While you’re in the throes of being a full-fledged binger, and/or when you’re trying to recover, I feel that a support system can be important and beneficial, whether that support be coming from followers on Tumblr, your best friends, your boyfriend, your parents, or all of the above.
Having someone there to keep you from eating your feelings or binging until you’re physically sick can REALLY be a huge help.
That being said, for me personally—I am NOT speaking of behalf of all bingers—I find it really detrimental when someone tries to forcefully tell me not to eat something.
Example of something I find helpful: A few nights ago, I mentioned wanting pizza for dinner. As I said it, I knew I didn’t mean it, but I had urges to binge and wanted to start with the pizza. Lucky for me, James knew what was up, so he politely and gently said, “Why don’t we have the shrimp we bought yesterday with some veggies? I’ll make some asparagus since I know you love it.” He didn’t outwardly say it, but we both knew he was trying to deter me from binging. When we were done eating, I thanked him for steering me away from that decision.
Example of something I do NOT find helpful, while realizing the intent was good: James and I went to my parents’ for a family dinner, and when we got there, there was a platter of cookies on the counter. I asked if I could have one, and my mom firmly yelled, “No,” while everyone else was eating them. I thought she was kidding, so I reached for one, and she playfully whacked my hand and said, “no, I’m serious, you can’t. You’re eating right, you want to lose weight, don’t you?”
I found this frustrating for several reasons:
- As someone struggling with their weight, it was embarrassing for me to be the only person in the room be denied ONE COOKIE while everyone else was having one. Maybe that’s dumb, but it still stung a little, like, NO FATTIE. NO COOKIES FOR YOU. GET THE FLAB OFF YOUR ASS AND THEN MAYBE YOU CAN HAVE COOKIES.
- After I insisted that I only wanted to have one cookie, she still said no. One cookie is not going to negate all of the clean eating and working out I have been doing. One cookie is not going to hurt me.
- As a binger, being told NO in that manner is mentally detrimental to me. Maybe it’s not that way for everyone, but that made me just want to eat even more than I was going to.
- Everything in moderation is okay. I mean, I’m not telling you to go smoke crack or snort some coke in moderation, but was one home-made cookie going to hurt? No. Moderation is key. So is progress. The fact that I only wanted one was a big deal to me; three months ago I would have loaded up my plate with 6 cookies and came back for more.
This week, I talked to both my mom and James about these approaches. Both mentioned that they felt I get defensive when they try to help, so I gave them both examples of when I felt they were were super helpful and accommodating, and said that what I do not appreciate is when it comes off as restrictive, because for bingers, that’s a bit dangerous. They both understood where I was coming from, and I let them both know that I appreciate their help on this subject and that they’ve both been very key to me staying on track.
I also had a long talk with James again last night where he asked me a lot of really personal questions about binging so he could better understand things. We have discussed it before, of course, but this was really in-depth. I told him about how it becomes a secret you’re hiding, and how you make yourself physically sick. I gave him examples of things I used to eat and told him how binging makes you feel mentally. He asked me what I think about food when I think about it, and I told him about how I’d mentally plan out my next binge without even realizing it. It wasn’t the easiest conversation, but it was an important one to have, and I just really appreciate him even being so invested in learning about this so he can help even more than he already has.
Does anyone else relate to this or do I sound like a crazy asshole?