Friday, March 11, 2016

Breaking Binge: Just the beginning

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m driving my daughter and her friend to gymnastics practice as usual. The entire drive I’m thinking about how much I want to eat something. I want ice cream or chocolate or candy or cookies. Or all of it. And yet I don’t want it. I pull up in front of the gym and the girls pile out. I say a distracted good-bye and head back down the road. I try to resist, but I turn in the direction of town rather than taking the back roads home. If I go through town I can stop at a store and buy something. My brain is on Walmart, but I don’t have time for a ‘normal sized’ binge—I have to buy it, drive home, eat it, and hide the evidence before my husband gets home. Instead, I turn my mind to Walgreens. I can quickly pop in and grab some boxes of candy (they are 4 for $4 after all, don’t want to waste money by purchasing only one). But, really, I don’t want to. I’m gripping the steering wheel with both hands, forcing myself to keep driving straight. I feel the first tear fall as I pass the turn for both Walmart and Walgreens.

I’m crying because it shouldn’t be this hard to not buy something I don’t even want.

I make it home and binging is still on my mind. I think about how I might have time to run down to CVS, which is closer, and still get something. Instead, I grab a protein bar in the hopes that it will curb the craving. It doesn’t help. It’s all that’s on my mind, and I’m practically shaking. I’m consumed with conflicting and hurtful thoughts.

I want it.
I don’t want it.
Why is it so hard?
Why can’t I be stronger than this?

I’m exhausted from thinking about it all the time. I’m exhausted from fighting so hard just to control it. It’s consuming me and I have no control.

That was me on the Friday before Valentine’s Day. I had just been through a three-day heavy binge eating episode. I wanted to stop, but couldn’t find the way out. Over the past year, my average no-binge stretch has been four days. And even on the days that I wasn’t binging, I was eating something I didn’t want to be eating because I knew it hindered my progress. In fact, I was starting to feel/see some of my hard earned progress slip away, and it was killing me. It was taking all my energy just to remain positive.

Welcome to the life of a binge eater.

For those of you who have never been through the pull of a binge, the best way I can describe it is that it’s like an intense itch. Im talking the kind of itch youd get from poison ivy, not from a bug bite. When a binge craving hits, it’s all you can think about. Its an all-consuming itch. You know you’re not supposed to scratch, yet if you do you know there will be instant relief.

I’ve been going through this a long time. I’m battle scarred and exhausted. I keep trying to push forward, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep up the fight. I’m constantly looking for another way to get ahead of it. But the thing is, most of the ‘help’ out there makes the assumption that a binge craving is like any other craving. That’s like saying poison ivy is the same as a mosquito bite. That I can just rub a bit of Calamine on it and problem solved.

If you look up ways to stop binges, you’ll get a list of suggestions that include:
  • get counseling (did that, didn’t help)
  • eat the right foods (done this in many different ways, but it never helps for long)
  • stay busy (umm... doesn’t help)
  • eat only when hungry (myself, and other bingers I’ve talked to, don’t binge when hungry)
  • use a distraction such as chewing gum or ice (nope, doesn’t work)
  • drink a lot of water when a craving hits (all this does is make me feel sicker than normal after I finish binging)
  • emotional corrections, such as focusing on health and not weight and learning to identify triggers (agree and it has helped me stop the emotional F-bombs, but it’s not strong enough to actually stop the binging long-term)

Why hasnt any of this sound advice worked for me? They all miss one very important factor—I’M NOT IN CONTROL!

My monster is, and he seems to be a lot bigger and stronger than I am. All those techniques listed above (and the myriad of those I didn’t list) don’t work for a hard-core craving.

Let me repeat and bold that—they don’t work for a hard-core craving.

I’m usually not so specific on things because I know not everyone is the same. One of you reading this might be able to say, “But eating healthy works, it did for me!” And that’s great, but I’m going to be blunt here and say that your craving might have been in the bug bite range rather than the poison ivy range. It’s not that I’m saying one is more valid than the other, it’s just that there are too many articles out there telling the binger that they just need to ‘work harder’ to get things under control. But there are not enough articles out there letting the binger know that they are not in control and they need to keep searching for the right tool that will help them regain that control.

The reminder that I’m not in control is what keeps me moving forward and about the only thing that stops me from lighting up all my emotional F-Bombs. It gives me the ability to remind myself that this time I don’t want to quit. So I dust myself off, patch up my wounds, and find a way to get back on my feet.

I’ve been searching for new ways, and I’ve finally found something that is working for me. I’m going to tell you about it with the most sincere hope that it helps you too (for those that need help in this area).

I was scrolling through Pinterest when I saw this pin:

Um, sure. Like it’s that simple.

Despite my disbelief, I clicked on the link and read the article. To summarize the author of the post described how she used Dill Oil to curb cravings that sounded very similar to mine. Now, I’ve used a few Essential Oils, but mostly in diffusing them at night. I do believe that they can sort of work, but I’m not some kind of ‘oil pusher’. Sorry if that sounds bad—I don’t mean for it to, but I’m just trying to make the point that I was skeptical. I mean, really skeptical because I think this lady is a distributor for one of the popular oil brands. It sounded a bit like a late-night infomercial. And we all know that those never rarely work the way they promise.

But I’m desperate and it seemed simple enough to try. Could I really stop my binging just by rubbing some Dill Oil on my wrists each day? I wasn’t sure but decided to find out.

I know some people who sell the Young Living essential oils, so I ordered it up and mixed together a roller bottle with a 1-1 mix of Dill Oil and a carrier oil. I started applying it on Thursday, February 25, 2016. The results so far...

I have not binged AT ALL since I started using the Dill Oil!!!!

Can I get a Woot-Woot!!

I know it may not sound like a long time, but it’s the longest I’ve gone without a binge in over a year. I can’t believe how different I feel, and the change was almost instantaneous. Suddenly, my thoughts weren’t consumed by food. I wouldn’t say that the cravings have magically vanished completely, but the Dill Oil dulls the craving enough for me to be the one in control. When something does ‘sound good’ I can use one of those distraction techniques listed above until it’s gone. In addition, when I do eat something sweet it tastes so much sweeter than it did before I started using the Dill Oil. This past Fun Day I decided to test it a bit. I went to the store and purchased one box of the candy I would typically binge on. I could barely make it through the box it was so sweet.

The only way to describe it is that I feel FREE!  I feel as though I actually have a chance to remain in control.

I don’t think the Dill Oil is a cure all, but so far it’s turned out to be the tool that helps keep me in control rather than my monster. I also have something else queued up that starts later this month as I fear there may still be times when I’ll resort to old behaviors and use my binging as an emotional crutch (such as when I’m really stressed). I’ll keep you informed of my progress once that program has been underway for a bit.

If you binge or have intense cravings that you can’t seem to control, Dill Oil is an inexpensive thing to try. But read the article I linked above first (or do additional research) because Dill Oil is not safe for everyone to use (such as those with epilepsy or who are pregnant). If you don’t know someone who sells Essential Oils, you can private message me for a referral.

If the Dill Oil isn’t for you or doesn’t work, then I hope you find the endurance to keep trying until you find something that does work. This experience has taught me that a spectrum exists, and if you can get the craving down from the poison ivy level to at least a bug bite then you’ve got a chance with an additional support structure! FXB has helped me recover much more quickly than I would have in the past. In just these 15 days I
ve already lost all the weight Id put on these last few months from my out of control binging. Pre-FXB it would have taken me months to get it back off.

Oh, and in addition to feeling free, I finally feel like ME again. It’s been a long time, and it feels great! I thought I'd leave you with my horoscope from one week after I started using the Dill Oil. I have to say that it's eerily accurate!

~ Carrie

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