I was the fat kid. In high school, I was the chunky friend. In college, I was the funny girl who sang in coffeehouses to try and take focus off my weight. Instead of finding a balance between food and exercise, the years of denial and trying to hide my weight turned into depression. That depression and subsequent feelings were something I did not know how to handle, so I started to binge eat.
For the past 10 years, I have been a closet binge eater. Instead of dealing with my sadness, anger, disappointment, and stress, I have shoveled in calories by the thousands. This coping mechanism has done little except to medicate, cause some serious self-loathing, and propagate a pattern of self-destruction.
Oh, and let’s not forget, catapulting me to a high weight of 353 pounds.
After experiencing some kind of hurt, I would go to the store with the intention of self-medicating. Food was my drug. My binge of choice was a large bag of mini chocolate bars, a quart of mocha fudge ice cream, tortilla chips, white cheese dip, and a 2-liter of Coke. Generally, every last bite of it was gone in less than an hour.
Sounds like a bulemic, huh? Well, the difference between a bulemic and a binge-eater is that a binge-eater doesn’t purge. All 10,000 of those calories absorb into the human body as weight gain. One of those binges could easily result in a 3 pound weight gain. And sometimes I would have as many as 4-5 binges in one week. Yet for so many years, I complained about being so fat.
I spent the next several years yo-yo dieting. I would recover from my latest heartbreak, put away the donuts, and start some new fad diet. It would work, for a few months, and then something “bad” would happen, and I would start binge-eating again.
Finally in 2001, one of my friends convinced me to start exercising. I dropped 80 pounds. For the first time, I was attractive to men. So instead of binging on food, I binged on men. (not healthy either, but ohhhhhhhhhh so much more fun!)
That was the year I met my husband. I had two babies in 20 months, and my weight topped out at 353 pounds at the end of my second pregnancy. I was miserable. Though I managed to lose 30 pounds, my weight hovered right around 320 for 2 more years. I would diet and get down to around 290. But then something would set me off, and I would regain those 30 pounds. I kept losing and regaining the same 30 pounds. It was insane.
Finally, I sought counseling. I knew that if I was ever going to stop binge-eating, and acheive a healthy weight, I would need professional help. I mean seriously, this had been going on for more than a decade.
I met with a therapist who helped me deal with my emotions. I learned that it is okay to feel pain, anger, disappointment, and stress. I also learned that there are ways to deal with those issues…ways that do not include pouring food into my mouth like a cement truck. I discovered that binge-eating is indeed an eating disorder, and that there is treatment available. And lo and behold, I discovered that I can control myself. That I can monitor my intake. That I can exercise. And that I can lose weight and keep it off.
My new lifestyle is a choice. It does not happen miraculously. It is a daily battle. Just as a recovering drug addict or alcoholic has to choose each day to step away from the cocaine or the vodka, I must choose to step away from the king-size Snickers. I deal with my feelings head-on. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it is ugly. Reeeeeeeeeeally ugly. I scream and cry and carry on at times like a 4 year old. But it’s real. And I’m not medicating those feelings with calories that are killing me in the end.
I am currently a member of Weight Watchers online, which I highly recommend, for the reasonable price of $16.95 per month. I also belong to Gold’s Gym, which I do not recommend, though I do enjoy their personal trainers. I am taking a prescription medication called Adipex. I listen to guided imagery CD’s by BelleRuth Naperstek. I do yoga every morning, run on the elliptical machine every single day, and surround myself with loving, supportive people. I have completely set myself up for success. And if you’re in my shoes, you should do the same.
This journal records the journey of dealing with my food addictions, and finally acheiving a sane, realistic, and healthy weight for myself. This blog is appropriately named “Destination: 175.” That is my goal weight. Keep in mind that as an adult I have never weighed under 200 pounds.
I am a single mother of two brilliant children, Zoe, 6 and Zion, 4. I am a Jewelry Artisan, and I own my own business. My work can be seen and purchased on my website: http://www.glassbeadery.com.