I have a little bit of an admission to make. A moment of pure self indulgence that caused a fight between two people and I sat there and let it happen. I watched it play out like the proverbial train wreck that it was.

Let’s go back a couple of years and I had just finished my first couple of Body Building competitions. I had spent almost an entire year in a calorie deficit. I had been restricting like an absolute boss. Saying no to dinners out with my friends. No to treating myself. No to just about everything but protein and green veggies for a full year.

I had become so good at saying no that it almost felt like a reflex. More natural to say no than to say yes. Each of my meals were weighed down to the milligram. Each one prepared with as much love as I could muster… I’m really not the worlds biggest fan of cooking so this became one of the biggest chores throughout my journey.

My meals of fish and green beans or chicken breast and wilted spinach were often smothered in Sriracha. Small tangent, Sriracha should come with a warning *too much hot red sauce will give you migraines*. Basically, I had lost my taste for food in the process.

So when the time came for my “Off Season”, I had to try and be super careful not to binge. In the back of my head I always knew that saying yes was a dangerous game. Because the moment I said yes, all of that self control I prided myself on went out the window. Once I said yes, I didn't have the willpower to stop the beast. And so enter’s the Peanut Butter Binge Monster.

One night, ok well lets be honest here it was 3am and I was stone cold sober, I had a hankering for something delicious. Just a teaspoon of Peanut Butter. So I quietly climbed downstairs and started rummaging through the pantry like a mouse in a garbage can. The only Peanut Butter, an incredibly tasty jar of Mayver's Cacao Super Spread, in the entire cupboard belonged to one of my housemates. Even worse… that housemate was my coach. My militant, absolutely jacked & prone to fits of rage coach.

Just one spoonful. That’s all I would allow myself. 

But here’s where it all went wrong. I couldn't stop at one. Half a jar later I was standing in my underwear so full of shame I started to cry. He was going to kill me. I clambered back upstairs, pulled my blankets over my head and cried myself to sleep.

The next day, shit hit the fan. My coach went to put some peanut butter with whatever macro controlled meal he was making and he discovered my secret shame. But instead of blaming me, his dedicated, loyal client. He blamed our other housemate, who could often be found standing in the kitchen PB jar in hand and spoon in mouth. I sat there and let him rage. Too scared to own up to my shame-filled moment, terrified of his reaction if he ever found out it was me.

I didn’t anticipate the ensuing fall out of this incident. Instead of letting it go like a normal share house inhabitant, he proceeded to pick a fight with her over the jar of PB. To this day, I haven’t owned up to this incident. I sat there and let her take the fall for this, far too ashamed to admit that I had a problem with self control. Not that anyone would have believed me at the time anyway. But those moments of witnessing the binge monster rear it’s ugly head filled me with debilitating shame.

To my housemate, you know who you are if you are reading this… I’m sorry I didn't own up and made you take the brunt of his anger. To my old coach… YEP it was me. I ate your PB, and you know what? It was absolutely fucking delicious. All I wanted was one spoonful, but that binge was the build up of 50+ weeks of starving myself. My mind flipped the proverbial switch and it honestly was out of my control.

To anyone reading this that's struggling with binge eating and yo-yo dieting. I understand how easy it is for your mind to switch of and binge on food. Peanut Butter, Pizza, Nutella, absolutely anything with carbs or sugar. It will hit you like a fucking tsunami and you will be powerless to stop it. 

But it will get better. With awareness comes the ability to recognise what's happening and that awareness is key. You will find balance and you will learn to love this new foreign body you have. Just be patient. It took me 2 years but I’m here and I’m owning my shit now.

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First published on www.laurenannebird.com.au