Cake Binge

I like food too much. I rely on sweets, cake in particular, wayyy too much. Cake is what I want when I feel down or have had a stressful day. Cake is what I want to celebrate reaching the end of something or accomplishing something difficult. Is it weird that the answer to everything, good or bad is cake? I want it even when I’m bored. Especially now that I’m watching my calories, I think about food constantly and the urge to binge on sweets of all kinds is really strong. If I hold out and don’t binge, the urge gets stronger, but if I give in and have a piece of cake, I’m afraid I wont be able to stop myself from eating the whole thing. Sometimes I wish I were one of those people who get sick from having too much sugar or dessert that’s too rich. I’m not though. My stomach can handle endless amounts of it.

I love cake

I wish there were more dessert restaurants around here. I think that would help me with portion control. I could go out, pay to have one piece of cake and be done with it. No leftovers to worry about. All the dessert restaurants have slowly closed since I’ve move here though, even the grocery store has stopped making my favourite little treat. It seems like the only way to get my fix is to buy a whole cake these days.

I know eating is addictive. Sugar especially, activates the same dopamine reward pathway in the brain as many addictive drugs. Low levels of serotonin and dopamine, as is the case in depression, can lead to compulsive behaviour, like a binge. The medications I am on are meant to increase dopamine and serotonin. When I don’t take my meds, I end up eating even more. Also, studies have shown that people with stress or anxiety are more prone to reward-seeking behaviour. They end up losing perspective, prioritizing the reward over the regret they’ll feel later. This is definitely me!

Why can’t I stop? I know binge eating is bad for my health and my appearance. Just knowing that should be enough to deter me, but it’s not. What would my fat say if it could talk? How is binge eating helping me? If I were eating for good reasons, what would they be? I know, it’s stupid. There are no good reasons for eating like this. Life would be better without fat and binges. The parts of life that would improve if I dropped to 120lbs are not the parts that keep eating cake. But, if I keep doing something, then there must be a benefit to it, otherwise there would be no reason to do it, right?

I don’t think I’ll be able to stop until I find out what my reason for eating is. What am I trying to fix by eating? Maybe I am trying to get more joy out of life. Eating is something I have to make time for anyway, so I eat junk hoping to fit more joy into my schedule. My time is precious and I feel like I have so much to do that I need to use my time wisely, be productive. Doing something simply for the joy of it is not an option. That’s selfish and inefficient. So I turn eating, something I have to do to survive, into something that gives me joy. This links back to sugar activating the dopamine pathway in the brain which creates the feeling of joy. It also creates the addiction, which just perpetuates the cycle.

Does this make sense at all? It would mean in order to stop eating so much I would have to find a different source of joy. What do you do to to bring yourself joy or make yourself feel rewarded?

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    Jun 04, 2014 @ 09:20:09

    I am in no place to offer advice about this kind of thing, but at least you are recognizing it, which is a big step. ((hugs))

    Reply

  2. weebluebirdie
    Jun 04, 2014 @ 09:56:59

    With you on this one too, though I don’t have any answers either. I add into the mix that I ought to know better because I have family history of cancer,diabetes and heart problems. I have a medical condition which can contribute to this cycle of craving the sugary foods. And I never give myself enough sleep, so the cortisol and sugary cravings kick in then too. I convince myself that all the chocolate and biscuits are balanced out by a fairly good fruit and veg intake, and a lack of smoking and alcohol. But my body can’t hold out forever. Does it come back to the chemical imbalances of depression?

    Reply

    • somberscribbler
      Jun 05, 2014 @ 09:30:09

      I think the chemical imbalances of depression have a lot to do with it, for me at least. I binge even more when I don’t take my meds, so there’s definitely an influence there.

      Reply

  3. rosewiltshire
    Jun 04, 2014 @ 13:11:13

    What you’re saying makes perfect sense to me. Basically describing my life for the past four months. That picture is basically my thoughts mixed in with the OCD ones. I’ve been bingeing on ice cream and cake myself. It blunts the pain. Feels like you’re giving yourself a hug but the consequences aren’t great.
    Currently giving running another go to see if runners high can take away the hit I get from eating in that way.

    Reply

    • somberscribbler
      Jun 05, 2014 @ 09:32:01

      It is like giving yourself a big comforting hug! I’ve been running too. It does give me a high and makes me want a nice healthy smoothie for breakfast after the run. That wears off my lunch time though 😦
      I hope running is doing you good.

      Reply

  4. Susie Staplehurst (@DragonSusie)
    Jun 04, 2014 @ 14:49:13

    I tend to binge on chocolate when I’m unhappy, for the same reasons. Although I do have other ways to give myself that “reward” response. I guess I’m quite lucky in that I play an instrument, so I have a specific tune that I play when I’m feeling unhappy. Doing as some others do and listening to specific songs, singing along, that can also help those reward receptors, give you that kick you need. But, if you do need to go to the food, make sure you’re eating healthily otherwise for a start, then don’t beat yourself up about it. The guiltier you feel about it, the more likely you are to binge more as a way of “punishing” yourself, too.

    Reply

    • somberscribbler
      Jun 05, 2014 @ 09:34:09

      I have tried to listen to my old favourites and sing along when I feel down. Sometimes it works, sometimes I feel like I’m faking it. I’ve been trying to eat something healthy every time the urge to binge gets strong…I’m getting really sick of grapes and pickles, lol.

      Reply

  5. dkatiepowellart
    Jun 05, 2014 @ 14:35:30

    My personal favorite is Barbara’s hot peppery cheesepuffs.
    But I do have a recommendation. I was a yoyo dieter, and mirrored your feelings exactly. I discovered Geneen Roth’s books on Eating disorders, and followed the recovery plan (early ones, I don’t know about the later books.) I stopped dieting (terrifying) and got to the point where I could eat what I wanted in moderation, and even craved healthy. I stopped being obsessive. I stayed a a healthy and attractive weight for 20 years — until a medical condition set me up to gain through non-movement, and now I am trying to get back to where I was through the same program and through physical therapy. I HIGHLY recommend. Changed my life.

    Reply

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