Getting Enough Out of Life?

February 29, 2008 at 4:53 am Leave a comment

If we feel that we’re not getting enough out of life, do we compensate by bingeing on food?

I struggle so frequently with the urge to binge. One or two of something tasty is almost never enough for me. I need to fully envelop myself in the food to feel that I’ve enjoyed it. When I give in to the urge to binge, a lethargic euphoria comes over me. I am completely relaxed for that moment.

As I’ve undertaken this lifestyle change, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about where my compulsion to binge comes from. For me, overeating is rarely about hunger, at least not physical hunger that indicates my stomach is empty. That’s why an appetite suppressant will never work for me. My hunger is a craving for total immersion in a sensory experience that ultimately overwhelms my system, sending me into a delicious oblivion.

I imagine those words could describe an alcoholic’s obsession with booze or a gambler’s passion for slot machines. One thing that made my current diet-and-exercise efforts a lifestyle change that’s lasted – versus a diet that I’ve gone off of – is that I was able to characterize my problem as an addiction. I am a food addict, and I fight that addiction every single day.

Getting to the bottom of what drives that addiction will help me conquer it once and for all. Which brings me to the question that began this post: “If we feel that we’re not getting enough out of life, do we compensate by bingeing on food?”

I was thinking this over as I did my 25 sets of stairs recently. Am I getting enough out of life? Am I happy with my life? By all accounts, I have a good life. I have a terrific job. My crib is stylish, fun and funky, great for entertaining. I have a loving and attentive BF, a varied and solid circle of friends, and a small but supportive family. I’m attractive, smart, funny, compassionate and creative. I’m reasonably free of physical ailments. I’ve overcome tremendous life hurdles and am a better, stronger person for surviving them.

And yet, a pervasive malaise frequently descends on me like a chill New England fog. Why? I don’t know. It’s something I will have to continue to explore. This question has, perhaps, started me down the path to figuring it out.

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