Side Notes: Overnight

[[Side Notes: Overnight

With the New Year just days away and the things I just want to accomplish in 2012 about to start too, there is one thing about my eating disorder I have yet to be able to get over: The Overnight Fear.

What is this?  It’s the mentality that if I eat something, either forbidden or too much of, that when I wake up the next morning, I will have gained a significant amount of weight and ballooned out like an elephant.  Or that somehow because I ate those things, I am now less of the person that I am.  Sometimes it’ll just be one body part, like my mid section, but some days I could wake up and swear that my thighs are bigger or that my chin is now tripled.

I have tried to work through this since my ED started over 8 years ago.  I go through highs and lows with it, and right now is a low.  With all the things I have going on (I’m sure you’ve seen me complaining about some health issues, so that’s where most anxiety is coming from), I’m stressed out and just plain mentally and physically exhausted.  Add to that that my hip is hurt again so I can’t run, or even bike, and I’m left in a place that has me teetering on the edge.

This is the disordered/irrational thought that gets to me the most.  The guilt is bad and the mental beating is just as much. I had never been able to work through it in the past, but now, I have strategies.

1. What is a pound?

-I’m guilty of the fact that I still count calories (I know I know…I try everyday not to and am getting better) so I always know how many calories I’ve eaten in a day.  When I have a day where I feel guilty about eating something and see the calorie count at the end of the day, I usually feel super guilty and out of control (sad that I even have a number restricted to my food, though it always takes into account my exercise; ALWAYS).  When I’m doing well, I can wake up the next morning and let it pass, but sometimes I can’t and have to realize that gaining that pound, or pounds I’m so afraid of comes only if…I eat 3,500 calories, which, I haven’t.  A pound, is 3,500 calories and I have to keep telling myself that I did not eat that much, therefore I did not gain a pound overnight.

2. Letting Go

-Sometimes the guilt is so overwhelming that I wake up the next morning feeling it still, and have every intention of restricting.  But with a strong head on my shoulders, the will to “Let Go” of the evening before and look at the next day, even next meal, as a new one with so many better things and happiness, I am able to relax and move past the moment.

-“Letting Go” also means that I have to realize, for instance, why an emotional eating episode happened.  A few nights ago, it was the anxiety of the holidays.  Just the other night, it was because I put off having dinner for far too many hours, then felt absolutely ravenous when I started eating and felt anxious about what to eat after that long to satisfy me.


Much of the frustration and anxiety that occurs in my head can always be out-talked.   I have rational conversations with myself to assure that nothing bad is going to come of this. Yes, you ate a few too many brownies and M&M’s.  Is it the end of the world? Will people think less of you for it?  So what if you did gain a pound, is it such a horrible horrible thing?


Just trying to keep on keep’n on…


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6 Responses to Side Notes: Overnight

  1. Amy Lauren says:

    I think this is something that pretty much everyone who has an ED struggles with- it’s the irrational fears like this that make EDs mental more than physical. It’s things like this that others don’t understand as to why we can’t just snap out of it and gain weight and not worry.

    Look at it this way- people who diet (including those who need to for health reasons or are actually overweight) don’t the lose weight overnight. They lose it over months and years, if they do it the right way. It’s the same with gaining weight, for those who need or want to gain- it takes a LOT of time to do it the healthy way (eating foods that are right for you vs. eating unhealthy junk and being lazy). I keep trying to tell myself this too.

    • Melissa says:

      You make a very good point. I always hated how people thought I could just snap out of it, but that just doesn’t happen with this disease. It’s a hard battle to fight for sure.

  2. Sarah says:

    Amen sister. I feel you on this. For me, it has a lot to do with *what* I eat too much of too. And a lot of it is whether or not I still feel bloated or like my belly is distended the next day. If I do, I am bound to feel much worse. Does that make sense? I’m currently trying to figure out what foods do this to me….that way I can avoid them.

    • Melissa says:

      Girl, I hear you completely. It’s actually just the reaction I had today after a bad night just beforehand. The bloated feeling can throw me off so bad, but I just keep repeating to myself, “This physical reaction is only temporary. To keep from feeling this again, I will take better care of myself next time.” Hope you’re doing well Sarah!

  3. Thank you for this post Melissa. Of course it comes at a rather perfect time too, New Years being tonight and all! I have been able to shake this mentality to a certain extent over the past year, but it does still linger. As a matter of fact (and I am revealing this here as I just realized I am thinking it) I had planned to eat just enough today to not be hungry… so I can “save” calories for the ones from alcohol I know I will be consuming tonight. Gahhh it’s not until this moment that I realized how effed up that is!
    Thank you for this reminder Melissa, and that our brains are so irrational sometimes!
    Have a wonderful New Years too lady :D

  4. oh my goodness i can totally relate to this post. i HATE that i count calories. i cant even remember a time when i didnt but it is still so frustrating that im trapped and consumed by a number that shouldnt matter all that much.
    thank you for being so honest and vulnerable. i wish you didnt have to deal with this. i wish no one had to deal with this.
    i hope 2012 is better for you as far as guilt, because you do not deserve those negative thoughts. you are a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman and you inspire me every day. think of those things and have a super awesome new years :-)

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