I Don’t Bite My Fingernails Anymore – Part 3 of 3

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

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My grandma was insane about how “fat” I was. She was insane about my fingernails. Until about three years ago, I had hangups about my fingernails. I felt guilt every time I bit them, but it didn’t stop me. The only thing that stopped me from biting my fingernails was artificial nails. After four years of having them, I removed them and found out that I no longer needed to bite.

What happened? Can I get over my food issues the same way?

  • I couldn’t bite my nails: With artificial nails, I couldn’t bite my nails. There was no possible way to do it. I couldn’t even bite the artificial nails because they were so thick. I could bite my cuticles, but doing that too much hurts.

  • I got out of the habit of biting: Instead of biting my nails when I was nervous, I would click them against each other (an entirely DIFFERENT irritating habit). I eventually stopped that also. The most important part was that I COULDN’T bite, so I got out of the habit.

  • When I stopped wearing artificial nails, I didn’t go back to biting: I suppose that there was a moment when I could have picked up biting my nails again. For all I know, I will always be at risk for biting, but I didn’t. I click my nails together every once and awhile, but I am continually shocked at how easy it is for me to grow long fingernails without even trying.

What if I could stop bingeing just like I stopped biting?

It’s not like my bingeing behavior is any more psycho than my history with nail-biting and my grandmother. What if I could just stop bingeing and never pick it up again? What if I could just look down at my body and be continually shocked at how easy it is for me to stay thin?

How would I do that?

I have no idea, but for once in my life, I KNOW that I can beat bingeing and never go back to it. I KNOW that I can have a thin and healthy body without writing down every morsel of food that goes in my mouth. I KNOW that I can have an indifferent relationship with food.

For once in my life, I KNOW…


2 Responses to “I Don’t Bite My Fingernails Anymore – Part 3 of 3”

  1. anet Says:

    i like your blog so much. and your photo is SO VERY CUTE! i have been thinking alot about my own binging lately. this is my pattern, come home from work and sit at the dining room table and chew chew chew. this past few weeks i have been gorging on raw beets/carrots w/ hummus. I always eat past saiety. And was thinking WHY do I feel compelled to do this? So on my morning runs I have been contemplating my past. WHEN did my binge eating start, what was going on that time. Menarche, divorced parents, suicidal father, bullying classmate in my school, a girl that kept threatening to beat me up (i guess i just seemed vulnerable) ….. These memories made me sad and somehow I want to make this info useful to me, I thought– maybe that girl who was just relieved to get home from another day at school was seeking solace and is still seeking solace. How can I comfort myself w/o food? Laurel Mellin’s books address this but I haven’t finished one yet!

  2. Karla Says:

    Thank you for writing about this issue– I suspect that most of us with compulsive eating/binging problems have their roots in controlling family dynamics. Let me just say, as well, that you were an adorable 4 year old (who has turned into a beautiful woman) and your grandmother must have been smoking crack to think that you were “fat.” I am just so sorry that the 4 year old you had to live through that.

    My main reaction to this series of articles that you wrote was, in addition to blowing me away with your honesty and optimism, that there’s a psychological truism for every emotional issue that you continue to carry around with you– as well as its flip side, the “knowing” that you can get past it. This truism is that you have to hold onto something before you can let it go.

    I know, maybe in a similar way that you know, that binge eating will one day no longer exist in my life. I do it much less frequently now that even just one year ago, and my binges are usually not as long or as intense. I also pay attention to (and remember) the negative side effects of binging more than I ever have. And I’m learning that I don’t have to eat when I’m not actually hungry.

    But I’m not quite willing to let it go, yet. I know also that for some reason I need to hold onto those binges for a little bit longer. I still need them, but in a less frequent, less severe, and less desperate way. I will be willing to let them go soon, though. I can already feel my fingers loosening their grip.

    I also thought you might enjoy Geneen Roth’s books. It’s been a while (maybe 10 years) since I last read one, but I’m going to order another. Soon. 😉

    Karla http://www.geneenroth.com

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