I could check or uncheck depending on how I’m going because, when I’m binging, I have no desire to see this kind of thing. It just makes me feel bad. What’s my diet doing this weekend? Um. I think my diet gave up and walked out the door this afternoon when I ate an entire pack of eight Wagon Wheels in 10 minutes. (They weren’t even good. What is a Wagon Wheel without jam?)

This one from Jillian Michaels, though, pretty much nails it: Do You Have the Right Attitude? Because the fact is: no. I don’t have the right attitude. I don’t believe. Yet. But this, from Overcoming Binge Eating by Dr Christopher Fairburn, is encouraging: “There is every reason to expect that, with the right sort of help, your binge eating problem will improve, if not resolve altogether. Furthermore, if you decide to use this self-help program and make a determined effort to do so, there can be no question of failure. If things do not improve, the program simply was not right for you; it will have failed, not you.”

Powerful stuff, and enticing. I’m going to try.

I don’t know why BED became part of my story but I need to play the ball as it lies, as they say in golf. I am bigger than this disorder. I am more than empty chocolate packets and sadness and fat. I am the result of more than 28 years of experiences. Hopes, learning, laughter, pain and love. Good intentions and potential. I refuse to eat myself into an early grave. Myself, my future, my heart and my soul are too important. They matter more than the fact that my American Apparel Disco Pants don’t fit me any more. And I do love myself. I do deserve to recover and be happy.

A lovely blogger and fellow BED sufferer made me realise that I’m focusing on the wrong things in terms of recovery. At the moment, I have two settings: binging, and weight loss. If I’m not binging I am, by default, attempting to lose weight. I don’t know how to get out of this one-or-the-other mindset but I will have to, I suspect, if I am to make any progress. That’s where the book comes in, I guess!

Some scary truths: right now, when I finish eating, I grieve. I mourn because the food is gone. I feel the loss of the food. In its absence, I feel as though I have nothing. Despite everything that I do have – my health; my intellect; my freedom and autonomy; friends and family who love me; my own money; sustenance and shelter; passions, interests, hopes and dreams – I still feel empty when the “treats” run out. But what is the alternative, Marnie? Really? Hooking up some kind of force-feeding tube to my mouth that pumps me full of junk in a never-ending gorge-fest, as though I were attempting to make human foie gras? At some stage, one must stop eating. Food is such an imperfect method of comfort because it cannot keep giving. It simply cannot. One’s body can hold only so much.

Also scary: I worry about coming home because I don’t buy junk food or nice treats in my regular grocery shops, so there’s nothing here for me to binge on. And that scares me. There’s no corner shop nearby and, in this city, I have no car. Binging at home is not easy because I have to either go for a substantial walk to attain food, or order it from a delivery service, which is doubly painful, because it’s expensive.

Scarier still: I still fit into most of my clothes, and I’m a size 10, and 5’11. So, not overweight. I never have been. And hence on some twisted level I feel OK about this weight gain, even though I despise myself for it, because I figure I can kind of “get away with it”, whatever that means. Lots of people struggle with their weight and now, it seems, I do as well. At least I’m in good company. But such thinking is, at its heart, self-destructive. I know what those “treats” are doing to me, and it sure as hell isn’t anything good. But the scariest thing? I feel as though I’m watching myself fall apart in slow motion. I’m a rickety wooden toy car and my wheels are coming off. And all my other bits, too. Honestly, all I want is to be slender again, and fit into all my lovely clothes, and feel healthy, and be proud of my figure and myself, and feel energetic and attractive. I want to feel good. But right now, for some reason, that goal is too big. Too much. Too hard and too scary. By continuing to binge, I am relieved of the pressure of trying to succeed. This is why I can’t get a “good” streak going. Because I’m still running.

And after all that — all of those ugly truths and terrifying, bare-faced admissions — I’m still wondering if I will allow myself to order pasta and garlic bread for a late supper. Do I need it? No. Am I hungry? Of course I’m not.

Man, this disorder is so screwed up.

I’m not going to end on a down note, though. This week I have my first session at a new choir I’m thinking of joining, and I’m looking forward to that. I will also start using a 30-day boot camp voucher I bought, and, I hope, get to a hula hooping class. There’s also – and this is a big one – my first session of a local BED sufferer support group. I am committed to my recovery. Starting with picking up that book.

Peace and love to all



4 thoughts on “Oh, just some observations

  1. The book is brilliant. It helps me lot with my binges and recovery, most significantly with my confidence. The passage you quoted also hit home with me. The whole programme has helped to build confidence in my abiliy and efforts, where diets had broken and undermined me previously. Best book I’ve ever bought. I wish you luck with your recovery and will follow your progress. Have fun with quoir too.x

  2. Oh, wow, thank you so much! That’s so kind of you, and I am so glad the book has been a help to you. That is really wonderful. Best wishes to you too, and I shall head on over and check out your blog. We are never alone. And I intend to sing my little heart out 🙂 Take care.

  3. Beautifully written post. I related to every single thing that you said. Your spirit truly shines! I look forward to hearing about your support group experience – I was interested in joining one myself but couldn’t find one in my area.

  4. Aww, thank you Kristen! You’re a sweetheart. The blogger I mentioned was you, in case you were wondering! I am interested to see what the group is like, myself. It’s a shame there isn’t one near you, but at least you can connect with other sufferers through blogging. I’ve found that to be a big help and inspiration already!

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