“The Binge Eating Diaries” is a series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her experience with binge eating disorder. Follow Jacki every other Thursday as she shares discoveries, challenges and successes on her journey to health and happiness.
The end of this month marks one year since I started my month-long stay at Green Mountain. I’m sitting on what is now my bed, as I just moved in with my boyfriend of 8 months. I tell you this because it’s something I’ve never done, shared such an intimate space with another person before. If this wonderful relationship had been handed to me on a silver platter last year, it would’ve gone to waste. I probably would have eaten it… (Oh, food joke! Ba Dum Chhh). Yes, that was tacky, but such a heavy subject needs a little comical relief now and again.
Among all of the things I had to sort through, my need to binge never would have allowed me to get rid of my “food spaces and places,” the breathing room to binge alone in my own surroundings. How would I have kept my secret hidden from a person I wanted to know me at my best?
Today, I don’t have these fears anymore. I have uncomfortable moments, negative thoughts, and imperfections, but I’ve learned how to speak with myself and how to be truthful. There are days now when I wake up in the morning and talk to myself, “Girrrrrl, you ate too much last night.” But my rebuttal is no longer “you’re disgusting, you’re fat, you’re unworthy.” Instead I ask myself questions, “Did you have fun? Was it social? What did you actually eat? How about next time we try to eliminate one of the sweet treats with some celery and cream cheese or tomatoes and salad dressing?” Those are two “treats” that make both my mind and body feel good, especially if I’m in the mood for quantity- then I try my best to make it quality.
It doesn’t always end up the way I’d hoped and while I still get a little frustrated with myself from time to time, I don’t harass myself to the ends of the earth. All-or-nothing thinkers tend to put mistakes on a pedestal and stomp on triumphs like they’re worthless. But a food mistake is just that – a little bump. If my stomach or my mind doesn’t feel good after too much or a certain kind of food fun, then I learn that the amount or the combination wasn’t right for me.
I wanted to share with you, after a year of starting this process, how much less I think of food as the only form of happiness and how it’s becoming more manageable day by day. I want you to read from a once very dedicated binge eater, that I spend my days thinking about other aspects my life now. I finally feel like I have the time to live – full of energy, full of ambition, not just full of food.
Questions or comments for Jacki? Leave them below!