A Day in the Life of an Overeater

A Fictitious Account of Food Addiction

Woman sitting at food covered table eating piece of chocolate cake
A day in the life of an overeater. Tony Latham / Getty Images

I wake up and the emptiness I feel immediately overwhelms me. I reach into my bedside table drawer for my stash of candy but feel nothing. I must have finished it last night because the wrappers are all over the floor.

Time for my new healthy eating plan -- smoothies for breakfast. I load up my blender with fruit and yogurt, but I grab a couple of crackers at the same time -- I need something inside me right now.

I have made way too much of the smoothie, three glasses, but I don't want to waste it, so I drink it all. I get ready for work and head out the door.

On the way to work, I notice I have a headache and realize I didn't have my morning caffeine hit. I stop by a drive-thru and get the largest size of flavored coffee. They are doing a great deal on a large coffee and a donut, so I get one of those as well. I was so good this morning having my smoothie, I deserve a little treat. I'll eat it on my break. But by the time I get to work, the donut is all gone.

Work is so dull, I need something to help me concentrate, so I grab a handful of candy from the box in my desk. Today must have been more tedious than usual, because, by lunch time, the candy is all gone. But I don't feel full, in fact, I'm craving fast food. A bunch of us head to the mall to grab a burger and fries, and I get a supersize portion.

After all, it works out cheaper, and I already did the healthy eating thing with the smoothie. I rush to bolt it down before getting back to work.

The afternoon goes even more slowly than the morning, and I'm feeling kinda sleepy, so I go out for coffee with my co-workers at 2.30pm. I have a large vanilla latte with whipped cream, and a gourmet pastry.

They have such delicious treats at that coffee shop. I can always have a small dinner to make up for it.

I get home and there is a message from Mom. She wants me to visit on the weekend. I grab a pint of ice cream from the freezer and start eating. I hate visiting, Dad always creeps me out. When I was a kid, he called me his "blonde bombshell," which made me feel special. But when I hit my teen years, I got really badly teased for it. I became embarrassed and hated male attention after that. I figured if I put on weight, guys wouldn't look at me that way, and it worked. I don't remember much about my childhood, and I must admit, I sometimes ask myself, "Was I sexually abused?" Then I feel guilty for even thinking that about my Dad, and I turn to comfort eating to deal with the guilt.

I could pretend to be sick. Actually, I wouldn't be pretending -- I feel sick right now. I head to the bathroom and throw up the still-cold ice cream. I don't often binge and purge, just when my parents get in touch.

I call home and thankfully get the machine. "Sorry Mom, I can't make it this weekend, stomach bug."

I clean my teeth and decide just to have a snack tonight. Potato chips in front of the TV. Oh, I have some creamy dip to use up as well. And there is a cheesecake that is only half eaten, and it expires today. I can't stop eating. I eat it all, but I still feel empty. I have macaroni and cheese in the cupboard, that's pretty healthy. I cook up a family sized box and eat it out of the pan. Finally. I feel full. I go to sleep before the hunger hits again.

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