Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nothing Like a Thursday Binge :(

I just binged. God dammit. I was doing so well. In fact, from Monday to Thursday afternoon I did great. I kept my meal plan, kept myself busy, and things were looking up.

Here is what happened this afternoon: I went to the dietitian for the first time for my outpatient program that starts Monday. She made me really anxious. She said that the focus of the program was intuitive eating. That is the opposite of what I learned at treatment. At treatment (which followed the 12 steps), I learned that I will always have this disease and that I will always have to be on a food plan, monitoring my intake. The 12 steps taught me that I can never just be alone with food, leave everything to my discretion, and eat what I "feel" like eating. The dietitian told me that the program was about mindfully eating when hungry and not being so "rigid" with a food plan. That confused me. I learned that I was not to be trusted with food. The dietitian told me I could still follow my exchanges, but the whole thing made me very nervous. She even mentioned adding a snack into the middle of my day. At the treatment center, they told us we weren't allowed to do this. I felt my head and my chest get tight. I felt like screaming, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? AFTER EVERYTHING I HAVE LEARNED, YOU ARE SWITCHING UP THE RULES ON ME?"I know there are different treatment methods, but this just made me feel anxious.

Then, I had to go back to the bridesmaids dress alterations place to pick up my dress.... still looked horrible on me. It made me feel like shit. Again. So, I cancelled the yoga class I was supposed to go to with a friend tonight and binged. I think this is what I ate (more or less): 8 sandwich thins, 10 slices of American cheese, 2 slices of cheddar cheese, 2 whole wheat tortillas, salsa, and about two cups of pasta with tomato sauce. I know, it is a weird combination. That is what happens when you only have "healthy" foods at your apartment. I still consumed a lot of calories and feel like shit now. It hasn't even been a whole week since the last time I binged. UGH. I am so frustrated with myself. I feel like I "ruined it."

This new outpatient program scares me. What if everything they teach me is opposite of what I learned at inpatient?

Today, I also felt like I was dieting. I think that is part of the reason I binged. Everything about my new "habits" is similar to my old dieting life (the foods, the tracking, etc...). I still don't have a sponsor. I am terrified that this weekend will be lonely and hard on me. I know I NEED to go to meetings. I hope I make it there. Tomorrow I am going to get coffee with a girl that I met at OA. Hopefully that will be inspiring.

What do you do after a binge to get back on track (emotionally)? How can I make my meal plan NOT feel like a diet? 


  1. Dear Binge Diary,

    You are not alone.


    Just kidding, I won't leave you with that. For me what has helped me get back on track lately is remembering not to deprive myself of feeling well. That means not depriving myself of love, of self-worth, of food (no "feels like a diet plan"), or of that icky feeling after eating too much. Also, and I struck upon this today actually, an isolated binge is not the end of the world. But it's a very slippery slope. One binge usually leads to several, leads to weeks of bingeing without being able to stop (for me). But theoretically, if you recognize that you've slipped just a bit, you might be able to heave yourself back up without sliding all the way to an ever lower, craggier bottom. How to do it, though? For me, I start incorporating the things that make me happy when I'm happy. Seeing friends usually helps, going to that yoga class or exercising lovingly, taking time to make the bed and floss your teeth and say a prayer every day. Going to meetings. But that's just me. I hope it helps. And again, please know that you are not alone, and you haven't failed. Sometimes slips help us get a closer look at the circumstances around us and at our own mistakes, and then we can learn from them.

  2. Hey TBD,

    You're right about there being many different paths and contradictory methods of recovery. Switching between them can be confusing and discouraging, and I'm sorry you're having a rough time.

    My intuition though, is that it is not about which rules you're following in terms of the food. Ultimately, it's not about the food. It's never about the food. What is more important is that you get to the core of your program, and that is honesty. It's the same with intuitive eating as it is for a rigid food plan: Are you being honest about following your food plan? Are you being honest about eating when your BODY and not your EMOTIONS tell you to eat? This is why you need a sponsor... it helps to have someone else holding you accountable for your actions and calling you out on it when you slip in your honesty.

    It'll take time and it'll take work, but if you are truly willing, you will make it. Just keep talking. We'll be here listening. :)

  3. Remember every day ends and tomorrow is a clean slate! It must be really confusing to have been told such different things. The dietician seems to have some sound advice, listening to your body and really feeling what it needs seems very natural whereas the inpatient programme seems pretty rigid but I guess it is there to force control into the life of a disordered eater.Could you make your own meal plan? Plan what you feel like eating for the week. My thoughts are that you need to work out what you need in your life, if you feel like a food plan is putting you on a diet then perhaps its not the best fit for you.
    It's awesome that you are reaching out to people, fantastic!

  4. TBD, I just realized that you're rolling right out of that wedding and into a brand-new treatment program. That's a lot to deal with!

    From my outside-of-OA vantage point, it looks as if you're already doing some of the right things: you're identifying the things that set you off and, more importantly, *why* they set you off -- which means you have a fighting chance at dodging the bullet the next time these issues come to the fore.

    You're also reaching out to people, and, as others have noted above, that's wonderful. You need -- and deserve -- to have people surrounding you and supporting you, particularly when you hit a rough patch. I've always found that talking or writing about what's stressing me helps me gain perspective and short-circuit the binge impulse: instead of thinking that the world is coming to an end, I feel as if the world is just *starting* to come to an end. (I can deal with *starting* to come to an end. ;-))

    By the way, do you have any plans for that dress after this weekend? I know this may seem kind of outlandish, but having at it with a seam ripper or a pair of shears might be really good way to blow off some steam. And if you're crafty, you can make something pretty (or practical) with the scraps!

  5. You don't have to have a rigid food plan in OA. 12 step programs don't have rules; only suggestions. So you can make your own food plan. This may take a lot of trial and error, but some people follow the 3-0-1 meal plan of OA: Three meals a day, nothing in between, one day at a time. That way it takes out the measuring, the calorie counting, weighing, etc. It can be tricky though of you don't trust yourself with proportions.

    I don't think you'll always have to be on a food plan. And real OA groups would never tell you that. But yes, I learned the same thing in my inpatient treatment center as well, so it was hard for me when I came home -- I felt so pressured to follow the food plan to a T. Then I started going to real OA meetings and found freedom with food. It just takes time to know what you can handle.

    I'd get a sponsor ASAP so they can help you with that.

  6. It's okay, you can do it. Just dust yourself off... and go forward.

    Anxiety and confusion always seems to get me. I think you should do whatever you feel most comfortable with. If being on a food plan is working for you... be on a food plan. If you want to try IE, try IE. YOu can do this!