Thursday, March 24, 2011

Disordered Eating, Part 1

I have disordered eating. I refuse to say an eating disorder because it makes me feel like an invalid, sick, and out of control. In a way, I suppose that it is out of control. I feel out of control all the time. I watch myself eating stuff and I wonder why I’m eating it. I’m not experiencing pangs of hunger, I’ve eaten very recently. I’m not worried I’m not going to be eating for another two days. It doesn’t even make me feel good. I feel gross afterwards.

I have dealt with this style of eating for the last decade of my life, or more, really. Since I’m not even quite a quarter century old, I’m fairly positive that’s a decent chunk of my life right there.

I’ve called it emotional eating before, and I’m fairly positive that my feelings are very, very, tied into what I’m eating. But that’s not all that’s going on here. Sometimes, certain foods will trigger me to eat more of them. Sugar, for example. I’ve recently gone through an entire thread on a forum at entitled “No sugar support thread.” I was quite skeptical at first, since I like my sugar. I like cookies, muffins, sweet things in general. But as I read it, and I watched ( this video, I became more concerned. Some of the ways I was eating could be linked into the amount of sugar I was eating. It’s only started this week, but I’m attempting to reduce the amount of sugar I consume every day. For several days, it worked quite well, but I seem to have hit a wall. I’m also a baker by nature. I love playing with ingredients to create new cookies or improve vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Sugar hides itself in so many ways though, that I’m not concerned with consuming no sugar. That’s just not going to happen. What I am looking to avoid are High Fructose Corn Syrup and refined sugars. So my nature valley bars? The ones that always make me feel like I should eat more after having one (yes, that’s definitely a sign I should have stopped getting them ages and ages ago. I eventually did until I got a box last week at the grocery store. No, I don’t know what I was thinking). Well it turns out they have brown sugar in them. And the sugar content for two bars (in one package) is startlingly high.

I still consume fruits without worry. Those are natural sugars, ones our bodies are intended to consume. The fruits have nutrients in them that I shouldn’t get from anywhere else. So far, I’ve felt decent with the exception of last night and this afternoon. Because an addiction to sugar is not the only thing I have to worry about. Unfortunately.

I eat when I’m stressed. I eat when I’m worried. I eat when I’m bored.

I should confess a few things here and now: I’m a natural worrier. Also, I’m unemployed. So I’m stressed about job hunting, I’m worrying over the fact that I don’t have a job and I have a crap load of free time on my hands.

Yeah. Basically I’ve got the trifecta going and there’s not a huge amount I can do about it, unless I magically solve my disordered eating. Dear magical food fairy, can you please take away my disordered eating so that I eat 6 small meals a day that are perfectly balanced? And so I don’t resort to food when I feel anxious? It really doesn’t make me feel better, despite what my brain says to my hand, guiding it to my mouth with that delicious chocolate baked good.


  1. ((Hugs)) Good luck on your no sugar quest. It's hard at first, but then you really do feel great. I need to get back on the wagon as well.

  2. Well, I'm sure it'll be annoying and difficult to try and cut out some favorite foods, but if you're starting on a No Sugar! Quest you could give yourself goals. Like, in the first month cut out all the high fructose corn syrup, then in the next month try and cut out refined sugar. In the meantime you can reward yourself with honey and healthier sweet things. (And Diet Vanilla Coke for when you just can't handle life without sugary-tasting sweetness.... oh wait, that's me.)

    Anyway best of luck and I know you can do it. Starting a quest will probably make you feel better and more confident, and maybe cut down on the stress. :)

  3. Well I think it's really great that you're working to make a positive change like this. :) I'm sure you can do it, and will succeed and feel great!

    I also have full confidence that you'll find a job- you're a very intelligent woman, and a hard worker, so I know that things will work out for you.

    Good luck!

  4. "I refuse to say an eating disorder because it makes me feel like an invalid, sick, and out of control."
    Honestly, I've found that it's easier to confront the words "eating disorder" head-on and make them my own. By taking ownership of those two words I can challenge people's ideas of what they mean (including my own) and feel courage in knowing that I don't have to hide from it. I'm stronger than that! And so are you. Looking forward to reading more.

    My advice: Go slow (like Gen said) with plans to cut out the sweet stuff, and don't get down on yourself if it's rough going. Because while you're probably totally right that the sugar is giving you troubles, your brain is probably going to feel deprived and protest! And that's not your fault.