I got a great email from a HealthyGirl.org reader, Jen, last week that I just had to share. It’s an example of how opening up and being vulnerable—and telling someone close to you about your binge eating, can be helpful and healing rather than scary or embarrasssing.
Read on and then let us know: Have you told people you’ve dated about your issues with food? Was it a good and helpful experience? xo…Sunny
I really want to share this story of how reaching out to others instead of being embarassed by binge eating can make a huge difference in the life of the person with the ED.
My boyfriend is well aware of my struggles with food. I see a counselor and really have all the tools I need to successfully feel my feelings instead of eating them. But sometimes I still want to turn to food. So often I’ll feel a binge coming on but won’t tell my live-in love. Sometimes I actually hope he’ll go out and have plans so that I can be alone with the food.
Last night I felt the urge to binge, which was surprising, because it’s been weeks since I’ve felt that way. My feelings of both dread and excitement were compounded when my boyfriend told me he was going over to a friend’s house. I don’t know what made me do it, but I told him what was going on with me. I told him I didn’t need him to stay, but I thought talking about things would help. It did, temporarily.
Just before he got ready to leave, he asked me if I was okay. Amazingly, I said, “I want to eat”. So many other times the binge monster has won and I would say, “I’m fine”, then hit the fridge the second he pulled out of the driveway. He was in the other room when I said this, and he didn’t come out for a while, I thought he was emailing or balancing his check book or something.
When he walked out of the office he was carrying pink Post-It Notes, which he stuck to the door frame leading into the kitchen. Back and forth he went from the office to the door frame, posting a total of 13 notes. He told me to read them all before I binged, and that if I binged it was okay.
Before I even read the notes I felt so much better. Binge eating is so embarassing to me, yet this man that I love loves me enough to take the time to try to help me. I can’t explain the shift in me, but somehow after seeing what he did for me, I had no desire to binge anymore.
After he left, I read the notes. Some said things like, “Why?” or “No!” and some said “Is it really worth it?” or “You’ll feel sick later” or “Is this really what you want?”
Instead of eating I watched TV, read, went online, did some leg strength training, and eventually had dessert, but I savored it, I didn’t slam it down my throat. Then I flossed and brushed my teeth and that was that.
This morning when I woke up I was so happy to feel hungry and empty and ready for a new day instead of bloated, gassy, and sick. I never want to tell anyone about my struggles, but people are more understanding than I would ever have imagined, and they can have such a huge impact on my life.
Tell someone you love if you have a problem!! You don’t have to fight it alone.
Thanks Jen. Now it’s your guys’ turn: Does the person you’re dating know about your past (or present) with food? Why have you—or haven’t you—told them?
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