Don’t Find Yourself Here: Bingeing

I’ve written around this topic many times before. I rarely talk openly about my experience binge eating because it’s ugly. I’d rather hold it at distance. But this week when I sat down to write on the prompt Don’t find yourself here, bingeing showed up. While I do not binge often now, for over a decade binge eating and its attendant shame and guilt was routine. When my daughter was born I started praying for a right attitude about my body and food. I still say to God, give me a right appetite. I know that it is easy to settle for lesser satisfaction. An excerpt from my WP:

I eat myself empty, standing at the kitchen sink with a wedge of my husband’s birthday cake, tasting the pinch of sea salt in the icing. I swallow, cut another thin slice. I could eat it all like this, one lady’s helping at a time, but I don’t. I am not doing this again.

I do not binge often now, but when I do, I decide that this is it, I am not bingeing again.

I started binge eating in middle school. If my family noticed, no one said. In high school, running became an excellent counter to eating a pound of M&Ms in the photography dark room. When I went away to college, bingeing became routine. I tried to purge but my stomach wouldn’t open to the toilet bowl. I knelt in my dorm bathroom, sweaty, my belly churning half-chewed food.

There is nothing glamorous about bingeing. Your jaw hurts. Your tongue quits tasting. Your stomach roils. The very act of cramming your mouth full when your stomach is already too full: bingeing speaks to an ignored, other hunger.

During early marriage, I named it secret eating, the empty Cheetos bag hidden under kitchen waste. I prepared dinner and ate as if hungry.

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