My history with binge eating is long, sordid, and something that I never acknowledged until a couple of years ago. I just thought I ate a lot – I never took the time to identify that I was using food to feel better emotionally, while making me worse off physically.
The last 2 days, I made poor food choices at dinner (pizza, and then Taco Hell – BLECH). These would have been, in my previous life, massive binges. My food choices this past year have been pretty on-pointe. Yes, I’ve experimented with different meal plans and such, but they were all calculated efforts to see what makes me feel best.
These poor dinner choices I’ve made have caused warning lights to go off inside me:
ALERT: Something is wrong. This is not what you do. This is not what makes you feel good.
As I’ve done many times on this long road to health, I had to stop and think hard about the WHY behind my actions. I had a lightbulb moment today: TRIGGER > CIRCUMSTANCE > ACTION.
Trigger: I’m an emotional mess. My current health issues mean I’m turned all upside down. I feel discombobulated, tired, and frustrated. I had a case of the “why me” syndrome – why, after all of my really hard work, am I facing all of these issues? Of course I know the answer: these have been around forever, they’re just coming to a head now. It has nothing to do with being deserving or not deserving. It’s much easier though to just blame yourself and hold in all the anger and frustration. Perfect triggers.
Circumstance: A perfect storm of justifications to make decisions that normally don’t even exist in your head: An empty refrigerator. A busy schedule. A drive thru on every corner. No meal plans or dinner ideas. Hunger. Quick fix.
Action: Search for a quick fix: poor food choice and overeating. Hoping for some satisfaction and release from my trigger but finding only guilt and a stomachache.
In the end, I am overfull of food, full of regret, but still emotionally empty. Nothing is solved, and the cycle continues.
So why do I ramble on about this? In the pursuit of living a healthy lifestyle, you can’t always be perfect. You do things right many times, and other times you slip up. Use every opportunity to learn and use the knowledge to do better next time. You can’t fill an empty tank with decisions that will only make you feel worse.