binge behavior


One way that people who know me well are able to gauge how stressed (or depressed) I am is by watching my eating habits. When things aren't going well, I tend to binge. My drug-of-choice in tough times is Ruffles potato chips, preferably with a big container of french onion dip.

Rationally, I can look at that bag of chips and know that it's going to make me feel ill in the short term, and make me overweight in the long term. But rationality doesn't play into the decision. It's a kind of short term gratification that feels great at the time, and it somehow fills an immediate need for me. I've never had a problem with drug or alcohol addiction, but I suspect some of what I feel when I'm weighing the decision about whether to wolf down that bag of chips is what someone with a substance abuse problem wrestles with.

I was thinking about that this morning at the gym. I try to make workouts a regular part of my life, and to make sure that it's part of a routine. If it's not a routine, it's too easy to fall into bad habits. The same thing is true for what I eat...if I get into the habit of buying healthy foods and having them easily accessible--at home and at work--I eat better. I'm less tempted to binge on potato chips if I'm full of chicken makhni. I'm less tempted to grab a pizza for lunch if I've brought in a hard boiled egg, salami, and sharp cheddar cheese. (Obviously, I'm trying to reduce my carb intake.) And it's true for finances, as well. If I have a budget, and stick to it, I'm less likely to binge on spending. If I don't, the money (like my trim figure) slips away when I lose control.

It's hard, though, to stay balanced in all areas. Physical health, emotional health, fiscal health, intellectual health. I don't think it's a "choose any two" kind of thing, but I do think the hardest challenge I face on an ongoing basis is finding a balance. Not to obsess about perfection in any one area, only to find that I've let something else fall part. And I'm also learning to recognize my own warning signs...when I find myself overindulging regularly--whether on potato chips or shopping trips or blog reading--I know I have to stop and reassess the choices I'm making. The things that are hardest for me--whether it's changing my eating habits, going to the gym, or or turning off the computer--are probably the most important things to look at.

So now I'm going to (a) turn off the computer, and (b) go home and spend some time with my family. The first one is hard, the second one is easy. The rest of my personal challenges...well, I'll keep those to myself. :)


I do the same thing, but lately it's been krispy kremes that I binge on. Straight to my ass :-\

And it's very coincidental that you're posting about this because I just had a talk with a friend about feeling like it's hard to keep level in all areas of my life.

Reassessing is good, I should do more of it. Thanks for the tip.

It's definitely the end of a quarter at RIT... I share your thoughts Professor Lawley, I will have post mine soon. :-)

Is it a binge? or a switch in concentration? You have been intensely blogging conference proceedings recently.

You frame the challenge as one of staying in balance. Could there be a less constricting formulation than "staying in" with its whiff of cage-like restriction? Does contemporary American English offer formulations that could exhalt the freedom of a returning to balance?

On a related theme, there's recently been a bit of discussion about ways of seeing and ways the mind works :

Tater tots are my weakness. However, I'm finding I no longer bounce back as quickly from a tater-tot-binge. Oh, the crime of aging...

Been there, done that.

Bingeing is a result of dieting.

Don't diet, you won't binge.

Craving carbs could be a result of cutting back. IMHO, no carbs works. Low carbs leads to cravings.

I live a year once on no/very low carbs--akin to Atkins but before Atkins was around.

It was great. Energy, slender, happy.

If only...

Liz, I just had the chance to peruse the postings collected under the rubric "unclassifiable". They seem to connect to the them of the "body" and the "social". They deal with various physiological themes and they deal with people connecting with people. Styles of being in the body and styles of blogging and doing blogological studies -- a connection is suggested. Love to read any elaboration you might conjure at some time in the future.

I found the very enticing term "blogological connection studies" in a comment to an entry by hanna at join-the-dots

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This page contains a single entry published on November 6, 2003 5:16 PM.

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