My Food Story Part III: Where I am Today

The final post in My Food Story series! If you missed anything, you can read about my early years in Part I here, and my early blogging days/blogging hiatus in Part II here.

Last time, I ended with my acknowledgment that I had a binge eating problem, and my anger at how much control food had over my life.

Today

I’m not where I want to be.

But I’m better. And I’m working on it.

And taking this step to really admit my problem, share it with others, and hold myself accountable is important to me.

Some areas where I’ve improved:

  • I no longer look at or think about my “calorie deficit” of the day. I have no idea how many calories I burn at the gym, during a workout video, or on a run. And I’m fine with that.
  • At my worst, I was binging multiple times a day. Today, I haven’t had a truly bad binge in over a month. For me, the tell tale sign of a binge is when I eat without any mental or physical awareness of what I’m eating. I’m not thinking. I’m not tasting. I’m barely chewing. I’m just eating.
  • If I overeat from time to time, but am aware and enjoying the food, I don’t consider that a binge. I don’t agonize over it or beat myself up anymore. I try to actively think “well, guess I was hungry!” and leave it at that.
  • I’ve taken steps to address the emotional aspect of binge eating. When I get an urge to binge, I write down how I’m feeling, and I’m trying to address those feelings head on instead of distracting myself with food. I am an emotional eater (I mention here that I “ate my feelings”) and I’m trying to recover from that as well.

Confessions and things I’m still working on:

  • I still count calories. Not as obsessively as I used to. But on average, I can give you a very accurate numeric tally of what I ate 4-5 days a week.
  • I own a food scale, and use it often. For example, I’ll weigh out a serving of cheese rather than estimating what a good amount is.
  • When I make a meal that’s supposed to serve 4-5, rather than roughly estimating a serving, I portion out (using my food scale) precise servings.

I know I need to work on these things. College Meghan would see me weighing cheese in the morning and be like…..what the? That bitch cray.

But I’m compulsive.

I am, I know I am. And it’s hard. These habits that I’ve developed have become a routine. Routine is comforting to me. It makes me feel like I’m in control, and I like to be in control.

There. I said it. I’m a control fah-reak.

I probably should talk to someone about it, but I don’t want to yet. I want to do this on my own. Fix myself on my own. Because I’m aware that my thoughts are messed up. I know they are. I’m working on it. And I’ve made progress. And I’m not going to give up :)

And that’s my story. So far.

I hope to keep getting better, and I hope you guys stick along for the ride!

27 thoughts on “My Food Story Part III: Where I am Today

  1. sanjapanja

    Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. They will not tell you what to think, but they might ask you questions that you haven’t thought of yourself. And in a way you are talking to someone now. You might get a question in the comments that might help you more than anything. Thanks for sharing! I’m also an emotional eater and control freak, but my controlling has nothing to do with food.

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      You’re right, just putting it all out there and writing everything down is like talking to someone in a way. I’ve found it to be really rewarding so far.

      And that’s the thing, I’ve always been a bit of a control freak, but never with food in the past. Trying to diet and lose weight for several months just set off a trigger, and it was like I realized food was another thing I could control. So so dangerous!

      Reply
  2. Carrie

    So glad to hear you’re doing better today, Meghan! It sounds like you did a good job of identifying the problem and coming up with a plan of attack. Don’t think you’re alone in the control issues department, either; I definitely have type-A traits, and possessing that control is one of them. Anyway, I hope sharing your story was helpful for you. :)

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks Carrie! Sharing my story was definitely the right decision I think. I feel better just putting it all out there. I think my type-A traits is what made me so susceptible to overdoing it with the counting/portioning thing. I’m definitely doing better, I realized today I only counted calories twice last week. Kind of a huge accomplishment for me!

      Reply
  3. Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale

    But you’re aware of your thoughts and behaviours and addressing them — that’s the take-away here and it’s AMAZINGLY commendable!! Recovery doesn’t happen quickly (and I don’t think I’d want it to — we need to learn about ourselves, habits, and triggers as we go) and the more that we try to force it, I find, the worse of a decision we put ourselves in. As long as you’re working on it and looking towards a stable and healthy future, you’re on the right path.
    I’m so glad you shared Meaghan! I hope it’s been therapeutic to get it all out there. :)

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks so much Chelsie! You’re right…realizing that something was very wrong with the way I was looking at food and thinking about food was the first step. And it’s been a slow process, but I’m definitely so much better off than I was. I know there’s more I need to change, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’ll get there! It’s been great sharing with everyone, I love the support this community brings! :)

      Reply
  4. Ashley

    I think its amazing that you have posted about this. I am going through the EXACT same situation and its comforting to know that I am not alone. I would like to email you to hear about some of the changes you have made to start overcoming this issue….

    Reply
  5. Alex @ therunwithin

    good job for realizing what you still need to work on. I also commend you on the mind frame you have around overeating, the worst is when you hear past binge eaters say that even indulging a little is a binge. totally makes the situation worse and puts that black and white framework back in. I would just keep working on yourself, take little steps like a. get rid of the food scale, b. count calories for only one day, etc. you can do it! thanks for sharing all of this. again, email me girl! I am always here for support. I can relate a lot to this.

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks so much Alex! Great advice, and so comforting to know that you’ve been there. I actually only counted calories 1 full day this past week (and two half days :-/) which is huge for me. Honestly, I think being super busy is helping! I simply don’t have time to overthink and obsess about it, which is a good thing. I gotta break up with the food scale…I only use it a few times a week now..but it’s still an OCD thing I’m having trouble letting go of. I gotta just do it!

      Reply
  6. frhuman

    I recognize so much of my own story in yours. Again, you understand the problems which means you are already on the road to recovery. You have a community here that will support you in anyway you need!

    Reply
  7. Sally

    Such an honest post, thank you for sharing. throw your food scale away. just do it. there is no good coming from owning it – even if you don’t know it, it is torturing you. at times, I overeat as well and feel guilty but take everything one meal/snack at a time. Move on from it. Food is not your life. YOU are your life and by having food control you, you aren’t living up to who you can really be. I’ve been there and it’s NOT fun. You can do it!

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Thanks Sally! I’ve been getting so much better…just the simple improvement of not beating myself up if I have a “bad” day food wise makes a huge difference. The next day is a fresh start and I don’t look back, and am so much happier that way! I’m taking it one day at a time!

      Reply
  8. Karolina

    Hi Meghan! I found your blog through @wishandwhimsy and just stumbled upon your story…my relationship with food, my need to control, the bingeing but never purging (in fact – the not purging was like a punishment for my body for all the food I had just consumed..)…this is what I’ve been dealing with throughout my twenties…I turned 30 this year (yikes!) and like you I had digestive issues and I knew I couldn’t do this anymore (I would also just exercise more to compensate for the bingeing)…I am also still in the process of recovery and I had a binge this week but I acknowledged in and let my close ones know it happened and I’m continuing on. I’m also journaling and keeping a daily record of what I eat (without counting calories – like you I became obsessed) and it’s brought me a lot of clarity and accountability without going over the edge into obsession. It is so hard to talk about this; most people just brush me off and say they too have trouble eating just one chip but you and I know it’s a lot more serious than that…it’s the shutting off part, the part where you eat until your stomach hurts so that it blinds whatever else you may be feeling…

    I am in a better place today and it is so inspiring to hear about your journey and support each other as we find our way back to healthy living.

    All the best :)
    Karolina

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      Hi Karolina! First of all I need to tell you that reading this comment this morning totally warmed my soul. Thank you so much!

      I wanted to share my experience for this exact reason, to hopefully reach out and find other people who were going through/had been through a similar struggle. I have a strong feeling that this is way more common than we think, but the shame and embarrassment that goes along with it prevents a lot of people from talking about it. You are so right, it’s a lot more serious than “having trouble eating just one chip”. It wasn’t about overindulging now and then, it was about standing in the kitchen, literally eating anything and everything that crossed my mind, completely numb, until I felt physically sick. I haven’t binged like that in well over a month now, maybe two? And I’m so happy to hear that you’re in a better place as well! The thing that ultimately worked best for me was changing the way I thought about food. I think I’m still 6 years-old inside, because if you tell me not to do something, I want to do it that much more. I had to stop looking at food and thinking “Ok, only one cookie!” or “No I really shouldn’t eat that”. Once I switched gears and thought more like “Mmm cookies! Yay” I found I was able to eat a more reasonable amount. Not at first though, I’d say it got harder before it got easier. But it was worth it. :)

      Reply
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  13. heather

    I just sent you an email from my phone with out signing off or thanking you for sharing your story! So thank you:) the fact that you are doing well is inspiring and gives me hope!!!! I realize your food story posts are “old” but wanted you to know how helpful they are…

    Reply
    1. aftertheivyleague

      I’m so happy you found my story helpful! Honestly, that was my entire reason for sharing, because I know I can’t be the only one to go through something like this. I’ll look out for your email tomorrow!

      Reply

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