We are pleased to present a new blog series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her experience with binge eating disorder. We hope you’ll follow Jacki as she shares the discoveries she’s made on her journey to health and happiness.
It’s been nine months since my mother drove a very scared, unhealthy, depressed version of me up Fox Lane. It was the longest, most anxiety-ridden ½ mile that I’d ever driven.
“Here goes nothing, here goes everything, here goes the beginning of the hardest breakup of my 22 years on this planet,” I thought, knowing I was about to say goodbye to my best friend, the “thing” I’d been in love with for the past two years of my life – binge eating.
Today, I call that person who drove up Fox Lane the “Old Me.” Although my new self is healthier and carrying around a lot less weight (literally and figuratively) than Old Me, I do not use a mirror to tell the difference. “New Me” measures success not in pounds, but in moments. In this moment, I’m introducing both my new and old self to you.
My name is Jacki, or Jace as Darla and I came up with during our sessions at Green Mountain. I wanted a nickname for the parts of myself that needed compassion, recognition and strength in order for me to love myself more than my relationship with food.
I have not had a binge eating episode since I arrived at what I call “The Place That Changed My Life.” I’ve overeaten at times and I’ve had the emotional piece of candy here or there. I’ve eaten fast food, snacks after 8 p.m, and even high fructose corn syrup! But the difference between then and now is that it’s ok. These days I don’t feel guilty about having the things I truly want. No longer does it have to be “pure indulgence” vs. “utter perfection.” There are grey areas with food, like there are with everything else.
When the grey area no longer felt scary, I knew I was changing. I stopped bouncing between gluttony in the privacy of my own room and starvation in public. I was just eating… eating because that’s what humans do.
The two of us can never be divorced, food and me, and we’re actually a healthy couple now. There is no more abuse in the relationship, just food for thought, food for fun, and food for hunger.
In the coming months, I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned, how I’ve felt, and how I got to this moment right here, with food by my side but no longer weighing me down.
I’d also love to talk to you in the comments below. Do you have any questions for me?