No Longer Keeping It A Secret

(this was a hard post to write. i thought about not writing it, but i have to…..)

I kinda promised myself that I wouldn’t write anymore about my bingeing (in my head) because to be honest I am tired of dragging myself and more importantly you my dear faithful readers through it.

But I have to share this with you because maybe just maybe this will help one of you.

After my Chocolate Covered Koala day it sent me into a three day ‘likening’ of chocolate of which I haven’t dealt with in a long time. We’re talking at least 8oz of chocolate in about 10 minutes. Then guilt…upset tummy…etc.

Yes, I should from a purely medical standpoint shouldn’t be eating chocolate becuase it honestly doesn’t agree with my stomach. But more…IT’S COVERING UP…masking what I am.

I was on Facebook last night and just let it out to one of my friends. I have done this before but I have never been so incredibly honest. I have never said

I am AFRAID of giving up bineging, because it’s comfort to me.
I ENJOY the instant high I get from bingeing
I FEEL that I will ALWAYS SUFFER
I am an ADDICT at time when it comes to food–aka MY DRUG

I have said these things before, but it was almost like I was at the pulpit with God. You know what..this is honeslty how I REALLY FEEL. No aplogies or even guilt. Just, yep, this is Me.

Then something happened….I was given grace. “Mish, I want you to e-mail me whenever you feel a binge coming on, even if it happened.”

I lost it. I had a choice.

Do I take up her offer and release myself from the secrecy of bingeing? -or- Do I fall into the “Oh thanks hon, but I couldn’t possibly burden you with my troubles”?

I took her grace. I e-mailed myself her e-mail and it sits and will sit in my inbox for however long I need it.

I wrote to her ME “I no longer have to suffer”

I know that I have written how happy I am, because frankly I am happy. However, there is this deep dark secret that I keep from people and I can mask it with cute hair cuts, training for 1/2 marathons, pumping iron, and superficial conversations. What it does those is it robs me of my life when I am alone, it steals my ability to be close to men, and more importantly I have enabled my disordered eating to trap me into a vicious cycle of self-doubt, pseudo-dieting and emotional rollercoastering.

If someone offers and shows your grace….take it.
If you know someone needs grace…give it.

My name is Michelle. I am a blogger, an American, natural blonde, aspiring nurse, and dare I say…. a recovering disordered eater. AND— I no longer am suffering quietly with my secret.

~Mish

44 thoughts on “No Longer Keeping It A Secret

  1. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    Hi Michelle… my name is Karen and I am a recovering binge eater. I have learned to not to say “never again” and to be okay with that.

    Bingeing does not cancel out all the other wonderful things. It doesn’t mean you’re not capable, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your hair cut, it doesn’t mean that you can’t train for a half. Those things aren’t mutually exclusive.

    You’re shining a light on it…that’s a good thing!

  2. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self says:

    I think a big reason I struggled with binge eating for so many years was b/c I was terrified of reaching out to get help. How could I possibly tell someone about what I was doing? I was convinced I was crazy, that everyone would just think I was gross. I didn’t realize I had a legitimate problem and that I needed to get help for it.

    I think that all of us who have suffered should try our hardest to be honest and upfront about our struggles – as difficult as that is – in order to shed light on this issue and take away the stigma surrounding it.

    • Mish says:

      I didn’t want to think of myself as one of ‘those’ people..I was ‘strong’ enough to avoid that. I am stronger identifying myself with that then when i tried to deny it. weird, but so true.

  3. Maria (realfitmama) says:

    Hi Michelle – I’m Maria and I too am a (recovering I hope) binge eater. I don’t talk about it with my family or my friends because, frankly, I don’t think they know what to think of me sometimes. I’m the “fit” one. I’m the “healthy” one. I’m the “runner”. I’m the “happy” mom. I’m the…fill in the blank.

    I am all those things most of the time, but there are times, when I’m all alone in the kitchen and no one knows I’m in there that I will eat and eat and eat because I was craving something, denied it for as long as I could and then ate everything else instead.

    Then the cycle begins. I feel sick in my stomach, in my heart and in my head. I feel like a fraud. I feel like a failure. I feel like a liar. I feel like a lot of things.

    This sort of thing hasn’t happened in quite some time, but there are times in the kitchen when I stare at the pantry and think about all those times before. I think that I really want to drag that chocolate bar through the jar of peanut butter and munch, munch, munch!

    Now I can talk myself out of it more easily than before, but sometimes I will stand there for what seems like an eternity having that inner battle with myself before I either give in (that happened Mother’s Day/my birthday weekend with “surprise mommy with doughnuts for breakfast” eclairs) or redirect myself into another activity.

    Thank you for sharing your secret and you can email me anytime you feel a binge coming on or if it has already happened. I know exactly how you feel.

    • Mish says:

      you are so strong to write this and I mean that. Thank you for sharing…in a weird twisted way I am so thankful that I am NOT the only one. You are not alone in this and neither am I. I will e-mail you and that goes for you as well. when that pantry is calling…you e-mail me.

  4. Angela @ A Healthy Fit says:

    I just read this post and yesterday I had eaten a bunch of chips and then started in on some chocolate. I wanted to binge. Right now I am seeing a nutritionist for my disordered eating habits and BDD. It is so hard to tell people about it. Since I have let it out a bit, I feel so much better about it all. Good for you to have someone to lean on. I talked myself out of binging by listening to one of the recordings from my nutritionist that I have on my phone. I just started talking about some of my struggles on my blog. It was scary, but I actually feel better now knowing that other people relate.

  5. simplytrece says:

    I understand what you are saying. There are times when I am mechanically chomping my way thru a bag of Cheetos, and I KNOW that I am doing it to stuff things down, tamping it like a smoker tamps a pipe. I have no idea when I’ll be able to stop. . .

  6. seattlerunnergirl says:

    Keeping things secret gives them power over you. Bringing them into the light is like taking your power back. I am so impressed by your willingness to talk about this thing you don’t want to talk about anymore, simply because it might (and it WILL) help someone else.

    I used to eat my favorite foods in secret. My husband couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight. Neither could my family and friends. Now if I want a treat, I eat it in front of someone. THAT is my way of taking the shame out of eating that treat. Because eating it isn’t a shame; letting your secrets and binges have power over you is a shame. (Not shameful, mind…just a shame, because it robs you of life.)

    • Mish says:

      it’s like the wings are given to you and you fly when the secret no longer clips your wings. good on your for being honest….I love it.

  7. missyrayn says:

    This is so honest and powerful.

    I have the same feeling about sugar. It is my comfort even if it makes me sick and unhealthy. It is hard to just sit with the emotions instead of binging to “fix” them.

  8. Christine says:

    Hey Michelle,

    I follow your blog every day and think it’s amazing! I want to share this website and youtube account I found that has greatly helped me and is right in line with what you’re trying to do:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/OvercomeBingeEating

    http://www.outgrow-eating-disorders.com/how-to-love-yourself-4.html

    I am also a recovering binge eater and have found both God’s help and an ordered day to make all the difference. I’ve always heard the phrase “eat to live, not live to eat” and thought it was kind of – whatever. But when my priest suggested that I order my day, my whole world with binging changed. I’ve found that by having a scheduled, full day (scheduled rest times included), I knew what I needed to be doing. For me, binging is very related to both procrastination and guilt. I often have guilt about eating everything and trying to relax when I know I should be cleaning or doing something. I’ve found it makes all the difference to just START doing those things. You will gain strength you never knew you had,.

    Then I had this other thought: God will not take away our crosses. They are for us to carry. We can ask Him for help, but in the end, they are good for us. What if, instead of turning to binging, we separate ourselves from the environment (go to another room) and just give Him each and every feeling, fear, emotion and stress…one at a time? If you think about it, this could be an amazing way to constantly be in touch with God and “pray always.”

    Geneen Roth once said “we do not want chocolate fudge sundays. We want our lives to be chocolate fudge sundays.” Go live your Sunday!!!

    • Mish says:

      Christine thank you so much for writing this. I was telling my friend today…as I was driving to church…that I feel that God has something for me. I don’t know what it is, but to be honest even when I was in the DEPTHS of hell with this…I knew I had to keep fighting. Thank you for these links and I am going to look at them tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your faith, it means SO much to me.

  9. Miz says:

    xo xo

    for me it is all about bringing secrets to light and realizing that SHINING OF THE LIGHT strips them of their power.

    • Mish says:

      and to be honest…when I said ‘I like the feeling of being high from binges’ was a release. The shame, guilt, etc from trying to discount that honest sentiment was scarier and more consuming then just saying exactly how I felt.

  10. Christie {Honoring Health} says:

    Good for you for letting our your secrets now, you can be free from it and embrace it. Once you embrace who you truly are and how you truly feel, then you can learn how to use those things to your advantage instead of allowing them to trap you in the past. How does that binging help you? Maybe it brings you more awareness that there is still internal work to be done. Maybe it protects you for feelings things you aren’t ready for. Embrace it. Be with it. Use it.

    What you resist, persists and what you can not be with will not let you be. ~Debbie Ford

    Much love. I am always here for you as well.

    • Mish says:

      I appreciate you writing this. Because through my moment of clarity I realise that there’s still work to be done….and I am ok with that. And THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your friendship.

  11. Amanda @ Amanda On Foot says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I, too, need to come clean with my unhealthy eating habits. It’s just so damn hard!

    I want to be strong like you and admit everything to my family, my friends, myself, but I still haven’t found the courage or strength.

  12. Marie says:

    I’m so very proud of you to open up about your secret to friends.
    I did my big “coming out” about binging a few months ago.

    The weirdest thing happened… The two friends I told about are pretty, thin and seems like they would not have the same food issues as I have. Well they both confessed back to have done it at some point of their lives, and said they still struggle with it sometimes. We all felt relieved somehow. They both had never tell anyone either. So now we can help each other when we feel like going off the wagon.

    Why are we so secretive about binging, I don’t know!!!

    • Mish says:

      That’s what I am realising is that it isn’t just the “FAT” girl who struggle. OMG, I have had MANY conversations with seemingly ‘thin’ women who struggle hardcore with this. It’s a silent condition that is healed by this community that you’re creating. good on you.

      • Marie says:

        Do you know even Kathy Griffin used to do binges? She talks about it in her book and how she overcame it with Overeater anonymus meetings amongst other thing.

  13. Sarah says:

    I so appreciate your honesty. Sometimes? I feel pretty much the same.

    I also really appreciate this:
    “If someone offers and shows your grace….take it.
    If you know someone needs grace…give it.” I’ve had quite a bit of trouble accepting grace this week. Like I just want to punish myself for not measuring up, but if I accept grace, I haven’t paid up. I learning to think differently…slowly.

    • Mish says:

      grace is given to you when you need it. take it, even if you don’t think you need it…but more importantly know that it’s been shown to you out of someone’s love for you. (I totally get it though) People don’t give you Grace, God doesn’t show grace—because you’re perfect…otherwise we’d never get it. Grace isn’t due to perfection. Grace is life, breathe, energy.

  14. Lara (Thinspired) says:

    I have had so many friends tell me the same thing….call me, email me…all trying to be so supportive, and I never do it. Something about admitting all those feelings is really humiliating. Like to actually say, “I want to scarf down an entire box of cereal right now,” is mortifying, but sometimes true.
    Thanks for writing this Michelle. And, for what it’s worth, you can reach out to me ANY time ❤

  15. Dinneen @ Eat Without Guilt says:

    In my line of work you’d be shocked at the number of women I encounter with the same problem and/or issues. And many of them are thin!

    This is an issue that NEEDS to be brought out of the light, and thank you for shining a bit of your light on it. By doing so you’re not only helping yourself, but other women too.

    So much of my work is about having an open conversation about things such as bingeing, and reading your post has inspired me to talk about it MORE and help more women.

    thank you 🙂

    • Mish says:

      I don’t think it can ever be talked about too much. I have realised that everytime I talk about it I grow. And someone else comes forward with their hand raised saying ‘That’s me’. I hope that someday I am put in a place like you where I an actively help people overcome. until then, I am working on me. 🙂

  16. Kate says:

    I’ve heard that we’re only “as sick as our secrets”. That’s really encouraged me to share my struggles with someone who can keep my confidence, listen without judgement, and who will also pray for me.

    In our weakness, Christ’s strength is revealed, so there’s no need to pretend we’re perfect, or to even try.

    That said, one thing that has really helped me stay away from binges, has been to eat something nutritious every 3 or 4 hours. It sounds so simple, but when I’m STARVING, my body AND my mind are tempted to binge. When my body is fed well on a regular basis, I only have to deal with my mind wanting to binge. Fighting against only one foe at a time is much easier!

  17. Laurie says:

    Even though I am chiming in a few days later, I can so relate. I am a chronic binger, I get clean and sink back. I HATE it! and it was so refreshing to read your words.

  18. John says:

    I wish I knew why I’m not binging anymore. No not that I want to again it’s just that I’m not sure why I did it in the first place.I do know I wish you could find a way not to as I know it’s a terrible, vicious circle to get into.

  19. mel says:

    It takes immense courage to share something so personal and difficult, but sharing helps you and others. That’s an amazing gift. Support will only follow.

    • Mish says:

      it’s been amazing when I share my story and/or am totally open on my blog. I feel not only everyone around me lifting me up, but more importantly I find a little ounce of strength I didn’t know that I had in myself.

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