Thought Catalog

Five Most Memorable Binge-Eating Experiences

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13TH BIRTHDAY

For my birthday I wanted create a “crazy party” environment by staying up all night, listening to disco music, and eating an entire can of Easy Cheese. My best friend, Allie, and I had an inside joke about cheese. We just thought it was funny. With noticeable concern, my mom bought me my own can of Easy Cheese and a spread of snacks with molecular compounds probably closer to “astrophysical plasma” than “digestible nourishment.” I began video taping the party from my bedroom window when the first car arrived. I wore a blue wig to subtly encourage my 6 guests to indulge in a “crazy party” mentality. 4-5 disco compilation CDs rotated on the stereo in my basement, where we stayed most of the night. Throughout the party video, I can be seen openly suckling on the Easy Cheese can, sometimes staring into the distance in an affectedly vacant manner as it hangs out of my mouth. I made sure I was always eating or about to eat, because it would make the party crazier and because I “deserved it.” I alternated between the Easy Cheese, a tube of raw chocolate chip cookie dough, and a 2-liter bottle of Wild Cherry Pepsi. There seemed to be a silent agreement that everything in the basement must be eaten by the end of the night, which for me was around 6AM on a fold-out couch, where I was said to have “blacked out” by Allie, who woke me after everyone else left.

Summer of Carbs

?The summer between high school and college, my new best friend Lindsay and I committed to doing whatever we wanted. I’m unsure if we ever vocally acknowledged romanticizing ourselves as Enid and Rebecca from “Ghost World,” if we each thought it but never said it, or if I’ve just invented that notion over time. When Lindsay wasn’t with her then-boyfriend or working as a cashier at Walmart, she was on the loveseat perpendicular to my couch, usually splitting a giant bag of Tostitos “Hint of Lime” chips (first coated in yellow “queso,” then dipped into salsa) with me. We ate pizza and Dairy Queen Blizzards 3-5 times a week. We invented “pink sauce” (ketchup mixed with ranch dressing) for our Denny’s cheese fries. We got large milkshakes from a place that made its own ice cream and had a parking lot that most people treated like a dining area. We would lean on her car and make fun of ourselves and people we knew as we waited for our milkshakes to melt until they were drinkable. Sometimes we would accidentally earnestly discuss feelings of nervousness about the future before recovering with self-aware comments about what it meant to be 17-year-olds talking about “impending adulthood.”

I don’t think eating was ever the focal point of hanging out, but since we spent so much time together, eating would just happen. I think we envisioned ourselves as passengers to sensation in a world that seemed secure in its extremes of humor and banality, but was also unpredictable and a little frightening – to be placed in this three-month holding tank before our inevitable separations into the unknowable futures which would become our lives, if we’d even ever “become” something – causing us to focus on the stability of immediate returns.

Cookies from Mom

My first year at my second college, I received a belated birthday package from my mom, which included maybe 15 aluminum foil-wrapped Rice Krispie treats and a large Gladware tub of chocolate chip cookies. I remember aimlessly walking my dorm’s hallway holding the package, seeing a well-liked acquaintance’s open door, offering her my some of my “bounty,” then sitting on the floor by her roommate’s bed as people walked in and out of the room, gradually eating all of it, occasionally saying “should I just eat it all” to the room, unsure of who I was asking.

Chicken Night

Some time after dropping out of college, I went to an unofficially Popeye’s-themed party directly from my job at a cafe where I had already eaten probably 700-1100 calories of carbohydrates. About 9 other people sat on the couch and floor, watching TV and leisurely picking at the boxes of chicken. People were calling the spicy chicken “space-y chicken” for some reason. I ate steadily for maybe 30 minutes. I wasn’t hungry, and I don’t remember it actually tasting good – I just sat there, eating. The beer was making me feel more bloated than drunk. The need to eat more food felt scary and overpowering, the way I imagine it must feel like to be a character on Ren & Stimpy. Some people said they were going to the 7-11 across the street. I wanted to get away from the chicken and beer, so I went with them. I stared at the refrigerated foods for a long time. No options seemed healthier or more satisfying than any others. The familiar yellow outline of a Lunchable seemed funny and I bought it. After consuming the Lunchable, beers, and 4-7 more pieces of chicken, I went to the bathroom 2-4 times to make myself vomit. I think I told people I was drunk and my stomach was just sensitive to meat or something.

Unemployment

After quitting my job at the café, I had plenty of time to experiment with a wide array of lying-down positions on my bed to refine the most optimal face-to-MacBook trajectory. I lived in my parent’s house in a Baltimore suburb. A few times a week, late at night, I drove to the nearby 24-hour grocery store where I stole small pieces of candy from the bulk bins and patrolled the aisles in a “geriatric mall cop” manner – exuding to the late-night workers that I was “on their side” through a series of physical cues so minute that, if asked what they thought I was doing, their answers would probably range from “tilting her head, maybe” to “I don’t know, nothing.”

I saw my first jar of Nutella in the bread aisle one night at maybe 2:15 AM. It looked like something Ikea would sell. Its starkly ordinary placement next to the peanut butter implied that I had either bypassed it my entire life, or I had spent enough time in the store that I had somehow “unlocked” a secret level of creamy sandwich spreads that would release themselves to me through this portal I had discovered. I didn’t know how I was going to use it, but I knew I had to buy it. In the car I ate my usual two vanilla-chocolate iced doughnuts, then tried the Nutella, sort of hoping I wouldn’t like how it tasted, but going back for several more finger-fulls before I parked in my driveway. I put the jar on the kitchen table, dipped a few Oreos in it, and went to my living room to watch TV. My thoughts seemed to be dominated by what the Nutella would taste like sandwiched between 2 Wheat Thins. I pictured myself “trimming” the .8” Nutella overflow perimeter with my tongue, then licking some tiny squares of salt off the top of the crackers before putting the entire sandwich in my mouth. I brought the Wheat Thins to the couch and ate all the Nutella in maybe 40 minutes. TC mark

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More From Thought Catalog

  • http://richard-yates.tumblr.com mario

    dang…

  • merav

    reading this while binge eating is real posttextual

    • http://twitter.com/goutspleen victoria trott

      eating nutella and parmesan garlic 'stacys' pita chips right now

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        damn…sounds experimental

        fusion cuisine…

  • PERFECTCIRCLES

    I'm Allie. I thought you were dead.

    This describes our party well:

    • Mallory Whitten

      jesus i thought Allie meant that your piece described the party well, and the youtube link was the video where you have cheese in a can hanging from your mouth
      instead i saw the P-I-Z-Z-A video for the first time in ~ 12 years
      sweet, i really liked reading this megan

      • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

        hehehe

        seems like you could start a 'i meant to type something somewhere else/i thought this comment meant something else' meme

        i'm glad you liked it mallory

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      hi allie, nice to hear from you again finally

      nice editing on the party footage

  • http://wayindie.blogspot.com kelly huckaby

    nutella + microwave = nutella finger fondue

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      damn…sounds decadent

  • http://heheheheheheheeheheheehehe.com/ tao

    sweet, succulent tostitos…

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      nice and succulent…yes…

  • http://www.smokingonanemptystomach.blogspot.com Jordan

    “pink sauce,” lol

    sweet

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      hehe

      pink ass sauce

  • http://newhandsweepstakes.com/writings/this-is-your-cat-on-drugs/ Brian McElmurry

    I'm surprised “munchies” weren't involved, somehow. I enjoyed this.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      i thought about it, but none seemed that memorable

      glad you enjoyed brian :)

  • federico

    i binge once every week and then i havta starve myself the other six days or else id get fat :(

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      damn

      what do you binge on

      when i did weight watchers with my mom we ate at friendly's every week after 'weigh in'

      • Shannon

        that ice cream clown

      • http://richard-yates.tumblr.com mario

        ice cream clowns seems like the most depressing form of ice cream.

  • Cecilia

    you are great.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      hi cecilia

      sweet, thanks :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/minscoe Michael Inscoe

    so pimp

    d;~)

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      damn, just got the pimp 'd' hat

      thanks inscbro

  • http://www.facebook.com/minscoe Michael Inscoe

    amazing:

    Throughout the party video, I can be seen openly suckling on the Easy Cheese can, sometimes staring into the distance in an affectedly vacant manner as it hangs out of my mouth. I made sure I was always eating or about to eat, because it would make the party crazier and because I “deserved it.”

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      hehe

      thanksthanksthanks

  • katie

    I really like this. It made me feel uncomfortable reading it because it reminded me of my own binge eating experiences that I tried to forget. I like writing like this that is a little unsettling.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      sweet…glad you liked it katie

  • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

    enjoyed reading but feeling hungry

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      hi aaron, sweet

      pizza is probably the most filling thing on this list, i think

  • Alex

    Pop corn + wheat thins.
    Apple pie (warm) + peanut butter spread on top.
    Try either. Try both. No regrets. Promise.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      damn…interesting combos

      peanut butter on top of most things seems really good

      popcorn rice krispie treats…

  • Guest

    seeing this in google reader halfway through a pint of ice cream just stopped me in my tracks, so thanks

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      damn, sorry to hear that

      was it 'moose tracks' ice cream, that would be funny

  • boss lady

    agree, totally uncomfortable reading this too. binge eating sucks man

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      oh damn

      binge eating is okay, i feel

      moderation…or something…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    'nutella is dangerous'

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      truth

  • Salpi

    but… you're thin!

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      damn, thanks salpi

      i eat healthy food now i guess/do yoga/binge rarely

  • rilez

    Some personal favorites:
    Nutella + cream cheese + tortilla.*
    Spoon dipped in pumpkin pie ice cream, then dipped in nutella.*
    Tostitos dipped in nutella.*

    *One must first smoke bowls until sufficiently baked before consuming.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      whoaaa…

      whoa…

      nutella banana crepes are good

      when i smoked a lot of weed i would eat shredded cheese + ketchup “sandwiches” that i melted in the microwave

      also like…granola rolled around in peanut butter

      nice

  • Peachs

    One day I had decided I needed smores. Unfortunately, I lacked all the ingredients to make them except the marshmellows. I improvised with pretzels which I would top with a marshmellow, put in the oven for 3 minutes, drizzle on nutella and place top pretzel, return to oven for 2 mintues, and then consume. I started by only making 3 of these “smores”, but got it down to a controlled cooking procedure after finishing the bag of marshmellows.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      that sounds really good

      pretzel sticks would make it raft-like, sort of

  • http://heheheheheheheeheheheehehe.com/ tao

    i've enjoyed white rice with mixed vegetables and tofu with a lot of olive oil

    entire boxes of 'peace' almond or maple cereal with edensoy soy milk or rice milk

    newman o's

    fig newmans

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      seems like you stopped yourself from going into an unsolicited, 30-50 item binge list following “fig newmans”

      when i read about chinese food in things of yours that don't describe the food exactly i usually imagined it was general tso's or something. definitely fried things

  • PERFECTCIRCLES

    Megan is my favorite writer on here because she responds to the comments. Her articles are interactive experiences, like in the movie Tron: Legacy which envisions some sort of video game world and was the #1 movie in the country for one week.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      hi perfectcircles

      i'm glad you like that i do that, sometimes i think people might think it's annoying/unnecessary

      nice analogy…

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carlos-Ortiz/1279921705 Carlos Ortiz

        that's funny because there are types of people who would say that something like writing a piece for an online thought catalog is exemplary unnecessary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carlos-Ortiz/1279921705 Carlos Ortiz

    I only binge eat when I'm high and then I 'feel bad' about it the next day, but it's not like emotional remorse based on my self-image, it's like an 'intellectual' remorse based on theoretical premises like efficient energy distribution and maintaining a healthy diet to achieve maximum physical comfort at any given point during my lifetime.

    I think “binge-eating” is funny as a concept employed by you as 'story-fodder' or as a general reference, detached from the implications of mental stress/disorder, as those things are not generally funny to me in themselves.

    My favorite part was when you thought you might have unlocked a “secret level of creamy spreads”, I thought “that was a really strong sentence” when I read it though I have no literal formation which would normally allow oneself to think such qualitative things about a piece by an actual author with training.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      hi carlos

      think i have experienced both feeling bad via emotional and intellectual remorse after eating high

      i think binge-eating is funny the same way you do, i think. sounds like you 'got' my intentions in writing this pretty well, sweet

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carlos-Ortiz/1279921705 Carlos Ortiz

        heheh I 'get it'

  • fl

    Obligated “seems bleak” comment, but I love your writing.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      thanks fl, sweet

  • Ruthlezz

    As a former high school wrestler who landed in the ER at least once for gaseous bowel blockage, i'm impressed.

    • http://tomhankssuperfan.blogspot.com megan boyle

      hi ruthlezz

      i went to the er twice for that in high school, hehe

      bowel blockage bros…

      • Ruthlezz

        five minute farts, for lyfe

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