The Evil Binge Monster & Random Thoughts About Running

I’ve often said “awareness is half the battle” when it came to my disordered eating recovery process.

But the past two weeks — in spite of being painfully aware that I’ve been over-eating — or this past weekend, when I just gave in to emotional eating, period (borderlining on binges) — all the awareness in the world — even recognizing the “why” — hasn’t helped me stop.

I’m not channeling the CBT techniques I learned in therapy, like trying to occupy myself with other thoughts or doing something else when the impulse to eat strikes — recognizing food won’t fill a void but rather is just anesthetizing me to whatever I’m feeling, as Kara DioGuardi noted in this month’s Women’s Health cover story.

I’m basically just giving into the orange binge monster (WW’s adorable mascot) whatever, whenever. And it’s ugly.

As you might imagine, nothing scares someone like me more than being out of control … yet I’m allowing it to happen, almost enabling it by my behaviors? Instead of flexing my resistance muscle, it’s almost as though I’m resisting rationale? I don’t know what it is, but I need to put the kibosh on it STAT.

I will spare you the gory details, but let’s just say this weekend was not one of my finest and I’m pretty ashamed of how I handled several non-food-related situations that led to food-related-situations, if that makes any sense.

But it’s a new day tomorrow, and I hope to just have a fresh start. I think I might focus on less sugar for now (a la Steph and her sugar wean at Noshtopia) because in all honesty, all my food-related issues are tied to sugar!

Oh and before you think I had some heinously miserable weekend, let me state for the record — it wasn’t all bad!

Our office closed early Friday and so my hubby and I went for a fabulous 15-mile bike ride with two of our close friends, which felt awesome. Afterwards, though smoothies don’t interest me in the slightest, I handled an impromptu SmoothieKing visit by just picking what was the lightest thing on the menu and enjoying it.

And today, with the gym closed, my husband playing soccer and it being sunny (albeit a little chilly) I enjoyed a solo 5-mile run on the bike path behind our house. All was fine and dandy til a SNAKE scuttled out!! To say I nearly had a heart attack would be an understatement! I DO NOT LIKE SNAKES!

Anyway, I just don’t know what my problem is … I can’t seem to get a handle on things right now and feel like my discipline and desire to lose weight are slipping away and I can’t afford for them to be doing that. 1) I can’t afford a new wardrobe … and 2) I am technically overweight where I am right now and feel “fluffy.”

This isn’t just about vanity; it was really hard for me to run those 5 miles today … running is such a different workout than what I do at the gym every day and an outdoor run is a great way to proveΒ  just how out of shape I am, or at least when it comes to endurance — which I used to have.

I give my friends who are training for/have trained for halves and full marathons tons of credit … after 5 or 6 miles, I’m just done, mentally and physically.

And I lack the motivation to challenge myself physically, so “pushing it” (what I did in high school when I ran track … or even how I run when I run with my husband, who challenges me to run faster) just doesn’t happen if I’m running alone.

I don’t know if it’s the extra weight I’m carrying or the lack of practice (this was only my second run since November) but I felt it and was pretty disappointed in myself. I think I will try to mix it up with at least one or two runs a week, now that it’s warmer out. I love the euphoric post-run feeling and though my pace sucks right now, I know within a few weeks of steadier runs, I’ll be OK again.

Sorry for such a meandering, rambling post today but I’m just not all here. Hope everyone who celebrates Easter had a wonderful time with their families!

Thanks for listening … sorry this isn’t my most awesome writing or topic but I’m just in a funk … pardon the dust!

How about you? I’ve asked this before, but there’s always some new readers. What are your kick-the-binge-monster-in-the-ass techniques?

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20 thoughts on “The Evil Binge Monster & Random Thoughts About Running

  1. First….I saw a snake on my run today, too! However, it was dead (the only good kind of snake) but nonetheless, I still screamed. So, I feel ya.

    Second….I thought about what kicks my binge monster and honestly, I don’t know. I don’t have one technique that I pull out of the bag of tricks that stops me. Eventually I think I just get too fed up with myself (fat pants are the only thing that fits, etc) and put the kibosh on the crazy eating.

    I tend to go through cycles during the year where I have no problems controlling myself and then other times I can’t, no matter what. I don’t have an answer why some times I can’t say no and other times I can.

    I guess I’m not very helpful and I apologize. Perhaps another comment will steer you in the right direction.

    1. LOL Melissa — at least yours was dead! Mine was very much alive. I HATE snakes!!!

      Thanks for your honest reply … I think I’m like you — sometimes I can stop it, and other times … not so much. It’s very cyclical, you’re right.

      Thank you!

  2. lissa, hang in there. “this too shall pass.”

    do you feel there is something you are missing somewhere else in life that needs to be fulfilled, that you are “fulfilling” with food/binge?

    1. Thanks Annie — it was a good 5 miles, I just didn’t love it. I actually have never loved running the way my friends do (or say they do! ;)) but I do love the euphoric post-run feeling.

  3. I don’t know if you have one of these laying around anywhere, but my resort to kicking the binge monster to the curb is MEAL PLAN, MEAL PLAN, MEAL PLAN!!! The structure and making sure that I really, really am getting a balanced intake helps kill the physical urges to binge, and it helps makes space for whatever is going on emotionally that I need to deal with.

    Also, I feel you on the running. I have come to terms with the fact that I AM NOT A RUNNER! And, look! God didn’t even strike me down! I’m just not built for running. My body hates it, and I hate it. Every now and then I find myself having the urge to run, but once I get started I’m MISERABLE. And I was never able to build up much endurance, even when I forced myself to run regularly. And it’s not a matter of fitness; I can bike and bike and do yoga and rock climb. My body just isn’t made to run, so I focus on activities that are better for both my mind and my body.

    1. Thanks, I do have today planned and that does certainly help!!

      And I def. don’t plan to become a runner; I don’t believe in forcing yourself to do something just to say you can do it … but I also know I could test myself a little more, push myself a little more. Running really is a great workout; my own routines have gotten so stale as of late.

  4. I think five miles is GREAT – what I wouldn’t give to run that right now! πŸ™‚ It will get easier, the more you do it. Don’t beat yourself up about it, though – very few people could just go out and run 5 miles at the drop of a hat. It’s quite an accomplishment!

    I wish I had an answer for you re: the binging. It’s sad because I actually KNOW why I’m binging/not eating intuitely when I do it. So why can’t I just find another coping mechanism? Maybe it’s just a matter of forcing myself to take on other things when I’m tempted to binge, and like anything, it will become instinctive to do those healthier things rather than binge. I just don’t know. 😦

    1. Holly I’m soooo that way! I know why I’m doing it … and it’s not stopping anything!!! I guess it’s a battle we just have to keep waging …but that’s what is frustrating; I don’t want food to be a battle!

  5. Oh man, I feel like I could have written this post myself. Running struggles, fear of snakes, being aware but over-eating anyways.

    What are my techniques? Hmm. Well, for me, it’s one thing to merely think about reasons not to, but a whole ‘nother thing to really stop and FEEL the reasons, if that makes any sense.

    I try to pause for a moment and really FEEL how good my body feels before I buy the bag of M&Ms or whatever. My digestive systems feels good, my stomach’s not upset, I don’t have a sugar headace. Then I imagine how gross, lethargic, and bloated I’ll feel after I inevitably eat too many. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    1. Anna, maybe I could try that … it’s often such an impulsive thing that I only knock sense into myself after the fact. I don’t wake and eat at midnight anymore like I used to (when I’d be on auto-pilot and couldn’t stop it …) this is fully awake! No excuses!

  6. I had a binge day yesterday and was seriously in a sugar-induced coma last night. I could not keep my eyes open beyond 8:30. It was embarrassing! And, today, I feel like crap.

    What was more sad is that I knew the whole day what I was doing and just kept going because I’d given up sugar for Lent and was like an obsessed candy maniac in a candy store.

    I don’t know how to kick the binge monster in the ass other than stepping on the scales. I did this morning and was like, ‘yep, yesterday was bad.’ Start small, and know that you’ve done this before and you can do it again. I wonder, too, if there’s something else that’s “eating” at you. The only real trigger for me yesterday was that I thought I really wanted sugar but after last night I’m kind of over it (for a while longer, anyway :)).

    I also know that I have races planned coming up and I want to feel good and be my best self in order to complete them and feel great doing it.

    On the running thing… it’s sooo not natural for me and I was just telling someone, it’s sort of a force-fit. But, this is a goal I’ve set and I want to achieve it. Its just pushing myself beyond any limit I ever thought I could reach. Now that I’ve passed 10 miles, I just have to keep running (in the words of a famous friend). πŸ™‚

    If there is anything I can do to help, let me know!

    1. Oh sweetie, I feel ya! I give you credit for giving up sweets for Lent though!

      I know what’s eating at me (not something I can talk about here on the blog) but still, even knowing that isn’t helping. (I’ll talk to you in person, no worries — it’s nothing tragic or anything!).

      I love that you made this goal and will do it — and esp that you quoted my lovah πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

      XOXO –will talk later today.

  7. I have a post written about this that will publish tomorrow you may be interested in. But in the meantime, I see that you are aware of whatever the feelings are, have you ever tried just sitting with them and feeling them? I don’t believe that avoiding our emotions is the way to end binging, I think the only way to end it is to face whatever is eating us and expressing whatever the emotions are.

  8. I’ve been feeling sorta bingey, but since I’m over bingeing, it just comes out as strange eating, disturbed emotional state. I think i don’t binge partly from training (I’m not in the habit of overeating, feels bad), planning (like Sayhealth discussed), mostly from disconnecting emotions from food. I don’t allow myself to feel elated when I “eat well and weightlossy”. I don’t allow myself to feel panic, guilt, shame, etc. when I eat sugary, fatty, fried, etc. Sometimes I start to slip here, and I am more cautious of this than my eating.

    My weight remains stubbornly stable, BMI 25.2 regardless. I would like it to continue dropping, but if I don’t beware of binge monster, it will rise. I don’t run, with the exception of an occasional full on spring to catch a bus or train. Very fun, but hard on knees, boobs. I have to go to gym classes a lot, won’t push myself on my own either, so I fully understand you there. I have a lazily active lifestyle (lots of leisurely biking, walking, little driving)

    Good luck. BTW, if I had to list the most important thing that ended my out of control eating, I would say it’s getting over my low-fat eating aspirations. It doesn’t mean I have a real high fat diet, or avoid carbs, just very moderate all around.

    I think snakes are pretty.

  9. I actually recently wrote a post about this on my blog (The “Binge Beat Down” entry; it might be on the main page, still.), as I used to be a constant binge eater (think once or twice a week), but as of tomorrow, I will not have binged for six weeks. Whoo! So, I celebrated by writing about the techniques that have helped me put a stop to it.
    It’s tough, though, I understand. Don’t get discouraged, though!

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