Last week, on a walk around Brooklyn with a friend the conversation turned to binging. My friend was on a self deprecating tangent about how she’d been binging lately and feeling really bad about herself. That same week I’d read an article about binge eating being classified as a psychological disorder.
Here’s what I think: Everyone binges. Even people who don’t realize they’re binging binge. We binge because we have to, because at that moment in life we need to eat. We need to eat a lot. Sometimes we need to eat because we’re sad, or happy, or frustrated, or bored, or really, really hungry. Whatever the reason, it’s normal, it happens. It happens to everyone.
Regardless of what many a Weight Watcher leader and aerobics instructor tell me, when I am craving 3lbs of chocolate cake wrapped in bacon an apple will not suffice, neither will a glass of water or a deep breath. Eventually the binge always wins.
I don’t think that binge eating is a psychological disorder; I think the psychological dysfunction happens because somewhere along the line food became a dirty word. Eating too much became a sin and with it comes all the guilt associated with sinning. It is, in my opinion, the overwhelming expectation that we don’t do it, that we never succumb to things that are natural, that prolong binging and create feelings of inadequacy. All those feelings of never being good enough, for not being able to control that primal urge to eat, can make you crazy.
I , for one, like feeling adequate and guilt free. Sometimes I eat lots of food all at once because I want to. I may swear that I’ll never do it again, but I will, because it’s natural. Other times I eat a little bit of food, because I’m busy or not hungry. Most of the time, however, I eat somewhere in between.
I told my friend all this and she seemed to feel a bit better. Or, at least, she pretended she did.
Having said that, I did not binge today, but even if I had I wouldn’t feel too guilty about it.
Smoothie made with: soy milk, 1/2 a frozen banana, frozen cherries, frozen mango
Obligatory Thanksgiving leftover lunch:
Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabar
Salad w/beets, orange and almonds
Oil & vinegar
Baked tofu marinated in Soyaki
Sugar snap peas (steamed)
Exercise: 50 Minutes of yoga.