Leaving Fatville is a crazy woman attempting to be a full-time working mom, house chef, blogger, twitter addict and a budding fitness fanatic. She’s lost 60 lbs and is on the warparth to lose even more through mindful eating and moving more. She’s a blogger and also runs Great Clothing Exchange. She likes long hikes with her family and plotting for world domination. She’s just completed her first 5k in 18 years and has dreams of walking a 10k in February 2012 on the flattest course possible.
My fridge is filled with food.
It seems like such an innocuous statement. It even sounds like something good. Something happy.
For me, it would send me into uncontrollable panic.
I’d open the fridge and stare at it. I’d see all the food and be compelled to look at it over and over again. Then, the voices in my head would start.
It’s all going to spoil, you know. You *need* to eat it. What if something is gone before you get a chance to taste it?
It’s not going to last forever.
You’re going to run out and be hungry.
That last one used to give me the shakes. I’d just stand there and stare at the food. I’d think about how the fridge looked before I’d left the house for the grocery store. Suddenly, it would be all I could think about.
We’d run out of food. We were going to starve. We had to eat while we could. What if something happens? What if we waste it? What am I going to do if I don’t get to eat the food?
That’s when the eating would begin.
I wouldn’t even be hungry, I’d just want to taste everything. Just to make sure it would be okay for later, I’d tell myself. I’d eat a little of everything. All the fruit had to be sampled, then the veggies. The drinks would come next, any dry goods or snack-like things. I’d eat and eat and eat. Not because I was hungry, not because I needed to fuel my body. I’d do it because I wanted, no, I needed to eat the food before it went away.
When I started dieting, I’d count calories. It was a fast, easy method to doing things. I knew what I needed to do, and it taught me about food. I loved it for about a year. Soon, it started to feel restrictive. That full fridge and those calorie restrictions started to close in on me.
If I sample, I won’t be able to eat a real meal later. If I eat the stuff in the fridge I’m going to run out of calories for the week and then I’ll be hungry. I’m already so close to going over my limit, but what if I’m hungry?
(See a theme here?)
I thought I’d seek help with bingeing. I thought maybe it was certain foods that were causing this in me. A trigger food made sense. Surely, it’s the HFCS. I need to cut that out immediately. And the processed bread. Oh, and the snack food, too. All of those things left our house, but still the flop sweat came when I stood and stared into our full fridge after a grocery store trip.
It didn’t take long to realize the food wasn’t the trigger. It never was. It wasn’t even the calorie restriction.
It was fear. Fear of being hungry. I was so worried about not having *enough* to eat, that I would binge and eat it all the moment it got home from the store.
I would do it every week, without fail. Come home from the grocery store, stock the fridge, and then begin to eat everything I could see. Until now, I had no idea to stop it.
It was a such a simple solution staring me in the face. Eat when I am hungry. Food is not the enemy. Food is to be eaten when there’s hunger. Food is fuel. When I get hungry, I eat food. I eat good, natural whole food until I am full. Most importantly, I gave myself permission to eat. No restrictions, no calorie counts, and soon… no more hunger.
And there it was.
For the first time in my life, I’m staring at my full fridge. I’m not scared.