My Struggle with Emotional Binge Eating

by Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I asked on my Facebook page if sharing my personal struggle with emotional and binge eating would help open up some doors to those that may have the same feelings from time to time.  As a “fitness cheerleader” (aka coach LOL) it’s hard for me to open up and be honest about a lot of things, but this is something that’s been weighing on me pretty heavily recently and I know deep down it’s pretty common for a lot of people. I decided to share MY story and hopefully it can shed some light into your journey, or at least show that you’re not alone.

(I sure wish I looked as fabulous as Marilyn when I pull my car up to the A&W stand, but lets be honest I just look like that coach that shouldn’t be sitting at A&W because she should be eating something healthy and clean and A&W just isn’t it.)

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Binge Eating is characterized as periods of eating large quantities of food in a short amount of time.  Binge eating is more common in women and adults that experience yo-yo dieting.

Emotional Eating is characterized as overeating to relieve negative emotions.  Emotional eating is a coping strategy with can often lead to other eating disorders. 

How the Emotional Binge Eating Began

What a thought right?  Unfortunately I don’t even think it’s something that I can comprehend exactly WHEN or HOW it began.  I really think that I looked to food as a sense of an area of my life I could control (and as I hit high school that turned from just food to alcohol more frequently than a minor should).  When things weren’t going well (and trust me there were a lot of times they weren’t), instead of really making a big issue out of things, I kept on trucking but ate whatever and however much I wanted.  Sad thing is that when you’re a teenager you gain this false sense of reality that food doesn’t have an effect on your body, well… rounding the corner to 30 doesn’t have the same effect.. am I right? So whatever I ate or drank went right through me and it was like okay I had a rough day, lets just eat 3 packs of ramen noodles, a side of fries, large Mountain Dew and it’ll be all better.  Clearly the emotions took over and took control of the food, and then the emotions REALLY took over to the point of, why did you do that? that was disgusting.. you’re useless now… you’re stupid.  All of that fun self doubt chatter.  I never really addressed the issue, I just went along my way and it is something that just never truly went away.

One night I remember going to Walmart late at night to get something and it was right around Easter because the Reese’s Eggs were out and by the register.  That night I bought 4 Reese’s Eggs and in the 3 miles to my house I ate them all.  I ate them quickly so that my husband wouldn’t see me and make a comment about me eating them again.  Did I have to buy 4 of them and eat them all in 5 minutes? No, but that’s the binge side of my emotional eating.  There is no control over the “stop” it’s the control that I make the decision to eat them all in 5 minutes.  Of course after I was done I hid all of the wrappers and threw them away before anyone saw them.

Evolution of Emotional Binge Eating

When I became a Beachbody Coach I really wanted to have my own accountability to stay with my fitness and nutrition and I’m not going to lie it’s been an uphill battle for me the entire 5 years I have been a coach.  Just because I have this “title” and it’s my job, it doesn’t stop the 10463953_10100713202828017_6499154711133906788_ncraziness inside from taking over.  The biggest area I’ve struggled is when I have a couple “off” days of nutrition.  It’s not just a piece of pizza here and there, it’s an entire BREAKDOWN of all nutrition; i.e. sitting on my couch with an entire package of Peanut Butter Oreos and 10 minutes later eating half a carton of ice cream loaded with toppings and the next day eating the leftover pizza for dinner.  When I get in a binge eating mode, I don’t stop.  I feel so sick to my stomach, my emotions run WILD with self doubt and self loathing, but it doesn’t stop, until I completely lose it, break down crying and throw it all away.  I wish I could explain what it really FEELS like to be a coach, and know that you’re just in a constant downward spiral at least every 2-3 months a year.  That brings up the question of: is it always this way? No, thankfully it’s not, but I also haven’t really found a great balance.

Two major times where I’ve been EXTREMELY strict on my nutrition have been in the last year (first time: PiYO Test Group Second Time: 21 Day Fix Countdown to Competition Meal Plan).   During both times I looked great physically but, I was MISERABLE.  I wasn’t enjoying “life”.  I don’t want this to sound like I’m an alcoholic that needs to drink every day (however I am not against a glass of wine or champagne daily wink) but I love beer.  I like to drink socially and I like to have a drink to relax quietly.  I love to eat pizza, I love to hang out with friends whether it’s at a social gathering or girls night out for dinner.  These are all areas of my life that I was CONSTANTLY saying no to.  I’m just not having fun or comfortable when I’m out with the girls sipping on water and eating a protein filled salad (don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking those that don’t drink, but around my friends and family if you’re not drinking you’re either a recovering alcoholic or you’re hiding a pregnancy! yes, that’s a joke but it’s also the truth LOL).  When I wrote in my countdown to competition review that I had emotions that just weren’t right, this is it.  It’s too easy for me to go from living a few weeks MISERABLY to an absolute BINGE session because I’m just trying to feed the emotions I’ve held back.

Learning to Live a Balanced Life

Do I need to drink every day? No.  Do I need to eat pizza or cereal every day? No.  Do I want to be able to give myself these things when I want them and still be able to keep the binge out of the equation and the emotions under control? Yes.  Is it going to take time to live a balanced life? Yes, and I’m willing to start the journey! It’s not easy and if you’ve ever dealt with any of these feelings you understand and you GET it.  It’s embarrassing for me with my “job” to share a lot of this because of what others think.  I had someone tell me once that they didn’t like to go to a bar to have a glass of wine because what people may think and say about her because she’s a coach.  I can’t pretend that I don’t love to eat food and love to have cocktails.  I can’t pretend that I don’t have times in my life where I will eat pizza and pasta.  I need to live my REAL life balanced and use that to help YOU, my readers, my challengers through the same area of struggle.  That’s what I PROMISE to work on and I hope that it will be a good area for you to join me! I’m going to start taking MAJOR notes & tips from one of my favorite people and fit role models, Amanda Miarecki from the Balanced Brunette.  She WOWS me with her abilities to live a balanced lifestyle.  #GirlCrush!!!

Share Your Story with Me

This is a place of positive thinking and being connected.  I would love if you can share your story in the comments below so others can see that they’re not alone.  If you aren’t yet comfortable going public, CLICK HERE NOW to email me so that we can chat more about your journey and we can learn to live balanced together!

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1 Response
  • Carrie
    October 19, 2015

    I am so glad I ran across this post. I also struggle with binge/emotional eating and I always feel alone and like no one “gets it”. Thank you for this post. I almost want to save it so I will remember I’m not alone….so thank you :)