“The Binge Eating Diaries” is a series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her experience overcoming binge eating disorder. Follow Jacki every other Thursday as she shares her story.
Solitude and binge eating went hand in hand for me. Unless I knew a “bingeing party” with an equally food-obsessed friend was going to occur, I preferred and almost always ate alone. This made social gatherings or outings very difficult: “Go out and pretend I don’t see, smell, even hear food taunting me?” Or “Stay in and gorge comfortably where no one can see me?” The answer was easy, food over friends… well, food over everything.
With my food tunnel vision allowing in more light each and every day, I have more room at the table for other aspects of life. When my life was consumed by food, I had no brain space left for anything else. Today, I’m managing an apprenticeship, a part-time job, exercising, my home, my home life and all it entails, AND a social life. As tired and overwhelmed as I sometimes get, I am in love with the feeling of functioning at 100 percent, of putting other things above food.
My boyfriend’s birthday was last weekend and one of the birthday events revolved around food. I managed to enjoy going out to dinner, tasting each bite of my vegetable and salmon covered pasta, and even bringing home leftovers. I was in public, eating pasta, and was able to split the enormous portion in half! Although my brain was tempting me, my body was full, and so I stopped eating like I see “normal eaters” do every day. I didn’t become unglued by my typical all-or-nothing thought patterns. Just like that, my physical fullness and mental satiety were in sync! As a former binger, I know this is a huge accomplishment.
Savor your small successes and love your moments of strength. I would love to hear about any of your small successes. This blog is just as much an outlet for me as I hope it can be for you. This is a safe space to vent, encourage, understand and connect.