This December has been particularly unhealthy for me. I have managed a few short weights sessions (about once a week) which has probably helped save me a little. But in general, my diet has been terrible. December is a time when people generally eat and drink too much. And there’s been a lot of that. But aside from eating too much good food, I’ve also eaten way too much bad food.
On three separate occasions in about a week and a half, I ate two family sized cadbury dairy milk blocks (230gm each – Caramello and Whole Nut for those keeping track). That’s not about fun – that’s binge eating. That’s the kind of eating that you get to the last few pieces and you feel relieved that its almost gone. You don’t feel physically good after eating that much mid-range chocolate, and you don’t feel emotionally good after compulsively guzzling down piece after piece.
This is not to say I’m against a good fun indulgent binge. What I think started this was a night I really just wanted to snuggle up on the sofa, while the unseasonably cold and stormy weather raged outside, watching tv and eating chocolate. My parents sent my a lovely Australian care package with a bag of Darryl Lea liquorice – and I happily scoffed most of the bag in one sitting. That wasn’t compulsive eating – that was fun over-the-top indulgence that can’t be repeated easily as nowhere in the UK seems to stock that delicious liquorice! Oops getting off-topic…
Sugar is addictive. This is pretty well known – and this is a personal post so I’m not citing sources. It has been suggested its more addictive than cocaine. After my month of sugar highs and lows, I’d suggest its more akin to crack or meth. Its addictive, makes your body and emotions crave it up to and including the levels of opening a second block of chocolate while you are still finishing the last piece of the previous one.
Sugar, like the previously mentioned drug, also has an increasingly level of tolerance, something I’ve been reminded of. My regular chocolate treat is dark chocolate – 85% cocoa solids. I decided to start cutting back on the sugary chocolate but thought a cold-turkey approach might be too much. So I tried to have a small bar Monday – I couldn’t eat it! It was so bitter and I couldn’t taste any sweetness. The seemingly lack of sweetness meant I couldn’t appreciate the richness of the chocolate, it just wasn’t what I was now used to. Fortunately, I didn’t have any more sweet chocolate left so managed to keep the sugar out for the evening.
Of course, there must have been an emotional component to this. I have come off several busy and stressful months. And my desire to indulge the comfort eating aspect of nesting against the cold winter was a lot to do with how worn out I was. Was there more going on then I realised that comfort eating turning into compulsive binging was possible? I try to remember what I used to be like – did this kind of thing happen semi-regularly anyway? I know I have turned to food to feel good (even though we all know it doesn’t even work as temporarily as you’d hope) most of my life. Is the reason it feels like such a sudden drop into compulsiveness more to do with me normally feeling good over the last few years and less to do with this being such a severe depature from my entire life’s eating habits?
I had originally planned to just say fuck it and enjoy the rest of December with all the Christmassy treats and New Year indulgences. Then, after returning to work (not the first week – don’t be crazy!), go on a strict thirty day paleo/primal challenge to clean myself up. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like my body will let me. Aside from just the almost daily chocolate consumption, there’s also been an unusually excessive amount of pizza, white bread, pasta, cakes, desserts, crisps, icecream and other such foods. There has been a decent amount of good meals in amongst all thats – its not like I wake up and eat cheetos for breakfast! But this weekened I went to an all day event that included a good amount of drinking. It seems drinking wine for about eleven hours – even though I consumed probably about the glass for glass of water too – was a tipping point. Since sometime Saturday evening, I have now joined the wonderful world of GERD symptoms.
I know it was the alcohol that caused this – I used to get a stomach cramps after drinking more than a little years ago. But that stopped after I started following a more paleo/low-carb style diet. The only other time I’ve had stomach cramps in conjunction with alcohol has been in the middle of a not-healthy-diet. This time I’m not so much on the agonising cramps, and more the chronic heartburn for three days. Since Monday I’ve been trying to clean up my diet. I think the symptoms have abated a little but not quite there yet. Hopefully I can get this to settle down enough before Christmas arrives – and hopefully it will give me the willpower to choose my Christmassy food indulgences a little more carefully: indulge – don’t suffer!