Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Therapy is Hard: Binge Eating Disorder?

I had my second therapy session today for my “weight issues”. My first appointment went well and I had just started my nutritional plan. I had high spirits, was hopeful, and felt very much in control at that time.

Fast forward about four months to today where I found myself sitting in therapy with a completely different mental state. I felt defeated, powerless, disappointed in myself, and out of control. I was desperate for help—I needed help and I knew it.

My original plan was to keep going to therapy, but one thing after another happened and here we are four months later. Previously, I didn’t feel like I needed help. I was in the “high” of weight loss where I was seeing results and able to stay on track.

But at the beginning of February, I found myself back into the cycle that I always seem to find myself whenever I start any weight loss program. I was spiraling out of control and I still haven’t stopped. As of this morning, I am 9 lbs. above my lowest weight.

It is so hard to talk about things that I feel so ashamed about, but I was honest and I told her what has been going on in my head and the actions I have been taking which have led to weight gain and the downward spiral out of control. I can remember having this behavior back to middle-school, although I did have a weight problem prior to this. It is humbling and embarrassing to talk about it, even though I know that this is what she specializes in.

We talked about Binge Eating Disorder. While I have sometimes wondered if I have this issue, today confirmed it for me. In situations that feel “out of control” to me, I turn to food because it is something that I can control. It’s a temporary fix for every problem. It takes my mind off of whatever is bothering me—as my therapist said, “to avoid feeling emotion”.

That’s huge to me because it’s an explanation for my behavior. It’s also frightening. In order to develop a healthy relationship with food, and to get my weight under control, I will have to change the habits that I have developed over the years.

This means that I will not be able to turn to food to get me through whatever emotions I’m having that I don’t want to feel. It means that I will have to deal with the emotions. It means I absolutely have to let go of that crutch if I truly want to change.

Can I do it? Am I strong enough to do it? Do I truly want to change?

My first thoughts are that of fear and shame. Afraid of the struggles that I might endure trying to change. Ashamed that this is even a struggle for me. Afraid that this is one more coal to the “crazy person” fire that I have blazing over here. Afraid to admit that I have a problem.

Binge Eating Disorder is along the same lines as substance abuse. It makes sense that I might have an issue such as this because one side of my family has a long line of alcoholics. Food may just be my drug of choice. Perhaps I’m predisposed to such behavior—I have no idea.

We worked on an action plan titled, “This is how I can stop automatic negative thoughts that cause negative behaviors”. Once again, we’re back to controlling my thoughts.

The good news is that I have successfully accomplished being aware of my thoughts when it comes to my role as a mother (i.e. not allowing negative thoughts to make myself think I’m an inadequate mother, etc.— related to postpartum depression). If I could accomplish that, I can certainly accomplish this—I hope.

I have a plan. It will take a lot of introspection and work on myself to overcome this—but I just have to. I cannot live like this. My weight and food take up too much space in my thoughts and life and I’m tired of it.

I read over an article my therapist gave me about Binge Eating Disorder and it described me to a T. I probably shouldn’t admit that I read this article while having a “mini-binge”—I definitely knew I was eating for emotional reasons and yet I don’t try to stop myself because I know it will make me feel better temporarily. It’s hard to admit that. But there it is.

Anyways, sorry for the rambling post. I am glad that I’m back into therapy and I’m ready to put in the work—despite how afraid I am. I plan on updating you all on my progress.

Do you have Binge Eating Disorder? How did you conquer it? What are you doing to fight it?

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