Before Beat the Binge, I had lost all hope. I was convinced that I was never going to solve my food issues, I was going to continue to eat uncontrollably, and I would keep gaining weight until it killed me.
I had tried everything - self help books, online groups, week long retreats, prescription medications, over the counter supplements, every diet program out there, 20 years of counseling, rehashing my past over and over and over, reliving trauma and horrible emotions until I couldn't stand it any more.
Some of these things helped with my mental stability and taught me things about myself that were helpful in my life in general, but nothing seemed to help with the food.
When I signed up, I was bingeing every day. I was never a purger or over-exerciser, or even an extreme restricter. I would overeat or binge, then cut back, or diet, and be able to mostly maintain my weight for many years (even though I was constantly obsessed about the number on the scale and was never happy with how I looked).
Until the last 2 or 3 years... I reached a point where I could no longer diet. I could not stick to any type of food plan AT ALL. Like not even for one day. I felt completely out of control. The weight starting packing on, and I panicked and tried even harder to "do better" but nothing worked. I felt powerless and hopeless as I gained 50 pounds in about 3 years (on top of the extra 20 I was already carrying).
I was desperately looking for a solution. I had bought into the idea that my depression and eating issues were related to past trauma because I had been told that by so many people for so many years.
So I jumped from therapist to therapist, trying to find the one with the right method of treatment that would help me put it behind me once and for all.
I dredged up old memories and old emotions so many times, reliving traumas over and over and over, not understanding what I was doing wrong and why it wasn't helping.
I truly thought I just wasn't trying hard enough even though I was devoting my entire life to it.
My eating disorder and food has taken my entire life from me for the last 20 years.
I stopped expressing myself in any way. I stopped caring about how I looked, quit wearing makeup, didn't care about how I dressed.
I gave up anything and everything that gave me any kind of joy or happiness - I stopped doing the things I enjoyed, gave up hobbies and interests, stopped having opinions about things.
I just drifted along and let other people run my life. I lost all of my friends and became very isolated.
My marriage was in ruins. My daughter was growing up before my eyes and I was missing it. I didn't have a job outside the home for almost 15 years, so I spent nearly all of my time at home, either alone or with only my daughter or husband for company.
My life became a hollow shell of what it once was. I became a hollow shell of what I once was. My whole world was contained in this depressive state that I was trying desperately to get out of, but felt powerless to change.
Every bit of energy I had (which was not much) was spent either obsessing about food or obsessing about how to stop being so miserable.
I spent my days sitting on the couch watching Netflix and eating. It was all I could do to get my daughter to school, take a shower, and maybe run a couple of errands or do some laundry.
I was going through a fast food drive through pretty much every day, sometimes more than once per day. I had lost all trust in myself, in my ability to think clearly, in my ability to make decisions. I felt at times like I was truly losing my mind.
The battle that was going on in my head was almost more than I could take. I felt like the war I was fighting was against myself, and I had no idea how to win because no matter the outcome, somehow I would also lose.
Through all of this desperation, I could not allow myself to simply give up. I just couldn't believe that there was absolutely no hope for someone like me. So I kept looking, kept trying to be open to new ideas that might be able to help me.
And then I came across Lydia's videos on Facebook. I watched a few of them and they really resonated and made so much sense!
And then there was Beat the Binge. :)
Oh my gosh, how has this program NOT helped me!!?
I am getting my life back.
I am getting my brain back.
I am trusting myself again, learning how to make decisions that serve me, figuring out what I want for what feels like the first time in forever.
Just writing that sentence brings tears to my eyes.
It has given me hope back. Hope that I can have the life I have desperately wanted but felt unable to have for the last 20 years.
It has helped me rediscover my own power, and that I can truly create the life I want to have.
I no longer spend every waking moment obsessively thinking about food. I have food in the cabinet, the pantry, the freezer, my desk at work that has been there for weeks, and this is the same food that wouldn't have lasted a day in the past.
I am allowing myself a freedom with food that I didn't know was possible.
I have so much more mental energy and clarity now.
I just feel lighter in every part of my life and in every way. I know I haven't lost weight since my clothes still fit the same (and that's ok), but I feel a lightness in my body.
The anxiety, the tense feeling of always being on edge has eased. I am sleeping better - I have been having sleep issues for years and had tried pretty much everything to fix that issue as well and nothing has helped until now.
Things just aren't as big of a deal any more. Every little mistake I make doesn't have to be tied to guilt and shame anymore. The things that I eat and the struggles that I have no longer define me and determine my worth.
After staying at home for 15 years, I went back to work about 4 weeks into the program. I truly believe that would not have been possible without Beat the Binge.
I have wanted to for years, but didn't feel like I could for many reasons. For one, I didn't have the mental capacity. I didn't feel like I would be able to perform the duties of a job because I couldn't think straight, my thinking was so sluggish, and I had no physical energy.
Now, with the principles I have learned and practiced, all of that is changing.
My relationships are also improving. I am able to be present with my daughter in ways that I never was before.
I can be supportive of her emotionally and allow her to have her feelings. I am also communicating with my husband better and expressing my wants/needs more.
Maybe I may even be able to branch out and make some new friends soon.
This program has impacted me in huge ways. I love the ways it has helped me with food, but what I love even more is the impact in the rest of my life.
Calling out the chatter doesn't just relate to food. And the areas that don't relate to food are even bigger and better.
I used to think that if I could just stop eating uncontrollably, I would be happy.
All I wanted was to end my food obsession. What I didn't realize was that ending that obsession would open so many other doors and opportunities for the rest of my life.