Saturday, 13 June 2015

Painful Eating

Why is it I sometimes eat until I'm in pain?

Am I the only one that does this?

I did it on Friday night - had takeaway, which was more food that one person needs, and continued eating until it was all gone, despite that fact I knew I didn't need it.  Despite that fact that I was full way before the end, and was really having to force the food down.  It wasn't pleasurable, but more of a gentle compulsion to finish.

Now I'm not a binge eater in the way some people struggle with it.  I don't go into the kitchen and inhale the food with no clue what I've eaten accompanied by true feelings of being out of control.  This is more something subconscious that happens when I look at a plate of food.  Doesn't matter what size it is, there's a need in me to finish the plate.  At some point in time, it became drilled into my head that you must finish the plate.   You must eat it before it's taken away.  Why?

And this is the problem, I literally have no idea why.  I think my parents told me to finish my food when I was young, but I didn't have siblings who would literally whisk the food from under my nose. I've never really gone hungry either, not the sort of hunger that would ingrain this behaviour.  So I really can't figure out where this unspoken fear comes from that if I don't finish the plate something bad will happen.

This is why when I sometimes say it's a victory for me to have stopped eating something when I'm full, it really is a big thing for me.  It's an odd sort of behaviour, because it seems to be linked to a specific portion rather than general eating and is maybe linked to "wasting" food - if you put a family sized bag of crisps or something else in front of me - I could quite happily eat til I'm satisfied (which would probably still be more than I "needed" because I'm greedy and all) and then put the rest away in the kitchen somewhere for later.  But put a plate of food in front of me, and I'll eat the whole thing, maybe because I feel like it will go to waste when it goes in the bin otherwise.

Friday night was one of the stronger examples of this.  I ate the two dishes I'd bought - I ate all of it.  Because I thought the food I had wouldn't reheat well?  I don't know.  But I regretted it later, because when I went to bed I suddenly realised that I was so full I felt sick.  I could literally feel the food trying to come back up because my stomach was over-full.  And in fact, in spirit of honesty, and I'm sorry if it's too honest, I was a bit sick.

Why on earth would our brains think that it's a good idea to eat so much that we're actually sick later?     This isn't getting enjoyment from food.  Does anyone else ever have this problem?

As with everything, I guess that the more I understand the problem, the more aware of it I am, the more I can do something about it.  But I do want to know where the bloody hell it came from!

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