Removing a Mask. Bingeing. My Story.

Are you ready for real?

Because it’s about to get real.

I’m talking raw, honest, gut-wrenching make-you-uncomfortable real.

Bingeing.

Let me clarify something straightaway. When I say bingeing, I’m not referring to overeating. I’m not talking about when you go out for Mexican food and eat too many chips and salsa. I’m not talking about eating dessert when you are already stuffed. I’m not talking about needing to unbutton the top button of your pants because your steak was good.

No.

No, bingeing is a totally different beast. It doesn’t happen around others. It happens when you’re alone. It happens in the quiet. In your closet. In the kitchen when everyone else is asleep. In your car. It’s a fevered state of eating done in a limited time frame. It’s eating to the point of pain.

Bingeing involves lying. Lying over and over again.

“Where did the rest of the cookies go?”

“I thought we had a whole bag of chips left.”

“Did someone get into the cake last night?”

It involves cover up. Hiding the empty boxes and wrappers in the trashcan underneath other garbage.

Bingeing is like leading a second life.

It’s been part of my life since high school. I can distinctly remember going on a restrictive diet for a couple of months and then late one night fixing a box of Rice-a-Roni, sitting down to eat it and eating it all. Then, I moved on to cookies. And chips. And anything else I could get my hands on. It was a frenzy. I consumed about 3,000 calories within a 15 minute time frame.

At first, it felt glorious.

It tasted like freedom.

And then it didn’t.

It felt like prison.

It tasted like shame.

Over the years, I’ve gone through spurts of not bingeing. Sometimes even months. Other times I’ve binged multiple times a day.

It has been my master and I have obeyed its call.

I remember one year when I went to a blogging conference, I had just finished another really restrictive diet. I felt amazing. I felt in control. And then out of the blue, I crashed. I went and purchased an obnoxious amount of food, hid in my hotel room and prayed my roommate wouldn’t come back while I devoured bite after bite.

Two years ago, I opened up to a small group of women and confessed this to them. Up until that point, I had never told a single soul.

Why am I sharing this?

Because I woke up today and I felt different.

Because today I decided I would no longer keep this in the darkness.

Because I want to feel the warmth of God’s love on my face as I bask in His love.

Because today I wanted the taste of freedom. True freedom.

Because I know the shame. That shame has been my constant companion for over twenty years.

Because I KNOW I am not alone. I want to wrap my arms around each woman who has ever struggled (or still struggles like me) with this and say, “You are not alone.”

“Once and For All”
by Lauren Daigle

God I give You all I can today
These scattered ashes that are hid away
I lay them all at Your feet

From the corners of my deepest shame
The empty places where I’ve worn Your name
Show me the love I say I believe

O Help me to lay it down
Oh, Lord I’ll lay it down

O let this be where I die
My Lord with thee crucified
Be lifted high as my kingdom fall
Once and for all, once and for all

There is victory in my saviors loss
and In the crimson flowing from the cross
Pour over me, pour over me

O let this be where I die
My Lord with thee crucified
Be lifted high as my kingdom fall
Once and for all, once and for all

O Lord I lay it down
O Lord I lay it down
Help me to lay it down
O Lord I lay it down

O let this be where I die
My Lord with thee crucified
Be lifted high as my kingdom fall
Once and for all

Don’t Wait!

Do you know how many times I wore a swimsuit three summers ago when I was at my healthiest weight?

ZERO.

That’s right.

I was so self-conscious about the way I looked in a swimsuit that I refused to put one on. All of those memories I missed making with my children!

The sad truth is, I have always struggled with summer and swimsuits. Even waaaay back in high school days. I hated the way I looked in a swimsuit and all I could think about was, “Everyone is going to stare at me. And not in a good way.”

This year, at around fifty pounds heavier than three years ago, I was not making the same mistake.

I purposely went and bought myself a new swimsuit. (I had to. I didn’t have one that fit. Snort!)

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I have proudly worn that size 16 suit all summer. At a lake in Texas. At a waterpark in Missouri. At two different lakes in Arkansas. At a friend’s pool.

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I have splashed and played with my children. I have gone down water slides. I have gone tubing. And floated in a lazy river. And canoed.

I HAVE WALKED AROUND IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. IN MY SWIMSUIT.

Were they staring at me? Were they grossed out by my cellulite? Did they notice how I’m basically part mermaid with the way my thighs love to hang out together?

Maybe they were. Maybe there were dudes snickering about me behind my back. Maybe there were some snarky chicks rolling their eyes at my audacity to wear a swimsuit in public.

You know what?

I DON’T CARE.

Maybe there was another woman there who needed to look out and see someone else confidently wearing a swimsuit. Maybe there was another woman there who needed to be able to say, “If she can do it, then I can do it, too.”

I finally decided I was sick and tired of waiting to live it up until I was the perfect size.

What are you waiting on experiencing until you lose weight? DON’T WAIT.

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Good grief, I’m yelling a lot lately.

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