Penguin is gone.
I binged. This time I paid careful attention to every detail. Maybe if I lay out the horror that is a binge, I can stave off the next one.
Step one: The Urge. Sometimes it hits me like a punch to the solar plexus. This time it is a slow crawl. I am enjoying a pleasant Easter afternoon with my parents, dying eggs, enjoying my annual slice of fresh strawberry pie (an old family recipe - the only desert in existence worth every calorie), when my skin starts to crawl. I crave solitude, the need to hide. Lights in my head pop on, swirling with the craving to eat fat and cheese and salt and everythingbadforme.
Step two: It Builds. I sit, fidgeting on the couch. A token resistance is made, willpower straining. My dad turns on the tv, puts on a show I don't usually watch. It doesn't hold my attention. The dramatic scenes are lost on me - they look like children playing at being adult. I think, "If I can make it to the end of the episode, I can excuse myself politely. I can go to the store down the street. I can buy melty-cheese pizzas and creamy-sweet ice cream and..." I stop the line of thinking. My skin is pins and needles, it wants to rip off my body and fly away.
Step three: The Bargaining. I cannot buy binge food. I am more than broke. Vet bills have drained my bank account. I will not binge. I will go home, prepare a small bowl of quinoa stuffed bell pepper (crockpot meal - made with wholesome, whole-food ingredients). Maybe just a little cheese. I will be sick from eating dairy, but it will taste so good. I will eat this small bowl of food and be satisfied.
I will not binge.
I will not binge.
I will not binge.
The spiders under my skin, burrowing into my brain say different. I salivate. My tongue is too big for my mouth. I feel helpless.
Step four: It Begins. I arrive home. My roommate is gone. I am alone. The ED in me squeals with delight. My heart sinks. Sometimes Na can stave off a binge with her presence. I cannot eat in front of my fit little friend. The kitchen beckons. I feed the pups first. Every movement is careful. I want to rush. I want to scatter the kibble on the floor and be done. Instead I divide up their supplements. Carefully measure their food. Sprinkle the Cosquin on top. Place the bowls on the floor. Pup looks at me with soulful eyes. He asks for permission, I tell him, "Okay." He eats like me during a binge, with wild abandon, barely chewing, barely breathing. I wish I had someone to portion out my meals. Tell me when and what to eat. Control this aspect of my life.
I open the cupboards. Even in the chaos of a binge, my food choices are carefully planned. First, a snack. A handful of something carb-ie and bad for me: sugar-filled cereal. I prepare my first meal: a heaping bowl of quinoa. I start with just a little, then add more. And more. And more, until the food peeks above the rim. I add cheese, a handful then two more handfuls. It goes into the microwave. While the plate is spinning - electromagnetic waves melting cheese and heating grains - I reach for more food. A bite here and a bit there. My hands are in perpetual motion, moving food to mouth. Grab. Bite. Chew. Swallow.
I am full before my meal has finished cooking. That doesn't stop me. I spoon in mouthful after mouthful. My stomach hurts. I hurt. The food doesn't taste good. That doesn't matter. I keep eating. My ED is giggling and dancing, free at last.
Step five: It Ends. Somehow I stop eating. I don't know what triggers the end of a binge. The urge to eat doesn't go away. It just becomes manageable. I curl up on the couch. I feel sick. Everything hurts. My stomach is going to split open, spilling out my secrets and shame. I feel so gross. I want the food out of me. It sits in me like a burning weight. I wish I could purge. A voice whispers that I deserve to hurt. I deserve to be miserable. This is justifiable punishment.
Step six: The Aftermath. I lie in bed with a sour stomach. My insides feel like they will burst. Bile rises. I hate this. I hate myself. I am so weak.
Somehow I sleep. When I wake, I am still full. Some of the weight has moved from my stomach to my intestines. They feel inflamed, too big to fit inside me. I wish I could pull them out, cool them off in an ice bath, put them back when they are normal again.
I am lethargic during my workout. I'm not able to lift my normal amount of weight. I have to drop the number of reps. The nausea is overwhelming. The back of my throat burns with bile. I feel weak and gross.
I don't understand why I do this to myself. There is nothing enjoyable about a binge. Nothing. I can't do this anymore.
The next 30 days will be binge free. No excuses.