I’ve been bingeing since freshman year in college. I was away from home and could finally eat whatever I wanted so I did. I ate nachos loaded with sour cream and cheese late at night. I ate giant cookies from Dunkin Donuts a half dozen at a time. I went to Boston College in the mid 90s and we had all these restaurant franchises right in our cafeteria. Halfway through the year I stopped eating in public and only ate in the confines of my room.
It wasn’t until last year that I accepted that I had an eating disorder. My therapist at the time said that binge eating disorder had nothing to do with willpower. It wasn’t as simple as just not eating bad foods. It was and is still hard to accept that I have an eating disorder. The words conjure up images of stick thin girls who only consume 200 calories a day. It didn’t apply to big fat me.
Recently, I left my own apartment in State College, PA and moved into my mom’s basement. My sister, brother in law and their three kids live upstairs. My sister is also trying to lose weight so she cooks all healthy meals. Philly is not like State College where I could order food with a few clicks of the mouse. So I’ve lost weight here and I think I fooled myself into believing that I had left my binge eating disorder behind me. Then, about two weeks ago, I discovered the Burger King up the street.
Years ago, when I was living with my parents in Massachusetts and off my medication I use to eat dinner at Burger King every night. I would go through the drive thru and order a whopper with cheese meal with a hershey sundae pie for dessert. Two weeks ago we had a fend for yourself for dinner night. I drove up the street to a Burger King that I had discovered on my way home from school. I had a whopper with cheese meal and realized how good they were and soon I was hooked again.
Coincidentally, I was also off my meds again although not intentionally. I had simply run out and was having a hard time getting to the pharmacy. I now realize that I had unwittingly made myself vulnerable to bingeing.
It was a total of four times. Four times I waited until everyone was asleep upstairs and then snuck out the basement door. Four times I drove down to Burger King and purchased a 1300 calorie meal. Four times I feared that I would return home to find my sister waiting for men, angry and upset.
The last time, which I vowed was my last, I bought a California whopper, a whopper jr., onion rings, fries and a hershey sundae pie. I wasn’t even hungry. I ate all the food in one sitting and spent the next day lethargic and bloated.
If I truly want my life to be different I need to do two things: 1. I need to keep taking my meds. 2. I need to seek help for my eating disorder.