*This post may be triggering for those with eating disorders.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written in the blog, and this post has been a long time in the making.
I feel like an absolute fraud and imposter to my friends and my clients because, while I counsel people on healthy eating, intuitive eating, and how to recover from and eating disorder- I am still over here silently suffering over my own… deep in shame.
I’ve decided to write this post as some of the inner work I’m doing has advised me to be vulnerable.
If you know me- you probably think I’m TOTALLY vulnerable. I’ve been very open with my binge eating & bulimia struggles “in the past”, and if you are in my bootcamp you know pretty much everything about me, as I can’t keep a secret to safe my life. I’m an open book… sometimes too open! I’m not afraid to tell any random person about totally private things.
But I realized that I’m not actually being vulnerable, because I’m still hiding my deepest stuff- the stuff that is steeped in shame, guilt, and regret. I’m not actually being vulnerable because the stuff I’m open with isn’t actually a big deal to me, it’s not showing the real me.
I’ve made the decision to crack open. I feel like I can’t move past what I’m dealing with, until I completely own it through and through. I’m such a fucking people pleaser I can hardly even tell my counsellor that I’m struggling! I want a gold star every week for “doing so well”. I want to be her best client that’s “recovered” from binge eating and doesn’t even think about it anymore. I want to be a success story so badly, and help others- I keep trying to convince myself that I’m “fine”.
I’m still trying to figure out what I’m actually dealing with to be honest. It’s like there’s this other part of me that comes out and I can’t seem to take control over her. All she wants to do is binge eat, purge, sleep, and feels completely overwhelmed by everything which makes her isolate and hide away from anyone that wants to help her. She’s sad, she’s lonely, and she’s unsure of everything in her life that’s she built.
Posting this picture is incredibly hard for me. I know I want to put everything OUT THERE so here’s a few wrappers of what I consumed today (and this is the third day in a row of this behaviour… typically occurring 2-4 x per week.. depending on the week). Sometimes I can go a week or two with nothing and say “I think this is finally behind me!” and it rears right back up. That anxious all consuming feeling of wanting to hide and shut off every single emotion. Just eat and eat and eat until I can’t feel anymore.
A Reese’s Chocolate Bar, 2L of ice-cream complete with maple syrup + peanut butter in each bowl, a “family” size bag of M&M’s, more Reese’s peanut butter cups, junior mints, & more Reeses, as well as a roll of cookie dough, a Nanaimo bar from the Roost. All of these bought at different locations so not to announce the giant binge I was about to embark on. To hide my shame from the check-out girl and avoid eye contact or any comments on what I was purchasing. Buying it with “healthy” food mixed in there so it didn’t seem like it was for me. Terrified that some of my clients will see me.
All consumed with an hour.
What would possibly drive me to do this? What am I hiding from that is so scary? From the outside in, my life looks amazing! I’ve built a successful business from the ground up, I have amazing friends and family, a loving boyfriend, and so on.
The truth is, I never feel good enough. I’m CONSTANTLY thinking about work, clients and what I need to do and the only time it ever stops is when I’m binging or sleeping. I’ve realized I’ve transferred my one obsession (dieting and anorexia) to work and being successful. The one thing that stuck around is binge eating because it’s the only thing that can turn my brain off.
I’ve lived my whole life with shame around food. I don’t know how it began for me- but I’ve realized lately I can never just feel NORMAL around food. I’m worried I’m eating too much, or too fast or someone’s judging me, or I WISH I COULD JUST BE ALONE SO I COULD EAT ALL OF THIS. I need to get rid of this shame and this fear of people finding me out.
I- Tara Brunet- a personal trainer & holistic nutritionist struggle with Binge Eating & Bulimia. Still.
It’s been 17 years since I first made myself throw up and it’s been a roller coaster ever since. Some days I can be totally fine- and then it comes up out of no where.
Here’s the other deep, dark secret. I LIKE IT. Of course I do. I love the feeling of getting into bed with a giant bowl of ice-cream, cookie dough, and Netflix. I lose myself in a movie or a show and I don’t have to think again until I run out of food.
When I run out is when it hits me. What have I done? I throw whatever I can up and still feeling horrible with guilt and shame and exhaustion, I sleep. The deepest sleep you can get. I feel like all my muscles are deadweight and I could never move again.
And then, I wake up- and head to bootcamp, or Pound- and I put on my happy and excited enthusiastic personality and I try to motivate people in the gym and help them feel good about their bodies- whilst feeling sick to my stomach.
This is the double life I’ve been leading, and I don’t want to lead it anymore.
I’m so tired. I’m tired of the facade. I’m tired of trying to quit binge eating over and over again and failing again and again. I’m tired of counselling, and journalling, and meditation. I’m tired of pushing all my emotions down. I’m tired of throwing up. I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself. I’m tired of feeling like a victim to binge eating and out of control around food.
The fact of the matter is- I make the choice to go buy all this food. I make the choice to eat it. I continue making these choices and continue to hide the depth of my struggle from everyone around me. So I’m cracking open. I’m publishing this post for EVERYONE to see. I feel absolutely positively terrified of people reading this and seeing me in public and judging me. I’m scared I’ll lose all of my clients and my following. I’m scared no one will want to hear what I have to say. I’m scared that my business will fail and I’ll be left with nothing, because if I can’t even help myself, how can I help others?
The one thing that is going to make me hit publish on this post – is that I think with sharing my story and being TRULY raw – I can help someone else. By putting all my deepest darkest fears and shame out in the open, it takes away some of the pain. It’s almost like… ok so I eat some junk food. SO WHAT?
Maybe there’s more people out there that are struggling with this. In fact I KNOW there are.
“The most common eating disorder in the United States is binge eating disorder (BED). It is estimated that 3.5% of women, 2% of men, and 30% to 40% of those seeking weight loss treatments can be clinically diagnosed with binge eating disorder.”
With that said- I just want to be real. I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m going to keep focussing on recovery, keep trying to open about it, and hope that I can help others struggling with this in silence.