The Binge Eating Diaries: Writing This Letter to Food Changed Everything

Writing This Letter to Food Changed EverythingHere goes nothin’.

The original version of what I’m about to share with you was written quickly with shaky, anxious penmanship four years ago.

As I open the envelope, I can smell hints of fear, anger, sadness, and hope – the same emotions I felt while writing the most intimate, honest, and important correspondence of my life.

I remember how badly my fingers cramped as I held my pen with all of my might, watching the words bleed between the blurred lines. (My eyelashes… windshield wipers for my tears.)

I can hear the other women around me sniffling as they write their letters and rip tissues from boxes.

There we were, writing and fighting for our lives.

I can picture myself back at Green Mountain, composing this… my Letter To Food.

A Letter To Food

Dear HER,

You have given me a reason to live, a cotton candy cloud to land on, a spaghetti pool to swim in, a sweet and sometimes sour pat on the back after long days.

You have been my dearest friend and my most painful enemy. My love, my hate, my utter confusion. You have almost been my death, but you have saved my life.

Although you have been my constant, you have constantly let me down. You provide a golden carpet, then yank it from beneath me, hurting me with no guilt, filling me up with guilt that I have let you do it once again.

Only an arm’s length away, you have never called in sick, never taken a rain check. But you have always left me sick and in the rain.

I will never hate a loved one as much as I have hated loving you.

Thank you for your sick, twisted attempt at comfort and friendship that almost convinced me I’d never deserve better. But I am replacing you with me. And although it won’t be easy, I’m trying not to need you anymore.

Please don’t call from the bakery, forget my number at the pizza place, erase my digits from your desire to overindulge in me as I have overindulged in you.

Admittedly, you are replaceable, although I’ve been convinced for so long that you aren’t.

Thank you. And f*ck you,

Jacki

 

I didn’t change a single word. There it is – in its original, raw form.

(Wooooah. That’s hard to read. I was in so much pain when I wrote that.)

Writing this letter was one of dozens of inspiring exercises that I did during my month-long stay at Green Mountain. But this one… this one knocked the wind out of me as I wrote it.

And I’m breathless again as I read it after so long.

In this single letter, I was able to confront my best friend, worst enemy, and greatest love at the same time. I address this particular letter “Dear HER” – and this is the only time that I can recall referring to Food as female.

Does it mean anything? I’m not sure. But I’m having an epiphany right now and I think I might have peeled back yet another layer – even after all these years.

Growing up, I was bullied by girls. I have felt bullied by food. I have bullied myself.

I gave away my power, my confidence, my self-respect., to HER(s).

Well, when I picked up my pen that day, I took back some of MY power that I had given to Food, to binge eating disorder, to other people, to painful memories.

And damn did it feel good!

Until next time,

Jace

Comment from Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Clinical Director and Binge Eating Specialist, Dr. Kari Anderson

Letter writing can be an incredibly powerful tool for healing. Not only in writing the letter, but in reading it out loud with someone or a group you trust.

Binge Eating Disorder is what we call a process disorder, meaning, it is the behavior or process that is the problem. Kari

It’s important to point out that the food itself isn’t the problem; it’s just trying to nourish us and sustain a vital life. It’s the twisted relationship we have with food, and how we behave with it in a disordered manner.

Separating a behavior, in this case “HER”, from oneself and giving it a distinct identity, enables us to address the relationship, one in which we have choice.

In Jacki’s letter to food, she addressed her relationship with the food, the love-hate struggle.

Once she was able to express her feelings toward this relationship, she was able to begin to let go of its power. Like telling off the “mean girl” from whom you wanted desperately to gain approval, but was instead continually subject to put-downs and public humiliation.

The concept of writing letters to our relationship with food was brought to the mainstream eating disorder recovery world through author, Jenny Schafer, in her book Life Without ED.

Note that these types of letters are best done in a supportive environment, such as with a therapist or group for which to process the powerful emotions that may arise.


Sign Up For Our Email Newsletter

Easy Recipes to Feel Good: July 4th Weekend

By on 07/01/2015

Easy Recipes to Feel Good is a monthly recipe post for our readers and past participants who recognize the payoff of eating foods that support us, but also have more on their schedule than cooking food. Celebrate this July 4th in style with these healthy and delicious recipe favorites – great for parties, barbecues & grilling events! Green Mountain Berry […] Read more »

Fourth of July Recipes

I’m a Psychologist and This Is Why I LOVED The Movie ‘Inside Out’ [Spoiler Alert!]

By on 06/30/2015

I saw Inside Out this weekend with my family, hosting the kind of child-like enthusiasm only a therapist and an 8-year-old child can have at this type of Disney movie. I was quite excited to see how Disney captured the functioning of our emotions in the brain. WOW, did they hit the nail on the head! In the ending scene […] Read more »

Psychologist Inside Out the Movie

Fitness Video Series: 5 Great Thigh Exercises For Every Body

By on 06/25/2015

This video is the second in our fitness video series with LynnAnn Covell – Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Fitness Manager and L.I.F.E. Coach! LynnAnn has been a leader at Green Mountain for over 20 years. In these videos, she uses her extensive experience working with all fitness levels to share both tips as well as specific exercises and modifications to either jump-start an exercise […] Read more »

Five Great Thigh Exercises for Every Body-FB

5 Nutrition Myths DEBUNKED! (Round 1)

By on 06/24/2015

A typical day here at Green Mountain includes an hour or 2 of nutrition class where women come together and we discuss topics centered on food. We cover lots of ground. Topics like our gut health, food addiction, menopause, PCOS, metabolism, and how to feed ourselves and feed our families. With these discussions lots of questions come up around things […] Read more »

5-Nutrition-Myths-Debunked
Ask a Question
×

Ask Us Anything!