When I came home from college one of the first things I did was bake a cake. It was a chocolate cake with buttercream coconut frosting (my favorite) topped with strawberries and chocolate ganache.
I bet you can guess what happened.
Most of that cake ended up in my stomach and then regurgitated in the toilet or the shower or bundled up in swathes of Kleenex to keep it from dripping vomit smell all over the trash can.
I knew that I would binge and purge on that delicious chocolatey treat. I know from experience that when I bake most of the batter goes into “tasting,” and I know that I can’t refrain from eating melted chocolate when its scent is wafting up my nose.
So why did I bake the cake?
I don’t know. I didn’t want to binge or purge, especially since I’d been doing pretty well beforehand. And I didn’t really want the cake. (well, that’s a lie. I did want the cake, but only the first slice. Not the entire thing) I guess the only explanation I can give is that I wanted to binge.
To me, that motivation makes sense. It had been so long since I’d done it that the pressure in the back of my mind was building up, making me feel obligated even though I wasn’t hungry. In addition, I’d been restraining myself for two whole days before that, since my parents made me go out the restaurants to eat and I usually binge there. My depleted supply of self-restraint was fated to give out soon.
Still, I hated every minute of the binge. I don’t understand why I did it. It would have been so much less work to sit there lazily on the couch doing nothing or watch a movie rather than make a cake. It would have caused so much less pain, and I would have felt drained but not self-loathing afterwards.
One way I binged on that cake was when everyone else was asleep, I snuck pieces of it to my room to scarf down without a fork. My mom has seen me on binges before and knows that I tend to eat a lot if I’m left alone around food, so she tried to stay awake with me and make sure I didn’t raid the pantry. I understand that she did it out of love, but the thoughts running through my head were: “Why can’t she let me have this? I just need to binge!”
And I really believe that I needed that binge. I don’t want to have the option of throwing up my food removed, because it’s such a psychological crutch. Of course, I’m still trying to not throw up, but it’s soothing to know that if I really need it, the coping mechanism will be there.