And The Ugly

I guess it was only a matter of time before my disordered eating reared it’s uglyhead. For a couple of months, I have been floating through my blogging thinking I had found my magic pill. I thought a public account of my food and exercise would stop the madness. I have been in therapy for almost 2 years now, I had even contemplated not seeing her anymore. But then, last night happened.

Looking back, I saw it coming. A period of all or nothing in my life is generally followed by a binge. And last night was the night. On my way home from work, I had decided that I didn’t want to exercise. I was exhausted and I felt like resting was the right thing to do. In reality, this left me feeling very very guilty. Once again, my all or nothing thinking coming in to play. So, when my dear husband came home, instead of exercising like I told him I would be, I was cooking dinner. He said “Oh, I thought you were going to exercise” and the world as I knew it exploded.

The tears were pouring out, my head was pounding and I was overcome by emotion. After dinner, I sat in my emotional stew for a really long time, almost two hours. My thoughts were racing and every mistake I had ever made in my life was reeling in my head. I thought about my rough childhood, my failed relationships, my sad attempts at finding love, my past financial woes and even this blog. I thought about how it was so ironic that I had landed myself into a community of “healthy” eaters. Something I thought would help but has only left me feeling ashamed and guilty about the person that I really am.

Eventually, after I had cried so many tears that I think I was out of water, the thougths of food started to show up. I tried convincing myself that taking a shower or reading a book was the right answer. And before I knew it, I was opening the freezer and the next thing I knew, 3/4 of a pint of ice cream was gone. Was it good? I don’t know, I didn’t taste it. Did it make the awful feelings go away? No, it only made things worse but I think I accomplished what I set out to do. I put myself in physical pain in hopes that the emotional and mental pain would go away.

You see, in the midst of a binge all sorts of things cross through my mind. I am completely aware of what I am doing. I know that I am eating for reasons other than hunger or even pleasure for that matter. I am aware that every bite is making my stomach fuller and fuller and that the pain is coming. I am aware that I am consuming “way too many” calories. And even in my awareness of all of those things, I can’t stop. The urge is like an uncontrollable force. It hurts but the sad part is that at that time, the pain is what I think I deserve. A penance for all of the mistakes.

I’m not sure if you have read my “my story” tab where I touch on the binge eating and I’m not sure if you really knew what it meant. But this is it. This is my disorder.

35 Responses

  1. This almost made me tear up. I’m almost certain I would’ve cried if I were the only person in the room. Pride can be a driving force, eh? =P

    I was anorexic for a good 5 years or so. You can imagine the thoughts in my head when I found out that you’re supposed to eat “at least” 1200 calories a day to even start to lose weight… whereas for 5 years, I was conditioned to eating less than 400 calories a day. I felt like I was binging every single day. Most people would enjoy being able to eat that much & still lose weight, but it horrified me. No matter how many research & articles I read about it, I was convinced that it would never work. Every single time I ate a meal, I wanted to die. Recovery was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was also the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, too.

    I just wanted to let you know that I’m extremely proud of you for opening up to admit this to the entire public of the internet. It takes a really strong person to do that when it’s so easy just to leave that part out of the blog & just post pictures of the great, healthy things you eat. You don’t “deserve” the pain, & once you figure that out, then and only then, can you start the healing process.

    If you ever need to just talk, shoot me an email & I’ll give you my instant messenger name. Keep your chin up, today is a new day & you’ve already made the first step.

  2. Oh Christie, I’m so sorry you went through this last night! Really, I think that you have made amazing progress from what I have read. You have written about intuitive eating, and you know what? I think you are a really good intuitive eater. I know that I come to your blog and I always think how intuned you are with your eating. Seriously – I think this every.single.time I visit your blog! Your posts are always so honest and thoughtful, you always are conscious about how you feel before, during, and after you eat. I think you are an inspiration!

    I know yesterday was rough, but you will get through it. I was going through a bit of a rough time this week, too. I also had a few days this week where I was just crying my eyes out and everything seemed like the end of the world to me. But you know what? I got through it, and you will too. You have the support of your husband, and all your blog readers. We are here for you whenever you need us.

    Also, many times I have eaten when not hungry, just because I’m sad or angry and want to bury those feelings. You are not alone in this! I actually think it is very common. Plus, I can tell you something very positive about this entry: You are aware of why you were eating last night even though you were not physically hungry. Just the very fact that you were aware of this and wrote about it means you are an intuitive eater. Maybe you didn’t taste the food, but you did address the problem, which is always a step in the right direction.

    Another thing that makes me think you are a good intuitive eater is that you always post a Question of the Day. I look forward to these every day because I learn so much from you and from all the readers who comment.

    Sorry for such a long comment, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone, that you have the support of your readers, and that you are an inspiration for many people. Yesterday is in the past, something you can learn from and apply to today. Today is another day, a new beginning. Smile! Today will be a great day, I just know it!

  3. Thank you both for your awesome comments. I am glad I let it out.

  4. Christie,

    I am so sorry for your night last night and I can honetly relate… but thank God that you are better that this is such a rare occasion and be easy on yourslef, realize that we are all works in progress and when certain situations happen in our life… we go back to the comfort i what USE to make us feel good. Allow YOURSELF to forgive YOURSELF.. and realize YOU ARE a healthy person, one binge does NOT define who you are.. today is a new day and the past is over… do not be ashamed but be thankful that you hate what happened yesterday and that you are strong enough to get through it! One day at a time!

  5. ((((Christie))))

    You are brave to post this and realize it and admit it, which is something many other people simply cannot do.

    Regardless of up and down days, you are a rockstar 🙂

  6. I couldn’t have described a binge any better. And the phrase that i totally related to was how did it taste “i couldn’t remember” I do this and it’s almost as though someone else takes over my thoughts and my body. I just can’t seem to stop it, although i am trying.

  7. Christie,

    You are so strong for writing this out. The best part about having a “disordered eating past” is that now, the good days outweigh the bad days, and yes, there are bad days sometimes, but in some ways I think that makes the good ones that much better. I’m still in the process of recovering from bulimia, and so much of this struck a chord for me (especially all the thoughts going through your head while you ate the ice cream, and the talk of an uncontrollable force).
    One thing I’ve had to teach myself through my recovery is that one binge does not mean I have to start over from square one (I have the all-or-nothing personality much like yourself). And getting back on the wagon the next day is tough, but once you do it, it feels so good.
    Again, you are so brave for writing this and letting it out. I’m so sorry you had a bad night, but hopefully it’s followed by a beautiful new day!

  8. Christie, I’m terribly sorry that you had to endure this; but kudos for not feeling ashamed to share your story. I know you’re strong, and will continue to make progress and fight. We’re here for you in the blogging world!

  9. I am sending you BIG hugs. I totally respect you for sharing your feelings. That means that you are on your way to recovery. You didn’t hide it. You shared it and dealt with your feelings.

    I have cycled in and out of anorexia for years. I feel like I have recovered from the anorexia part, but I deal with the disordered eating thoughts every day. It is a process!

    Never feel defeated! We are all human and we have setbacks!

  10. This is a beautifully honest post. Thank you for sharing. You made my eyes well up with tears as I feel what you are feeling…

    I too appreciated the statement saying that you couldn’t remember what the ice cream tasted like…

    You have touched me with this post… thank you. Kudos for your honesty on your blog – it keeps me coming back.

    And hugs to you for what you are going through… ‘defeat’ is a common feeling for me in this weight loss process and I recognize everything you are saying in myself.

  11. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share this. You absolutely belong here…you are a joy to read and I love having you as a part of this community. I think that more food bloggers have issues with disordered eating and thinking. I think that many people seek out this community because they are looking to an alternative to the binge-restrict cycle. You aren’t alone with this. You are among friends.

  12. Thank you for such heartwarming responses. I can’t tell you how nervous I was to post this. I am so glad I did.

  13. Oh, Christie! I am sending you a HUGE virtual hug! Try to remember that what is done is done and today is a new day. I think that a lot of us out in blog world go through the same kind of emotions. There are so many times when I am extremely frustrated with my kids (or husband) and I find myself kneeing on the floor looking through the cupboards for something crunchy to eat….only no food item takes the anger away. It’s a VERY frustrating feeling! We are all rooting for you! I also want you to know that I REALLY appreciate all your comments on my blog….you are usually the only one that takes the time to do so.

  14. I appluad your honesty. I know that wasn’t easy to write or go live with. Focus on the positive things, what you learned from last night and how far you’ve come. And today, be sure to check in regurarly to how you’re feeling and how hungry you are. When our emotions build up too much, the binging monster strikes.

    You gotta lot of love and support in the blogging community no matter what! Don’t forget that!

  15. I don’t want to be repetitive, but I also want to show you my support. Thanks for sharing this story. I think the ups and downs of eating are just as important, if not more important, than showing supposed perfect eating. You will help somone with this post, I am sure of it.

    Have a good day, and like everyone said, your readers support you.


  16. Oh Christie!! I’m sorry you had a rough night, but you should also be so proud of this post… look at how you were able to reflect on it! You are such a hard worker, and you have done so well with your eating (this blog is proof of that!)….give yourself more credit!! You’re amazing!!! Keep your head up, and just take it one day at a time! And as many have stated before me….we are here to lean on! Again, thank you for being honest. It’s never easy.

    And have a great THURSDAY! And looky…then it will be Friday…and then it will be the WEEKEND! And then hopefully you can relax a bit!!! Right?! Right!!! YAY!

    P.S. Thank you for the sweet comment on my blog too. You really have no idea how happy it made me!! I really appreciate your support and reading! 🙂

  17. remember how when i mailed you the larabar and i asked that you pay the kindness forward? i would like you to pay it forward to yourself… you are amazing and you deserve all the wonderful things you have in this world!

  18. I’m sorry that you are struggling. Be kind to yourself, and just look forward. Don’t feel guilty for the past.

  19. As I read all of the comments to this post I am reminded of how blogging is such a great way to get support from others who know what you’re going through. I don’t want to simply repeat the other comments but I think it was very brave of you to post. This shows that you were able to reflect on the event in writing, which I feel is a sign of progress. Don’t let last night get you down. From reading your blog daily I think you do a great job of intuitive eating and exercising. Everyone has off days, so just keep your head up and leave last night in the past!

  20. i’ve read through all the comments above, and i don’t know if there is anythig for me to say since it has all been said there… all these people are fantastic, as are you. i love reading your blog, and ups and downs, however extreme, are completely expected and not anything to be ashamed of. i know that i have had and still have similar struggles, and i understand how absolutely bottom-of-the-pit it makes you feel, so i do wish you didn’t have to go through it, but you’re strong enough to beat it and you will. i hope you are happy that you had the courage to write this, because we are.

  21. Christie, you are such a strong person to write about this and i give you props. you are such a strong woman and i know that you can step past this because you are so strong. the simple fact that you wrote about it means you realized what you were doing and you can move past that. stay strong honey, we’re always here for you!

  22. Thank you for opening up about this. I’m sorry that this most recent episode happened to you… I know how tough it is, I know how it never completely goes away, very unfortunately I understand completely but above all this I hope you remember that YOU are still there. The disorder reared it’s ugly head again but that doesn’t make you any less strong, determined or capable of conquering it. You have come so far and are such an inspiration to so many people (obviously myself included) the fact that “it” happened again doesn’t take away from that. Move forward and be proud of yourself for the amazing person that you are, you can and deserve to do it 🙂

  23. I cannot thank you enough for this post. i recently came across your blog and was struck first by the photos. then by the story. i’ve always been an emotional eater, really struggling this past year and a half. More recently, i’ve fallen to binging. it’s only happenned a handful of times, but today was one of those days. so hearing you, seeing the supportive words from everyone… makes me think that yes, we can stop. and tomorrow is a new day. we deserve it!

  24. christie,
    thank you so much for taking the courage to write such an honest an honest post. as someone who once had a horrible relationship with food (from being overweight throughout childhood into high school), i often binged to make myself numb from what i was feeling, and this post describes the emotions that many of us have felt.
    i’m so sorry that you had a bad night, but remember that today is a new day and you should be so proud of the progess you’ve made. you create beautiful and healthy meals and i adore reading your blog.
    just remember that we are always here for you.

  25. Christie,
    I completely understand. I’m proud of you for sharing. Please contact me if you want support or to talk with someone who shares your struggle. I care about you so much and or relationship brings joy to my life. You’re an amazing person!
    Hugs and love!

  26. Christie–you are strong, girl. Posting about your binge and the feelings behind it to you bloggers takes guts. And–as you can see–you are not alone. Hugs to you!!

  27. Wow. I am awestruck, Christie. I don’t even know where to begin.

    Though I understand that this was IN NO WAY FOR SHOW (NOT A QUESTION ABOUT THAT!!!), I need to tell you that you have a special way with words. You are a marvel of a writer and this post has not only touched the hearts of all of your readers, but its song has resung itself in each of us. We ALL struggle with addictions, all of which take on that ALL or NOTHING approach. That, you must be BETTER than all ALL-OF-THE-TIME, just so when the NOTHING hits, you’ll be okay! We all set ourselves up for this intensely steep fall, and at some point or another, we all lose our balance. But here’s where YOU stand out:

    “…This is it. This is my disorder.”

    Not anymore, babe. NO LONGER is this JUST “your disorder”… Ya see, that’s where you kicked that b**** in the a** 😉 BECAUSE, in case she didn’t know, you are MUCH too strong to be forced to internalize her, giving her strength, power, and control over all mental/emotional thoughts/feelings that go on inside of your body and mind. And that was proven in this post. Yes, in case that stupid b**** didn’t know, you have US, and you just SHOT HER DOWN. Because no longer is this just between you and HER… It is now U.S. vs. her, and with us holding you up, there’s no chance that HER is gonna get ANYWHERE near you. But don’t you dare, for one ounce of a millisecond, think that this was all OUR doing. Au contraire, my beautiful Chris, this was 100% Y.O.U. Amazing, isn’t it? That you have THAT much power and strength? YOU were the one that put this painful and abusive relationship, this plaguing relationship into WORDS, something that ALL of us, whether it’s with food, drugs, althetics, alcohol (WHATEVERRR), truly struggle in even attempting to do.

    YOU tore off her mask and YOU took her out from inside of your mind and YOU revealed her to the world. Y.O.U. were STRONG ENOUGH to MAKE THAT CHOICE. And THAT, my darling, is STRONGER THAN ANY stupid b**** could EVER be. And it was Y.O.U., as previously stated, who put this incredibly emotional and powerfully charged experience into WORDS. Y.O.U. lifted yourself HIGHER than ever before, Y.O.U. rose up against HER and Y.O.U. WON BABY! How does that feel?!?! How does that feel to know that with all of us fighting with you, [ALL OF US WOMEN fighting her off, with you on our shoulders, holding you up HIGH] she can never touch you. Nope. She sure as hell can try. But b**** would be MAD foolish… Ouch. 😉

    Honestly and Truly Christie, this is a WORLDLY ACCOMPLISHMENT. You are one of the strongest women, strongest PEOPLE I’ve ever *known.* I feel so blessed to read your blog and gain all of your powerful insights. You’re a GEM and as I said before, we’ll hold you up HIGH HIGH HIGH, through all of your ups and downs, from HERE ON OUT! 🙂

  28. I’m new to your blog so I’ll need to read much more before I understand all that’s going on but I just want to say, as someone who has struggled with an ED myself, I am thinking of you and hope you are getting support from your reader, family and friends. It’s so brave to ‘come out’ in your blog and be honest with people. Stay strong and I’ll be back…

  29. Christie,
    I admire you so much for letting this out. You must be really brave. We all have our up days and our down days, and trust me, I’ve been there done that, and the best thing we can do is pick up the next day and start over, head held high. Remember, “this too shall pass.”
    God bless.

  30. Im very sorry to hear that. I think the most important thing to remember is when was the last time you had a binge. It was probably ages ago right? Well thats progress. One binge does not = failure. You have gained control over what your eating. Im sure even people with normal eating behaviours binge every now and then but just arn’t aware of it because its not a common occurence. Neither was your binge. Nowadays it is not a common occurrence so give yourself a break! But I understand how horrible it feels. I think your doing fine!!! You should exercise because you want to not because your afraid of the guilt attack if you don’t. That means your emotionally blackmailing yourself into disordered patterns. Im glad you feel a sense of community with your bloggers because I also find your comments on my blog very reassuring!!

  31. I’m reading this a week after the binge, and I’m happy to see that you’ve been able to move on normally and not let it suck you into an unhealthy cycle. I’ve been binge free for almost 6 months now and I fear what will happen if I binge now. Reading your posts have soothed my fears and helped me realize that one binge does not a relapse make!

  32. […] when we are happy we could dance or singe. So the question arises, what about those times that the ED takes over and logic is no longer available in our minds? That is where self care, or the mayonnaise jar , […]

  33. Another wow.. I magine how many fellow sufferers you have helped (including me) Your writing touches the soul of the reader. God bless you, Ciao, F

  34. Wow. What a clear description of a binge. Binging is my main mode of operating – eating disorder wise – and, well, I can just relate. I, though, am not brave enough to share as you are. Thank you for your help!

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