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Behind the Shiny Veneer

June 19, 2012

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great start to your week! In case you missed out, here are my weekend posts:

I made up a great full-body 30 minute circuit,

I raved about “normal people weekends,”

Aaaand, I announced that I’m fundraising for Girls on the Run for the Chicago Marathon!

Today, however, I wanted to talk about a topic that’s been on my mind for a quite a while, I just haven’t been sure of how to write about it. I realize, being a reader of many blogs myself, that we often put bloggers up on a pedestal. Most of what I write about is the good stuff: the good food, fun things going on in my life, my workouts and runs. However, I tend to not write as much about the bad stuff. I mean come on, who wants to read a depressing blog? However, because of that, I think a lot of people might assume that my life is great and perfect and I’ve got it all together, which is so NOT the truth!

I mean yes, I’ve got a ton of great things going on for me, but I’m not perfect, no one is!  I started this blog as a way to reach out to other women around my age and help them realize that they aren’t alone in their problems. I first started blogging after I read Tina’s blog, Carrots N Cake, and then her book. Her blog and book made a huge impact on my idea of “healthy eating” and I went from eating everything low-calorie and sugar-free to eating real foods and letting things carbs and fats *gasp* back into my life. I wanted to reach out and hopefully help others in the same way that Tina, and other bloggers, helped me.

However, over the past few months there’s something I haven’t really shared with you all, mostly because I’m embarrassed. But I’ve realized recently, especially by looking at a few new-to-me blogs, that I am one of many in my struggle with emotional/binge eating. I eat to avoid dealing with emotions and anxiety, but it’s clearly not a healthy coping mechanism! I’ve actually gained some weight since Christmas break, which makes me feel worse about myself (although realistically I’m at a perfectly healthy weight), which just fuels the emotional eating even further. A lot of us deal with boredom eating and occasional emotional eating, but for me it became an every day kind of thing, rather than an ever once in a while kind of thing.

Although I’m not one to air my dirty laundry in public, I knew I wasn’t being true to the spirit of my blog if I wasn’t sharing this with all of you! I wanted to let you all know that this is something I am dealing with because I recently read an article written by a woman who had a very similar issue and it made me feel SO MUCH BETTER to know I wasn’t alone! I also reached out to a couple blogger friends who’ve dealt with similar issues and they’ve been amazing too.  The key here is that I am not alone. And YOU are not alone. No matter what is bothering you at this point in your life, I guarantee you other people can relate.




Have you ever struggled with something and felt like you were alone?

Who do you always call when you need advice?

50 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2012 7:38 am

    love you girl! so glad you shared this!

  2. June 19, 2012 7:48 am

    I’m so glad you shared this. You are definitely not alone! I struggle with binge eating and it’s been something I’ve been working on for four years. It’s just something that has to be taken day by day.

    Good for you for reaching out to other bloggers because you should never feel like you’re alone in this. You can talk to me about it any time you want!

  3. June 19, 2012 7:51 am

    You are so honest and that is why I read this blog, not because I see you as someone who is perfect. I too started out reading Carrots n Cake blog, how funny. I was so nervous about opening up on my blog about my ED past and today I still struggle with some of the emotional eating – I would be lying if I said I didn’t. You really inspired me with this post to be more honest about what I am dealing with. I too fear of the readers who will look away because I could come out with that. You are so strong, I love this post!

  4. June 19, 2012 7:56 am

    I love this post (and your blog!). It definitely feels better to get this kind of thing off your chest and you are definitely not alone. I know I have struggled with this as well and it can be very, very hard. It is something that is mentally so hard to overcome, but I promise in time if you work on it, you will notice a huge difference! Talking about it and sharing it is the first step to overcoming it 🙂 I am really proud of you. I will be thinking about you! Have a great day!

  5. June 19, 2012 8:03 am

    It’s great that you were able to share this and really smart of you to reach out to other bloggers. You are definitely not alone in feeling the way you do. Good luck with everything and just know by talking about it you’re already one step closer to recovery 🙂

  6. June 19, 2012 8:18 am

    You are definitely not alone! I struggle on and off with binge eating too…. sometimes I feel like I’m in total control and can resist any temptation, and other days all hell breaks loose and I can’t even be sure how much I ate. My roommates and friends go through similar experiences, and we normally just laugh it off and try to be better the next day. But you’re right, it can be a real issue and I need to be more aware of what my triggers are so I can continue to improve and be healthier!

  7. June 19, 2012 8:25 am

    You are so not alone in feeling that way! I think emotional eating is very common, and I for one fall victim to it often. I also feel the pressure to blog about the happy things in my life, and to gloss over the failures, the missteps, and the sad things that happen in my life. I think that comes with being comfortable sharing. Some bad things I’m comfortable sharing, others, I’d like to keep very private. It’s a balance. You want to be real to your readers, but at the same time, there are some things that should be just for you. Keep it up Katie. Also – I saw you’re coming to Boston for HLS? Should be fun! Can’t wait to meet you!

    • June 19, 2012 4:59 pm

      AHH I AM SO EXCITED FOR BOSTON!!!! I can’t wait to meet you either! I booked my flights today, now I just need 2 more roomies and I’m set! I love Boston, so I’m really excited! I also booked a super late flight on Sunday, so I’ll have plenty of sight-seeing time!

  8. June 19, 2012 8:38 am

    Katie, you’re so not alone in this. I think emotional eating is very common. It sucks (!!!) but it happens to all of us sometimes. I still can’t lose the weight I want because of it. Overall though you’re very healthy and such a good inspiration to eat nutritious foods and be fit. 🙂

  9. June 19, 2012 8:45 am

    I’m struggling with some things (not food related) and the person I always go to for advice is James. And my mom 🙂

  10. June 19, 2012 10:43 am

    I just moved to a foreign country, away from anything and everything I’ve ever known. And I lost my routine. Lost what I felt was my purpose. I couldn’t even get myself super happy about working out (now that’s scary!) but, you know, you have to focus in the positives in life.. Even if it’s hard. And have a margarita.

    I cried so much to my fiancé and sometimes just running errands with him the next day or something helps- even when he doesn’t fully understand why I feel so down!

  11. June 19, 2012 11:03 am

    Hi sweetheart ❤ I am so proud of you for sharing. Honestly, I know how hard it can be to press publish for these types of post, but I couldn't be happier for you. Please email me if you need some comfort or just someone to talk to ❤ I LOVE helping people. It is my passion and I can relate to eating issues. I love you girl

  12. roselyn page permalink
    June 19, 2012 11:28 am

    I am proud of you for sharing also> I have struggled with an eating disorder for a long time and I am in recovery right now, sometimes hour to hour can be a struggle not to binge and purge. I will tell you that I am 47 and it took me a long time to admit and to get help. So, it is so good you are facing this now. It is so bad for our bodies and health. Thank you so much for sharing and you are not alone.

  13. June 19, 2012 11:47 am

    Ahhh love you Katie! I wish I could give ya a BIG hug right now!! I am proud of you for being able to open up, that is a HUGE part of recovery, actually. And once you’re able to do that, you are well on your way to being able to be done with it for good. I know there are other women who can really draw strength from your struggle, so thank you for sharing it for all! It must not have been an easy post to write, but it’ll bless your life in the long term!

    Have a GREAT day. Oh, and I love that last quote!

    • June 19, 2012 5:02 pm

      Thank you, Annette!! I appreciate all your help and support!! I hope you have a great day too!

  14. June 19, 2012 11:54 am

    Thank you for being honest and sharing. I realized a few years ago that I started turning to food in an unhealthy way when both of my Grandma’s past away and I felt I had to be strong for my parents. I realize that was unhealthy now but that doesn’t mean I still don’t struggle. I tend to call my mom when I need advice 🙂

  15. Annie permalink
    June 19, 2012 1:59 pm


    I think most of us suffer from emotional/”binge” eating. Sometimes I wonder, “is this something I’m going to struggle with for the rest of my life??? Really?!?!”

    I’m not sure if you will find this tidbit useful, as I’m not sure what to do with it just yet …

    A month ago, I tore my calf. As someone who is extremely proud of the 6-7 days of hard work per week I put into my “slammin” body (haha!) and fitness, I was devastated. “What do you mean I may have to wait NINE months before I can run again?” I screeched at my doctor. I didn’t want to believe him even though he treats our city’s professional women’s basketball team (Lady Sparks), but my depression sunk even further when I reinjured it just being in my kitchen cooking.

    During this time of depression, something in me broke exploded and I proceeded to I ate desserts 4-5 times a day and inhaled eating bacon burgers after ruling them out of my diet for 2 years. Of course I gained weight, which didn’t help the depression.

    Finally one day, I noticed that the power of foods in general started getting weaker and I was starting to think thoughts like “Eh, I’m just not feeling like that slice of cake” or “OMG a burger is the last thing I want right now.” I was still allowing myself to have them, but frankly the sight of “unhealthy” and high carb foods repulsed me. I started craving salads, grilled chicken, overnight oats and the like. Hubby bought me a HUMONGOUS delicious-looking cookie last night that made me lick my chops, but … I just didn’t “feel” like it. Weird right! Even more strange is that I can “feel” my hunger again and no longer feel this … intense need to continue eating when I’m full. I think I’m not eating like a normal person (aka intuitive eating?).

    Anyway! Like I said, I haven’t fully figured this thing out yet, but figured I’d share it with you just in case you might see something I don’t. So far, I think that my strict code of healthy eating fed into my tendencies to binge here and there even before my injury. Who knows, the mind is a strange machine.

    Good luck to you and I hope you continue to blog on this subject. You are not alone! Sharing experiences can only help us continue this road towards healthy living. 🙂

    • June 19, 2012 6:58 pm

      Thank you Annie! I know what you mean about the intense need to keep eating. Haha I hope I’m getting closer and closer to “normal”!

  16. June 19, 2012 3:36 pm

    You are definitely not alone!! I’ve struggled with emotional eating, and feeling like my worth was based on the number on the scale. I had to throw away the scale, and try to tune into the reasons behind my hunger. Thank you for being real and sharing this 🙂

  17. June 19, 2012 5:38 pm

    Thank you for being so honest! I struggle with emotional eating too. Sometimes it pains me to be completely honest in my WIAW posts, but I hope that others can relate too — I’m not a blogger who can be content eating three tiny, super healthy meals a day — but are any of us, really?

    • June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

      Haha I’m definitely a snacker, but I let it get way out of control, eating when I’m already full!

  18. June 19, 2012 6:35 pm

    You should read the book Intuitive Eating. I just finished it and it really changes your mindset about food and your relationship with it! It’s fabulous! Good luck!

  19. June 19, 2012 8:17 pm

    The only way to get support from others is to share your struggles! I’m glad you’re working on what is bothering you/what you’re struggling with – I’m there for yoU!!

  20. Lacey permalink
    June 19, 2012 10:48 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 months now, and after reading this entry, I had to leave my first comment. Thank you for sharing this! As someone who has lost a lot of weight by eating whole foods and exercising, I struggle with emotional/binge eating. It’s tough to be honest with myself about it, let alone others. Thank you for not only serving as a daily inspiration to stay on track with my health (I especially love your running tidbits), but for your honesty as well! You should be very proud of your ability to touch so many lives by sharing your life here. I LOVE your blog – keep up the amazing work!

    • June 20, 2012 5:15 am

      Thank you Lacey!!!! I love hearing that people appreciate my blog, thank you for reading! You really made my day with this comment!

  21. June 20, 2012 9:25 pm

    No worries…you are never alone! It’s very brave for you to share your struggles. Stay strong and positive! We are all here for you dear

  22. Cate permalink
    June 20, 2012 10:06 pm

    Good for you for recognizing your struggle and sharing it on your blog. You are certainly not alone and there is definitely lots of support out here, I mean look at all these great comments.

  23. Amanda permalink
    June 21, 2012 4:49 am

    I think a LOT of us struggle with emotional eating to an extent. It’s definitely something that I’ve dealt with for several years now, and it will probably be with me for the rest of my life to some extent. I think what lead me to make peace with food was really trying to eat intuitively. The principles are so helpful, and gradually I’m getting there. No one’s perfect, it’s just trying every day to respect your body and it’s needs. Hugs! x

  24. Sienna permalink
    June 21, 2012 11:35 am

    Do you eat a lot of things that you don’t mention on the blogs when you have your binge days? Because every time I read your blog I’m amazed at how many vegetables you eat and all the healthy food choices you make! If your emotional eating leads you to a huge serving of air popped popcorn (I’ve had those days) you should remind yourself at least your eating more of something not so bad for you rather than turning to lots of pizza or cookies or cake.

    • June 21, 2012 4:52 pm

      You’re right, I binge on the healthy food (I had to stop buying popcorn!) but the thing is, it’s not about what I’m eating, it’s the fact that I’m eating way beyond full to “comfort” myself or just not deal with emotions. Although physically healthier than junk food, the mental part is just as bad.

  25. June 26, 2012 4:45 pm

    Good on you for being open and honest. After all everyone has something they need to work on and these things make us human. I love your blog and opening up about personal struggles and insecurities is what connects us all together.

  26. June 28, 2012 2:37 pm

    It’s an amazing thing that you shared this personal topic with us. I suffered a great deal from binge eating after my first half marathon. I gained back the 20 pounds I lost in about 4 months because of it. It was an entirely emotionally-fueled problem and it took me a LONG time to get over it and find the right balance between eating too little and eating far too much. I hope you know that you are certainly not alone in this and that if you ever need to rant or hold a pity party I’m right here for you 🙂

    • June 28, 2012 5:26 pm

      Thanks bailey!! I had no idea you had that problem too, it’s definitely a struggle between too much and too little for me.

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