The Binge Eating Diaries: Loving Yourself At Your Lowest

By Jacki Monaco
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A series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on overcoming binge eating. Follow her journey every other Thursday as she blogs about the challenges and victories of recovery.

I had a surprise moment that tested my strength last week. I love to laugh, I pride myself in having a good sense of humor even, but some things that are humorous to one person just don’t resonate with someone else. As “friends” were showing me a website featuring embarrassing photos of women that were obviously not intended for public consumption, the feminist in me starting fuming while the child inside started crying.

My entire life has been focused, too focused, on how I look-how imperfect I look, and polluted with negative self talk. For the past 13 months I have been trying to put most of that focus on how I feel, not about how I don’t measure up to model status. When the company I was with started laughing at the “imperfect” natural physiques of “normal, average” women, I felt like they might as well have been laughing at me directly and I wanted to disappear. So natural beauty is only beautiful when it’s naturally perfect???

Here I was sitting next to “friends” as they mocked women of my weight and other relatable physical “misfortunes.” I felt like my soul had been stabbed and the tiny bit of self-confidence I had gained about my body over the past year just bled out. I woke up the next morning physically crippled (as I had slept in the fetal position comforting myself all night) and mentally defeated (as I felt for these women who trusted a significant other, or the like, to take a personal photograph of them only for it to be leaked and gawked at for any stranger to see and in this case, laugh at).

I share this story with you as an example of how the ignorance and shallowness of others can be detrimental to the fragile soul, the wounded vet, and the recovering heart. I’m doing my best to use my strength to not let what happened take away from everything I’ve worked toward, but this is one of my biggest challenges yet. I admittedly didn’t eat dinner that night after this occurred because of the direct blow to my self esteem. I have shaken my head at myself for this but also congratulated myself on self-soothing my inner child and the strength I borrowed from my inner feminist.

There will always be days that are harder than others. It’s how you react, take care of yourself, stand up for yourself, and remember to love yourself when you’re at your lowest that truly matters.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

9 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Marsha says:

    What a heart-breaking and beautiful story, Jacki. Unfortunately, it’s one that so many of us can relate to. Thank you for sharing this and all the stories you tell here on our blog. They offer solace even to those of us who have been in recovery for a long time. The hard truth is that we live in a society that can be very damaging to our self-esteem, man or woman. Having a tribe that understands and fights this together is so empowering.

    • Fat Camp for adults says:

      Yes i am totally agree with @Marsha that it is really a heart-breaking story, jacki. Thanks for sharing this stories with all of us & really waiting for more stories of yours.

  • Jace says:

    Thank you Marsha. I completely agree that this forum, place to go, and tribe as you call it-helps everyone who enters find a save haven and something to relate to. This blog helps me cope as much as I hope it helps others, even the smallest bit, on their journeys.

  • Ryan says:

    I can only hope that one day the words and judgements of others will no longer hurt me. For now, I am one of the fragile recovering souls that you are referring to.

    I don’t have any words of wisdom about how to live in a world where so many people are cruel and judgemental about other people’s bodies. Just know that you aren’t alone in the way you feel.

  • Jace says:

    Ryan- Thank you for reading and sharing. I completely connect with you on the level as a fragile recovering soul….I am one of those myself as you’ve gathered I’m sure. Its so nice to know that someone read my words and can share how I’m feeling. I WISH we were connecting over positive, happy emotions but unfortunately we are dealing with coping with the cruelness that surrounds us. My only words of relevant wisdom are the in the quote that follows the blog posting this week. Find even the smallest shreds of positivity and use those to propel forward. Thank you Ryan.

  • Julia says:

    A new mantra that a friend inspired for me is this:

    ‘I am here to love and to be myself. Those are my terms.’

    There’s something empowering about that statement that totally energizes me when I realize my mind is spiraling into self-loathing. It’s empowering, but it’s gentle too. ‘I am here to love,’ this gives us a purpose, that we open ourselves up. ‘And to be myself,’ this invites us to let ourselves off the hook, we can only be who we are. And if we approach our days, our ups and downs, our angers, our betrayals with gentle but powerful affirmations, maybe we can grow every stronger in the face of a unjust cultural expectations. xo.

  • Jace says:

    I LOVE that Julia. I just wrote that down on a sticky and will keep it on my desk in clear view. Thank you so, so much for sharing that. Your comment really resonated with me, Thank you for reading and sharing Julia…truly inspiring.

  • […] that for a visual my friends? As a recovering binge eater, I’ve shared my deepest bingeing thoughts and darkest moments, so I feel no need to hide the gruesome details of my latest body challenge […]

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