I figure I might as well write about this tonight since the lovely extreme hunger hit me again today. For me, it's this unquenchable gut-roaring hunger that hits at night all the sudden. Soon thereafter I get this urge to eat everything in sight and even things I don't have. I get the urge to go to the store and buy loads and loads of sweets, cakes, and even foods I know I am allergic too and would make me sick and just consume them all. I wish I could say the cravings were "healthy" or "acceptable" foods, but to me they aren't. And sometimes...like tonight...I actually seriously think of just doing it...just to see what would happen if I "let myself go."
|It's not nice, but this is pretty much how I feel it goes sometimes. But I am the mean thing saying Fuck you and my body is saying....Please, Jess...please just listen.|
Tonight I went to my usual and irrational way of coping. I was in the middle of a snack when the hunger hit and so I did an oh-so-logical thing and stopped eating. I don't know what it is about it, but when I get this extreme hunger my first instinct is to stop eating...the complete opposite of what a "normal" person would do. But for me I have this whole idea that if I stop eating and slow down my pace of eating I can get the hunger to go away. I know this isn't the healthiest way to cope with the hunger, but I honestly don't know what else to do. Problem is the delay in one snack delays my others pushing my timing further and further back which (due to medications I take that must be taken certain time before and after meals) messes me up for the next day. And as much does in recovery slips days turns to weeks, weeks to months, and then you have a messed up timing pattern on your hands.
But I digress. I was thinking today as the hunger hit about what other options would be to cope with the hunger and what beliefs are holding me back. Here is what I got.
1. Continue eating at regular pace and stick with meal plan.
Belief: I am afraid if I keep with the regular pace and just keep with meal plan (which I finish regardless of the hunger anyway) that I will be left with no food and the hunger still being there. I know most people think anorexics want to feel hunger...but when I restricted...I never felt hunger...I felt nothing. In fact...hunger scares me more than fullness now. Hunger when I haven't made it be there by restricting or overexercising...it makes me feel out of control. It scares me to hear my body asking for more and to be faced with the decision of whether to give it more or not.
2. Give into the hunger and eat whatever I want, just to see what happens.
Belief: This scares me because I used to have binge eating disorder and my biggest fear is to go back to that place. I mean...in reality I don't think my "binge" from these episodes would be anywhere near my BED binges...but still it would scare me. It would mean a loss of control and to me it scares me to think what my body would do. What if I gained weight? That would scare me soo much...especially when I let my mind go off and tell me just how much it says I would gain. But what if I lost weight? I am scared this would give my mind an excuse to do the binging again even when the urge isn't there. But honestly...and as ashamed as I am to say it...I think had my weight not been up this morning...I would have seriously thought about doing it.
3. Keep on with timing and plan and if hunger still there than eat more.
Belief: This one just annoys me because I wouldn't know how much more to eat and get scared my body would trick me into eating more than I need. Again it comes down to complete distrust in my body and myself. It comes down to this belief that for some reason I am this out of control person that needs rules around feeding myself...something my body is designed to give me signals (like hunger) to control.
Again, I wish I had a dietitian at this point to tell me what is the right thing to do, because really I am not even sure. What I am doing with delaying meals...well I know that is definitely anorexia and needs to not happen next time (because I am sure there will be a next time) this happens. But then I don't know what to do. I guess I could keep with timing...but then what do I do if the hunger doesn't subside. I am left at a standstill....stuck between trusting my body or the structure of my meal plan. Which is better for me long-term? I know some dietitians have told me it would be good if I just let myself go once...just to see what it felt like...but that completely scares me. Yet...I also know at the low weight I am at now...it's the only time I will actually even think about doing it. So what do you do? Schedule a binge? This whole thing is so confusing...and it's all centered around a feeling most people know how to respond to: hunger. But when you are a recovering anorexic...and it's extreme hunger...it's not so easy to deal with.
So there it is. I broke the silence and shared my struggle. No big insights, and really no solutions. But I promise it's top of my list to talk to the new dietitian about this summer (two more weeks and counting). For now...I am just happy the hunger went away and can't wait to get in bed and sleep. I know again it's sad...but sleep helps me hide from the hunger. As you can see I am far from recovered..but recovery is a process. A process with ups and downs and scary situations just like this extreme hunger.
Are there any other secret struggles you think should be shared?