Hi, I’m Nat, and I’m about to start off on a journey. The problem is, I need your help to start.
There are many different reasons I’m writing this blog. None of them are for fame or money. The most important reason, I think, is for self-introspection. I want to see what my brain is saying. The other is to share so that I can get feedback. A third reason could be that I don’t really want to share anything with a therapist, and nobody else will listen to me.
The first thing you should know about my binge eating story is that this isn’t a success story. I haven’t overcome anything through a really inspiring tale that I’ve come to tell you.If you are looking for motivation, you might only get it from a part of this blog. I’m still under the influence of my eating disorder. I’m still being controlled by the binge. That is why I’ve decided to go on a day-to-day account of how it feels to binge, and what it is like to be a binge eating person every day. If you’re looking for something to relate to and possibly live my ups and downs with me, you should take this blog up.
The second thing you should know is that I’m not going to offer any direct help or therapy.This, of course, doesn’t mean that you won’t find the answers in this blog. You may, and if you do I urge you to write to me and tell me. All I’m going to do is share. I’m going to share everything that I have pent-up within me for the last few years.
Right from the time I grew up, I have been under the influence of food. When you live in a poor family that is full of people that are strict, you tend not to have many luxuries in life. My father had a regular source of income. However, he was strictly against smoking and drinking, on moral grounds or because of his past experiences with people. Unfortunately, he was also against going to the movies a lot, playing video games, watching a lot of telly or even surfing the web. These, however, were for purely monetary reasons. As a result, my brother and I had only one form of positive reinforcement throughout our lives.
When you live in an economically backward family that cannot afford things like a play station of a new bicycle or even martial arts or swimming classes, pretty much the only way parents know of rewarding you is to make you eat good food. My mother is an excellent cook. She’s also really good at reading me. Whenever I was sad or anxious after a day of school, she used to whip up some treats for me to snack on. Whenever I had an exam or some event that would get me all stressed up, she would make my favorite food so that I could snack on it. It didn’t matter if it was my birthday, my brother’s birthday, or any special occasion, we celebrated with food.
In fact eating out was the kind of bait we used to get to achieve things in life. “If you get good grades, I’ll take you to XYZ eating joint for your favorite burgers.” Looking back, I think that is where the whole cycle began. I know my mother meant well, and was only trying to treat her kids and make them have fun living within their means. However, this constant barrage of food as a rewards system and a stress buster began paving the way for neural circuits. My mind started associating food with almost every emotion, most dangerously boredom. The end result today is that I want to eat something delicious no matter what. If I achieve something, I want to eat. When I’m sad or upset, I want to eat. When I’m tensed, I want to eat. Hell, even when I’m bored and there’s nothing else to do, I want to eat.
This friend of mine is an enforcer without knowing it. It is no fault of his own. It’s my problem. He’s a pretty chilled out dude. We get together at his place and eat. In fact, if neither of us has enough cash to eat, I may not even visit him. That’s how low I’ve sunk. Food controls my life and I admit it. I’m not proud of it. I want all the help and support I can get.
Simultaneously though there is this ever growing need to look good. I don’t have a great face, which is why the only other thing I decided to rely on is having a great body. I’ve been seriously trying to hit the gym since I was 14. That doesn’t really work out well. I join a gym, and for some time I’m making some real progress. However in the middle of it all, I may break my nutrition plan and binge, and then feel so crappy about myself that I actually don’t go to the gym the next day onwards. It feels like I’ve wasted all these months working out because I had a pizza.
I don’t know how many of you experience this, but one of the things I experience is something I call ‘the drive’. This is one of those episodes where I suddenly want to eat something. I may not even be hungry, and I want to eat. I may just as well be walking on the street, but when the ‘drive’ hits me, I want to go to the nearest junk food outlet and gorge on something. This may even be after having a full meal. The reason I call it the drive is because when I’m in that mode, I’m numb to everything else. All I can think about is the feeling of biting into that scrumptious snack. My actions of walking to the eating joint, placing my order, paying for it from my wallet or card, sitting and eating the whole thing non-stop, all happens like I’m on automatic. I feel like I’m not actively controlling any of those actions, that I’m just a passenger giving in to my mind taking over with the drive. You may know this as bingeing or cravings, but I like to call it the drive, because it drives you. You don’t give two hoots about the entire world. You just want to eat, and sometimes it doesn’t even matter what.
Don’t even get me started about all the times I’ve decided to diet. This is an on an of cycle that goes on every month. I take up a diet, and restrict my calories, and then one day the drive hits me, and when I snap out of it I’m at the supermarket gorging on chips or eating some other junk. Then I feel so crappy about it, there is no lower measure to how bad. And then comes the message from my mind that, looking back, I couldn’t hate more.
“This is okay. Start dieting tomorrow onwards. Let today be your cheat day.”
Instead of going straight home, I get an ultra drive and just keep walking to all the stores I can find my favorite snacks in, gorge on them saying ‘I am going to be so strict with myself, tomorrow onwards’.
It’s been 15 years. The tomorrow hasn’t come yet.
The biggest problem is that I don’t even know if writing about this is going to make all the difference in the world. What I do know is that I desperately want to come out of this. I want to come out of that trance and be self-aware of the actions I’m taking and their consequences. I want to be aware of the fact that I’m eating myself to oblivion and gaining weight and losing it in constant fluctuations. I want to eat healthy, live healthy.
Starting today, I’m going to start doing two things. I’m going to regulate (not curb) my eating disorder. And I’m going to start on a regime of Kris Gethin’s 12-week trainer.
12 weeks. I’m giving myself 12 weeks to go on this journey. In these 12 weeks, I’m going to share with you tips and tricks that I’ll read about as I seek info on how to
- Wake up early every day
- Have a morning routine
- Clear up the fog in my mind. Be sharper and think straight
- Get rid of the drive. Gain control over my mind
- Eat healthy, workout hard
- Change my life. Be more availale emotionally
- Give you the first hand report of all my failures and successes
- Get ripped
I hope you stick with me these 12 weeks, whoever you are. It’s just a start. If I come out of this with some form of self control, I promise you, that you’ll have a first hand account of a person who was at rock bottom, but ultimately got to the top