Friday, June 20, 2014

Weighted: My Struggle with Binge Eating

This was a much harder post to write than I thought it would be. Thank you to the BEAUTIFUL AND FABULOUS Liz at Fitness Blondie for being such an inspiration. 
Liz @ Fitness Blondie

I have always had the urge to binge. From a very early age, I remember the desire to binge. I remember being 6 or 7 and thinking that I wasn't even hungry, the food just made me feel better. At least until the stomach ache set in.
I was heavier in grade school. I wasn't terribly overweight, but I was chubby. My 7th grade year I tried out for cheerleading and since no one got cut, I was awarded the uniform. My dad and brother also started karate that year and since I had to attend the practices anyway, I went ahead and joined too. Being active, and away from home where there was a plethora of food, started to change my shape. I didn't have time to sit at home and binge eat anymore. 
In high school I was involved in marching band, choir, and theater. I also started working at 15 and had two jobs by the time I turned 16. Any free time I had I spent with my friends, so I only binged occasionally. 
College came and so did the terrible habit of eating candy while I did my homework. My schedule was different from my friends and from Matt. I had class from 8-12 and then had the rest of the day off to do whatever I wanted. I was so homesick that I would just watch Family Guy reruns and eat. Of course eating pizza in the cafeteria every day didn't help either. I gained 30 pounds in my first semester of College. 
At the end of my Freshman year, Matt and I transferred to Springfield and moved into our first apartment. We both worked full time and went to school full time. Matt and I had opposite schedules again, so we rarely saw each other. It was incredibly lonely. My answer to loneliness is binge eating. I managed somehow to lose a little bit of the extra weight I had gained my Freshman year though. 
In July of 2008 we bought our first house. We were planning a wedding, I was working a full time job and a part time job, and going to school full time. I was a wreck. I don't think I ate anything for a solid 4 months. I would do homework on my work breaks and when I would get home at 11PM I would crawl straight into bed. 
We got married in December of 2008. I had lost 40 pounds before the wedding, mostly due to stress and being too busy to eat, not in any kind of healthy way. 
That summer I met my friend Nicole, who was going to school to be a personal trainer. She inspired me to pay attention to my diet and I lost another 20 pounds. She stayed with us for a while and I loved having her company. Matt and I still had opposite schedules, so having another human in the house was awesome.
Matt and I continued to have opposite schedules for the next 3 years. I worked 6AM-6PM 4 days a week and took evening classes. My day off I spent doing homework and chores at home, weekends I spent by myself. Matt went to school during the day and worked nights and weekends. It was so lonely. 
When I started working at the bank, things improved. I made some friends, who I still adore to this day(high Whitney, Autumn and Amber!) They gave me something to do other than sit at home by myself every weekend. 
When I got pregnant with Mason, I used that as an excuse to eat everything. Eating for two was a challenge to me, not a joke. I gained an enormous amount of weight. I also had pre-eclampsia, so I literally ballooned. I was so swollen that I thought my ankles might burst. Matt and I were still on opposite schedules. I was still so lonely, so I ate. 
Literally one week after Mason was born, Matt took an incredible opportunity for an internship with an engineering firm. He was gone for most of the summer. I was a new mom. I was a hormonal mess. My parents lived 2 hours away and my friends couldn't come by every day. I don't think I have ever felt so alone in my life. I will never forget one evening, I was so stir crazy that I loaded Mason into his carseat(which he loathed, he would scream the entire time) and I went to McDonalds and I pulled up to the window with my screaming infant and when the nice lady asked for my order I ordered two chicken nugget meals with two different sodas. I didn't want to admit I was alone. I went home and put one of the drinks in the fridge and proceeded to eat every bit of food that I ordered. I was a wreck. 
Poor Matt probably didn't even recognize me when he returned home.
I finally snapped out of my funk when Mason was six months old and I started going to a personal trainer. After 5 months of personal training I had lost 25 pounds and gained a pregnancy. 
When I found out I was pregnant with Eleanor, I knew that this time it would be different. I only gained 20 pounds with her and I never wore maternity clothes. I ate salad every day and I really watched what I ate and how much of it I ate. I still ended up with pre-eclampsia and I was on bed rest with her for 12 weeks. This was probably the second hardest time in my life. I had an active toddler and a husband who was going to school full time while I worked full time to support us. I luckily was getting paid leave, but it was still incredibly stressful. It was also lonely. Can anyone sense a pattern here? Loneliness is a trigger for me. I thank God for my friends who came by with care packages, yarn, Sudoku books, movies, meals and even helped do a load of laundry. They have no idea what those small gestures meant to Matt and I. I also thank God for Whitney who came by almost every day to just sit with me. Those were a hard 12 weeks. 
After Ellie was born, I had had enough. I really took control of my actions, recognized my patterns that I fell into and made some significant changes in my life. I have two precious babies and a wonderful husband and I cannot be the mom and wife I want to be when I am miserable with myself. 
The last year and a half has been an amazing roller coaster. I still binge. I will forever struggle with that I am afraid, but now I recognize my behavior. I have never felt better in my entire life. Matt and I have never been better as a couple and as a parenting team. I am done with excuses. I have taken control of my life. I have found a purpose. I have learned and grown so much and while I still have my struggles, there is no way I will ever return to the person I was before. I am so much stronger now. I am Fearless.

All My Love,
Meg

7 comments:

  1. You are fearless, beautiful, and amazing in every way! Thank you for sharing your story with us :)

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  2. You go girl.
    TOTALLY. YOU FREAKING GO.

    I think it's so powerful that you wrote this down.. all of it.. It's not easy to admit these things, and you did it.. and eloquently too I might add.

    I binge when I am emotional and when I am tired.
    As we have seen.. hahaha.. not so funny, but you know where I am coming from here.

    You know your triggers and you are aware of them. You are realistic. And so positive.

    Lots of Love and Good energy your way... This post was a war cry of FEARLESSNESS!

    KVS

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  3. You can absolutely do it! Absolutely, you can do it. You. WILL.

    I am very inspired by you and your half marathon abilities. In July I am doing my first 5k and I'm thinking why stop there? I should do more! I think of you and your tutu and am pumped to do it!

    Keep up the great work~ you are amazing!

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  4. I think it's so courageous that you shared this. And knowing your triggers is half the battle. While I was reading, I was thinking "what triggers me? Do I even know?" Gotta look a little deeper I guess, but thank you for sharing :)

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Meg! You are such a beautiful person, and I tear up thinking about others who might have read this and felt so much comfort and hope in your story. XO.

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  6. YAAS girl I love this post and had tears in my eyes reading it. You are so strong! I can't admit when I'm lonely, I don't think I even recognize it- just try to make myself busier and eat everything too. I really cannot imagine these situations you dealt with alone- you are so inspirational!!

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  7. You all have no idea how much your words mean to me. A huge part of my drive has been this blog and my bloggy friends. I really appreciate that you find me inspirational, but a lot of my will comes from you. Every day I read your blogs and find out a little but more about you and I know that God has placed me here. He has provided me with so much love and I am so thankful for each of you. Thank you for being part of my "why". When I want to give up, I think about you. Thank you so much!

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