The pain of overeating versus the pain of not eating

“There is pain in hiding and pain outside of hiding. The pain outside is better because nothing hurts as bad as not being known.” Glennon Doyle Melton


This quote reminds me so much of my own struggle with emotional eating.

There is pain in hiding, in secret eating, binge eating and using food to try to keep it together. Pain in using it as a way to numb and avoid feeling my feelings.

There is also pain in sharing my experiences of eating, and being honest about my struggles, and how at times, I still struggle.

There is the pain of overeating because I feel sick and bloated and guilty and otherwise not great about myself.

There is also a pain in not eating, because then I actually have to feel my feelings rather than eating to shove them down.

Decades of eating to avoid my feelings and now not eating and facing my own inner BS means that the emotional pendulum swing can be pretty intense!

But the pain of not eating and sharing my experience IS better. Because although eating and avoiding feels easier in the moment, in the long run it’s self destructive!

Plus it’s not really a secret when the resulting weight gain is visible for everyone to see.


I am reminded of that saying ‘being overweight is hard, losing weight is hard – choose your hard.’


The same could be said for pain. Secret eating / binge eating is painful, and resisting the urge to binge is painful – choose your pain.

One pain is going to move you forward and one is going to keep you stuck in the same cycle. Neither is right or wrong, they are simply choices.

So my invitation for you is, next time you feel the urge to eat when you KNOW you’re not hungry, sit with the feeling for a while and see if you can tune into what’s really going on for you?

What are you feeling? Or more importantly, what are you trying to stuff down with food so that you don’t feel? And how can you begin to feel safe with the feeling and allow it to move through you?

health without shame

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