The Binge Eating Diaries: Are You Feeding The Body or Mind?

By Jacki Monaco on 03/07/2013
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317196_10150276432662185_530772184_6980224_1434179502_nA series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her journey to overcome binge eating. Follow her every other Thursday as she blogs about the victories and challenges of repairing her relationships with food, her body and herself.

For the last few weeks I’ve been toying with an idea that has seemed out of reach for me the last twenty-four years (well let’s call it twenty and give my parents some credit for my early years of nourishment). I’ve heard about it, read about, and seen it in action but I’d never experienced the untouchable rule that binge eaters like my self strive to follow- feeding the body instead of the mind.

I hate to give any credit to “the bug” that has been traveling from one unsuspecting host to another over here in LA but I do have to say thank you to my dramatically titled sinusitis. The whole “I-can’t-even-swallow-my-own-thoughts-let-alone-solid-food” thing gave me the space and time to really identify my hunger cues.

When I’m healthy and bored I tend to eat to fill up that space and time, but when I was sick and bored I knew it was time to click the next Netflix victim or rest my weary bones.

I guess I’m not so much crediting the bug as I am my own body for re-introducing this concept to my mind- that eating past the point of fullness is, without question, uncomfortable. Since I’ve been on the mend, I’ve taken the calmness my body felt while sick and have been using it as an example for how I’d like to feel all the time- not bloated, comfortably full, nourished with the right foods and amounts. Even though I had already transitioned to a more well-rounded diet of leaner foods, more vegetables, and less gluten, I can honestly tell you now that I was still eating past my level of hunger.

Whether it’s with organic food from Trader Joes or Big Macs from McDonalds, overeating is overeating and binging is binging. Might the effects on our body vary depending on the type of food? Yes. But can our hungry, anxious minds tell the difference between food groups when we’re not eating for our bodies, but stuffing our minds?

Emotions and clocks need to no longer dictate how, what, and how much we eat. It’s time to start fueling our vessels instead of polluting them.

How does your body feel today?

6 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Ryan says:

    Interesting post, Jacki. I know it’s possible to abuse your body with healthy food- when I was at the height of my disorder, I could have binged on pretty much anything (and I did). Sometimes it’s hard to know for sure where the urge to eat is coming from. When I was deep in my bulimia, I thought that my bingeing was emotional- a way of feeding my mind, as you eloquently put it. But now that I look back on it, I think my body probably also needed the food, since I was not eating enough outside of my binges. I think it was maybe a combination of both- feeding the body AND the mind. That being said, I also wish I could have fed them both in a way that didn’t leave me feeling so awful, so I definitely understand why you want to focus on being mindful and eating to fuel the body. Just make sure you take care of your mind as well :)

  • Jace says:

    Thank you for your comment Ryan :-)

  • Brenda says:

    I found this blog post purely by chance. It really resonated with me … especially the part about your various “selfs” and how they spoke to you. There are many times when I am supremely unkind to myself, and the words that are aimed at me by my “selfs” reflect that (someone who has experienced this will know that this is NOT the type of splitting that is akin to psychosis …). Anyway … it was just nice to see that someone else has experienced this same sort of awful self-talk. Thank you for writing it.

  • Brenda says:

    And … I just realized I posted my comment on the wrong blog. Oh well … it was another in this series, I believe. Thanks!

    • Jace says:

      Hi Brenda,

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. No matter which blog on the site resonated with you, we are so glad that one of them did.

      Even if the blog you originally read wasn’t written by me, I absolutely feel qualified to comment on poor self-talk. I have judged myself and used such unkind words that I’m surprised “I” even still talk to “me” (If that makes sense?)

      A huge step is noticing negative self-talk and you have already accomplished this. I have taken this step, too. Now, we can both work on step number two- changing a bit of the negative talk to positive words. If positivity is too much to begin with feeding ourselves a bit less negative energy is a great place to start.

      Thank you so much for commenting, Brenda. We hope you continue to read the blog postings on this site. You are NOT alone!

      Jacki

      • Jace says:

        Look at that! Brenda, I have a blog post on the site about having an alter ego, whom I named “Jace.” She stemmed from my struggle with binge eating. I felt comfortable writing with you regarding positive/negative self-talk and I signed my actual name to this comment without a thought.

        I wanted to share this with you, Brenda, as this is kind of a mini-breakthrough for me and your comment encouraged it. Thank YOU!

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