Hey there everyone! I don't spend much time here (despite the occassional scolding from my dear husband Finbarrio), but I thought this might be just the place to sort out some things I've been thinking about lately. Care to join me? Comments are of course welcome but entirely unnecessary, so theres no guilt in lurking if that's your cup'o'tea, okey doke?
I never considered myself to have an addictive type of personality. I remember being 14 and stealing cigarettes so I could "start" smoking, but it never caught on for me despite my persistant efforts. I basically spent the time between my 18th and 21st birthdays in a drunken or hungover fog, almost certain of my future as a raging alcoholic, and now I rarely ever even crave a drink. I'm not sober, I enjoy drinking, it's just not a necessary part of my life like it used to be. In fact, I could go weeks without a sip and not even notice one way or the other. When it comes to those run-of-the-mill-stereotypical addiction issues, I've pretty much got a clean slate.
Well, anyone who knows anything about addicition knows that it's defined by things other than a reliance on a substance. We can be addicted to certain feelings and behaviors and other things, too. Now, I'm not getting into all this so I can go and call myself an "addict" in the end. It's just a perspective that's easy to tap into as a way of explaining my thoughts, for lack of a better way of putting it, really.
So, while I don't smoke, I don't drink much and I don't crave coffee, I DO binge. I binge.
Binge. Nasty word, aint it? Doesn't it just fill you with negative thoughts and feelings? We hear it applied most often to people with eating disorders, right? Excess. Secretive. Gluttony. Dishonest. Unhealthy. Instantly, you picture someone shoving food indiscriminantly down their throat, right? I do. Usually, the word binge if followed by the word "purge" as a way of describing the behavior most prominent in bulemia nervosa, right? Throwing something up, getting rid of it, undoing, regret, shame, guilt. There's a lot going on with that word, isn't there?
What about when someone binges on a good thing? First off, the word "binge" probably isn't even used to describe the behavior, right? Binge has gotten such a rep for being a negative word. Nobody ever says, "I'm on an aerobics binge these days," right? Or, "I've been binging on carrots all day." It just doesn't seem to apply, even though the meaning is the same, which is, according to my Merriam-Webster's, "an unrestrained and often excessive indulgence."
So, when I say "I binge," I mean that I excessively indulge in both the healthy and the unhealthy. It's a behavior quirk. I don't know where I got it, I don't know why my subconscious decided that I need it, but I would image that I've developed and nutured this behavior for some reason. All I know is that I'm coming to realize that it actually exists, and it's somewhat responsible for why I can't seem to accomplish things that I would like to accomplish in my life - things like fitness goals.
I binge. I'll go to yoga 7 days a week for several weeks and think of little else. I'll be doing yoga in my sleep - quite literally, dreaming about it and waking up to change positions so that I "do" one side for the same amount of time that I "do" the other. As much as yoga is a healthy thing to do, I know my approach to it is not always the healthiest approach. Because, then again, I'll NOT do yoga for several weeks at a time, too. Sometimes this is triggered by a discomfort (from doing too much yoga most likely, right) so I decide to back off, then it suddenly stops being a priority for me when I can't do it each and every day.
I binge. I binge sleep. I can sometimes sleep for 14 hours at a wack. And I just let myself. I'll do it everyday one week, then be normal again for awhile. It's not that I normal slight myself on sleep, I typically sleep well and get 7-8 hours a night, it's just that sometimes I get into a pattern where I decide to let myself have more. Much more.
I binge. I binge eat. I know that I feel best when I don't eat a whole lot at a time, and when I eat most of my food earlier in the day in several small meals. When I eat this way, I feel great, my body feels in tune, I feel energized, I don't feel as though I'm depriving myself like all the diet books and specialists always warn us about, I feel whole and complete and balanced. When I'm eating that way, I'll notice the slightest change in the pattern, I can tell if I ate something that is different, or at a different time, just by how my body responds. I never thought of that behavior as "binge" behavior because it's positive, but then, somehow, I always manage to get into a different pattern where I do something completely different for a few weeks. Eat large amounts, eat things I don't typically eat (lately it's Purely Decadent Chocolate Obsession, fitting, eh?), eat large amounts of things I don't typically eat, and feel like crap the whole time, physically and mentally. Is it possible that the "positive" eating pattern is just as much a binge as the "negative" one?
Sometimes this behavior is a good thing. I can get things accomplished when I'm on a binge - like a house cleaning binge. I like that I can be incredibly focused on a task and get it done, I like that I can find myself in very healthy cycles. What I don't like is that the pendulum always swings back the other way.
I find it amazing that I can change my lifestyle to a vegan one, my food sources being whittled down to the healthiest foods available on the planet, and yet I find that my relationship with food is the same as when I ate everything. The underlying behavior didn't go just because cheese did.
I guess I've got some things to think about.