Friday, January 30, 2015

Hello, my name is Leah and I am a binge eater.

I try to not be one, but I totally am.

I think that I have tried to accept this about myself in the past, but was never successful.

This is a part of my EDNOS now, and I need to treat it as such.  Because honestly, though I am super proud of myself for not giving into most disordered eating thoughts, there is still one that I actually do give into regularly.

Why do I not want to group binge eating with the other disordered behaviors?

Is there still a part of me that is more ashamed of overeating than of undereating, because one implies that I'm fat?

I am ashamed to admit that the answer to that question is YES. 

Binge eating disorder is just not as acceptable to me as anorexia or bulimia, or even just saying EDNOS.

But let's look at that last one, my diagnosis, more closely:

EDNOS.  E.D.N.O.S.  Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

This is the umbrella term used for those of us who don't fit neatly into one of the more specific eating disorders.  No two cases of EDNOS are the same.

And my own EDNOS has evolved over time. 

Originally, I was diagnosed in 2005 as having EDNOS because I behaved like an anorexic but was not underweight by BMI's standards (though you could see my hip bones and count all of my ribs, I wore a size 10-12 jeans and weighed 130 pounds - thus disproving BMI all by myself with my wide set hip bones, tiny wrists, and heavy muscles).

From 2007-2011, I was "recovered" from that part of my EDNOS, and moved on to a cycle of yo-yo dieting, trying to hold onto what I thought was my happy weight of 135, and failing miserably, but never returning to the starvation and over exercising techniques of my early EDNOS days.

In 2012, I had had enough, and decided that my happy weight was actually higher, more like 165, and that I needed to learn how to be an intuitive eater FOR REAL THIS TIME and move on with my life.

Then, of course, Mom died and I was suddenly trying desperately to stay at my new happy weight of 165, and once again failing miserably.  From 2012-2014, I gained and lost over 150 pounds (mostly gained though).  I couldn't really see a pattern of my EDNOS during these years, until now.

My EDNOS has taken a new deadly turn: binge eating disorder.

Yes, since Mom's death, I have had issues with binge eating.  First, it was emotional eating.  True emotional eating, which I actually think helped to save my life a little that first year, so I was not mad at myself for it.

After I gained, oh, about 80 pounds of grief weight, and at about the 2 year post-death mark, I started to actually rebuild my life.  I am a different person now, my life has changed dramatically, and I will never have the life that I used to have or be the person that I used to be again.  But though life stopped for Mom, I chose to remain living (yes, life is a choice, and suicide is an option).  I still choose life.  And I plan to continue choosing life for myself every day.

But just because my life was starting to normalize didn't mean that my binge eating stopped.  It wasn't emotional eating anymore, and it's more than just a bad habit for me because of my EDNOS.  It's full blown binge eating disorder. 

Now that I've realized that my EDNOS has crossed over into BED for the most part, with some slight differences, I can tackle this problem like I tackled the problem a decade ago:  Get professional help.

I have health insurance now, so I'm working on getting back on my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.  I will also begin to seriously research for a therapist that specializes in disordered eating, specifically EDNOS and/or BED, and possibly a nutritionist. 

I considered OA meetings, but after just a quick look at their site I found that it was way too religious.  What's an atheist overeater to do?  Go with science, I guess.  Therapy and nutrition it is.



Me said...

It's so good to see you blogging again! Hang in there. Life gets tough, but you are tougher! :) said...

Back when I was seemingly stuck in my binge eating phase I also looked at OA and decided against it because it just felt too unnatural to me to say that some higher power was the way out of overeating. So I can definitely relate to this. I also once struggled with a form of eating disorder that looked very closely like anorexia but didn't meet all the DSM criteria because I was still within a normal bmi, being 5'4 and weighing 120-125lb but only consuming 1200 calories per day and exercising for 2 hours a day. I feel like I really don't know what my happy weight is, or maybe that one doesn't even exist for me at all. When I first got pregnant I weighed 160lb. I gained 20lb within the first 16 weeks because I was so incredibly sick and needed to eat every 3 hours to try to keep the nausea at bay (and by eating I mean the "3 B's" Bagels, Beefaroni and Blizzards. It was initially really hard for me to accept but with the agreeance of my midwife I stopped weighing myself. All my other numbers check out (blood pressure, blood sugars, measuring my uterus height every week) and I'm still being active and eating healthy (a far cry fr my first trimester). I don't really know the point of this comment. Maybe just to say I appreciate and relate to you and that maybe you should focus on the other numbers as well to get a better perspective of where your health truly is? But if that's triggering to you then never mind :) either way, thank you for still writing and sharing. Your a brave and strong woman.