The Binge Eating Diaries: Am I Restricting?


binge eating diaries destiny is a choiceIs My Restricted Eating Causing Binge Eating?

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation that uprooted some feelings and set off some alarms…I still have difficult days, but overall I thought that I was on a steady path. But I left that conversation feeling uncertain.

And yet, it was exactly the kind of uncertainty I needed to feel at that moment — as I continue on my individual path toward preventing my binge eating triggers.

An important question that I had failed to ask myself had all of sudden raised to the surface:

Have I been restricting?

Most days I don’t eat anything until between 1 and 3 in the afternoon. I felt like this was becoming my new normal. I didn’t feel like I was waiting to eat until the afternoon on purpose.

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I truly believed that this schedule of eating worked for my body and worked for my brain. I hadn’t been noticing any hunger pangs until later on in the day, and I was no longer associating “food” with “morning.” I didn’t see a flaw in my system because it felt right for me.

But now I’m not so sure – as soon as I heard the word “restricted” spoken out loud during that conversation… I got anxious. (Restricting all day before bingeing at night used to be a big part of my life.)

Fear May Lead To Restriction

And that’s when two thoughts came up for air – nearly taking my breath away…

  1. I’m afraid of starting to eat too early in the day for fear that I won’t stop. Once I start chewing, my “bingeing brain” still never wants to stop.
  2. I love looking forward to being able to eat when I get home at night. If I eat too much too early in the day, what is there to look forward to?

Even though physically bingeing on food hasn’t been a part of my life for a while, I didn’t realize how actively my brain was still bingeing on “food thoughts.”

I felt like I had found a strategy (a timeframe of eating) that was working for me. But subconsciously, I think I’m still scared…

Sometimes It’s Scary Distinguishing Physical From Emotional Hunger

I think I’m scared that it’s still hard for me to differentiate between:

  • Physically feeling hungry
  • Emotionally feeling like I want to eat
  • Socially feeling like I’m supposed to eat because it’s “meal time” (says the clock or my coworkers).

Even after all these years – finding a balance that makes me feel balanced is tricky.

And finally, those fears spilled over into my conscious mind. Just when I thought I was “safe” and on the “right track” here I am questioning everything… AGAIN. But as scary as these “aha!” moments can be – for me, these fears are also comforting.

How is that even a possibility? Because awareness is power!

[quote]I am aware enough to evaluate my eating patterns.
I am aware enough to dig a little deeper into those scary, familiar places.[/quote]

Awareness Is Empowerment

And this means that I have the power to make positive changes.

I know that personally without hard work, a support system, and confidence in my own journey, food could slide through the cracks and reclaim the throne when difficult challenges arise. But the important thing is that I KNOW – I am aware. And now, because of a single conversation, I have become even more conscious about my eating behaviors, habits, and feelings.

Read This Related Article:
To Get Unstuck, Step into Possibility

I’m not saying that my eating pattern of late has been wrong. There is no “right” or “wrong” – there’s only right for you and right for me. But being able to think about our individual situations objectively can help us put things into perspective. This way, we can make small alterations to our eating patterns – one bite at a time.

Finding A Safe Space Between ‘Eating’ And ‘Bingeing’

None of this is easy…I know that I’m not going to wake up one day and suddenly find myself with a mended “food friendship.” But every hard moment encourages me to keep fighting this battle.

I’m human. It’s hard. There is no formula. There is no answer. But there is hope. There is support. There is a safe space between “eating” and “bingeing.” There are choices.

My Next Choice

Listening to my stomach more closely during the day. Beginning to eat earlier if my body is hungry and if it feels like a safe, proactive, healthy decision for me.

Now…What do YOU choose?

Until Next Time,


P.S. I hope that you feel that it is a safe place to openly or anonymously share your thoughts and feelings about your food struggles, emotional eating, or binging as well as your triumphs and successes along your personal path. You are welcomed, and encouraged, to comment and join the conversation. And as always, thank you for stopping by, reading, and sharing my journey with me!

Read About Our Eating Program For Binge Eaters

4 responses to “The Binge Eating Diaries: Am I Restricting?”

  1. amanda says:

    Even though my ‘story’ is different from yours, I find myself struggling with this as well. I struggle between restricting with a combination of bingeing and purging. Fear is a big part of my disorder and I’m working on it but that’s a slow part to kick. I restrict more in hopes that I won’t binge or try to eat something small but that usually leads me to no place good, so I also push my meals off until I’m unable to wait any longer and then then battle ensues, just in a different direction.

    Thanks for blogging. I look forward to your blog posts!

    • jackimonaco says:


      Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your story with us. I completely agree that fear can play a huge role, no matter our individual struggles – and you’re right – its a difficult thing “to kick!”! But knowing this and talking about it here is an incredible step, thank you again for being so brave and so open. Also, your words, “then the battle ensues” completely resonates with me.

      I’m so happy to hear that you look forward to these posts! That truly makes me smile. 🙂

      Please feel safe and comfortable to comment on any previous/current/future posts!


  2. AmberLynn Pappas says:

    I’m not a binge eater, but I do find myself tuning out my physical hunger cues from time to time. Especially when I’m feeding my kids. It’s so much easier to just skip a meal than to focus in on what I need. I’m there planning something very healthy for them and monitoring to see if they are still hungry or when to just take the food away because they’re full, but altogether keep myself from eating anything. I know exactly where this comes from and it’s a fear of doing the “mom thing” and eating my own lunch, plus whatever they don’t finish. In the end I just avoid eating anything at all. I have to remind myself to tune into my needs just like I’m tuning into theirs.

    • jackimonaco says:


      Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your story with us. You sound like an incredible mother, so focused on your children and their needs. I can only image how difficult it can be to balance feeding them and feeding yourself. (Feeding myself feels like a full time job!) For me, fear also plays a huge role in my eating patterns, but its so important that we remember that our needs matter, too. If we aren’t feeding our bodies properly and taking care of ourselves, then we can’t possibly have the energy to do it all – for everyone else!

      I love that you used the words “tune into my needs.” That sounds like an incredible step that could truly make a world of difference. I wish you the very best on your journey!

      Thank you again for commenting,

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About the Author

Jacki Monaco

Jacki (or Jace) is a Green Mountain alum that shares experiences with binge eating disorder through "The Binge Eating Diaries” series. Follow Jacki as she shares the discoveries she’s made on her journey to health and happiness.

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