Binge, a word that, at one point referred only to the over-consumption of alcohol, has come to mean many things to many different people. It seems to have become a universal buzz word for the psychological community–for every addiction, there is a binge: gambling, sex, drugs, alcohol and, of course, food.
Oh! To be addicted to something to the extent that it consumes your every waking thought, infects the metaphors of your dreams, squelches true emotion with its sensory stimulants, and, inevitably, leaves you physically ill and emotionally scarred. No wonder Borders has an entire section for self-help books peddling techniques spanning from hospitalization to meditation.
And, as we’ve all heard several times, if self-help books are a country, diet books are their presidents, complete with scandals, gimmicks, unfulfilled promises and a huge paycheck. What cosmic irony that the populace continues to trust in these books just as it continues to believe the next political figure will save the world. Losing weight and saving the world: two things, I for one, will never master.
But there is a reason these books sell so well: they promise health, happiness, a life free of food addiction. Even the thought of such a life makes me want to run to the store and buy every diet book on the shelf. Unfortunately, I’m almost positive it would do nothing more for me than add debt to my ever-growing list of problems.
There is no book that will undo yesterday’s food binge; no diet plan that will make the pain go away; no photoshopped, washboard-abs laden exercise pundit that will make me hate myself any less. These things, like the promises of the politicians we elect, take time, effort, and, the one thing I find hardest, forgiveness.
I am not a religious person and I never will be, but I will spend my entire life attempting to have enough serenity to accept what is–what will not change–and to forgive myself for the past.
Questions to ponder:
- Do you ever indulge in behavior that would be considered “bingeing” (of any sort)? If so, how often?
- How do you moderate the consequences of the behavior?
- How do you deal with the emotions you have the day after a binge (no matter what your addiction)? How do you separate the physical/tangible consequences from the emotional/mental?
- What do you feel is the most important component of “recovering” from binge behavior?