I had a bit of a revelation last week about my eating issues.
I don’t know if I mentioned it in the other post, but one of the many reasons why I’ve finally decided to face this and take it on is that we can’t really afford for me to keep bingeing. I guess it depends on where you are in the world but here in New Zealand junk food is expensive, and to be honest although I can and have binged on just about everything (I went through a hummus and freshly baked bread phase once; lovely stuff) it’s usually the higher-end junk food I go for (stuff like McDonalds or Pringles instead of fish and chips or budget-brand chips… but to be fair I just like ‘nicer’ stuff, I think: hence the hummus and bread I mentioned earlier!)
So The Man of the House and I have undertaken – at my instigation – an agreement where he keeps control of the cards and the cash, although I still do the fortnightly shopping (we get fruit and veges from the growers at weekend markets). I have a houseful of food, of course, and if I want a ‘treat’ I have to bake it myself. I’m hoping to kind of ‘short circuit’ the bingeing behavior by not restricting when or how much I eat and by only partly restricting what I can eat by focusing not on any moral judgements about different foods but on their cost. In other words, if I make myself a chocolate cake and eat it that’s fine; buying that same cake and eating it is not. It’s early days yet and I’m still stuck in the ‘I want the stuff I can’t have!’ phase but I expect that’ll change soon and I’ll be bingeing on what I have here. Or maybe not.
But what was really interesting to me was that along with that feeling of deprivation were very, very strong feelings of loneliness and boredom. Given how my life is at the moment – and the various issues I know I have around making and maintaining friendships – I am not at all surprised that I feel that way. What I am surprised about, though, is that I didn’t see it before. I’ve had the whole “you’re eating to fill an emotional void!” accusation thrown at me more than once before and I’ve always hated it because it’s such a pat and stereotypical ‘excuse’ for why that fat person needs to be ‘saved’. But there’s nothing to say it’s not true in my specific case.
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