Saturday, 5 May 2012

Are you a "binge eater"?

Are you honestly in control of what you eat all of the time?

One of the many things I have had to think about during this weightloss crusade is my attitude toward food.
I've often fleetingly wondered over the years whether I would be classed as a "binge eater" by the "experts", but have never really looked into that particular eating disorder, perhaps this was my way of never having to really ask myself whether my relationship with food is healthy or not.

What I do know now is that although I was slim throughout my childhood and teens my relationship with food was never ever healthy.
My earliest recollection of feelings toward food was a particular Sunday when my mum was cooking a roast dinner. I must have felt particularly hungry this time (I was very young) and I asked my mum when dinner would be ready. I remember her saying it wouldn't be long but I knew that as she'd only just put the pressure cooker on it would be at least 20 minutes.
20 minutes to a hungry kid may as well be 20 hours and I remember going to my room and crying my eyes out - I honestly thought I was THAT hungry!
Growing up, money was tight but my mum always made sure we had 3 meals a day. I remember being sent off to school with Porridge in our bellies, lunch was at school and we would always have a home cooked dinner. Snacks were not really permitted between meals but I think this was more to do with finances than anything else, though I do remember we would have a particularly gorgeous pudding on a Sunday - Saucy sponge and custard - and sometimes a biscuit.
If a snack attack occurred in our house it was usually kinda tough crap and I remember we (my sister and I) would sneak downstairs as quietly as we could (avoiding the creaky bottom step) and would see whether there was anything in the fridge we could pinch without it being noticed. Usually there wasn't so we'd tempt ourselves with pinching a biscuit or maybe even a dry Weetabix but I guess guilt convinced us that my mum would have counted them and so we would sneak back upstairs just as quietly and just as empty handed!
As I got older my pocket money would always be spent on sweets, usually a Mars Bar and I remember being 6 years old and winning 3rd prize in a school writing competition. My essay titled 'What can I do for England' won me £3 and I collected it in a ceremony from the Mayor of Nottingham.
What did I spend that £3 on? Well I remember buying a pair of tin rollerskates for £1 - the kind that strapped to your shoes - and with the remaining £2 I cycled to the local sweet shop and came out with £2 worth of sweets wrapped in a white bag.
I was so scared I would have those sweets taken from me that I hid them in a neighbours garden and kept it secret.
Then when I was a teen my parents bought me a pony. I loved that pony and I kind of knew, but never really appreciated, the sacrifice my parents had made to buy him for me and to then pay for his weekly upkeep. On a Saturday the whole yard would drive down to the local fish shop, buy their dinner and go back inside the house at the yard to eat.
I could never afford the food though so I always made out I wasn't hungry and instead would sit in my pony's stable, stomach lurching while I waited for them to come back out.
*I should stress I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I'm simply understanding my feelings toward food*
With my first paycheck I cycled to the nearest shop at lunch time and bought £5 worth of sweets then went back to work and ate the lot.

This could go on and on but it's only when you really allow yourself to think of your attitude toward food as far back as you can possibly remember that you can make some sense of why you do what you do now - or at least understand where the feelings began.

So while reading the fabulous blog 'Runs with cookies'  recently I came across Katies post on Binge eating and it made me think. Even more it made me click the link within her post and read the contents of the link. Check out the link 'here'
I think I'd always accepted that I was an Overeater. I certainly could never be Anorexic as I do not have the willpower needed for that disorder, nor could I be Bulimic as I have a serious fear aversion to throwing up, but I could accept Overeater, after all overeater doesn't sound toooooo serious does it! Does it?
However, having read that link on Katies blog I was astounded to discover that the symptoms of a binge eater could be describing everything about myself - could I really be a binge eater?
  • Yes, I eat to the point of feeling seriously sick and so uncomfortable I cannot move.
  • Yes, I give it 20 minutes and then uncontrollably feel the urge to eat more.
  • Yes, I eat large amounts of food in short spaces of time. I often do not taste the food I am eating as I eat it so quickly.
  • Yes, I will eat when I am not hungry. In fact I do not remember what it feels like to actually 'feel' hungry.
  • Yes, I feel disgusted and ashamed after I've eaten - this often leads to me eating even more.
Again, I could go on but I won't.
So what does this mean? Heck if I know!
Will understanding it help to control it? Again, heck if I know, but I'm going to give it a damn good try.
I have to hope that whether I am an 'Overeater' or a 'Binge eater' that understanding the condition will give me some small measure of power to begin to control it and hopefully, in the future, obliterate it completely and have a healthy relationship with the food I put in my mouth.


  1. I love your line about not having the willpower to be anorexic - I'll second that! And I share your thoughts on throwing up. The power battle with food is a daily thing for me and I've come to accept it will probably be that way the rest of my life. But knowing that I think gives me the advantage and puts me in the power position. :) Thanks for sharing this. It's so comforting to find others who have the same struggles with food.

    1. Glad you could relate.
      Food is a real issue for me, especially sweet food. It's just so damned hard to resist lol.
      I want to lose weight but I'm realistic too and I know that I will not succeed if I have to cut out sweet treats completely. Slimming World helps me to find a balance. I can have a treat each day if I need to so all I have to concentrate on is learning to not indulge the junk food.
      Good luck with your weight loss.