Stuffed With Emptiness: Full-Fledged Addiction

by tinareale on December 13, 2011

Please note that the Stuffed With Emptiness  (click for all other posts in this series) posts touch on detailed parts of my past experience with binge eating. If this could be a triggering topic to you in any way, please do not continue reading. As for the images in the post, I chose pictures of the fullness of my current life to remember I am not the person described below anymore.

I know I have talked a good bit recently about my strong need to find balance during the holidays and my slight anxiety over slipping back into old habits. I keep touching on these topics because it is a big deal to me.Why? Because “slipping back into old habits” for me isn’t simply eating a few too many cookies and feeling bloated for a day or two. It goes much deeper.

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While I have certainly come a long way in my relationship with food, it still feels like a slippery slope. I have to consistently work on not viewing food as something to handle stress or emotions. I have to play a tightrope balancing act daily to make sure I eat enough to feel satisfied, but not so much that I trigger old urges. Honestly, I would say I get the niggling thoughts in the back of my head to binge at least once a week. I don’t act on it, but it is still there. And it’s still hard.

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So, this time of year poses a greater risk for old feelings to lead to a knee-jerk reaction to binge. Which I must fight from happening because I always fear it will make it that much harder to keep off the next one. After all, my binges weren’t just a sporadic occurrence of feeling slightly over full. Oh, no. They were a full fledged addiction that overtook my entire life. For this Stuffed With Emptiness post, I will share a few examples of just how deep this addiction went and the disturbing actions I took to feed it.

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One day I called in sick to my teaching job. I feigned illness to Peter. “A stomach ache”, I said. Yet I knew I felt fine at the start of the day…and the stomach ache would only come later in the day. After Peter left for work, I drove to the Walmart (because it had self check-out lanes so I could avoid the “judgment”) and bought two containers of Lofthouse Iced Sugar Cookies and a box of Reese’s Puffs cereal. I spent the day lying on the couch, eating everything, before driving around the corner to the gas station to dump the trash to hide it all later.

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I had the urge to binge so badly one afternoon that I frantically pulled over to a grocery store. I went in and picked out my binge foods of the day – that time I chose a bag of fun sized candy and some bakery frosted brownies. When I walked up to the counter I realized that there were no self-check counters. I panicked. The cashier couldn’t find out this was all for me. Instead of realizing the disturbing quality of that thought, I rushed to pick out a birthday card and cheap bouquet of flowers. I then proceeded to make up an elaborate story of my friend’s birthday and  her love of sweets as I spoke with the cashier. I even remember emphasizing how none of it was for me because I try to eat healthy.

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I found any and every reason to “have to binge”. A good day? That called for a celebratory treat – in the form of two milkshakes and some fries. Stress from a tough day at work? I was at the store within minutes of leaving work buying whatever I could manage to eat in the thirty minute drive home – including a dozen doughnuts. Tired from late nights? I needed a pick-me-up. If I didn’t have a reason, I would “gamble”. I would tell myself that if I stopped at store X and they had product Y available, then I was meant to have it that day. Needless to say, I always “won” those little games.

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These types of actions went on day after day after day. I knew it was wrong. I wanted to stop. Every night I laid down and felt as though I would hurl at any second because I could feel the pressure rising from an over-packed stomach. Every night that sensation sickened me just as much as it pains me now to think back on that feeling. Every night I vowed “never again”. And by noon the following day I was likely plotting when my next binge could happen. There were times I even couldn’t hold off at work and would raid vending machines and break rooms so I could sneak bites leaning over my desk drawers in between classes or during my planning period.

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These actions immensely affected my health. They affected my self-respect. If I had continued down that path, I have no doubt they would have ruined my marriage, my family, my job, my faith…my life. I went through a LOT to finally break from that hell and praise God for helping to heal me. Yet I know I have to constantly remain aware of that time in my life, so I don’t go back. It’s not completely gone and that fact alone, makes me more sensitive to situations that bring those sensations back even the slightest bit more than normal. It also drives me to expose the dark side of this disorder so others don’t feel as alone. Now, I will get to sharing the steps on my journey to healing. I hope you stay tuned. Thanks for the support so far. Red heart

{ 94 comments }

1 Lori Lynn December 13, 2011 at 8:21 am

Thank you for being so honest. I’m not sure I would have the strength enough to post so openly about my true feelings. I relate to this a lot, and sometimes wonder if I’ll ever overcome my battles with food. It’s a really good reminder that it is possible! :-)

2 Heather (Heather's Dish) December 13, 2011 at 8:24 am

girl, i understand more than i could express. i love that you’re sharing this deeply personal pain because it’s shedding light on just how awful it can be. i’m so proud of you for following God to overcome it and for being aware of the temptation to fall back!

3 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

This is an amazing post! Loved reading it :)

4 Mish December 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

Man alive, do I GET IT! It’s every single day and it’s hard work. After losing weight successfully I got into a horrible abusive relationship where he wanted me thin. I remember starving myself the whole week, weighing-in and then binging. It started there. It was the relieve for being ‘good’ and an anxiety reliever for the stress I had put myself under throughout the relationship to be something that I didn’t want to be..void and thin.

I remember puking up blueberry muffin mix in the shower because I ate the whole batch. Walking down the street and getting a double scoop ice cream. Finishing it, then walking back to a different place. Eating pans of brownies, cookies, cartons of ice cream.

The thing that I’m learning, God help me, is that I have to be an observer of my emotions. That I have control of my feelings, that there is NOTHING too much that I can’t handle without food. That by the grace within me and my faith and the love around me I can fall on my knees and admitt when I am weak. That it’s ok to be where I am.right.now. I am working on getting through the fear, which is the voice of the binger, that says I can’t handle situations//that I’m too weak.

Tina, it’s fabulous that you’re writing this. What I hope and pray is that you know that you are making it the best you can each and every single day. We all are. It’s so freaking hard to explain to people, but each day that you let yourself be where you are and know know know that you are strengthened you will survive. I promise. Don’t fear, you are stronger than fear.

5 tinareale December 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

Thanks, Michelle. I love you and the fact that you get it so deeply as well. This thing is EVIL but we can keep fighting it off. And I feel SO blessed to have connected with others like you to help encourage one another and others in the process. Hugs!

6 Mish December 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

It is Evil and realising that you can shine love, light and grace into it is such a huge step. You’re brave for writing this. What I admire more about this, is that it gives people the ability to realise that you’re NOT alone. When you’re in the midst of the hell of binging you feel so isolated/ashamed/hidden. Giving it words and giving it space to let others heal and see that they are not alone is worth more than you know. Congrats. Sending prayers for peace for you this Christmas. Know that you’re not alone..if anything..I’m here cheering you on!

7 Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) December 13, 2011 at 8:43 am

I love reading your posts, Tina, because you are so real. I just love your honesty- keep it up!

8 Lauren @ Forward is a Pace December 13, 2011 at 8:45 am

I love how honest you are in these posts, Tina. I always learn something new. I had no idea that you still have to fight the little thoughts in your head on a weekly basis! How amazing that you are able to stay strong and live your best possible life. Thank you for sharing your story so we can all learn from it.

9 Michelle @ Lipstick and Lunges December 13, 2011 at 8:49 am

I really admire you for sharing this story and for coming so far in your recovery and regaining control over food. It’s really an inspiration to other women who battle binge eating (myself included). Thanks so much for sharing.
— Michelle

10 Michelle@PeachyPalate December 13, 2011 at 8:49 am

Thank you so much sharing your story. It’s inspired me to start sharing mine. I binged and purged for 2 years having suffered from anorexia for years previous and then reverted back to the anorexia as I gained control to the extreme. I binged in work, at home, in the car…it left me feeling so dirty, disgusting and secretive…not to mention out of pocket. Purging took place in public toilets the majority of time in an effort to avoid being caught. I too share the anxiety especially this time of year but hearing others stories really really helps!

11 tinareale December 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

And I’m sure your story helps others as well!

12 Corey @ Learning Patience December 13, 2011 at 8:50 am

Tina..you are a rock star – seriously. Thanks for being so open and honest – I too suffer from holiday issues and although I have been better for a while…this time of year makes me struggle bigtime with all my old issiues. I have been reading your blog daily – its really been helping alot girl Thanks so much!

xoxo from Trinidad

13 Tina December 13, 2011 at 8:54 am

I totally relate to you Tina. I also would drive home from work stressed some days and stop at the drive through, I would eat the food while driving and then hide the garbage before anyone could see it. It felt so shameful and it just keeps you in a cycle of beating yourself up. I’m doing so much better these days. I fight like you do almost daily, but I know that it will get a little easier as time goes on. Love these posts and your honesty!

14 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 13, 2011 at 9:05 am

I know this was SO hard for you to write, but it’s just got to be helping other ladies, Tina!! You’re such an inspiration!

15 Krystina (Organically Me) December 13, 2011 at 9:06 am

I can relate to this entire post, and that both scares and comforts me. I’m so afraid for the holidays because, for me, there’s a thin line between “indulging” and “binging”. If I cross that line then I’ll end up eating everything in sight, sneaking/stealing food, and doing it for the entire 2 weeks I’m at my boyfriend’s parent’s house.

16 tinareale December 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I know you can keep that balance too. Be as present in the moment as you can. Don’t put anything off limits, but shoot for reasonable portions. That’s my game plan at least. I know you can do it because I know I can too. We’re both strong!

17 Heather @ Better With Veggies December 13, 2011 at 9:15 am

Thank you for being so honest and sharing what has got to be difficult to write down. I know there is something this is going to speak directly to and that really needs to hear that they are not alone.

18 Angie December 13, 2011 at 9:16 am

Thank you for your honesty. I feel like I could have written this post as your experiences are so similar to mine. Like you, I get the binge thoughts. (Depending on my week, these thoughts can come daily… PMS sucks!) It’s hard because I love to exercise and get hungry. It is hard to keep everything in perspective/make good decisions. The thing that keeps me going is sharing experiences so I don’t feel so isolated. I realize that I’m not alone and that’s really helpful. I know it’s hard to share these things in a public forum. I really appreciate it.

19 cheryl December 13, 2011 at 9:31 am

wow. i totally used lofthouse as a binge-food too…PURE sugar fit it so well. and made up stories for the cashier….esp after one commented on how she’d eat half the cookies right away but i clearly wouldn’t b/c i was healthy-sized….umm, no lady, i won’t eat HALF….not a chance i’d stop there.

*hugs* for more brave openness. you rock, lady. i appreciate your admission you still struggle….that makes me feel less alone and it will totally be a go-to thought next time i’m on the verge…i know SEVERL awesome ladies who fight and we CAN be strong TOGETHER

20 cheryl December 13, 2011 at 9:33 am

oh…AND appreciate the “it won’t be two cookies” comment….i have no doubt that type of guilt is very very real, but it simply is a different ballgame (too many glasses of wine vs. drinking till you black out).

21 tinareale December 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Definitely!! So great to have a community of support. :)

22 Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona December 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

Your honesty is appreciated. I know this must be a hard topic to write about.

23 Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food December 13, 2011 at 9:39 am

I love reading these posts and I love your honesty throughout the entire series. I know it has to be difficult to relive those thoughts and feelings, but I’m sure so many people that are going through the same thing appreciate them so much! You are such an example of what it means to have strength and believe in yourself! :-)

24 jobo December 13, 2011 at 9:46 am

Wow, Tina.You bring to light such a tough and mental health issue that far too few are ever willing to talk about, especially after going through it. I continue to respect these posts so very much and thank you for sharing them, as tough as they may be. The niggling thoughts…and letting them pass and not acting on them has probably taken so much strength, courage, and faith, but you got it, and that is so impressive to me. XOXO

25 Jess December 13, 2011 at 9:51 am

This post literally defines the inner strength and faith you possess – two qualities I admire in you SO very much. I can’t imagine how all of this must have felt at that time, being in those moments, feeling so alone, so ashamed. You’ve come so far – and yet, are openly admitting that everyday brings a new challenge. And that, my dear, takes guts. To admit it to yourself, to God, to all of us. You are amazing. Such a touching post. Thank you so, so, so much for sharing this side of you with us.

26 Lee December 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

You’ve made incredible progress and you continue to speak about it honestly, which is impressive and real.

As much as it sucks, I think that little nagging thoughts are going to be there sometimes and you have to accept that and try to ignore them the best that you can which it seems like you are doing.

27 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries December 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

your honesty, openness, and “realness” is so admirable, tina. although i never would want to wish this upon anyone, it is comforting to me to know that i’m not the only one that struggles still at times with my past disordered eating. i can relate to your story all too well, and even though i feel i have “recovered”, i am still constantly on that slippery slope, as you said. and you’re right, this time of year is THAT much harder for me. but we can do it. we’ve come this far, so we can get through the next month for sure. :) thank you for being such an inspiration to me – you truly are!

28 tinareale December 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Big, big hugs to you, Ashley!

29 Ari @ Ari's Menu December 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

I love that you post this series Tina. I think the shame and isolation that comes with binge eating is so different than any other eating disorder, and so often it is not treated with the same severity as others. You are so brave to share this and so incredibly strong to have gotten through it! So many people never do, but I am so glad to see someone who has using their experience to help others!

30 Kristen @ The Concrete Runner December 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

Thank you for sharing these posts Tina. I know it must be hard for you to bring up those thoughts but I also know part of it is helping you still heal from the pain of your past. I’m so glad you are where you’re at now since I know your life is so much better today. :)

31 Lisa December 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

ThiS sounds all too familiar. I had very similar habits and did it for a long time. Sometimes I have the urge again. What stops me is the fact that I know how many calories are in that binge and I just can’t do it.

32 Michelle December 13, 2011 at 11:13 am

I’m definitely glad you did not continue to travel down this path – then our lives wouldn’t have crossed paths! Hugs to you for sharing this – I know it’s not easy to re-live the past, but it’s truly amazing what you can learn from it.

33 lindsay December 13, 2011 at 11:14 am

I am glad God put this on your heart to share because you truly have a gift of encouragement! Through these trials He has taught you so much and obviously given you amazing strength.
Love you!

34 tinareale December 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm

It’s crazy that for how much it hurt in the past, I’m that thankful for it all now because I know it helped lead me to my present…which I feel so blessed to be in.

35 Anna Crouch December 13, 2011 at 11:30 am

Tina, you know how much I love you! I can’t say that I relate on a 100% level but what I CAN relate to is the emotion of it all. What led you to binge, how the binging made you feel, and the vicious cycle of it all. That part is oh so familiar and an ugly part of my past I never want to revisit. Thank you for being so transparent and open. You are providing relief and healing for so many women who read this. Not JUST by sharing your story, but by sharing your life as well, which bookcases how youve overcome (and still struggle, because you’re human!) love you Tina!!

36 Rebecca December 13, 2011 at 11:50 am

Tina, your honesty means so much. Even though I feel like I’ve come such a long way from my disorder, I too struggle every single day with obsessive and negative thoughts regarding food. I know it’s a fight God has me in and a reminder everyday how much I need His grace!! Thank you.

37 tinareale December 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Yes. It keeps us reliant on Him, which is never a bad thing.

38 Shannon ~ My Place In The Race December 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm

You’re such an amazing woman Tina. I’m so glad you are sharing this with us.

39 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

You continue to amaze me every single day. That’s all! <3 you!

40 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Thank you for writing these posts, Tina! They not only show how far a person can come, but that we ALL struggle with these kinds of things from our past, and our present.

41 Christin@purplebirdblog December 13, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I love your honestly, as always! To try to understand, I compare it to my alcoholism, but there are stark differences there as well. I don’t think about drinking the vast majority of the time (I’m especially amazed that when life hands me hard times, my mind doesn’t go straight to drinking like it did… I only realize well after the fact that I didn’t think about taking a drink) other than the occasional “it would be nice to have ________ (a glass of wine, a Newcastle, etc.).” Isn’t it amazing what we are capable of doing to ourselves? Your turn towards fitness and health is a beautiful result, and perhaps one you wouldn’t have turned to at all if not for your experiences. I have to focus on what good my alcoholism has brought to my life! You rock, Tina! xo

42 tinareale December 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Agreed. As much as it pains me to have gone through it all, I’m thankful for it too because it truly did bring me to a more beautiful present.

43 Christin@purplebirdblog December 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm

It’s so true that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle… even when it seems unbearable. By living as an example of what can be overcome, you are able to help others, which is the greatest gift one can give!! I admire what you’re doing, Tina!

44 Leonor @FoodFaithFitness December 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I am sure this post will help those who read it, even if it’s never been a struggle for them personally. It took courage to write that, I am sure. Thank you for sharing.

45 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health December 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Such an honest post Tina, thank you for sharing! I can only imagine how challenging this time of year must be for you because I think it’s challenging for most people with all of the great food that is around, and to have a background with bingeing, that must make it harder. That fact that you are able to overcome it again and again just shows how strong a woman you are!

46 Bonnie December 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Thank you for sharing your story so openly and honestly with us all, Tina…I know God is using you to bring hope to others through your vulnerability! I know it must be difficult…thanks for being real. :)

47 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! December 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

This is an amazing post – you have no idea how much I admire you for writing this. Whenever I try to talk about my own binge/restrict problems, it’s so hard to get anyone to understand what it feels like. I got tired of being told things like “just don’t do it” or “you’re better than that, just get over it” or “you seem totally fine, stop trying to get attention”. I discovered the blog world before I reached the full-on addiction stage, and it has helped me so much. Actually, the only real support I have had is from the blog world, I still don’t really have the strength to talk about these things in person.
This series is really an inspiration :-)

48 Annie December 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I’m going to go with the crowd here: thank you for writing this post Tina. I think i speak for a lot of people here when I say that not only are you helping yourself you are helping many others out here who are struggling with this illness.

A month ago I decided I needed to take control of my life again and so far so good. I’ve faced a few challenges already including a meal out which I had no problem handling, a weekend at home where I overeat (notice my choice of words, yep, I overate but definitely not a binge), having treats but making them last… The next big challenges will be a whole week at home and of course Christmas. If (when!) I manage to keep the binges away while enjoying myself and more important, if I do that without over thinking – because when you have got used to binging you start to somehow think it’s the norm and wait for the next to happen (or like you mentioned, you even plan them), then I’ll definitely have taken a big step ont he road to discovery. I now have faith in myself, in my body, and in my power to get better. I’ve already beaten cancer twice and I’m only 21 so what’s an illness related to food compared to that?

We are stronger than all of it!

49 Andie December 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I am relieved to know I’m not the only one who would concoct elaborate stories and buy all sorts of things I didn’t need to disguise that I was buying food for my binge. And that I wasn’t the only person driving around, looking for a neutral trash can for the evidence … or patronizing only stores with self-check-out …

Thank you.

50 Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner December 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Wow… it’s amazing that you’re so open about all of something that so many people keep hidden. I think that’s great. I can’t wait to read about your healing journey.

51 Julia December 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Your honesty is encouraging, inspiring, and healing for others to read. Thank you for always sharing! :)

52 Lauren December 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I am sure it wasn’t easy but I assure you, it makes you so much stronger of a person! :)

53 Leah @ Why Deprive? December 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I love this so much Tina. I have to pay extra attention this time of year too. Especially now, with school stress and all that, I’m finding that I’m eating way less and I’m not ok with that. I have to put in a conscious effort to make sure I dont fall back onto old patterns because nomatter how far I’ve come, its still SO easy to go back.

54 tinareale December 14, 2011 at 7:01 am

I think that’s the thing for me too. I’m VERY different from there. I haven’t binged like that in 2 years. I can stop myself when I know I start eating out of emotions or stress very quickly and keep from binging…but it’s still scary. Because I know that it could be SO easy to go back if I’m not mindful. always. Thanks for understanding. :)

55 Shayla @ The Good Life December 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I love your honesty in these posts Tina. I’ve come to realize that I’ll always have those “niggling” thoughts to go back to restricting and disordered eating about once a week too and have come to terms that they’ll be with me forever. But now, through the grace of God, I’ve learned to control those thoughts and not let them overpower me – and for that I’m thankful, because like you, if I had let them control me any further, it would have most definitely ruin every part of my life. I’m so happy we were able to break free, love ourselves, and live our lives to the fullest :)

56 Heather December 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm

thank you for sharing and being so honest. I am so sorry you had to struggle through that tina, but at least now you can help others going through the same thing!

57 Chrystal December 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

People who have never experienced this, can’t possibly understand it. The guilt, anger, emptiness of it all. This is a fantastic post. Thank you for sharing. And I’m glad you’re winning!

58 tinareale December 14, 2011 at 6:59 am

I think binge eating is talked about so little in its truest sense and tossed around as something like eating an extra serving or two and that becomes “Oh, I binged!” Then, people struggling with the reality of the full disorder feel even more alone because their binges are so much more emotionally painful. Which only leads to feelings of “I must be REALLY screwed up and a REALLY awful person to eat so much more and be too afraid to say anything”. Then, it becomes even more isolating and a bigger hole. I’m such a believer in needing to share to help even ONE person know he/she is not alone.

59 Kelly December 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

My favorite part of this series is knowing the place you are in now while you tell us.

60 tinareale December 14, 2011 at 6:56 am

I think that’s the only way I can share it…the fact I know I am far from that person anymore. I can remove myself in a sense, so it’s not TOO raw.

61 Alexa @ SimpleEats December 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm

You are SO brave for sharing your story. It breaks my heart that you had to go through something like this, but you’re such a stronger person now! Thank you for sharing more of your story, Tina. :)

62 Deborah (Schmiet) December 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Tina

I could so relate to your post… there was (is?) nothing more exciting than a planned binge. The anticipation of gathering all of that food – and I have done my share of ‘these are for a party’ excuses as well. I’ve completely avoided people and situations in order to have my alone-time for binges.

I’m ‘better’ now, but not ‘all-better’ yet. I know that the feelings that led (leads) to the binge-eating are still there, but I need to get better at managing them and my response.

Thanks again for sharing.

Deb

63 Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing December 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Thank you sooo much for posting this, Tina! Too many people today don’t consider “binge eating” as an eating disorder. I mean, as Americans, we devote an entire day (Thanksgiving) as a “free pass” to binge. We even joke about wearing our “fat” pants that day or having to unbutton the button and then nap from everything we ate. It’s sickening. More people need to speak out about this. This is a full-blown addiction. I have been your shoes, the ones you describe here. And it haunts me, still, too. And sometimes I still slip up (like having 4 pieces of cake by the end of the day of my daughter’s birthday party & lying to my husband about it) but I NEVER give up anymore. Thank the Lord above that we can turn to Him in our weakness cause I don’t know where I’d be without Him! Looking forward to reading your steps to recovery. I know it was a long road for me, too (and I’m clearly still on it).

64 Cheryl December 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Thanks so much for putting this stuff into words. Though I’d have different details, the story for me is so similar it’s scary. I really appreciate this series.

What do you think it is that made you keep doing it? I often think I binged because immediately it would give me the endorphin rush but also something to focus on besides whatever I was uncomfortable with (feeling good about something seemed like I was being too proud, stress was obviously something I wanted to avoid) and in the bigger picture, being overweight/unhappy with myself gave me an excuse to spend my energy trying to “fix” that part of my life and an excuse to live small (be alone, not follow my dreams or try to figure out what I wanted to do with my life).

Again, I really appreciate these posts! They make me think. :) Thank you.

65 tinareale December 14, 2011 at 6:55 am

I think they originated as a way to stuff away emotions i felt when living at home with my father and feeling so alone and unloved by so many in my life. Then, they became an addiction of the swing between that endorphin rush and giving something concrete to my feelings of not being worthy. Also, the fact that in between binges I would restrict food SO much I never had a balance and the physical response to need to feed my body couldn’t happen in a logical, healthy way. The habits eventually became so ingrained that I likely ended up doing them for no true reason. Which is scary!

66 Cheryl December 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm

It makes it all the more inspiring to read about how far you’ve come! Thanks again. You’re so insightful and that you’re willing to share means lots of us are going to relate and feel better/take something from your posts.

67 Natalie December 14, 2011 at 2:20 am

Wow. This was almost painful to read, considering that this used to be me. Praise God that I feel so recovered now (did I really just write that? it just occurred to me that during my darkest times, I always read these types of blog posts and saw people mention their ‘recovery’ but didn’t think it were possible for me, considering how far I’d gone). Anyways, I’m extremely grateful that most of these thought patterns are now pretty foreign to me, and that I’ve forgotten most of them. Though it is still hard…I have the fear that somehow the disorder will pop back up out of nowhere or amidst stress.

Hopefully, however, I’ve really made lasting changes in this regard. My antidote for now? Pursue joy.

Thanks for all that you do! Binging is so hard to deal with in and of itself, let alone facing its social stigma, lacking confidants, trying to get proper help, etc.

68 tinareale December 14, 2011 at 6:52 am

I think that’s what motivates me the most to share. The stigma, feeling like NO ONE can relate, etc. And it’s interesting because I feel SO far from that place, but still like if I’m not always mindful of it that I could slip back SO easily. It always helps knowing i have people who understand and support me through this blog.

69 lenae December 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

Thank you so much for your honest posts. You are truly an inspiring women and I am so thankful to have found your blog. Thank you for being willing to be so open.

70 Tania December 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Tina, thank you for being open about your struggle and allowing those of us in recovery to not feel alone- i truly felt alone for so many years, thinking i was ‘the only one’- my binges began sometime in highschool, and went off and on for a number of years- until they became very severe in my 20′s. I can not believe that i literally ate my life away, didnt care about my self, my health or even my own hobbies or family, because the more i ate and the more weight i gained, the more i lost of myself .

I would routinely go to the mcdonalds drive thru and order a Big Mac, 2 Large Fries, a 10 piece of chicken nuggets, several hamburgers and a chicken sandwich. This was my ‘normal’ , i would then eat it in a secluded parking lot. Reading these words now, i have such a heavy feeling in my heart knowing that i allowed this to happen, i allowed myself to treat me with disdain and disrespect.

I had a serious medical scare this past summer, where the medication i took added to my weight gain, i was depressed, home from work, and binged each and every day, whether it was a large pizza, or several ‘ super’ sized bags of chips, or my usual mcdonalds routine, at the end of this illness , i gained almost 30 lbs because i allowed myself to continue this addiction.

it was Sept. 28th of this year that i decided enough was enough and i had to battle this head on, and start living again- i have a deep desire to be a mother and my love of my future children is what keeps me focused now. I know that i will have a slip up, and it is part of the recovery, as this has ruled my life for years, but i am now truly living.

I have now lost over 30 pounds since Sept 28th – my day starts with a wonderful gym session, where i appreciate every moment, because i know each day is a step closer to a full recovery.

god bless you Tina for spreading awareness and for providing your blog as a venue for support.

71 tinareale December 15, 2011 at 8:08 am

And thank God for the healing He can give and opening our eyes. BIG hugs and congrats to you for fighting this fight and making such amazing progress in giving yourself the love and respect you DESERVE. It’s a step by step process, but we get stronger with each step. I want to give you a great big hug!

72 Christy December 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to reading your steps to healing!

73 Nidia December 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm

great post!!!

74 melodie December 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Thank you so much for sharing so honestly. I have to admit that when you have mentioned your history with hinging I just figured it was eating too much dinner and then also eating dessert. Your journey to freedom instills much hope in my heart tonight!

75 Elmina December 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hello Tina,
I am so glad you shared this post. I love anytime you post one of these past revelers. You have inspired me to also be more open on my blog. I am constantly battling binging episodes. The shame for me is that when I binge I don’t think about going to the cashier with all my junk. I never really care what they thought. But You have helped me see that my food addiction is related to my feelings. Even, Oh I have a day off I deserve to pamper myself today, OR, I had a hard day at work. I’m gonna eat this icecream because I deserve it, etc. So again, thanks for being my inspiration.
-Mina

76 tinareale December 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

And thank you for being an encouragement to me. You all really do give so much to me by reading and commenting. :)

77 Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife December 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

You’re helping lots of readers, I am sure of that. Binge eating is no joke–so that must be hard to post all that! Great post!

78 esmemerrie December 18, 2011 at 1:57 am

you gave me chills, and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. It’s so good to know I’m not alone in walking that daily tight rope…

79 CJ December 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm

You don’t know how much I needed to read this tonight. I felt the urges of binge eating this weekend and indulged in it – and keep asking myself… shouldn’t I know better? But, you give me a sense of hope… of healing… I realize that when I do overeat, it’s a red flag for me to see that something else is wrong in my life – a lot o times, issues that I haven’t really dealt with, esp. leaving them at the Lord’s feet. Thank you so much for your transparency. Keep posting!

80 tinareale December 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I don’t think it ever goes away completely, so don’t beat yourself up. I just focus on learning and moving on. That’s all we can do. Thanks for the support. ;)

81 Katie January 6, 2012 at 12:26 am

Thank you so much for sharing your story, because I am going through the exact same thing right now. I am more aware than ever of my binges lately, but for some reason, I still can’t stop doing it. It’s terrible, and some days … many days … it makes me hate myself, and I don’t want it to be like that. Thanks for giving me hope that someday (hopefully, soon) I will be able to get it under control.

82 tinareale January 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

Just remember that its not YOU. Your mind is a very tricky master at deception and will convince you to do things you don’t want to do. Try to separate your brain’s automatic thinking and desire to keep with what its used to (bingeing) from YOU as an individual. Basically, tell your head to shut up every chance you get. It’s hard…but you CAN. Because YOU are more than the binges. Hugs!

83 Kathy March 6, 2012 at 10:39 am

I know this is an older post, but I was going back reading some of your binge posts. Why? Because that is what I do and hate myself every time I do it. Reading this post sounds so much like me. Last year I was determined to change my lifestyle. I started exercising, eating very healthy and lost 45 of my 60 lbs I had as my goal. (I am a vegan, but have always been a junk-food vegan – but fell off the wagon because a lot of vegan junk wasn’t available, so I took what I could get) I spent my days trying to find ways to get the food I was craving. I actually drove out of my way to pick up stuff that I couldn’t stop thinking about. After losing 45 lbs and feeling great, one day I gave in to a craving. I knew what I was doing, but as I did it, the urge continued and now, a year later, I have gained over 30 of the 45 lbs I lost. So self-defeating and self-destructive. I am determined to get back on board and live a healthy life so I can enjoy the remainder of my days!! It is soooooo tough. I worry every day that I will fail because once I start, the stopping is beyond comprehension. A person who has not experienced this, cannot understand. It’s as bad as a drug addiction. You’ll do anything for that next craving. But I remain determined!! I can do this by never giving up. Thanks for sharing these posts.

84 tinareale March 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm

This is why I share so we can all know we’re not alone in the struggle. Stay determined and keep believing. All we can do is take it day by day…meal by meal…and love ourselves along the way.

85 Eva @ committed2nutrition June 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

Couldn’t agree more – day by day and meal by meal. When you start to over think things and cause your mind anxiety, that is when it all backfires on you (at least for me). Deep breaths and trying to focus on right here, right now, helps.

86 Eva @ committed2nutrition June 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

I just came across your blog, and I must say, I really appreciate this post and commend you for being so vulnerable and honest. This is such a real disorder that more people suffer from than they probably care to admit. I have been in your shoes before. Holidays are always a struggle. You are seriously the first blog I have encountered that “hit the nail on the head” with this disease. Brave to you for being so brave and open to sharing this. You are truly an inspiration.

87 tricia July 4, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I cried while reading this, im not goint to lie about 3 hours ago i went to the store to buy a treat for 4th of july for “my husband and kid” and ended up eating the whole bag of cookies and almost all the crackers. and now a hour later and i feel sick, disgusting and ashamed. For the most part i try to eat 100% clean , but for some reason i still binge and its ruining my life and killing me. I need help

88 tinareale July 5, 2012 at 6:42 am

Hi Tricia. I’m so sorry to hear that you face these struggles as well. I know the pain it can cause. I definitely suggest finding support and help. Also believe in yourself and that you are worth the change. It’s never going to be 100% perfect and a wonderful journey to recovery…but its all about progress (not perfection) and taking things day by day. Hugs!

89 Rachel October 16, 2012 at 1:18 am

Hi there, what a great post and I can relate to it. I am 32 and after several failed relationships – always getting cheated on and once with my best friend, I have lost all confidence in everything even my work. I am/was a Personal Trainer – tho have been traveling (escaping) and doing admin for the past year.
I keep being really healthy for several weeks then OMG the binges are insane!!
I have moved back home and can’t decide what to do, I have never felt so alone or useless. I have lost a lot of weight and I really want to get back in the fitness industry, tho I just don’t feel good enough even tho on the outside people say I look pretty athletic. I seem to binge everytime I get a bit stressed or hurt by people. I’m so over this!

90 mario February 8, 2013 at 1:59 am

I got here by searching “reeses puffs endorphins” and im eating some right now. I might be the only guy who’s commented lol

91 Tina February 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

Haha! That is priceless. Thanks for saying hello and hope you enjoyed your Puffs. :)

92 J. June 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Oh Tina, my tears are high. Its midnight and I had to read up on this…yet I still can find no one “really” like me (not purging, not exercising, and not able to go to bathroom)…
It seems it must be too late to reclaim my hormones and metabolism. I am 32 , not exercising at all and when I do start I still know it will be very tiny amounts and at tortoise level (god bless you for that by the way) and with constipation and binging nightly…I eat enough BMR to cover the day easily…tonight was the absolute worse binge of my life…so ashamed and please don’t judge but at 10:30 pm I ate 2 cups of grapes, 20 grams of dark chocolate, 4 rice cakes, 400 grams of yogurt, and the ENTIRE 250 gram jar of macadamia nut butter…and then 2 bananas…I feel so ashamed… (that is nearly 1800 cals on TOP of a full day of eats…and no exercising and not “going” in the bathroom…and tomorrow will be far far worse :( ). the worse is that I won’t exercise it off, I never purge, and I’m constipated…waking up tomorrow to deal with that aftermath is going to be horrendous..I just lost it…and I do every night…. :(
How to deal. I just don’t want to wake up :( I truly feel I need a colonic and juice detox. A colonic sounds wonderful (Janetha at meals n moves had good experience) but it kind of creeps me out + I don’t know if I’m really on low end of weight if its good idea (though the literature says its fine..). I’m lost and feel very ….sad.
I’m sorry to write this. I want to be positive and full of gratitude and peace and quiet restfulness…but I just stood up at the counter tonight and saw all the food and said, I don’t care and lost it. I didn’t even “try” to try to stop myself mid-binge…didn’t even want to. The words “forgive me” race through my head over and over. I’m too old, my hormones and metabolism far too messed up. I’m really screwing up my body this way. has to stop. Has to. Has to. Has to.
sorry…just had to ….exhale.

93 Caroline January 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Hi Tina!
I just stumbled upon your website for the first time and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you sharing your experiences. Food consumes my life…I’m currently absorbed in a calorie counting state of obsession…and have been in and out of bingeing for a while. I look forward to reading the rest of your inspiring journey : )
peace and love,
Caroline

94 tinareale January 6, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Hi Caroline,

I’m so sorry to hear that you are facing these struggles. I’m here if you ever need to talk things out. Hugs.

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