“I’ve never fallen off a horse.” – said No Rider Ever
Day 6 & 7: The Binge
It’s a Friday night and I go out to dinner with my mom and two friends from work. At the Mexican restaurant, I order chorizo and eggs, no tortilla, no rice, no beans.
When my plate arrives, it’s not enough food, barely more than an appetizer. When I’ve finished, the waiter comes back, asks if I want another serving and I decline.
“No, thank you,” I say, figuring I’ll be okay.
I’m not okay. I’m hungry.
We pay the bill and head to the theater in separate cars. I stop by a liquor store and buy a large bag of zero-carb pork skins, thinking I can supplement my mini-dinner with some extra Keto-friendly food. I eat a serving, twist the bag closed, and toss it into the back seat.
And then the obsession starts. I don’t do well with half-eaten bags of anything.
That bag of pork skins is all I can think about during the play: Should I eat more? No, don’t. Should I just throw it away? Yes, absolutely. But I paid money for it! Just get rid of it. No!
After the play, I say my goodbyes, head to my car, and tear into the rest of the port skins the minute I shut the door.
I shove the rest of the skins into my mouth on the drive home. The binge is on. I stop at a grocery home and load up on low-carb binge foods: Cool Whip, more pork skins, cheese, cream cheese.
I eat late into the night, finishing everything that I’ve bought and raiding what’s in my own refrigerator. Past midnight, I collapse into bed, still in my work clothes, and wake the next day around mid-morning, greasy skin and smeared mascara. I am filled with shame and self-loathing.
I did it again.
Although it’s a beautiful Southern California Saturday, I never leave my apartment. Instead I binge the entire day, sticking to low-carb choices with the exception of cranberries and a bowl of oat bran.
I cancel my social plans and eat until I pass out, still in my work clothes, although I have managed to wash my face and brush my teeth somewhere during the day.
What the hell happened?
Looking back, I’m trying to figure out what happened so I can learn from it.
First trigger: I was hungry. I have a very, very hard time tolerating hunger. For some reason I panic, thinking I’ll never eat again, or I’ll starve to death. This fear is irrational, but that doesn’t matter – it’s a fear that needs to be honored.
When that waiter asked if I wanted more food, I should have said, “Why, yes. Yes I do.”
Second trigger: I let myself eat binge food thinking that this time it would be different.
The truth is that I have a long history of Friday night binges and me going into a liquor store late at night to buy junk food was a binge waiting to happen.
And when I binge, I go big and I don’t go home. I don’t fall off the horse – I jump the fuck off the horse.
I have never, ever, ever in my entire life been able to have a single portion of junk food.
Third trigger: I had been doing so well. Ah, the fear of success rearing its head again.
There’s something both horrifying and comforting about living in the binge cycle. Staying stuck in the food means I don’t have to be responsible, or do anything. I don’t have to show up for life. I can binge and sleep and let another weekend, another month, another year go by.
Moving forward: It was a bad night, not the end of the world. My plan is to learn from it and move on. No more pork skins, no more liquor stores, no more not eating enough for dinner.
I remain committed to my Keto lifestyle and have already gotten back on the horse.
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