Binge & Purge… Recognizing a Cycle

You know those occasional moments when a switch flips, the light bulb pops on, and you’re like “ohhhhh, eureka!” Yep, just had one of those.

My eureka moment occurred while I was contemplating cleaning out the grossness that is my fridge. You know, the well intentioned produce purchases and leftovers that haven’t been touched in a month (or more) and are now dissolving into a primordial ooze that you don’t want to touch for fear of catching something.

This has been the state of my fridge and something I’ve been ignoring for awhile now. For about the last 7 months I’ve been mostly successful at ignoring it; at least until it gets really scary and I don’t have room for the new food I purchase. Coincidentally I’ve found myself stuck lately (i.e. the last 7 months) and also the heaviest I’ve ever been (… SHIT).

So now I’m making a connection between the state of my fridge and the state of my diet. And it has occurred to me that this is a repetitive cycle that runs counter to my quest for health and well-being.

There’s probably a couple things going on here, but I’m going to focus on a binge and purge idea. Bingeing and purging is most associated with food – eating way too much food and then applying different tactics to remove that food from the body – but it seems to pop up in other areas of life too.

For me, I think it’s mainly in acquiring stuff, including food, and then being frustrated by the clutter or dissatisfied by the purchase (or grossed out by the rotting food) and taking steps to purge the clutter, dissatisfaction, and rot from my life.

Rot. That’s the gist of it. The physical rot in my fridge overflows into my spirit (my psyche?) and starts to gnaw away at what gets me out of bed every morning. My heart is weighed down by this… baggage… that I’m trying to ignore. It’s the elephant in the room that I won’t acknowledge, blinders securely in place. And all the while I’m suffocating from the weight of my load, struggling to put one foot in front of the other.

I spend so much energy ignoring that everything else suffers… my hopes, desires, motivations… and soon I’m numb and aimless.

To feel something (or sometimes to not feel loneliness or failure) I spend money and eat – I experience pleasure in these actions. But it’s usually followed by regret, a heaviness in spirit, annoyance at the clutter and rot, and the need to fix the situation as best I can. I get a temporary high from the purge but then I’m left with the numbness or the sense of failure and the cycle repeats.

I should clarify something, when i do overeat, I don’t take steps to correct that (other than guilt tripping and berating). I don’t purge food, mostly because I don’t have the nerve to do it (hate throwing up and taking pills). But in a broader scope, I do have a binge/purge cycle in my life. It’s not healthy. It’s not helpful.

Now to figure out what to do about this.


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