Cleaning House: Confessions of a Binge Queen

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yogita chiquita
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Cleaning House: Confessions of a Binge Queen

#1 Postby yogita chiquita » Wed May 02, 2007 4:30 pm

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.

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#2 Postby CollegeB » Wed May 02, 2007 7:15 pm

First off there is also no addictive personality. I've read many books and articles which debate its existence and none come up positive. So its not a personality issue! The main characterisitc of addiction is loss of control. Interestingly with substance addiction we are recognizing you dont have to have tolerance or withdrawal.

Anyways with these binges, try to note your emotional state. Or if you want to do some self help I recommend the therapist William Glasser. He essentially maintains that all of our psychological issues can come down to unhappiness. Unhappiness from trying to control others, our environment, and I suppose ourselves and getting nowhere. The links below are to his works i've read. I enjoyed the 2nd more. If you dont like amazon you can buy them from the William Glasser Institute I think, or maybe find them where you buy books.


#3 Postby veganpotter » Wed May 02, 2007 7:59 pm

I'm kinda in the same boat as you are. Its very difficult for me to not train(or post on the forum for that matter). I could make my training a bit easier and I'd be better for it or I could even eat better. I eat very well but I occationally treat myself for a few days in a row and it realy screws me over. I think you've just gotta weigh the importance of things around you. So long as you can handle your binging without it hurting others then try to just do it a bit less often...for me its just a part of myself that will never go away but I do my best to make myself good enough to deal with for my friends. Right now I'm binging on training and posting which is keeping me from the studio despite the fact that this is my final project as a metals student(other than an easy one due Tuesday). I want to do it but I really want to do this.

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#4 Postby DV » Wed May 02, 2007 11:29 pm

Last edited by DV on Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#5 Postby Odidnetne » Thu May 03, 2007 10:14 pm

I binge on lots of things, mostly eating. I've come to realize that eating lots of food helps me deal with other problems (namely, my anger problems), but I fear getting drunk or things like that, because I normally take all things that I enjoy to an extreme.

"Look at what a green thumb this guy has, he just throws plants in water and they root!"
- A good friend talking about my basil cuttings

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yogita chiquita
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#6 Postby yogita chiquita » Fri May 04, 2007 5:17 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys...I've been thinking about this blog some the last few days, and I'll think about those responses, too...I have more to write about, it just hasn't quite risen to the surface yet.

I'll be back.

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#7 Postby CollegeB » Sat May 05, 2007 2:13 am

I binge on computer games for least you all have productive binges.

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#8 Postby lotus » Thu May 24, 2007 8:45 pm

I think it sounds like you are really in tune with yourself! The main thing is how you feel about your own habits. It is interesting how sometimes we have behaviors we don't feel good about but we somehow continue with them. Humans are creatures of habit!
Thanks for posting this, it is nice to learn a little bit more about you!

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#9 Postby andesuma » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:32 pm

Wow, beautifully written girl!

I absolutely know what you are feeling. I do the exact same thing.
Go on binges, running binges, yoga/pilates binges, but I do often find myself going to opposite way sometimes...

It hinders progress at so many levels.
But I think that is the subconscious point of it all, I have noticed... at
least with myself, it is a fear of ultimate success.
Really acheiving my optimal self, optimal health; keeping that
ya know?

I am trying to work thru this one as well..

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