Disclaimer: This is a binge story. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a recovering emotional eater and binge eater. Here’s a story of what can happen when you’re fighting off a binge.
While I was able to fend it off, I decided to chronicle how it happened this weekend. And, how I worked through it. I can’t say it always works this way… but I’m thankful this one worked out.
After an amazing 2015, I’ve taken it easy as 2016’s begun.
I loved having an extra day off for the New Year’s holiday, and I spent time organizing and cleaning, while, of course, putting away all the Christmas decorations. Because multiple Target runs don’t even phase me, I decided I *needed* another plastic tote to store my memorabilia from my last job and headed out to Target.
My local Target is a SuperTarget (and extra awesome as a result.) I added a few other grocery-related items to my list, and planned to prepare a buffalo chicken salad for dinner. Chapstick, packing tape, lamp shade, and a few groceries later… I left my favorite store.
As soon as I walked to the car, I spotted Popeye’s in the distance. It shares a parking lot with my Target. I’ve never been there, but Liz has posted about how great their grilled blackened chicken strips were. Suddenly, my mind started to wander. If I went to Popeye’s, I could eat now. I could pair the chicken with green beans and maybe a fresh salad. Moments later, I was in the drive thru, but I didn’t see the chicken on the menu. I asked through the speaker, and was told that it wasn’t something they served. A blessing in disguise, of course.
My hunger not satisfied with the fact that this wasn’t available, I spotted Qdoba next- – Should I have tacos? – – and Panda Express – – If only their drive thru weren’t full. In that moment, I checked back into reality and reminded myself that I should just go home and cook dinner.
Target is about 3 miles from my house. During the drive there, my mind continued to calculate other options. It’s brutal when I’m in this state of mind. As though I’m on a mission to eat something not part of my plan. In my head, I somehow decided that I needed a “snack”… something I could eat immediately. And, I convinced myself that I needed to go to the grocery store to get tomatoes and cucumbers for the salad I was making.
As I approached the grocery store, I came across Chipotle, Subway, Taco Bell.. so many other options. I headed right to the grocery store and picked up the veggies. Thankfully, there was nothing snack-sized and tempting lying about at Safeway tonight… I did spot some cake balls in the frozen section (gasp!) but I can resist over-the-top things like that. I walked to the car… still with intense “hunger” and trying to remember that I also bought some sliced peppers to eat as soon as I got home.
When it comes to a binge, I want to eat IMMEDIATELY and in most cases, it doesn’t really quench the hunger. It’s more about feeding that urge to eat, and it’s very hard to feel full along the way.
Not going to lie, I did circle the parking lot before I headed home… Jimmy Johns sounded like a good “freaky fast” option and even had a moment where I was craving ketchup and considers Burger King (I mean, who eats Burger King?), but talked myself out of it all pretty quickly and headed home. I saw Noodles in my rear view mirror, but kept going.
When I got home, I got the chicken tenders going, and then I tore into the peppers with some light ranch dip. I mean, peppers are not bad to eat… but I probably ate a whole pepper in mere minutes. Sometimes, it is worth it to spend a little more to buy the pre-packaged, pre-sliced veggies… and I’m so glad bought them that night.
It bought me time until my dinner was ready… and frankly, reminded me of how much I love fresh veggies. I’m fine with binging on vegetables. And the incident that night reminds me that I need to keep them on-hand. Not to say that I’ll reach for them the every time binging comes to mine, but I’d rather have them in the fridge than not.
Dinner turned out to be just what I needed and incredibly satisfying… for multiple reasons.
- I made a healthier buffalo chicken salad: Crispy, spicy tenders with light ranch dressing. So reminiscent of something I shouldn’t be eating, this dish was totally on my plan.
- There’s always a sense of peace when you make it through the urge to binge without today losing control. I very easily could have dined on orange chicken and fried rice from Panda or a burrito bowl from Chipotle. There were so many options that it could have been… but I resisted.
For this one night, I win. In reality, there will be many, many more nights like this. Some I will triumph, and others I may end up in a drive thru… but I’m proud I made it through that night. Damn proud.
Does this story sound familiar to you? Can you relate to the craziness of a binge eating episode?