I've been around the blog world about 3 years now. Needless to say, I've learned a lot. We are all so different in so many ways, and at the same time, we also have a lot in common. I've read I don't how many times on different blogs about how calorie restriction leads to bingeing. I wasn't sure if I agreed or not...I don't guess I had really paid attention to whether it was true for me or not. I know it isn't true for some people...like Sean Anderson.
Sean started at 505 lbs. Finally decided to get serious about losing his weight once and for all, set a calorie cap of 1500 cals and whatever exercise he was able to do...and just kept going. He never looked back. He reached his goal weight, wrote a book about it, and is still maintaining quite nicely. I met Sean online very soon after I started blogging 3 years ago and consider him a good friend. I've followed his journey pretty closely and after restricting his calories to 1500/day...bingeing never became a problem for him.
I've followed a lot of other blogs, too, though...and I'd say that's not true for the masses. I have found that way more people end up bingeing at some point after restricting for some amount of time. Some do it infrequently, and some seem to only make it a week or two with restricting, then binge, get back on track, and a couple of weeks later they're bingeing again.
The guilt, remorse and feelings of failure go without saying. All anyone wants is to break the cycle. Lose the weight, stop the bingeing, and just be NORMAL. But how do you do that?
I really don't know. I've spent the last couple of weeks thinking about this, and I truly can't come up with the answer. I've only been doing Chris' challenge for 2 weeks...capping at 1500 calories, and I've noticed that I've had binge thoughts 3 days already. I haven't given into those thoughts, but I've really been paying attention to them. It's unbelievable how strong they are. It's almost....almost...like you don't have any control over your own actions. Now of course, we all have a choice, me included...and so far I've won out over the binge. But it's damn aggravating to be wholly consumed with those thoughts that, if you give in to them, will do nothing but harm you and set you back. They are obsessive and controlling, and if I may say so...EVIL.
Some seem to struggle with them way more often than others. I wonder why. And some react differently after they give into a binge than others. Some will wallow in it for days, with the binge going past 24 hours, and covering a few days. Then they'll lament over what a failure they are and maybe there's just no hope for them. Others lose control, have a binge day, or maybe just a couple of hours, and when the sun comes up the next morning, they just forgive themselves and move on....right back on track with the calorie counting. I find this so interesting....these responses.
I don't really have a point to this post, I guess. Well, no solutions, rather. Just something I've been thinking about. I think food addiction is a lot like alcoholism. Once an addict, always an addict. Food being different though, in that you can't set it down and walk away forever. Wouldn't that be a dream! Somehow, us food addicts have to find a way to tame the binge monster, and manage our addictions so that we can learn how to eat as closely to NORMAL (there's that word again) as possible. Sean says we need to stop fighting the wrong battle. The battle isn't with food...it's with ourselves. He's absolutely right about that.
So...let the learning continue.