Last Night’s Binge

Turn on the Hoover and get ready.

Last Night I Binged. There was no particular reason that I binged. There was no extraordinary emotional high or low, there was no great news or terrible news, there was no tap root reason or habitual or anniversarial reason. In fact reason was notably absent in all forms from this binge. I was innocently in town getting my car smogged, and picking up a prescription and wondering what I was going to have for dinner. My beautiful niece Kristin, who is staying with us for awhile, had some left over pizza a couple of days ago. Papa Murphys was right around the corner and I hadn’t had pizza for awhile and I like pizza. Pizza is also a food that isn’t “good” for me, because it has all that wheat in it and it is a food that I tend to “stuff” myself with. “Oh heck” someone in my circle says ”let’s just go for it and we’ll get the smallest one“. So I go into Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake and I ask for the Murphies Special in the smallest one they have. They don’t like to sell the small ones at Papa Murphy’s. They don’t even have a size called small. The smallest they have is medium and they discourage you from buying that size by offering all sorts of deals on the large and family sizes. But I stuck to my guns and insisted on the small ”medium“ size. As I paced around that store waiting for my pizza to get conjured I began to do some conjuring of my own and I began to think up the other ingredients of my binge, because I was now committed to this binge ”for no reason“. I left Papa Murphy’s and aimed for 7/11 to get the second ingredient of my binge a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Whirled Peace Ice Cream. Now I was officially over the top and pointed straight to hell. I slowly made my way home as I was right near the end of the book on tape that I was listening to and wanted to hear the ending. I got home and Kristin and my friend and assistant Christina were both still there so I did my best to sneak in the binge items. As every good binger knows, binging must be done in secret. Well Kristin saw the pizza, I managed to hide the ice cream, and I looked at my small pizza and the greedy binger didn’t want to share it with her. So in a rather gruff manner I said ”You inspired me, I brought home some pizza, you can share it with me or have some of the left over chili we made“, with fully covert intention that she would eat the chili. I then made myself a scotch on the rocks. This was the third ingredient of the binge. I had been drinking a nice glass or two of wine with dinner over the last month really and had pretty much said bye bye to cocktails. In fact I have been eating really well, according to Michael Pollan and the Slow Food people, recently. Tonight however all the rules were being broken and I was returning to the days of my youth, except that scotch had replaced beer. This being an out and out binge the pizza came out of the oven and the second scotch was poured and the TV was on and slice by slice that pizza was consumed avec scotch. Savoring wasn’t at play, enjoyment wasn’t at play except with maybe the first piece. Gluttony and consumption were the only functions that were turned on. I turned the vacuum cleaner off a few minutes later and then a few minutes later my belly rebelled and said ”What have you done to me?“ I did my best to ignore it and said ”You can take it, you have so many times before.“ Whereupon my belly sighed and said ”That was many years ago my friend, you are not going to enjoy this much.“ ”Ugh“ I said and watched some more of the movie as my belly painfully stretched to accommodate the mass of pizza coming its way. But the binge was not done, noooo, there was still that pint of Ben and Jerrys in the freezer with my name on it and I was mid binge. So with screaming belly I paused the movie and waddled up the stairs for the final straw, the coup de graz, the capper. I mean it is all about Whirled Peace isn’t it? So with spoon and pint I headed back to the TV and surprised myself by actually enjoying the first bite or two and then hoovering the rest before I knew which end was up or the credits rolled.

Then came the consequences, I was never really conscious of the consequences back in the day because I wasn’t very conscious. That isn’t the story any more. The consequences hit like a ton of bricks. I tried to get into bed and go to sleep, but with all that sugar and wheat in my system, in addition to being in pain my whole system was working double time to process this binge through and as a result sleep didn’t come easy to say the least. While I was rolling around on my bed not sleeping and groaning in belly stretching pain and contemplating what hell really is, making myself wrong of course, I began to wonder ”what is the lesson here really?“ As my guts did their digestive bit my spirit began to search for meaning as my spirit is wont to do. During this crossover experience I fell asleep finally and dreamed all sorts of interesting dreams about my teachers and the transformational work we are doing and about how the message sometimes becomes more important then the people and the people sometimes become more important then the teachers and that everybody forgets and then remembers. I woke up still groggy from the binge and the work of my amazing guts, stumbled into the shower and it wasn’t doing its magic of awakening me as it usually does. I got dressed and lurched into the kitchen to make some tea and clean up a bit post binge. Then I made my way up here to my office to see how writing all this out would help and what it would reveal.

I spent a lot of my life binging and dieting. Two extreme ways to abuse and torture my body. I have done some excellent work at why I did that and have eliminated a lot of those reasons. I no longer am naturally inclined to treat mySelf that way, this is a really good thing. I began an intentional journey a little over a year ago to create integrity with my body, heart, spirit, mind and emotions so that all parts of my self were honored and loved fully. I began a program of moderation and restraint and to trust mySelf as my own expert in areas of what is needed for mySelf to create that integration. Recently I have found some amazing validation of my ways of thinking in books by Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Slow Food, and Joel Salatin. I am very clear that I am NOT adapting to another way of relating to the needs of my body, I am instead loving my body and listening to the wisdom and expertise that is there and following that and on that journey I have found others of like mind. I think I binged as a way to test mySelf a bit and, although I may not have known it fully yesterday when I was setting it up, I think I might have been more interested in the consequences then I was in the pizza and ice cream. I think I felt more what my body goes through when I do these kind of things to it then ever before. And with tears of sorrow and gratitude I say to my body ”Never Again“ I also say ”Thank you for taking care of me so beautifully through all of those horribly abusive times, I love you.“

9 responses to “Last Night’s Binge

  1. Henry,

    What if you actually gave yourself permission to binge? Y’know, a planned binge (which no doubt could include some healthier pizza/ice cream choices) once a month/every 3 mos, etc. When you say never, you’re just setting yourself up! Like a giant dam holding back all this water (gluttony) for such a long time just waiting to burst. Lets be real – there is a part of you that is a glutton – it’s in all of us in one way or another. Why not look at how you can live in harmony with all the parts of yourSELF rather than trying to banish, deny and punish some of them?

    How many times have you said “Never Again”, and yet the glutton continues to return? Newsflash Dude… the glutton is you. And it’s aching for more than mere food. How can yourSELF show love and kindness to this part of you, and live in harmony with it?

    Utmost respect and love,


    • Hey Doug,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog and for keeping me honest. I am going to push back on you a little here. I think sometimes you need to draw a line and be certain and clear about things. I think that you can draw that line with love and gratitude, as I think I did, and I think that when you draw a line and say “Never Again” with self love and compassion you understand that mistakes will happen and there will be gluttonous moments. However the line says that “binging is no longer a way for me to care for my emotions or to excuse myself from being conscious” is not a bad line to draw in a powerfully intentional way. When the “Never Again” comes from my loving Self as opposed to my harsh judge or my critical parent it has an entirely different quality to it.

      Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be clearer fore mySelf.

      • Thats cool Henry. It’s important for me to honest with you – I’m glad you value it. Glowing encouragement, positive comments, and admiration do go a long way.

        Exploring the edges, offering different perspectives, and pushing, while risky, also serve immensely. I’m glad there is space for these things in this blog.


  2. Henry,

    Even as you are being so incredibly & honestly transparent….you are also SO loving (and a tad humorous) with yourself. (not sure humor was intended, but some landed over here)

    It feels like you are in a very different place with yourSelf in current moments…compared to a year or more ago. A place that holds a deeper self respect and self acceptance, and dare I say, self LOVE?

    Your post SOOOOOO wonderfully describes, what MOST of us have experienced in our own lives at times. An incredible and complex struggle. All of it….a part of being beautifully human.

    In your own growth efforts…you are healing others.

    You are precious and special….and you are also seen and held…….

    Much Love & Laughter to you,

      • ABSOLUTELY HENRY!! We come into life as babies ….with full ability for effortless giggles….and my hope for everyone…is that THAT is how we go out as well! Cant wait to hear more about the book.

  3. I sincerely meant every word of my 1st post…..

    And now from my wild bold humorous self:

    OM(f)G…I have to say, that I chuckled more then once at your descriptions of the binge. HELLO…who HASN’T done their own little version of the same thing? Really. If someone were to tell me that they’ve NEVER hidden some binge worthy goods from their kids, spouse, room mate or whoever, to consume over a good book or movie, most likely while alone….I’d call Serious BS on them! Why do we do this? For everyone it’s likely different…and for EVERYONE, it’s part of being human!

    And it’s awesome that you and your body have conversations! Oh the learnings there, huh? (and if your belly had a fist….you’d have needed the frozen Ben & Jerry’s carton for an ice pack)(Whilrled Peace is the bomb BTW)

    And, as you talked about waking up the next morning…two words came to mind. Two words I’ve heard you speak many times: BEGIN AGAIN?

    With Huge Love & Laughter,

  4. Hi Doug (my certification pod mate methinks!) – I always read your comments with great interest – they make me think! Come over to my blog sometime – I welcome both glowing adoration and edgy perspectives too!

    And Henry – honest post as always. My main comment is that it sounds like there is a polarity at play here – usually I find there is when I swing between two things or ways of being – that might be a useful lens to see it through perhaps.


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