Tears In the Dark

If you’re looking for a post with my signature humor, this definitely isn’t it.

First of all: if you’re unsure as to what night eating syndrome is, please visit MD Junction’s night eating syndrome site.

Yesterday I visited my doctor and essentially said, “I’ve had it. I’m done. I’m at the end of my rope.” regarding night eating syndrome. Before my appointment I had made a list of all the negative ways it was impacting my life. Here are a select few excerpts:

  • lighting food wrappers on fire in the microwave (trying to get food unfrozen)
  • cutting apples in the dark with a sharp knife (not sure why all my fingers are yet intact)
  • ruining my teeth (brush and floss all you want, if you eat sugary things all night you’re not going to have perfect pearly whites)

And of course, there’s the big one: if you are on a weight loss plan, and you eat 1/3, half, or most of your calories during the night, where does that leave you during the day? It leaves you royally effed. You can choose to either a) starve or b) not care and eat way more calories than you can consume and still lose weight.

Then there’s the guilt. It would take me pages and pages to detail the emotional effects. Deep down, I know it’s not my fault, but when I felt so strong and confident in my abilities to lose weight for so long, and now to feel like I’m a complete failure… It’s brutal.

Why hasn’t it impacted my weight loss before this, you may be asking. First, let me say that I’ve been hovering around the same weight since November. When you’re on Weight Watchers, you receive a certain amount of points to eat every day. The more you weigh, the more points you receive. The less you weigh, the less points you get. When I had more points to consume every day, I had more leeway to screw up, if that makes any sense. Now, I get so few points as it is, that night eating has at times left me with as little as 7 points (approx. 400 calories) to eat during the day.

I’m feeling very thankful for my doctor this morning. Not all doctors would have listened as patiently as I told her I can’t even buy bread anymore because I’ll eat the entire loaf at night, or taken the time to read the articles I had printed out and brought with me, and searched her database for solutions.

Which brings me to the solution: it’s something that I never, ever wanted. And I debated even posting it here, because there is such a stigma attached to it. But I consider my weight loss journey an open book to anyone who wants to read it, and this is part of my journey.

My doctor’s suggestion? Since night eating syndrome is related to a drop in serotonin at night, let’s try 20 mg. of Prozac every day.

I am, in general, opposed to what I feel is an overmedication of America. I have never, ever, wanted to take drugs of this kind, for any reason. So I consider it a mark of my desperation and essential surrender that I am agreeing to this.

I’m giving it five weeks. If it doesn’t correct or drastically improve my night eating, then it’s getting the boot and I’ll be sitting in my doctor’s office near tears once again.

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9 thoughts on “Tears In the Dark

  1. You are such an inspiration for working so hard on your WLJ! It’s so easy to give up when things get tough but you’re not, and that’s awesome 🙂 I hope it improves!

  2. Try not worry about the stigma attached to taking the medication. It’s not like you had one bad day (or even week or month) that led you to this point. While I agree that we’re an over-medicated society, sometimes it is truly necessary, at least in the short-term. I was on prozac for about a year and I feel like I can honestly say it gave me my life back. I’ve been off it for two years, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back on it in the future if it was necessary. I resisted going on it for years prior, but I realized by continuing to let my life spiral out of control, I was essentially harming myself more by not taking it.

    Of course, everyone’s situation is very different. In the end, you need to do what is right for you and if that means taking (or not taking) medication, so be it.

    You’ve come such a long way and your journey is an inspiration. Even though your loss has been stalled for a while now, your loss is incredible and at least you know you can maintain. I hope this all works out for you! 🙂

  3. I’m delurking, first, to say what an inspiration you are. We started on WWers right around the same time so it’s been amazing to see what you’ve accomplished. (I’m a little behind, at 50 lbs lost as of now.) And I haven’t commented until now because, well, I’m not sure. But I wanted to comment now to offer my support. About seven years ago, I was in a very bad place, mentally and emotionally, and I needed help. But, for the longest time, I refused to go see someone because it felt self indulgent and I, too, was worried about “not needing” medication and being given them anyway. But, I went. I saw someone and I received the help I need. I saw a psychiatrist (for three years and I went on anti-anxiety medication. He helped me see that if I’ve tried EVERYTHING and I’m still not okay, then *it’s okay* to take the medication. And to me, it sounds like you’ve done everything you could.

    And now, at least you’ll know. If it works, AWESOME! Imagine how fantastic that will be! And if it doesn’t, at least you know you tried it and you won’t have to sit there with that option in the back of your mind, wondering if it would help. Anyway, I hope this brings you some peace and happiness. Sorry for the novel but I thought I would share my experience.

  4. First of all, thank you for sharing this! I know it couldn’t have been easy to make yourself so vulnerable.

    Second, I am proud of you! You are addressing the issue and trying to find a solution. I am also very against medicating to fix things but I also know there are times when that is the solution.

    Third, I wish you all the wellness in the world. May this be the begining of your healing ( wow this whole comment sounded very new world’y)

  5. I feel the same way about medication. I recently just stopped taking any and all forms of it in the last year. I just wanted to mention to you that you may need to give it longer than 5 weeks (unless that was your doc’s suggestion). My doc told me it can take months for antidepressants to work effectively. Good luck.

  6. I just discovered your blog tonight and this entry is a revelation to me. I really need to research NES. I don’t wake to eat but I often can’t go to sleep without binging. I did figure out that I don’t eat enough during the day but I had no idea there was actually a disorder that could cause it.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey!

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