Sunday, June 5, 2011
What is a binge, really?
So I was thinking earlier today about the concept of bingeing. When I was a bulimic (in high school), my binges were pretty standard for the DSM definition. I would eat a ridiculous amount of food in one sitting (i.e. whole quart of ice cream, a box of cereal, and a pan of brownies) and then purge (or use laxatives, or fast, or whatever). But when I had my relapse last spring, a binge for me was quite different. If I hadn't been eating much that day, a binge would be if I ate too much corn at dinner, or if I had over 300 calories in one sitting, or if I ate chocolate. It's interesting how the concept of bingeing is so different at different times.
I was thinking about this because, as you might have noticed, I have a thing on the side of my blog page that says how long it's been since I last binged. Right now it's at 10 months. And sometimes I feel guilty, because I feel like I have been bingeing, yet the binge counter is staying at 10 months. But then I realized today that I haven't been bingeing at all. When I would binge in high school, I would feel completely out of control, like I couldn't stop eating. I would eat to feel better, to reward myself for something, any excuse. And I would feel incredibly guilty afterwards. Sometimes now, I eat more than I should. But there is no component of feeling out of control or feeling guilty. And that's how I know that it's not really a binge. So if I eat a whole bag of Cheetos, it wasn't a binge; I should just really watch how many Cheetos I'm eating next time.