I’ve had this post saved in my drafts for 2 weeks. I wrote it at a time when I felt empowered, fed up and ready to share my story. When there were no thoughts of failure or fear. And then things changed. The self-doubt and unease crept back in. My ego said, “Nancy who do you think you are to publish this post? Who do you think you are to be totally and completely vulnerable? You’re not any different. You’re not going to change, this is who you are. This is your comfort zone. It’s easier to be average and blend in than it is to rise above, to be unique and to be successful because that is where the spotlight and the attention are.” Well I finally gathered the courage to hit publish. This post isn’t perfect but it’s real and it’s a part of my story.
I didn’t want to make this blog. I didn’t think I had a story worth sharing. I didn’t think I was any different (and I still don’t believe I am).
“It seems like everyone out there is making their own blog now.”
“I’m sure there are hundred of blogs out there just like what mine would be like.”
“I’m not a good writer.”
“People will judge me.”
“Do I really want people to know what I am going through?”
This negativity, fear and doubt surrounding my blog mirror the self-talk that runs through my mind each and every single day. I didn’t want to make this blog. Yet here I am, taking a leap, and making a blog. Why? Because I am sick and tired of hiding. I am sick and tired of feeling like I live a double life. I am fed up with being depressed, alone and not understood. I am done with caring what other people are going to think, who is going to find out my deepest secrets, where my reputation is going to end up. My new attitude: bring on the arrows. Yes, I am scared. Yes, I know I am putting myself completely out there to be scrutinized, ridiculed, and judged. But I am realizing those people shouldn’t mean anything to me anyways and their criticism is a reflection of something going on within themselves. Anyways, I’m doing this for myself as much as I’m doing it for anyone else.
So what’s the big secret?
I’m a binge eater.
I eat excessive amounts of high sugar, high carb, junk food, usually multiple times a week. I hide it from my friends, my roommates, my family. I shamelessly spend $20, $30, $40 per binge. I walk to convenience stores (sometimes in the middle of the night) and buy enough food to know I will be able to completely stuff myself to the point where I can’t take one more bite.
I don’t really know. I’m still trying to figure that out. I have learned a lot about myself and about binge eating in the process but I don’t think there is one clear-cut answer as to why I do this. I know it has to do with lack of control, with calorie restriction and dieting in the past, with guilt, with self-criticism, with comfort, enjoyment, and disappointment. It has become a habit, an addiction, something I love and hate (the love comes first and the hate follows). While writing this I am not even completely sure I want to stop binge eating, the high I get from surrounding myself with junk food, the dopamine rush my brain gets from the sugar, the numbing effect it has on my emotions, those are hard things to part with. But what about the guilt, the self-hate, the shame I feel afterwards? Those are emotions I ignore and push out of my mind until the binge is over.
“This is my last binge ever.”
“Tomorrow I am going to do extra cardio.”
“I still have time before summer.”
These are common thoughts my mind makes up before and after I binge in order to justify my actions. My mind is so freaking smart it’s scary. It knows exactly what to say to make it okay to binge and I almost always listen to that voice because I believe it is me.
I’m by no means healed by writing this post. Do I feel any different? Not really. Do I want people to even see and read this? Kind of. It doesn’t really matter though. I know recovery is a process and doesn’t happen overnight. Binge eating is not a light switch you can turn on and off. I made a commitment and a promise to myself and this blog is a present to me. So happy early birthday Nancy. You are a goddess.
I wouldn’t have been able to make this blog if it weren’t for the help, love, support and guidance of Sheira Mackenzie, Belinda Ginter, Natalie Russo, Kelsey Sarcone, Leanne Agastina and Beth Cormack. Thank you beautiful goddesss I love and appreciate you beyond measure.