Monday, September 24, 2012

True meaning of binging

                                             Dr. Oz talks to two binge eaters.

Last Wednesday's Dr. Oz show was all about binge eating. I have said in the past that I am a binge eater, and then I saw the show. Binge eaters are people who cannot control their eating, every day, 365 days a year.

I am not in the category. I can go weeks eating a healthy diet, and then every now and then I start obsessing about food, go to the market, and usually come  home with one of two things: a pint of ice cream and cookies or a large package of Twizzlers. I open my binge du jour, and without thinking, sit on the couch and eat until the last morsel is gone. For me, that's a binge.

These women spoke of eating marathons, usually lasting at least four hours, in which they could consume whole pizzas, packages of chips and cookies, large containers of ice cream, corn dogs ... the list of foods go on and on.

So now I know my binges are  not really binges, but just breaks in good eating habits. If I had no weight to lose, I could maintain my weight with a few of these binges every now. Except....

Dr. Oz showed an X-ray of what happens to a person's stomach after any binge. That means me. It takes over the space in which the intestines usually reside, compressing them down. The pancreas gets displaced, as do other organs. That was the warm-up.

He then showed a picture of a normal-weight person who binged for quite a few hours, and by the time he arrived at the ER, he was dead. His stomach in the picture was blue, which means it died, which caused all of his other organs to die. The picture of that open blue belly is forever imprinted in my mind.

Dr. Oz closed his show with some sage advice, which I have written out and placed on my desk: "What will life be like to feel my feelings instead of eating them."

When I can answer that question, I know I will no longer have any weight issues.

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