My Food Story Part II: Blogging Hiatus Explained

Hi guys! I’m gonna continue today with My Food Story (part I here if you missed it)…and finally explain my blogging hiatus I took this summer. Hopefully this answers some of your questions, but please, feel free to comment or email to ask more!

We left off with me finally diagnosing my gluten allergy, but feeling extremely deprived after removing many of my favorite foods from my diet.

Weight Gain

Eliminating an entire food group from my diet was not easy. After awhile, I really started to resent it. I would go out to eat with friends, and all I’d want is a normal sandwich, or slice of pizza, or a burger. They were all off limits. Salads were generally the only safe item on a menu.

I hated that I couldn’t eat my favorite foods.

So, in order to feel less deprived, I would fully indulge in the foods I could eat that were very unhealthy. French fries, entire jars of Nutella (ok fine I still do that sometimes), boxes and boxes of gluten free cereal, etc.

I gained weight. I was the heaviest I’d ever been.

Weight Loss/Early Blogging

In January of 2012 something clicked. I felt extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. None of my clothes were fitting right anymore.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself and letting the situation get worse, I decided to do something about it.

Enter obsessive calorie counting.

I joined a weight loss website that allowed me to enter my daily calorie intake, along with the estimated calories I was burning through activities and working out. I started looking at calorie deficits for each day. If my deficit was less than 1,000, I felt like a failure. During a typical week, I would workout for at least an hour, 5-6 days a week. On workout days, I would allow myself between 1300 and 1400 calories. Non-workout days I tried my best to keep it at 1200.

If you dig into the archives of my blog, I hint at my struggles with keeping my calories low enough. I beat myself up over eating a muffin (although to be fair, I am allergic to gluten and do feel like crap after eating it, but the point is, I was more worried about the calories).

So, to sum up, what did I do to myself?

Created more feelings of deprivation. Because I was limiting my calories and trying to structure a perfect diet based on perfect numbers.

Blogging Hiatus

Feeling deprived once again made me want to rebel. This is when binge eating first entered my life. In the blog, I refer to it more as “drunk eating”. Or, “shoveling fistfuls of cereal down my throat faster than I could chew.

The reality was, I had a major issue with food. Classifying too many things as off limits made them even more irresistible to me. I would get fed up with my need to control everything, and would think “screw it, I’m gonna eat whatever-the-hell-I-want and not give a damn”.

Without fail, after every binge, I would feel disgusted, weak, out of control, ashamed, embarrassed…the list goes on. BUT. I never purged. That was a line I could never cross. Instead, I would just endure the inevitable stomach pains and discomfort from eating so much. It was miserable.

In early July, I started to suspect that I had a real problem. And I stopped blogging because I knew I was a terrible example. I also stopped reading many blogs because I needed to stop focusing on food so much. Reading about food, writing about food, thinking about food…. it just wasn’t good for me.

I was lucky enough to realize and acknowledge that something was wrong, and I have the blogging world to thank for that. Reading Tina and Lindsay’s stories had a huge impact on me.

Then I read this (source):

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Behavioral symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating:

  • Inability to stop eating or control what you’re eating
  • Rapidly eating large amounts of food
  • Eating even when you’re full
  • Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
  • Eating normally around others, but gorging when you’re alone
  • Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes

Emotional symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating:

  • Feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating
  • Embarrassment over how much you’re eating
  • Feeling numb while bingeing, like you’re not really there or you’re on auto-pilot
  • Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat
  • Feeling guilty, disgusted, or depressed after overeating
  • Desperation to control weight and eating habits

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you feel out of control when you’re eating?
  • Do you think about food all the time?
  • Do you eat in secret?
  • Do you eat until you feel sick?
  • Do you eat to escape from worries, relieve stress, or to comfort yourself?
  • Do you feel disgusted or ashamed after eating?
  • Do you feel powerless to stop eating, even though you want to?

——————————————————————————————————————–

I had all of those symptoms.

And answered yes to all of those questions.

I was scared.

Who had I become? How did this happen? I was angry that I was letting something as simple and basic as food have such control over me. What was wrong with me? Didn’t I know there were so many more important things in life? More important things to think about and worry about? Why was I putting so much time and energy into food? IT WAS ABSURD.

——————————————————————————————————————–

One more post for you all tomorrow, to let you know more about where I am today, and the steps I’m taking to get better!

20 thoughts on “My Food Story Part II: Blogging Hiatus Explained

  1. Carrie

    Meghan I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again–you are *so brave* for sharing your story. I totally understand classifying different foods as “off limits.” In the weeks leading up to a race, I usually eliminate a lot of excess carbs (like I’ll rarely eat chocolate or sandwiches, and I totally cut out alcohol), but I know I can’t sustain this approach long term.

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks Carrie! And yes definitely, it’s one thing to try and eat certain foods to prep your body for a race and make sure you’re in the best condition…but to try and eliminate certain foods long term never works! I’m still a bit of a work in progress but I’m learning!

      Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Aw thanks! I feel sort of silly sharing it because I know there are so many people who have been through much worse situations, but I do think it’s relatable. And I hope sharing my story will help someone one day, we shall see!

      Reply
  2. daileeblossom

    I went through something SO similar, as many others have, and it’s so important that we talk about these things! So thank you for sharing. :) I’d actually recommend reading a book called Brain Over Binge (available on Amazon, not sure if there’s a Kindle Edition) – it takes a vastly different approach to binge eating/EDs than most other books out there, and whether or not it’s 100% correct, I found it to be really thought-provoking and helpful. Let me know if you get around to reading it… I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      As silly as it sounds, I’m glad you went through something similar! Ok well, not happy you went through it just happy I’m not the only one :)

      I’m totally intrigued by that book, I’ll have to look into it. I’ll let you know if I get a chance to read it!

      Reply
  3. Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale

    You should be EXTREMELY proud of yourself for the courage you’re showing by posting this history. I’ve gone through cycles of the same binging and fit all of those criteria as well, although I would always purge after. It’s definitely a topic that brings up an extreme feeling of shame in me to this day. HUGE CONGRATS on breaking your cycles and becoming comfortable with who YOU are. I am very, very much looking forward to reading tomorrow’s conclusion.

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Aw thanks so much Chelsie! It really does make you feel so ashamed, not only in the sense that you’re hurting your body but also the sense that you’re not valuing the food you’re fortunate enough to have. I would beat myself up thinking how could I do that when people all over the world are starving without enough to eat? Still a sensitive subject for me of course but I’ve made huge progress! You definitely have too and should be super proud :)

      Reply
  4. Alex @ therunwithin

    Hey girl, i just wanted to say I hope you don’t feel guilty or ashamed of any of this. I can relate to the binge eating, it was a terrible part of my past due to the deprivation i had put on my body. i never purged like you ate until sick. i think you have come so far and that is something to remember.

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks Alex! I’m starting to feel less embarrassed and ashamed as I’m learning it’s a more common condition than I thought. It makes me feel so much better to know I’m not the only one who’s been through something like this!

      Reply
  5. Jorie

    Meghan, you are so brave for sharing your story. There will be readers out there who will use this post as a first step to recovery, so be proud of what you’re doing.

    I can definitely relate to a period of scary calorie-counting. When I was sixteen, I became obsessed with eating 1100-1200 calories a day, even though I was running track every day and dancing on my high school dance team. I lost 8 or 9 pounds off my already-thin frame. I naturally loosened up (and gained weight back) during my senior year and now don’t count calories at all, but I was definitely too food-obsessed for those couple of years in high school.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing, Meghan! I look forward to reading part three.

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks so much Jorie! I really do hope there are readers that can relate. It helps to know you went through a similar obsessive calorie counting stage too. And I’m comforted to know you kicked the habit! May need to pick your brain for some strategies. It is definitely something I’m still struggling with.

      Reply
  6. frhuman

    I’m so proud of you! Also, I think it takes a tremendous individual to figure out you had a problem as quickly (although I’m sure it didn’t seem quick!) as you did. That you were in tune with yourself enough to know you needed help speaks volumes about you.

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Wow, what an incredible compliment! Thank you so much, honestly. And I completely have to credit the healthy living blog community. It’s made me much more aware of what’s healthy, what’s “normal”, and what is definitely not healthy. I don’t think I would’ve recognized the problem nearly as quickly without it!

      Reply
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  11. Chelsea Eats Treats

    Wow this story is great. It’s making me realize that I said yes to a couple of those questions (though thankfully, not many, yet) and should probably take a step back to think as well.

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Definitely! That’s so awesome that you’re recognizing it way sooner than I did…I let things get way out of hand, more than I ever imagined I would. It’s always a good idea to step back now and then and look at the big picture, although it’s so easy to get caught up in it all.

      Reply

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