Operation Skinny Jeans: The Holidays are the hardest.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Holidays are the hardest.

I am a binge eater. You all know this. I will never be able to say "I used to be a binge eater" because much like alcoholism, it will never really go away. I work every day to become "recovering" but it will take a long time to get there.

Binge Eating is hard for a lot of people to understand. People who have completely normal relationships with food don't understand the compulsion to eat. They think you eat when you are hungry until you are not and thats it. In a perfect world, yes. In a world where stress and anxiety and disfunction don't exist, yup, that sounds about right. However to a binge eater, binge eating has really nothing to do with actually being hungry. In fact when I binge I am often NOT hungry, and get to a place of extreme discomfort where I would purge if I could but I can't (weird vomit phobia) so I sit there uncomfortably and hate myself. It's a vicious cycle.

Every binge eater has triggers. Holidays are a big one for me. I grew up with divorced parents so holidays were often more stressful than exciting. There were constant fights between parents for time and always feeling like you were neglecting the other parent when you weren't with them. And to add to that joy, I also had two step sisters who had to wait for my sister and I before christmas could start. So there was guilt from them too. Needless to say- shitshow. It was a shitshow.

I honestly have more memories of crying on christmas than actually being happy.


So I would turn to food to fill the void I was feeling in my heart. I started at a really young age (like 4 or 5) feeding my feelings. As I got older, holidays didn't get easier, but I got better at stuffing my face instead of crying. Bingeing became the way that I handled that stress. And if your family is like mine, there is no shortage of food during the holidays. It was like my binge eating dream; completely unsupervised at a buffet of delicious and fattening foods.

So as an adult, breaking this behavior is one of the hardest things I am trying to do. I obviously have more control over where I am on Christmas morning, but as any married 20 something without kids knows, there is no shortage of guilt. My answer has been to go where I feel most in control of my eating, and where I am happy.

Going off topic for a sec- as an adult, I have the power to be happy. I get to choose what I do and who I see and I choose not to see people that don't make me happy. Sure it has caused problems, but in the end, I am happy and that is what is best for my health, mental and physical.

Back to christmas. So the first step for me in managing my holiday trigger is to feel in control. When I do I am less likely to spiral out. I also try to focus on my goals and let stress roll off my back. It isn't easy. Holidays are stressful times in general. But one event at a time, one buffet at a time, I am working my way to being a recovering binge eater.

If you need help managing your stress or just want someone to talk to, for reals hit me up. I am all over the internets and attached to my phone so I will write you back. I am not a doctor, but I am a friend. Together we can get through the next 3 weeks and stay on the right track.



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  1. Good luck, Jess. Stay strong and true to you. :-)

  2. Hang in there girl! I went through a period last year after a very stressful breakup where I was binge eating like crazy! I gained 40 lbs in a year. NOT CUTE. And now I'm working on fixing my stress eating triggers and trying to lose this weight. It can be so easy to get down on myself sometimes. So in a way, I understand your pain. XOXO

  3. Jess, Binge eating is super my thing too. All you can eat buffets, unlimited offers, parties all my thing. These days I'm really trying portion control, it takes a lot effort.

    Defining Me

  4. I love this post. I totally identify with all of it. I am sorry the holidays were so hard for you...but I am super happy for you that you've realized as an adult that you don't have to do anything you don't want to on the holidays!

    I would love you be on your sidebar! I'll send you my code and put your button on mine as well as soon as I get a chance.

    Thank you!

  5. I just love this post, Jess. Everything about it. Although my heaviest was during pregnancy which some people don't feel like is really being overweight, my true binge eater was loosed during that time since I had an "excuse" and I did some pretty embarrassing eating. Lawd. And I've fallen off the diet wagon so bad the past couple of weeks. This time of the year really makes me want to binge. Not necessarily for some deep, dark reason, but just because I LOVE TO EAT. And I get seriously cranky when I can't. Ugh. OH and I would love to be on your sidebar!! I'll e-mail you my button/code. :)

  6. I wouldn't say I'm a binge-eater, but I don't have a good relationship with food either. If there's yummy food around me, even if I'm not hungry, I will eat it. Because I just like food. I don't think it has a lot to do with where my emotions are at, but it's definitely not a healthy relationship either. It would just be so much easier if food wasn't what made us fat!!

    I'll be rooting for you this holiday season, though :) I hope your holidays now with your husband are happier than the ones you grew up with. You seem to be in a really great place in life and have a sweet husband to spend the holidays with, even if you have to deal with parents and in-laws!

  7. I always love your honesty. I have realized that I struggle with this. I haven't figured out what my triggers are but I just want to eat and eat and eat! Awww I want to be on your amazing blog! Can you grab my button boo???

  8. I'm a binge eater too. I don't talk about it much but have mentioned it here and there on my blog. I know how you feel as far as the holidays making it worse and the guilt that comes with family and stress and all that crap. You're beautiful and strong and so much more than a binge eater. You'll get through this holiday season and be so much stronger from it. Big hugs, girl!

  9. I love this post. My bestfriend/roommate and I talk about binge eating often. Neither of us have healthy relationships with food and you are so right about people not being able to understand. My relationship with food is something I will have to deal with my whole life. Right now I'm trying to focus on balance and building a better relationship with food. Let's kick the rest of this holiday season in the ass!

  10. OMG. I read your post and began crying.... literally tears running down my face. I think I may be a binge person. :( When I get so stressed, depressed - I turn to food. Some how I think it will make it better - I tell myself "i dont care if i get fatter - no one loves me but me anyways" - then of course I eat and WHAM - more guilt, I wanna kick myself in the ass. :( how do u combat this? how do u get over and work through it. i was never this way until i was so unhappy in my marriage i left... then started dating again and im not sure if this relationship is healthy either.

  11. I struggle with binge eating too. You are exactly right, its like being an alcoholic. The road to recovery is so hard because our drug of choice is readily accessibe. Even now after having lost over 60 pounds I struggle everyday with my food choices.

    Love your readiness ideas in this post! I'm already planning how to survive Christmas parties too. :)


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