Monday, January 30, 2012

Not recovered, but recovering: January 2009 versus January 2012

*Trigger warning. Don't read if junk food descriptions set you off.*

By January of 2009, I had understood for some years already that I had binge eating disorder. I was on my second therapist, and I was trying to come up with a way to curtail the amount of sweets I ate. I decided to try to limit myself to one treat day during the week and one treat day on the weekend. I thought that was moderate and realistic.

Later that year, I would discover the no-S diet and see that it had several similarities to the sort of thing I had been trying to do on my own. I went on to attempt no-S for part of 2009. And after no-S, I went on to try lots more things, including Overeaters Anonymous.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

In January 2009, I was simply trying to come up with a personalized, realistic way to get a grip. I started keeping records in a little book of the sweets I consumed. And this is my sad, alarming record for that month. It shows the ugly face of Binge Eating Disorder, for sure.

Jan 5: peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, 2 mint pudding cups with whipped cream, 2 Andes mints

Jan 10&11: several pieces of German chocolate cake, assorted candy (orange slices, Hershey kisses, mini Reese's cups, crispy chocolate coins), several pieces of marshmallow-chocolate-peanut butter bars, chocolate chip cookie

Jan 13: McDonald's mocha, Dairy Queen blizzard, cookies, 2 mint pudding cups with whipped cream, banana bread with butter

Jan 14: cranberry-banana bread, 2 donuts and a chocolate milk, pudding cup, mini Heath blizzard

Jan 16: sherbet, ice cream with whipped cream, mint pudding cup, various cookies

Jan 17: whipped cream, bit of caramel corn

Jan 18: caramel corn, Hershey's syrup straight out of the bottle, chocolate milk, some apple pie, crumpets with butter and jam

Jan 20: 3 Kit-Kats, 2 bowls of granola

Jan 23: bowl of granola, chocolate cupcake, vanilla cupcake, 2 regular Reese's cups

Jan 26: glazed donut, slice of Reese's cake

Jan 28: coconut flan, tres leches cake piece, English muffin with butter and preserves, granola with milk

Jan 31: 6 Oreos, vanilla cupcake, chocolate milk, hot fudge sundae

And that was me trying HARD to do better! I'm too lazy to transcribe all I wrote down in January 2009, but there are so many notes on the days I binged that say "this tasted like crap" or "wasn't worth it" or "I felt sick and disgusting after this" or "I had cramps and diarrhea the rest of the night." Not to mention, I was upset over my inability to keep the sweets to just two days a week.

Fast forward to 2012. These are the sweets I ate:

Jan 7: chocolate chip cookies and milk

Jan 8: a few peanut m&m's and Lindt truffles

Jan 10: a couple tastes of lemon curd and a few mini candy canes

Jan 12: 9 white fudge-covered Oreos, pint of red velvet ice cream

Jan 13: 3 white fudge-covered Oreos, rice krispie treat, 5-6 donuts, 3-4 bowls of sugary cereal

*read Brain over Binge on Jan 14 and 15*

Jan 16: regular size m&m's

Jan 20: 1 slice German chocolate cake

Jan 21: puppy chow (aka muddy buddies)

Jan 23: most of a small piece of lemon cake

Jan 28: half a small piece of flan, chocolate mousse, and 3/4 regular Hershey bar

I read that and think "it's still way too much." But it's undeniably better. I ate fewer things and smaller amounts. I didn't make myself sick repeatedly and my eating didn't devastate me emotionally. It wasn't a monumental struggle to go a few days between treats. I also know I eat better meals now than I did then; I have more protein and vegetables these days.

I wonder what January 2013 will look like?

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