After months and months of not waking and eating in the middle of the night, save for the occasional blip on the radar (usually right before my period), the past three weeks I’ve been doing it again fairly regularly, I’m sad to say.
I always wake to use the bathroom … and sometimes I just go back to bed. But other times, I find myself making a beeline for the kitchen in a stupor, a fog.
Often in the past I could tie it to stress, or emotions.
But the irony is, I’m not stressed or feeling particularly emotional — in fact, I feel the calmest I’ve been in ages! Life is good; I feel like I’m in a good place in all aspects of my life: love, family, friends, work, self-image, fitness, health … even financially.
I’m eating enough during the day, I’m eating cleanly (and not restrictively) … I’ve been careful about not over-exercising. So what gives?!
There’s really no excuse, but I’ve noticed once I have one or two nights of doing it, it becomes a habitual thing. And I want so desperately to nip it, once and for all. Yet it seems to keep rearing its ugly head.
When I do it, fortunately it’s not an all-out binge; it’s rarely more than 200 cals. I’m not gaining weight as a result, but I gotta say, it’s driving me positively batty. I just want to sleep … and wake up. Is that too much to ask!?
(In case you’re curious, on nights when it happens, I just count the Points towards the next morning. If I had a T or 2 of peanut butter, like last night, I just don’t have it with my breakfast, when I’d normally eat the T).
At first I thought it was hormonal, now that I’m off my birth control pills to regulate my periods for a couple months. And that could play a role (I’m technically due sometime this week, but who knows, since it’s the first month off the Pill).
The bottom line is, I wake feeling disappointed in myself for having not made it through the night without waking and eating.
Even when it’s just grapes, I don’t care — the point is, I don’t need it. It’s disrupting my sleep, and unnecessary.
Trust me when I tell you, I’ve tried everything I can think of over the years, and nothing works: sleeping pills, locking my door, notes to myself on the fridge and/or cabinets, limiting caffeine, not drinking a lot of water before bed …
I’ve tried coping mechanisms like journaling about it, trying to tell myself not to eat standing up in the moment, to tell myself to go back to bed … but when I’m in this deep a fog, nothing seems to work.
It’s like rationality goes out the door.
And unlike my chewing/spitting where I was always absolutely aware and cognizant of what I was doing, I’m not always fully aware when I’m engaged in midnight eating behaviors.
I realize it midway through. I’ve said before, it’s like I’m on autopilot.
And I can’t even blame it on location! It started at my apartment in DC in 2005, and then continued (always on and off) on vacations, in my house here in MI, and even sometimes when I’d visit my family or my husband’s family in El Salvador. So it’s not about geographic location.
I just seem to go through cycles where “midnight eating” happens … and I don’t like it. Especially because I’m so proud of the progress I’ve made with chewing/spitting, and it isn’t living my best life when I wake up feeling like a flop because I didn’t stay asleep.
I guess the best thing I can do is remind myself I AM in control (even if I’m half-sleeping!) and I DO have the power to just use the bathroom and go to bed, instead of wandering into the living room and kitchen.
I don’t look at these incidents as regressive behavior; I’ve been experiencing them on and off for almost four years now, and while it’s not something I’m proud of, it’s also not a catastrophe, especially since I’m recognizing it.
I will do my best and hope I can kick this habit once and for all. I’m not ashamed of it the way I was of c/s, but it’s still disturbing to me that it happens at all.
Sorry to be a bit of a downer, it’s just a frustrating reality I thought I was done with but clearly, am still dealing with.