I’m about to get really vulnerable here and I don’t know how many times I’ve started to write this and then deleted it so here it is real and raw. And before you say, ‘Lindsey, you look great!’ ‘Lindsey, you’re too hard on yourself.’ Know that the point of this post isn’t to focus on how I look or don’t look, it’s to focus on the internal struggle I’ve been battling that is again starting to show physically and even has caused stress in my marriage. It’s a battle that has spilled into every aspect of my life and I can no longer pretend I’m figuring it out and overcoming because at this point, I’m not. I have to be honest with myself, brutally so, otherwise I will not find recovery and permanent change.
Getting on my own personal health and fitness journey has really allowed me to look at myself honestly and recognize my battles and struggles and get to the root of them as I work every day to be a better, stronger and more confident version of myself. We tend to look at things on the surface level because going deeper than that is usually a scary, dark and embarrassing place. Just one year ago I had no idea that I had been battling binge eating disorder since childhood; I just thought it was the way I was, that something was wrong with me, that I had no willpower, no self-discipline.
The signs had always been there, but I had never put the pieces together until late last year when I started finding videos on YouTube from others battling the same daily struggle. I wasn’t the only one that ate in secret to the point of feeling pain and being sick? I wasn’t the only one that had stolen junk food to satisfy a craving so big that the noise of it was louder than anything around me? I wasn’t the only one that fixated on food with every thought that focusing on work, responsibilities and my relationship seemed less important? I wasn’t the only one that looked at the mirror, into my own eyes, and saw shame and disgust in how out of control I was?
Discovering that I was battling binge eating disorder was a relief, as silly as that may sound. But finally I had an answer, finally I didn’t feel alone, finally I knew I could work on overcoming this. In October of last year I started that painful crawl out of the abyss that is addiction. I thought, ‘wow, I totally got this, I can handle this.’ And for several months I did, I abstained from my trigger.
But as time went on, and life happens and stress happens and the mind continues to think it needs to satisfy that craving, again my behaviors crept back up to the surface and I relapsed. Anyone who has battled any sort of addiction knows that for a long time, perhaps forever for some, a relapse can be there just under the surface waiting for that opportune moment to break free again.
I began eating in secret again, lying about it, I got moody, lazy, depressed, I lost motivation in my goals and it started to affect my marriage. This was the wakeup call that I needed. The realization that what I do and how I act and how I live each day has an impact on other people too, specifically my husband. That even though I think I’m hiding it, it shows. Because of my love for fitness, I tend to manage my weight for the most part but it shows in my mood, my work ethic, anxiety and in how I treat my husband. As an ongoing battle, it’s showing physically again too. My acne is back, my bloated belly and face are back, the circles under my eyes are back, I’m having headaches and migraines again, I’m not sleeping and I am having dental issues again. I’ve gained weight and plateaued for several months now.
I always thought I was unlucky, I had ‘bad’ teeth but the frequent cavities, 7 root canals, losing two teeth and now wearing a partial denture are all side effects of sugar addiction and binge eating disorder.
The struggle with my metabolism and hormones, side effects of this ongoing battle.
THIS IS THE SERIOUSNESS of eating disorders. It isn’t just internal, it eventually, over time, becomes physical too.
Now every story has a happy ending right? Well, I’ve been blessed with an understanding husband who is willing to make his own sacrifices, if it means happiness for me and if it means I get myself back to that woman he loves waking up next to each day. While my ‘happy ending’ may not be here yet, I’m fighting for it.
Over the last few months I’ve immersed myself in learning about this disorder, food addiction and how to overcome it and I know what to do going forward. Actually, I knew what to do weeks ago, but as with any big change, we get mental blocks about what life might look like on the other side of all this mess. I will be working on abstaining from ALL the triggers I’ve recognized to be a problem. Will it be tough? Yes. Does it mean forever giving up certain foods/beverages? Yes.
But, will I be happier, more confident, healthier, and stronger? Will I be a better person, wife, daughter, sister, dog mom, and health and fitness coach? Fuck yes I will be and that is my why, that is why I’m sticking with this, because it isn’t just about me anymore.