Warning: Expect foul language. I often blog when sleep deprived, and even when I'm not sleep deprived I cuss.
Warning the second: TMI often occurs. Read at your own risk. Feel free to laugh at my expense (I know I do!).
Warning the third: I suppose I should just put a general Trigger Warning here. I talk about mental illness (Anxiety, panic disorder, depression, social shit), abuse (rarely), and my fucked up relationship with food. And...other things. Actually, just consider this a general warning: If you might be triggered by things, you probably should read no further.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Comfort Eating

This is why I have a blog. Because I can't afford cognitive therapy. ;)
So yeah, I've not mentioned a lot about my food/self-image/obesity issues, but they exist. Fibromyalgia is not the only reason for my obesity. I have a really fucked up relationship with food. I feel guilty every time I eat. So I try to hide my eating, which makes me feel guiltier, which leads into a really shitty cycle.
Eating in public? Oh boy. Yeah. I can feel those judging eyes on me EVERY TIME. I wish it was all in my head, but I've heard and overheard enough to know it's not, in fact, only in the noggin. People see a fat chick eating a salad "HA, who is she kidding?" Eating a burger "Geez, eat a salad!" There's no winning. No matter where you are, people think it's okay to give you advice. Being fat means you NEED their sage wisdom, even if they don't know what the fuck they're talking about.
Portion control. I fucking hate that phrase. "Oh, sweetie, you can lose that weight in NO time if you just exercise portion control!" Oh, really? So portion control is going to fix my chronic pain disorder? Portion control is going to fix the childhood experiences that taught me that eating is bad? Portion control is going to fix my crippling mental illnesses? Really? Tell me more, guru, tell me more!
I'm a fast and binge girl. I've mostly (sort of, somewhat) got the fasting part under control, but the bingeing I'm still working on. A lot of people seem to think that when I say "fast and binge" I mean that I fast until hunger overwhelms me and then binge. This is not, in fact, the case. I'm saying "in fact" a lot...whatthefuckever. No, I fast when I feel guilty. If I fast long enough it releases DELIGHTFUL endorphins in the brain (at least in my case), this is why it's a hard thing to stop doing. It really screwed up my body too. It's only recently that I've been able to recognize signals that my body is hungry. This is progress. And leads into the whole reason I'm on my blog right now.
Shut up stomach, there is no way that the growling you are letting lose has ANYTHING to do with actual hunger. I keep feeding you!
Ahem. Yes. So. The connection that would let my brain and body know "Hey! You haven't given me enough fuel to get through this day, could we get some now?" has been an issue for me. I could go a full day and simply forget to eat. At one point I could go a couple days before the fasting euphoria kicked in (while it was intentional during a brief period of my youth, it became something that just...happened) and reminded me that I hadn't eaten. I would also go through periods where the very thought of eating made me nauseous.
Comfort eating. It's a problem. When I'm going through emotional periods that I can't seem to handle, my brain and body decide that I need to eat. Like... A LOT. It's kind of a compulsion and it is INCREDIBLY hard not to eat. For a few reasons. Reason the first: It actually DOES help my emotional state (though when the food guilt kicks in it doesn't help my mental health any). Reason the second: My body and brain work in concert. Where normally I might not recognize hunger, in these cases my stomach will start growling like I haven't fed it in daaaaaaays. I forget what i was going to say for Reason the third because I'm fucking TIRED.
Sometimes comfort eating is easy. When it's easy my brain will clue me in to what it wants "FEED ME CHEESY MAC AND CHEESE OF THE CHEESIEST VARIETY" it might say. So I go and get a big old bowl of mac and cheese and the craving is (usually) satisfied. If I'm REALLY lucky it happens early in the day and i can make a little extra effort to burn the calories off, and getting said calories is more convenient.
Then there's moments right now. Where my stomach won't stop growling and my brain says "FEED ME ALL THE THINGS" and that it will figure out what it was that it wanted later. It's almost midnight. I'm lying in bed in my nightshirt. It's cold out. I can't go make something in the kitchen because everyone's going to bed. And there isn't anything that can be quickly and quietly made. We've got ingredients, that's it. I don't really have any money to spare, and even if I did (and I would find a way to spare it) I wouldn't know what to get. I've eaten myself sick in situations like this. Because my body and brain just kept demanding more food and I became distraught. Admittedly, it's only happened a couple of times, but it HAS happened. If I knew what would satisfy this comfort food craving I would get it. Pie? There's a Shari's ten minutes away. Heck, the Shari's could satisfy a bunch of possible cravings. But it's almost midnight. I'm tired. I'm too tired to drive aimlessly around in an area that shuts down early in the vain hope that I'll figure out what my brain wants. I'm too tired to go buy a meal at Shari's that I can't really afford to comfort a vague craving for SOMETHING.
This is why I periodically stock up on convenience food. Because my brain tends towards certain cravings. Cheese. Cheese makes my brain very happy. So if I keep mac and cheese stashed I'm GENERALLY good. But sometimes I'm not, and if I make mac and cheese I'll only be able to stare at it in disgust. So then I make sure I have some Spaghetti-Os. I don't usually eat them because they give me indigestion (as a general rule), but when i'm craving them I have to have them. I'll get the snack sized chocolate bars. Pressed fruit bars. Pudding. I'll have these little stashes I feel vaguely guilty about, but that keep me from gorging myself when the situation arises. Except for when i'm pretty much out and the situation arises at late-as-fuck-thirty.
I'm hungry. Or at least my brain and body seem to think I am in the face of evidence :/.

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