I’ve been thinking a lot about overeating lately. (Wonder why!) And an astute comment on another blog made me curious how others view the act.
For me personally, overeating is quite simply eating more than I should.
In the past, I might have overeaten at a meal. To the point of feeling uncomfortably full when I left the table. Or I might have overeaten with an amazing variety of junk food, usually including chocolate, and likely alternating between sweet and salty. Or my overeating might have been a strange combination of whatever food I could find in the house.
Since my new lifestyle-change-last-diet-ever, overeating has a different look to it. A new flavor. I overeat what would typically be considered diet-friendly foods. And I got to thinking that some people might look at that and scoff, thinking that doesn’t compare to the damage done with junk food and fast food and the like. Probably true. But for someone trying to turn her eating around for good, any overeating at all is a red flag and a bad thing. Overeating is overeating.
My overeating is accompanied by emotions that are surely what many feel, regardless of the food ingested. Let’s see… disgust, self-loathing, regret, dismay, frustration, disbelief… you may know the list as well as I do. Even if emotions seemingly did not lead to the binge, they rear up during and after. It does not matter to me if I ate four whole grain bagels or four brownies. Okay, maybe that does matter. But I still propose that the act itself is key here, not the food choices. So while I could pat myself on the back for not getting into my son’s chocolate fudge Pop Tarts on my last little binge, I won’t. Because for me… a binge is a binge is a binge.
I would like to evolve to a healthy relationship with food. To me, that means eating when I am physically hungry and not eating when I am not. And, of course, it means making the right choices with the foods I eat. And the foods I don’t eat. Some days I think I am almost there. But then I slip and realize that I am just hanging on with fleeting willpower and self-control and somewhere underneath it all is still the old me… the one who eats when she is not hungry and eats more than she wants and does it all despite knowing she will regret it. Fortunately, the old me shows up less and less often now and the new me hangs around most of the time.
For me, after years of yo-yo dieting, it is not enough to lose weight and have a nice number on the scale. I want need to put overeating behind me. I don’t know why I do what I do. Yes, there have been some trigger foods and trigger activities that I now recognize. But I wonder if there is more to it for me. I know this is a learning process and I recognize that I am indeed slowly learning. But some days I just want to go straight to the graduation ceremony and declare myself done!