Exposing Body Image Issues and their Impact on Binge Eating
Jacki Monaco is a Green Mountain alum who blogs about overcoming binge eating disorder. Her story was featured on CNN.com.
I vividly remember being 70 pounds heavier than I am now in long sleeves and long pants… when it was hot as hell outside. I would choose sweating profusely to avoid showing off any of my appendages.
“Tanktops? With my arms? (“Hello-Goodbye Flabs” I’ve always been fond of calling them). Get out of here.
Shorts? With these thunder thighs? Your madness astounds me.”
I would see girls my age, even women ten years older than me strutting around in crop tops and cutoffs. The knot of jealousy, envy, and self-hatred tightening inside of me threatened to keep me over-clothed and under-appreciated (by myself).
You Are Worth Fighting For
Even though I’m in the middle of my journey, I had to learn to love myself enough to get to Vermont, open the front door, and step into Green Mountain.
It didn’t matter how much anyone else wanted me to jump on the healthy, weight loss bandwagon. Until I knew that I deserved the chance to get back on track, all was lost.
What Are You Waiting For?
I’ve always made the mistake of waiting. Waiting until I had lost more weight to treat myself to a pair of decent fitting pants, thinking, “Just five more pounds and I’ll go shopping!”
Each day that I was at Green Mountain I started to care a little bit more. I would get dressed for dinner, throw on a little makeup, and accessorize in a way that made me feel like myself.
“If I could tell my unhappiest self to do something different, I would tell her to stop waiting and start living.”
Dare To NOT Compare
How do we fend off our need to compare? Put me in a room with 100 people of different sizes and I’ll tell you something that each of them has that I don’t. I compare… for absolutely no good reason. And I mean that. Never has a comparison done anything positive for my own body image or my binge eating. It has made me weak and I have let myself feel worthless.
But I can’t help but emphasize that in order to make a change you have to believe in yourself. Instead of waiting around this summer, bundled up and over-perspiring, I vote that we own the phrase,
“This is me now. I may not be where I want to be, but I am here. I am important. I am beautiful. And I am worth fighting for.”
I still lose this perspective all-too-often but until I put myself first, food was always going to win. And until I stop comparing, I will continue to defeat myself.
Tackling Summer 2014 in Comfort and Style
As the heat approaches, and so do barbeques and sundresses, let us remember that the better we take care of ourselves, the more we truly see ourselves. Let’s not wait to add a few new pieces to our wardrobe. We deserve to dress for our bodies today, to feel comfortable, sexy, and confident now.
The more we live in the moment and accept ourselves today, the more confidence we will have to continue on our personal paths tomorrow. We are worth it, ladies. That is one thing that I wholeheartedly believe.
I will continue to use this blog as an outlet to remind us all that it’s not about the crossing the finish line, it’s about finding ways to appreciate the journey…even if we’re not always sure where we’re headed.