Feeling Fat and Other Binge Triggers

Laurie on the couch with Tiger, a ginger cat, on her tummy and Gracie a tabby cat, is on a high cat perch.
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Mark snaps this pic of me relaxing with our furry family. Gracie, the tabby on the perch is the mama of Tiger, the ginger cat perching on my tummy. How does this peaceful scene contribute to feeling fat?

Feeling Fat is my River of Death

Actually, I love the photo above that Mark took of me and my beloved cats. It is an excellent photo of them, and not at all bad of me, considering I am prone in the double chin emphasizing position and had no time to wiggle myself into anything more flattering. As I discussed last blog post in, Half a chocolate and other Christmas Miracles! where I share my inner and outer distress at the ‘candid full body shots’ at the santa house by the slender samaritan (bitch), I am not feeling very good in my body at the moment, i.e., I feel FAT.

This feeling is not helped one iota by the January onslaught of diet center ads, FB resolution pages and our societal obsession with us all ‘getting back on track’ to rid ourselves of holiday poundage like a bunch of lemmings headed over the calorie-counting, carb-eliminating, boot-camp challenging cliff. And moi? I’m USED to the siren call of January. It’s in my blood like the salmon returning home to spawn – no matter that it’s against the current for the salmon AND they get to DIE after doing their genetic duty. They can’t HELP IT! It’s their instinctive programming. Their nature.

My nature is to feel fat, feel bad, feel that ‘getting back on track’ and THIS TIME shaping my out of control ass and thighs into buns of steel and a bass to be about is 100% in my habitual DNA. It’s one thing to sip tea and nibble French butter cookies when your pants zip easily. Oh brother, is it 1000 time harder when those pants feel tight.

Bike Fat

Two days ago Mark and I decided to do hill work on the bike and ride from the Pasadena Rosebowl to Descanso Gardens and back. It was a cold day. So, I got the bone-headed idea to try and wiggle into my cold-weather bike tights. Now, bike-tights are SUPPOSED to be tight and compress you, like panty hose on steroids. And I’m shocked and amazed that I managed to get them over my rear and tummy with multiple prayers and gatherings of fabric from the ankles with the torturous pinch and pull technique to move said fabric higher. Finally, well ensconced and walking like a sausage out into the weather. I came to a screeeeeeching halt. “Crap!”

“What’s wrong honey?”

“It’s not even f-ing cold enough to wear these ^%#$%@%$@$% tights, now, not ONLY am a gd sausage, I’m doing to sweat like an f-ing pig!” (Hope no kids were around to hear the state of my language rage).

I was frustrated. Pulling on bike tights when you are up several pounds is not conducive to feeling good in your body.

Mark has a solution.

“Why don’t you change clothes?”

Hmm. Why not change clothes? Why hadn’t that occurred to me?

Because gosh darn it, it had taken FOREVER TO SQUEEZE INTO THESE! Have you ever stuck with a bad idea because of all of the energy you’ve already thrown into it? This was an example of this.

“You’re right!”

Off to change into bike pants that fit and a fun, sunny ride.

Laurie and Mark in bike gear in front of the Descanso Gardens sign

Hooray! We made it up the hills and inclines to Descanso. Now it’s downhill from here baby!


Yesterday, I woke up, checked in with myself and despite the great bike ride of the day before, STILL FELT FAT! I distracted myself with the computer, then saw several diet center ads in my FB stream and plus size offers from Macy’s in my inbox. ARRRGGGHHHHH! Then several friends announced new diets, complete with scale information and other diet mentality triggers for me. OMG, will January NEVER END!? Er Laurie, it’s only the first days of January.

Ok, Ok, I got this. I got this. I’ll go on a SCREW YOU FEELING FAT WALK down to the park. I won’t worry about miles, speed, calories burned, anything. I’ll take the time to savor what I see and the experience. I’ll put it on Instagram.

And I did have a great walk! Here are some samples of my IG adventures.

Laurie sniffs a half peeled mandarin orange under an oak tree in the park

I stop to smell the ‘tangerines’.

Laurie points to a tree in the distance in the park

I’m pointing to the tree in the distance where you can barely see a rock. That is the podcast rock away from the main trail that I usually record from when I’m not talking while walking in the park.

back trail in the park. Blue skies with full round sun seen behind trees

The sun shines brightly on the back trail

And if you want to see the entire walk, check out my Instagram page at LaurieDreamWeaver


Alien Robots are attacking me with bags of chips

Robot Aliens are what I call my binge behavior

Oh my Lordy, I went most of the day feeling fine in my slightly tighter jeans, but I just didn’t feel well about myself. I felt the familiar FAT is BAD, you are FAT hence YOU are BAD feelings that I am used to, but I also felt something more. I felt alone. I felt left out. Not invited to the calorie-counting lemming party. I couldn’t post my scale numbers, my after photos, my wonderful progress with my shiny new January diet. I was there in my newly too-tight pants, eating vegan and wondering, “What the hell am I doing?”

Who the heck would care about what I’m going through? Now, brave companions, pretty darn ironic, since YOU CARE and have proven over and over that you do, but some snits have NOTHING to do with logic or reality. This snit ran deep into that lonely little girl territory. All of those years where I wasn’t cool, not invited, and if I was invited, the butt of jokes and pranks. Feeling left out and different from the herd is terrifying. If I would just go on a diet, I could feel ok. Not because of my size, but because I would fit into the behavior of the crowd. I would be one with the January lemmings as usual. But I CAN’T go on a diet. I’m Intuitive Eating. I know diets aren’t for me. Hear the trigger BCs? I CAN’T go on a diet. So what does my rebel lonely subconscious do? It calls in the Robot Aliens. If a binge can’t convince her she needs to diet, what will? I binged to convince myself to belong. It was too scary not.

Salmon anyone?

I’ve always been a salmon, I even wrote a pretty great blog post that nobody much read on Daily Adventure Tales, called What’s it Like to be in the Water?. Take a read if you have a moment.

But all of these themes are coming to mind. Alone. Separate. Nobody cares. These are some of my deeper reasons for compulsive eating. Stay safely alone – fat. Be part of the crowd – fat. Worry about something other than emotional pain – fat.

This time I won’t be a salmon or a lemming. I’ll take each day as it comes. And if I CHOOSE to diet I will. If I CHOOSE not to diet I won’t. If I CHOOSE to eat meat I will. If I CHOOSE to forgo some treat I will. I’m not going to tell myself CAN’T anymore. I can take it. I can make decisions. I can change my mind. I can change my outlook. I can change the quality of my life.

*No salmon or lemmings were harmed during the writing of this blog post.

Comments box:

10 thoughts on “Feeling Fat and Other Binge Triggers

  1. Cheryl

    You know, it occurred to me as I read your post that almost the first thing we have to do to when we’re trying to change the way we eat, the way we look, the way we feel, is to get over that “feeling fat” mentality. The strange truth is no matter how many lbs. we lose, most of us — even at our ideal weight — STILL FEEL FAT. I wonder if it’s just a matter of teaching ourselves to tune that out, to beware our inner critic, etc., till we can get to the point where we just say, “Yah? So what?” I’ve been working on that for a bit now. Self-talk is so hard for me. What’s the answer?

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Self-talk is very difficult. It is amazing what we tell ourselves, isn’t it? And I noticed in therapy that IF I happen to tell myself something positive, like, “Great job, there Laurie.” I get another critical voice right behind that tells me to not be Narcissistic or don’t be uppity or stuck on yourself. So somewhere I learned to drink in and accept criticism from myself and others (and not the constructive kind), and to spit out positive feedback from myself and others. Positive feelings about myself trigger a fear of Narcissism, because I cannot believe that good things about me are factual. All of this is part of the low self esteem issues that are at my core. So learning that I am good, not perfect, I can screw up, but it’s not the end of the world, and that I am mostly disappointed, not devastated are the building blocks that allow me to live a life more of what I choose and not what happens from my reactions. Even the binge was small potatoes compared to binges in the past. Not the amount of food, but the amount of emotional angst. I recovered my equilibrium pretty quickly, so I am grateful for that AND for the support from you and the other BCs. Thanks so much! xoxoxoxoxx

  2. Fionna

    I agree with Cheryl. Even at our skinniest, we can still have “fat” days. I have been feeling the same way- longing to go on a “quick fix” diet to get the weight off and get back to feeling ok about my size, while telling myself “no, you’re intuitive eating now.” It’s been really hard. I bought my first pair of pants in the “W” section the other day. Clearly intuitive eating isn’t yet working to stabilize my weight. If I was ok with yo-yo dieting, I would just do that, but I’m not. I can’t keep losing and gaining the same 20 lbs. I’m hoping that embracing the IE process and doing things that make my body feel good, like leaving food on my plate when I’m full will ultimately lead to my weight staying steady.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hugs Fionna, that is rough to have the first W on your size. I can guess how brave you are to NOT jump right back on the diet train after that trigger. As you know, there are no promises with IE that we will be thinner. But I do believe that once we are 90% eating in tune with the body and allowing ourselves absolute guilt-free enjoyment of the other 10% that we will stabilize at a weight that suits our frame and lifestyle. I can tell that I’m already starting to lose a small bit of the holiday pounds, binge or no binge. My body just isn’t very hungry after I’ve eaten so much. In the past, I would have starved and overexercised to ‘make up’. But after all of my Tummy/Gut ratings, I can notice the still small hunger Tummy has the next day even after a binge. So I ate that much. I had whoppin’ great energy for my bike ride and felt really good all day, even though my gut was still pretty packed from the binge amount. Then by dinner, I was very hungry and ate a normal sized meal. Today. I am almost back to normal and the two are feeling balanced. I notice, that despite my bike ride yesterday, my hunger is very slight. Tummy only wanted a small breakfast, so I think my body is burning off the excess calories. My clothes fit better and I feel good. It is very odd and counter-intuitive to fuel my body after a binge episode. It was weird not to bike as long and as hard as possible, but rather to enjoy the day and to see the bike ride as fun vs. exercise. I can tell that this is going to be a long and windy path for me, but stumbles, bumps, jealousy of scale victories or not, I believe I am on the right positive road for me. I salute you friend, for walking this path too. It surely is not easy. Hugs! xoxoxoxoxoxox

  3. Dawny

    Okay. Thank you for this Laurie LOL. I know you were not laughing when you wrote this but I really have to thank you for the giggle. I love so much how you put things into words. It really is making me laugh out loud. Again like I said I know there’s nothing funny about the way that you’re feeling and I’m really sorry about that. And I send you a great big girlfriend hug. I’ve been there many many times more times than I care to admit. But I also know that you are a very strong woman. Very strong-willed . I to know that you are a stubborn old costs. LOL. Meaning that you will get through this if for no other reason to spite your own stubbornness. Thank you for sharing this thank you for being so raw and Bonable to us. We’re all here together. It’s funny that you would feel like nobody cares. Because I really really do care. Isn’t that what you say to us? And we believe in you?! So it’s time for you to believe in me I really really do care about you Laurie. And I send a heartfelt hug to you at this time. But one good thing you came here and you got it all out. I’m proud of you for acknowledging you can make decisions you can change your mind you can make different choices. You would be the first want to tell me you have to find what works for you right now. What works for you last week what works for you last year what works for you or we could go a month ago a day ago might not be what works for you to today. That’s why this is called a journey. Life is a journey. And we have to keep trucking through it. Docking bobbing and weaving. You got this my friend. And I’m here to cheer you on no matter what decisions you make.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hahahaha Dawny my friend, I WAS laughing when I wrote that one! My phrasing is usually humorous when I am on a tear and not self-editing. I think I am a born story teller when ‘riled up’, as Cheryl would say. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my adventures in figuring out the Robot Alien visit. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for pointing out how much you care. I CAN feel it. 🙂 What I wrote was more about that feeling is buried under everything. It became part of me a long, long, time ago and neglect and non care feels so normal. It is actually a physical and emotional work for me to accept what you and the other BCs say is true, that you care – even when I screw up. I am so used to having to wear a mask and to meet YOUR needs and forgo my own to feel accepted. It is an honor to have you as my ally in this work to become balanced and to accept the love that IS in my life. Hooray for you and your willingness to be real yourself and for supporting me and the other BCs. Dawny, you hold a special place in my heart. xoxoxoxoxox

  4. Sue

    Big hugs my friend. It won’t help one iota to remind you that your amazing body can take you on long mountain walks and tackle arduous bike rides (but I will 😉 ). Sometimes we just need to have that hissy fit and get those feelings expressed. Go on, we will be here for you as you rant it out of your system.

    I hate the recent photos I have of myself since I put all that weight back on. (Enough to mean that I didn’t include one in my Christmas letter). However my main challenge at the moment is to get through most of the day at work. Yet more hospital tests and a scan and an increase in my meds convince me that I need to just be kind to myself at the moment. It is interesting that I have days when I eat relatively little as I don’t want any more than that. On Christmas Day i only had one serving of the main course and then we left pudding till many hours later and that was all I had for the evening meal.

    That hissy fit idea sounds really tempting, but would take more energy than I have at the moment 😉

    Hugs, I care!

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Oh Sue, I am sending you energy right now for your own Hissy Fit! 😉 I’m so sorry to hear that your medical issues are robbing you of energy. It sounds like on Christmas Day, you were doing Intuitive Eating and enjoying your food in amounts that suited you that day. Congrats, and I hope it was a wonderful day all around. Photos can be hard, for sure. The only thing I try to remind myself, is that photos are not shocking to others as much as they are to us. However, I can understand not wanting to send them to friends and relatives who haven’t seen you in awhile.You will send them some day, whatever your size, when you are ready. It is all part of learning to accept ourselves and the here and now vs. the past and the ‘wonderful future’. I can look at that darn Santa house photo of me and Mark now without wincing. I can even laugh about it. All comedy is tragedy plus time after all. It sounds morbid, but I also look ahead to my deathbed and ask myself during the moments when I am so upset about things, ‘Will I remember this moment then? Will I really care?’ Like, as I am saying my goodbyes to the world, will my last thought be, “I sure wish I hadn’t looked so darn fat in that Santa house photo?” No. I’m sure, if I have that luxury to consider my life as I breathe my last, I will be thinking of those I love, and maybe wishing I had shown them more how I felt. That is what drives me to authenticity now. I want to feel my feelings and express them too. Such as, Sue, I truly love YOU. You have reached out so many times, even when you aren’t feeling well, to support me and other BCs. You have been brave and caring. I thank you for reminding me my body is more than just a weight. It is a marvel that takes me on adventures! And yours too. Your body sings and mothers and organizes and loves. Your body is a marvel. Hugs xoxoxoxoxoxox

  5. Jenny C.

    Happy New Year Laurie !
    Progress Progress Progess not perfection !!!! 2015 will be a wonderful year. Enjoy it !


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