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.
At some point for most binge eaters, it’s a possibility someone will ask – out of concern for our health due to rapid weight gain, out of confusion due to our odd eating patterns, out of frustration thanks to our secrecy, or out of love because something isn’t right.
But trying to talk about a binge to non-binger can make you want to binge.
Although I hadn’t been binging, it was still a terrifying to change to move out to California one year ago. I was about to live in a strange place with my brother and his fiancée and the idea of not having any safe places to binge if I needed to was disconcerting.
How will I get to a grocery store?
Where’s the nearest Taco Bell?
How will I be able to sneak food into my room? I guess I could use my car?
Luckily, through the transitions my brother became aware of what I was going through, that I was (now a recovering) binge eater, and that a week prior I’d just gotten back from my stay at Green Mountain. We all didn’t have to have “the talk” because they were in-the-know.
When the time came to move in with my boyfriend, it’s not like I could just hope it would never come up because while I haven’t binged in quite a while; I think of it often and eating still isn’t easy for me. Each meal is a date with an ex-boyfriend; and I need to remember it’s only a bootycall, NOT a proposal. How do you tell the guy you love that when you move in, you’re bringing every “man” you’ve ever dated to share your home too?
Telling my never-had-a-weight-struggle-in-shape-by-default-where-are-the-doritos-boyfriend that I have food issues felt like telling him I had a rare, incurable disease.
“Hi, I’m Jacki and this is what you’re signing up for if you pick me!” I feel like I come with a disclaimer sometimes, in the moments when I dehumanize myself from real girl to walking pile of lard. WARNING: Danger. Food Issues. Body Dysmorphia. Turn Back! This time, this man didn’t run. He just loved me harder and told me with his eyes that we’d do this together.
Phase one is being able to say it out loud, but then comes phase two: “We’re talking about this, but how much can we talk about it?” Now that the can of worms is open, it’s difficult to find a balance between sharing and over-sharing. I’m guilty of overwhelming his non-binging brain with my binging thoughts, food frustrations, and body image issues, e.g.”no one else can ever love me enough to make up for the fact that I don’t love myself.”
So knowing this, everyday I try (keyword try) to appreciate something about myself, even if it’s extremely small. Some days I’ll attempt to say it out loud and share a positive thought instead of just the abundance of negative thoughts that I word vomit on the daily. Have you tried to love a random joint, a toe, an elbow? I’ve become fond of my thumbs.
Have you found a way to share with your loved ones? Did you find it difficult to talk “binge” with a food-friendly individual? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.