This post is the second installment in “The Binge Eating Diaries” series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her experience with binge eating disorder. Follow Jacki every other Thursday as she shares the discoveries she’s made on her journey to health and happiness.
In my first blog post, I introduced myself and my journey to overcome binge eating. I mentioned my nickname, an “alter ego” of sorts: Jace. Looking at it written out feels a bit narcissistic. As if lil’ ol’ me needs two names!
But, after hiding in black clothing inside my apartment for almost two years, I knew that “Jacki” was in serious trouble. For so long I was mad at myself because no one forced me to eat… I did.
Then, I would self-sabotage by eating anytime I was upset with myself for… eating. A vicious cycle, day after day. When I came to Green Mountain, Darla taught me self compassion. This is how “Jace” was born.
I needed to find strength during the times I felt weak, so Darla and I empowered these “weaker” parts of me by giving her attention and positive reinforcement: “Jace doesn’t need to binge,” “Jace doesn’t need to hate herself,” “She just needs to breathe and take each day, each meal, one step at a time.”
When I was able to give compassion to this part of me, Darla and I were able to discover why I turned to food to cope. Within a short time span almost two years earlier, someone close to me had passed away and my significant other left me because I was devastated.
Two different kinds of abandonment (that’s how both felt) that left me starved for comfort. Food ruined two years of my life – it gave me scars physically and emotionally. But I learned that in its own way, it saved my life by giving me something to live for when there was nothing else.
Now, Jace is the part of me I respect and admire. She’s the strong part of me that isn’t afraid to get fired up to make positive changes. But most importantly, I am her and I am stronger than my urges, desires, self-sabotaging.
Empower yourself: Throw a rope way down to your core, where all the pain you usually treat with food resides, and see who climbs up to the surface. You just might be surprised who you find.
Questions for Jacki? Leave them in the comments section below!