I’m a Binge-Eater

IMG_4652When I started this blog, I started it with the goal of running a “talk-shop” blog. I was going to talk about books, writing, writers, and publishing, all as I pursued my dreams of becoming an author. I wanted to meet other writers, make connections, make life-long friends that I could Skype with over hot coffee and talk about our craft. I just wanted to write about writing.

The longer I write and post, the more I realize that I really needed this to write about myself. I have been suffering with something I’m finally ready to admit is a problem: binge-eating. I binge. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to end. Other days, I feel like I can stop. Food is my enemy, at least that is how I used to think. I am my enemy. Part of it is from stress, part of it is from loneliness… and for some reason, the only way I know how to cope is to eat.

I don’t want pity. Believe me, I’m going to be okay.

Sugar and fast food seem to be my favorite drug. Occasionally, I will go and get something from McDonald’s. “The dollar menu is so enabling,” I tell myself. It’s another excuse. I stop at the dollar store and pick up a bunch of candy bars and snack cakes. “This is too good of a deal,” I tell myself. Excuse, after excuse… When I get home, I look at my hoard, and I start by making a deal with myself. I will have just one cake and one burger. That will be my dinner and dessert. That’s how it starts, but the moment I take that first bite, it’s over. One box of snack cakes, one bag of $1 hamburgers down, my stomach hurts, my wallet hurts, and despite everything, my heart still hurts.

It feels so good when it’s happening, though.

Once again, I don’t want pity. Think of this as a journal entry you happened upon. One entry in an old, tattered journal you found abandoned on a park bench one day. Out of curiosity, you peek, and here you are. I’m tired of suffering in silence. I want to be better, and I’m going to get better. I promise.

Lissy

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The Girl Who Doesn’t Care, Cares A Lot

I’ve always thought I was comfortable in my own skin. I don’t embarrass easily. As I demonstrate in the picture below:

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I’m willing to make a fool of myself for the sake of a laugh. Here I was, at my job, wearing two tree skirts – one as a poncho, one as a skirt – and a matching camo hat just because I thought it would be hilarious. I make jokes about myself in public, a lot of the times in the most vicious way possible. I have no shame.

Most of the time.

While I like to say I don’t care what people think, there are moments in my life where I realize that it’s impossible not to care. One moment being, the last time I went to the gym.

Every semester, my boyfriend and I make the valiant effort to go to the gym regularly. We’re already on campus, it’s free for students, so why not? Usually, it’s just the two of us. Then, the day came where he invited his friends. I didn’t care about the strangers seeing my obese body boldly bouncing around the basketball court, but, boy, did I care about my boyfriend’s friends seeing me.

When he said they were coming, I cried. I couldn’t hold them back, even if I tried. In that moment, I realized that the girl who supposedly doesn’t care, cares way too much about what other people think.

I was right back to that middle school version of myself who would hide in the gym bathroom, sobbing because I knew those girls and their boyfriends would start calling me a dike or a man the moment I walked out in my gym uniform. That’s when I developed my defense mechanism – making fun of myself before other people could. If I call myself a fat dike before others can, then they can’t hurt me. I’ve let the world know about my insecurities as if I’m confident about them. In reality, I’m just trying to protect myself from someone who might try to use them against me.

I have no shame because I’m ashamed.

That’s right, I’m ashamed of myself. “Why?” my boyfriend asked when, after fifteen minutes of hiding in the rec center bathroom, crying, I emerged to let him know why I was self-conscious. I knew those guys in middle school. They weren’t the ones who made fun of me, thankfully, but it took me right back to that place when I didn’t have any way of defending myself. I was a jolly green giant target of a pre-teen, lumbering about just waiting to be picked on. I lived everyday waiting for a snide remark, which was always followed by the vicious laughter of those who were just happy they weren’t the ones being picked on.

I’m still that twelve-year-old girl who finds solace in gym bathrooms and weeps at the fear of people finding out she’s not as confident as she may seem, or that she is actually insecure about being overweight, masculine, tall, or all of the above.

And I don’t write this because I want people to feel bad for me. That’s the exact opposite of what I’m doing. I realized that just because I act confident on the surface, doesn’t mean I actually am. I have insecurities, just like everyone else. That person you may be jealous of because they are confident, funny, and everything you may think you’re not is actually just as insecure as you are.

Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.

Watch your words, and always do your best to be kind, especially to yourself.

-Lissy