This weekend I felt so incredibly sad.
And for that, I am incredibly grateful.
This weekend, I had one of those moments that proves to me that I have truly changed my life, not just lost a bunch of weight. This weekend showed me that if I hadn’t dealt with the emotional, raw side of why I ate so much in the first place, I would never have been successful at losing any weight at all.
Two years ago, each time I resisted binging felt like climbing a mountain. I did anything and everything in an effort to fight the urge to binge. I would waste full gas tanks driving around New Jersey. I would list out all the food I wanted to eat if calories didn’t matter. I would even let myself get as close to my binge routine as to drive to a supermarket and just walk up and down the isles.
But this weekend, feeling as sad as I was, I was ready to let myself binge. All I wanted to do was feel better. But something strange happened. My brain and body didn’t crave the food or the fullness.
For the first time, I truly realized I had broken free.
If you’ve never experienced binging, never planned your night around the chance to be alone and inhale food, never felt what it was like to fall asleep clutching your stomach in pain but yet still want to eat more, then maybe this doesn’t sound all that groundbreaking to you.
But trust me, it was.
I describe myself as someone who is in recovery from disordered eating, because certain situations and foods still trigger my brain into binge mode.
However, each time I turn toward love instead of food, I move farther from my past and seeking fulfillment through eating.
This is the transformation I am most proud of.
I’ll take the smaller clothing sizes, the extra energy, the prominent collar bones – but for me overcoming my battle with binging has been the most significant part of this journey.
Instead of eating, I did things I know now make me happy.
I surrounded myself with friends. I talked about how I was feeling instead of pretending I wasn’t feeling anything at all. I read inspirational writing about self love and being body positive.
I cleaned up my apartment, I cooked healthy food for the upcoming week and I took walks and went hiking
Even though as I write this I still have twinges of sadness, I am choosing instead to feel lucky that I no longer use food to numb my emotions.
It’s incredibly painful to be living with the shame and embarrassment that comes with any eating disorder and I feel so blessed to not have that be a major part of my life anymore.
In addition to physically losing weight, I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my soul in being able to be as open as I now am with my struggle with binge and emotional eating.
Losing weight from dieting is impossible. It doesn’t work. You will fail. You will be frustrated.
I can confidently tell you, however, that losing weight through a process of opening yourself up to life, pinning your success not on the scale, but on how much enjoyment you can get from each day is the only way to change your body. If you want something different for yourself, you have to be ok with abandoning old habits and comforts to embrace and allow room for the new.
It’s scary, but it’s worth it.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to love yourself or being body positive, or maybe you are suffering through some of your own feelings of sadness, I highly recommend reading through Roots of She and the blog of Rachel W. Cole.
Also, if you are suffering from binge eating, please know that you are not alone. I am always open to talking more about my personal experience with disordered and emotional eating and hearing stories from others so feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.