The Binge Eating Diaries: Candy, Buffets and Weddings… Oh My!

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jacki afterThe Binge Eating Diaries is a monthly column by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on surviving and thriving with Binge Eating Disorder. 

It’s been quite the month, ladies and gentlemen. I’ve been to Las Vegas to visit my parents, taken my first trip to Disneyland, and attended a dear friend’s wedding (oh, and then there was that whole Halloween thing).

What did all of my adventures have in common? I’m sure you guessed it – fantastic food temptations:

  • What would Vegas be without a buffet?”
  • “How could one attend Mickey’s Halloween Party and not Trick or Treat?”
  • “Is a wedding even a wedding without champagne and cake?”

Needless to say, I have overindulged, and in the process, I have received countless “thank yous” from each individual taste bud and hatred from my stomach (in many a lovely form).

As I write this, I’m detoxing from wedding delicacies (prepare yourself for a list of the foods you hate to love): warm rolls, REAL full-fat butter, bubbly champagne and smooth wine, fresh salmon (covered in a glorious cream sauce), mouthwatering mashed potatoes, sickeningly sweet cappuccino, and of course, CAKE (which requires no adjective…it’s CAKE.) Full disclosure: There were also some chips, spring rolls, and candy in my possession.

I turned off my intuition, closed my book of knowledge, and dialed down that little voice in the back of my head (and big noises in the bottom of my stomach), pleading, “Don’t do it, Jace. Don’t you dare.”

Now, in hindsight, I could easily regret every bite, punish myself for every second helping, and judge myself for every non-nutritional choice, but every time I start (because I do start to regret, punish, and judge, like a good portion of you reading this right now probably do), I pluck a mantra from my goodie bag and run with it:

  • You are okay.
  • You had FUN. 
  • There’s no turning back, just moving forward.
  • You made a choice and that is OKAY.
  • Beating yourself up now isn’t going to delete a single calorie, etc., etc., etc.

We are okay. All of us. Each time we make a choice to indulge, we are enjoying a moment of our lives. One of my biggest goals since leaving Green Mountain has been to find other activities and adventures to overindulge in that don’t revolve around food, but “FOOD happens.” It’s life.

And I’m trying hard each and every day not to waste the next 24 hours, after a delicious “oops”, obsessing over my decisions. THAT is what hurts me the most – wasting my hard-earned energy by beating up my hard-working mind over an easy, happy moment.

Most days, I kick ass with my kale, carrots, and cashews (because these foods taste great and actually make me feel great, too), but with a mouth full of sweet and salty teeth, I’ve decided (since an earlier blog post) to not just live to eat or just eat to live…but just plain old live (and either way, there will be some eating involved!).

6 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Marsha Hudnall says:

    Thanks as always for sharing your experiences and thoughts, Jacki. They are so insightful and I hope helpful to readers. I’d just like to add some thoughts that may also help.

    First, I think what you are describing is not just your recovery from binge eating disorder but also the fact that you have digestive disturbances going on. Your statement about your taste buds thanking you but your stomach, well, not so much, indicates that. So your feelings about how you have eaten recently are highly influenced by that. I know you know that — I just want readers to fully understand it, too.

    For someone without digestive disturbances, I would encourage them to move away from the concept of “indulgence” to one of just eating what you love, knowing that sometimes it’s richer than at other times, but if you do it in a way that tastes/feels good, then your body can balance it all out.

    My fear about hanging on to the concept of indulgence is that we continue to think of some foods as pretty much off limits except at special times, when that’s not really the case at all. The foods you mention can easily fit into a well-balanced plan for mindful, intuitive eating at any time, even when we eat those foods all at the same time as at a wedding. It’s truly our thoughts about our eating that often have the biggest impact (unless, of course, you have physiological issues such as digestive disturbances or if you don’t eat a well-balanced diet most of the time). You say that yourself, of course, in this post.

    Here’s to plain ol’ living with some delicious eating involved!

  • Harriet Krivit says:

    I sort of “freeze frame”…survey the food scene and take time to choose exactly what I have a desire for.
    Interact with others but savor every morsal…small pieces help…slower eating helps. Do I really want more? Will I feel deprived if I don’t? Deprivation should be a 4 letter word even it’s 11. Somehow I never overeat out of my home. BUT in my home…I’m trapped with my gut pressing me to eat…thinking andmy brain take a back seat and my losing battle begins.

    • Jace says:

      Harriet,

      Thank you so much for reading and for commenting! Taking that moment to really figure out what your body, mind, and taste buds desire, is a great way to give ourselves power over what we’re choosing to eat. Slower, mindful eating is also a wonderful tool. I, too, have a harder time in the comfort and privacy of my own home. For me, it’s a daily struggle to find the balance that works for our minds and our bodies: wants vs. needs, desires vs. boredom, and treats vs. tricks- do I want this particular “treat”, or is my body playing a “trick” on my mind, or the other way around?

      Thank you again for sharing with us, Harriet. I hope you continue to find this blog a safe place to read, share, and interact :-)

      Jace

  • Great post. Very inspiring, and very important for people to understand.

    As an elite athlete many people ask me for training and nutrition advice. I am happy to help, but I see many people have a slip up day, and then give up completely because they think they have failed. What you have talked about is exactly the attitude you need to have. No-one is perfect, you have days to indulge, I have days to indulge, everyone does!

    As long as overall you make sure your lifestyle is healthy, there is no need to feel bad about consuming what you enjoy! Restricting only makes you crave it more (I know that first hand). I hope lots of people read this post and listen to your advice!

    Tina
    http://fuelyourfuturewithtina.blogspot.com/

    • Jace says:

      Tina,

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Everything you wrote rings completely true to me! Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. I hope you continue to read and find inspiration within our blogs!

      Best,
      Jace

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