The Binge Eating Diaries: Learning to Forgive Myself

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Forgiveness and binge eating behavior | Inner conversations about binge eatingThis is a series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her journey to overcome binge eating. Follow her every other Thursday as she blogs about the challenges and victories of recovery.

Forgiveness is often one of the hardest things to give, especially to ourselves. I still haven’t forgiven myself for turning to food during my hardest times, for gaining more than 100 pounds in about a year and a half, for destroying a body I had worked so hard to chisel down to a size 4 just a year prior.

I haven’t forgiven myself for torturing and (what I see as) forever ruining the only body I get. I don’t give myself credit for not turning to a hard drug, for not dropping out of college and still graduating magna cum laude, for not physically killing the body I was torturing.

I make myself forget that, as a size 4, I was just as sick as I was at a size 20-something (I only wore spandex, so I never really knew what size pants I wore). At my thinnest I was running 4 miles, 6 days a week and eating no more than 800 calories a day. At my heaviest I was walking no more than a mile a day, and eating thousands of calories… during one binge.

I do not forgive myself for the numbers: the numbers on the scale, the number of calories, the number of days I binged, the number of binges, the number of tears.

But why? I forgive myself for so many other actions and thoughts each and every day. How can I forgive myself for smoking cigarettes and even miss them, but I can’t forgive myself for my relationship with food? Why can’t I forgive myself for coping in the only way I knew how at the time? I can only image it’s because I’m reminded daily not by the scars in my mind but those on my body- the stretch marks, the cellulite, the fat. I am a 23-year-old girl living in a body that has many more miles that I have actually traveled, a body that looks used and broken even though the soul inside is still vibrant and alive.

Where I go wrong with these thoughts every time is that this body did ME no harm. I caused IT harm in order to stay sane and I need to stop punishing my body for stretching enough to let me fill it with food, for allowing me to abuse it in order to cope. I need to forgive my mind and my actions and thank my body every day for not letting me down but holding me up.

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and forgave yourself? When was the last time you thanked your body?

PS, This is a sad, yet very empowering song I love to listen to when I am feeling weak: “That I Would Be Good” by Alanis Morisette.

10 Responses (Add Yours)

  • andy says:

    Wow. You are so strong and incredible. Such a warrior. Thank you for posting this <3

  • Jace says:

    Thank YOU for reading and commenting <3

  • Deb says:

    I LOVE that Alanis song!

    I have trouble forgiving myself – for so many things.

    You have reminded me that I wrote a post once about how much I dislike my body and how it angers me, but then I realised that my poor body was at the mercy of my mind and my emotions. My body just bore the brunt of the decisions I made!

    Lovely post and a timely reminder for me.

    Deb

  • I don’t feel a need to forgive myself for what I did to my body, but I do feel a need to forgive myself for isolating myself from others. Still working on that.

  • Jace says:

    Deb- I am so glad this resonated with you. I love that line you wrote “my poor body was at the mercy of my mind” It’s such an eye opener to admit how much truth that holds. Thank you for reading and commenting Deb.

    Eating as a Path to Yoga- I can completely relate to that. I isolated myself for too long from others (especially loved ones) and the outside world and all of the judgment that I assumed it would place on me. I hid from the world, buried under a burden of frustration and food. ..Thank you so much for commenting

  • I started forgiving myself a couple of years ago. Where you have been I have been myself…ages ago. It took decades of living consciously…one day at a time Jacki. I finally beat it. I finally can go to a buffet and eat the foods the feed my body and I have other tools that feed my soul and mind. Food is food to me finally for the first time in my life.

    I’ve never been a size 4 and I’ve always been an Amazon. Big and beautiful although I never thought I was beautiful until this past year. Truly beautiful. Just like you Jacki. <3

  • Jace says:

    Diane- Congratulations on the beginnings of forgiveness! Go YOU! I love that, “food is food to me finally for the first time in my life” What a wonderful way to the transition to a healthy relationship with food. THANK you Diane for reading and for commenting and for such a lovely compliment. You are an inspiration.

  • Pat says:

    You are wise beyond your years! I have just subscribed to your blog, as a 58 year old woman who has struggled for decades of using food as comfort. Thanks so much for your writing:)

    • Jace says:

      Pat, thank you so much for reading and commenting! I’m so happy to have you as a new reader and I hope that together we can continue to head on a happy, healthy path with food :-)

  • […] to myself during my bingeing days? Did I ruin my belly for good?” (Signs point to “no,” but my guilt has pointed to maybe more than […]

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