I hadn’t even thought of this, but today one of my friends brought up the “quarantine 15.” As in, “Are we going to gain the quarantine 15?” For 30 seconds I thought about all the food that I have been eating over the past 4 or 5 days and the answer was a RESOUNDING YES.
Dammit! How do I prevent the quarantine 15?!
I know that talking about weight, and the gain or loss of weight, is bad for women, for humans, and for what I’m putting out into the world in general. But an extra 15 pounds would really piss me off, because once this quarantine is over it’s going to be summer time before we know it and I want to feel comfortable in my summer clothes. I’m sorry, I know I’m setting us all back, but I really want to wear shorts and not feel annoyed about it. If my thighs start rubbing together again I will LOSE MY MIND because it hurts VERY VERY BAD.
This is also a “first world problem” if I ever saw one, and I know there are lots of kids who rely on free and reduced lunch and breakfast at school, and we’re all worried they aren’t going to get anything to eat. And older folks that can’t go anywhere because it’s dangerous, they also need food. And I’m going to donate to food pantries this week, I PROMISE. Here are some you can donate to in JC: Jersey City Food Pantries
It’s not that I’m hoarding food over here. In my house, I have a normal amount of food, but the problem is I CANNOT STOP EATING IT. It’s a combo of being bored/stressed/trapped/looking for entertainment…it’s a lot of things. But it’s all in my mind and THAT is a problem.
I have an undiagnosed binge eating disorder. Well, it IS diagnosed by ME because I’m a doctor (I’m not a doctor). But I’ve done all the things this checklist says, very often:
- Regularly eating far more food than most people would in a similar time period under similar circumstances
- Feeling that one’s eating is out of control during a binge
- Being very upset by binge eating
- On average, binge eating takes place at least once a week for 3 months
- Eating extremely fast
- Eating beyond feeling full
- Eating large amounts of food when not hungry
- Eating alone to hide how much one is eating
- Feeling bad about oneself after a binge
- The B.E.D. criteria above are for informational purposes only and are not intended to make a diagnosis. Only a doctor or other trained healthcare provider can diagnose B.E.D. (oh but I DID)
The quarantine 15 is in my future.
Whether I’m “professionally” diagnosed or not, binge eating is a serious problem for me that seems a lot harder to deal with while quarantined because the FOOD is just IN HERE and it is STARING AT ME. Every day of my life I have to make a conscious choice to not binge eat and it is way, way harder to make that choice when I literally have nothing better to do.
I’m working from home and doing work of course! But you know what goes great with working? SNACKING. And by “snacking” I don’t mean like, “Ooooo I’ll have a handful of almonds.” I mean like “Ooooo I’ll sit at my home desk with a family size box of Cheez-its and zone out into the work zone for 30 minutes and then when I un-zone, the Cheez-its will be completely gone, besides the crumbs I am now licking off the internal plastic, and I’ll feel like I’m going to get sick. So to stop feeling sick I’ll then have to eat some ice cream because sweet cures salty…but then I’ll need more salty to cure the sweet so it’s a never-ending ferris wheel of horror I can never jump off of.”
I mean this is BINGE SNACKING.
This isn’t me saying “oooo I’m a ladyyy I need to be on a diet and watch what I eat.” It’s not that at all. It’s also not me feeling guilty about eating a “big” (according to normal standards) meal or having dessert every day. Those things are fine and don’t make me feel shitty. It’s that I WILL hide in my room in shame with a whole large pizza and essentially black out (without drinking) and before I know it the ENTIRE PIZZA IS GONE. Because I ate it. I ate the entire large pizza. And this won’t just happen one day or once in a while, this will pretty much happen every day at least once.
And that was my life for like 3 years, and it was miserable. But I couldn’t stop until I stopped, and it’s been…okay. It’s still really, REALLY hard for me to not eat like crazy when I’m angry or tired or bored or stressed out. Just like any other thing that is terrible for you, it takes some time to figure out how to avoid it. Although food is hard to “avoid” BECAUSE YOU NEED FOOD TO LIVE.
That brings me back to the quarantine 15. In order to avoid it I will need to reframe all of my “don’t binge on food” strategies. Like I’m used to being at work in the office, and other people are there, and I start to feel weird if I get up to eat too many snacks. I know they don’t care, but it’s me THINKING THEY CARE that gets me to sit back down and not go careen into extreme gluttony with the chocolate covered pretzels.
My boyfriend has been staying with me and tries to help me by acting as the snack police but that has caused a bit of a strain on our relaish. Like, I WANT TO EAT THE SNACKS GET OUT OF MY WAY. But he IS just trying to help. BUT NOW I HATE HIM. jkjk but I don’t like being told what to do by loved ones.
It’s a matter of tricking myself into not binge eating. Just like anything you feel like you don’t have control over. I just have to calibrate the exact self trickery for a quarantine environment, and I’m working on it.
What about you? Do you have any tips for not bingeing on food when you’re stuck in your house? Is it hard for you to resist as well? Do you fear the quarantine 15? Oh, do you NOT binge on food? Well I can’t relate to you then.