It’s really fucking simple.

Trigger warning: disordered eating, depression, drinking Today’s blog is pretty straight forward, so if any of those things are triggers for you, please click out of the blog. Here is a video of Jenna Marbles making a bed for her dog out of soap.

What if I told you, dear reader, that we have an intrinsic need to fuel ourselves mind, body, and soul? You’d agree, wouldn’t you? Yes, Stephanie, of course we need to stimulate our minds, of course we need to cover our basic needs like hunger and warmth, of course we need to fuel our soul with something deeper….

Sounds like pretty normal and cliche advice, right? Okay… let’s take things a step further. What if I told you that the intrinsic need to fuel yourself can be split into two different sub types: 1. the corporeal/animalistic self and 2. the transcendent psyche that sort of “drives” our emotions and generally our actions.

Let me break this down a bit:

Binge eating is something that I have done for… a while. I think it started in college when I was seeking comfort and had a very low self esteem, but it really spiraled when my best friend died from bulimia and we had to move into my in-law’s house because we were beyond broke. Truly, why I started is only a very small aspect in the big scheme of things. Regardless, I’ve admitted this to a few very close friends, but this is the first time I’m “going public,” so to speak. It’s okay though! I am working through this. I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far with the hope that someone else can benefit from my story and what I am learning.

I have been off and on so many different diets, lifestyle plans, life changes, that I can not even begin to articulate how fucking exhausted I am by all of it. To the point that my sister purchased a bike for me last year in an attempt to get me to be more physically active and less depressed and turtle-like. I mean, I even named my blog after cycling!

I’m the first to admit that when I cycle I feel really free and happy, but there have been a lot of issues in my neighborhood. I almost got hit by cars because people legitimately freak out when I ride and they panic. (despite my orange safety vest) My bike almost got stolen, and there are a lot of stray dogs that will bark in your face and chase you around town while they aggressively bark and nip at you. So, until we are able to move to a safer neighborhood, the bike has been shelved.

I digress. There was always some part of me that felt like binge eating was separate from myself. I would only binge very late at night while the rest of the family was asleep, keeping it a secret ritual that was only for me. It was like, in the moments that I was binge eating, I was inherently free from all the fucking bullshit in my life. I could just satisfy this physical and metaphorical hunger that had driven me to binge in the first place, and for that singular moment, I was okay.

In doing research to stop this disordered eating, I’ve come across a lot of great resources. Most of which are from Youtubers who have had to deal with or are dealing with binges. Another wonderful resource is the book Brain over Binge by Kathryn Hansen. This book was the impetus for today’s post. If you or someone you know and love have an addiction (ED related or not), an Eating Disorder or disordered eating, or just a really bad habit that they wish to break I can not recommend this book enough. Hansen’s story and courage is brilliant in and of itself, but her advice is absolutely ground breaking. I’m truly editing much of what she says in this book for the sake of this blog, but it’s too good not to share. If you doubt my advice, or Hansen’s, then buy the fucking book and read it for yourself before you make a final judgement call. Seriously, I am that confident.

So, back to that corporeal part of ourselves versus the transcendent psyche:

A lot of people think that addiction, or eating disorders, or bad habits stem from some deep underlying issue. I’m not saying that they’re wrong, but there is more to the story. It’s too complicated and honestly, too fucking overwhelming to try to break a bad habit by diagnosing and solving all of the underlying emotional needs. When a person wishes to break the binge, addiction, or bad habit they aren’t asking for a deeper understanding at first. They simply want the binge, addiction, or bad habit to STOP. They want to quit.

So, for example: I could have a totally normal day. Still, as the evening comes around, as it always does, the corporeal/animalistic part of myself starts to give me a nudge. I’ll get hungry, even if I’ve already had a full dinner. I’ll get anxious, even if I had a good day. And still, the part of my mind that wants to binge will come up with any excuse in the book, “today was a good day, so you can have just a little bit of candy before bed and if you over indulge, it’ll be fine because you can start new tomorrow! New day, new you!” Seriously, that’s how Binge-Brain works for me. (And that’s on a good day, the bad days are much darker) What Hansen says is to separate Binge-Brain from myself. So, whenever I feel those nudges or get those thoughts, instead of over complicating the situation by trying to immediately address my emotional needs, I address my clinical needs from an outsiders perspective first. Binge-Brain starts in “Just finish the bag and stash it in your drawer as a symbol of your last binge. This will be the last night.” But now there’s that transcendent part of myself that can take a step back and treat Binge-Brain as if it were one of my closest friends who was in a desperate situation, “No. You do not need to eat anymore. Now is not the time. You’ve already had dinner.” I keep it really fucking simple. I don’t delve into the emotional aspect at all. Instead it’s as if I were speaking to my daughter and telling her no for the 100th time. “No. I already said no. The answer is no.

By keeping things this simple, I am able to give myself full control. It’s really hard. I’m not going to lie. I am doing intermittent fasting, so my eating window is from 11-7 usually, and past 7 PM it’s really hard to break those bad habits. I’m so addicted to my binges that I get headaches and anxiety. But it’s progress.  This goes beyond weight loss or vanity. I am breaking the mold for myself. I will inspire myself by myself and move forward to continue to grow within myself. Honestly, I wish I had this advice sooner. I could have done so much more– but I can’t go back and change the past. Instead, I’ll just keep moving forward.

So far the changes have been gradual, but steady. I’m losing more inches than I am weight, but I am finding myself inspired to work out. I’m inspired to eat well. I don’t feel guilty anymore because I don’t have anything to be guilty from. I can’t wait to see where this goes from here, but for now, this is working. I’d also like to make it a point to say that I am not neglecting my emotional needs, either. That is a separate and complex issue that is being fully addressed. I am just not addressing it whenever Binge-Brain comes into my head. I hope this post helps someone out there in the world. Seriously, go buy and read that book. Hansen does a through job explaining how this all works and she breaks it down so eloquently. I’ve just got the cliffs notes and I felt like it would be cruel not to share this life changing advice.

 

xoxo,

S.

Remember to be kind to yourself and if you or someone close to you is in serious distress or simply needs to talk to someone, please call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.

4 thoughts on “It’s really fucking simple.”

  1. Your life journey is so complex. I can see how separating the layers and only dealing with one thing at a time makes sense. I’m so proud of your intelligent approach to some really difficult issues.

    Like

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