The Binge Eating Diaries: Food Over Friends

By Jacki Monaco on 07/19/2012
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Binge eating- when food becomes more important than friends | How binge eating disrupts relationships“The Binge Eating Diaries” is a series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her experience overcoming binge eating disorder. Follow Jacki every other Thursday as she shares her story.

Solitude and binge eating went hand in hand for me. Unless I knew a “bingeing party” with an equally food-obsessed friend was going to occur, I preferred and almost always ate alone. This made social gatherings or outings very difficult: “Go out and pretend I don’t see, smell, even hear food taunting me?” Or “Stay in and gorge comfortably where no one can see me?” The answer was easy, food over friends… well, food over everything. 

With my food tunnel vision allowing in more light each and every day, I have more room at the table for other aspects of life. When my life was consumed by food, I had no brain space left for anything else. Today, I’m managing an apprenticeship, a part-time job, exercising, my home, my home life and all it entails, AND a social life. As tired and overwhelmed as I sometimes get, I am in love with the feeling of functioning at 100 percent, of putting other things above food.

My boyfriend’s birthday was last weekend and one of the birthday events revolved around food. I managed to enjoy going out to dinner, tasting each bite of my vegetable and salmon covered pasta, and even bringing home leftovers. I was in public, eating pasta, and was able to split the enormous portion in half! Although my brain was tempting me, my body was full, and so I stopped eating like I see “normal eaters” do every day. I didn’t become unglued by my typical all-or-nothing thought patterns. Just like that, my physical fullness and mental satiety were in sync! As a former binger, I know this is a huge accomplishment.

Savor your small successes and love your moments of strength. I would love to hear about any of your small successes. This blog is just as much an outlet for me as I hope it can be for you. This is a safe space to vent, encourage, understand and connect.

5 Responses (Add Yours)

  • [...] Food is not the enemy. You need food, and it’s okay to enjoy the taste. Nour­ish your body and your soul. Let go of the shame and guilt, and enjoy eat­ing and savour your food. And when you fall back, know that it hap­pens and it’s okay. Just keep try­ing, and cel­e­brate small suc­cesses. [...]

  • Deborah says:

    I can relate to this post and have written before about the fact that I was very hermit-like at the height of both my anorexia (as a youngster) and binge-eating – recently and over the past 10-20yrs.

    NOTHING was as important as the binge and setting the scene for it. And yes… I had little capacity for anything else. I talk now about lacking ‘headspace’ to process certain things but think it was once far worse.

    Thanks for continuing to share your stories with us Jacki.

    Deb

  • Julia says:

    What motivation! I can’t help but COMPLETELY relate to the ‘food over everything’ lifestyle. There were times when I would actually, consciously make that choice, thinking ‘Wow, this is crazy. I’m actually leaving this party to go binge out on cereal.’ Today I’m still struggling with my bingeing behavior, but I’m much more gentle with myself and above all, I’m learning to BREATHE and then CHOOSE what it is I want to do. Sometimes I mantra-ize myslef through social events, ‘just give it 5 more minutes. Just give it 5 more minutes.’ It’s hard to retrain our brains and our bodies, hard to let go of old safety networks. But, for me, there’s truly nothing safer than listening to my heart.

  • Jace says:

    Deborah- Thank YOU for reading and sharing with us, especially me. I really appreciate the openness, honesty and support.

    Julia- How inspirational! Breathing and choosing are two very key words for the changes we make in this lifestyle. Mantra-izing! I love it. I do that to, just to make it through. Thank you so so much for sharing!

  • Shahana Suma and Ashley Kalmanowitz says:

    As part of a Computer Research class at DeWitt Clinton High School we are required to draft a proposal for competition to the Quality Of Life Innovations. Our topic of interest is binge eating. We would like to get your input regarding this topic by answering our questions in an interview.

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