Today I’m sharing my story and struggle with being a closet binge eater for years. I will tell you the raw and real truth of what it’s like to eat when you don’t want to eat and the shame that comes with this behavior. And then I’ll give you hope. I broke free from binge eating and I’ve helped hundreds of women do so too!
Hey everybody. So in today’s podcast I’m going to be sharing with you my story. My story as a closet binge eater, as a personal trainer proving that the cycle of overeating has absolutely nothing to do with knowing what to eat. So today I’m going to get real and vulnerable with you.
I want to share with you my struggle and the best thing that you can do is to listen. And start to identify, how are you like Denise? You know, our struggles, yours and mine, our struggles with food and weight are going to look different. But just know that the best thing that we can do is to know where we’re all more alike than we’re different. And I say that because the more alike that you can start to believe that you are to my struggles is the more that you can start to live in the real solution.
Because no matter what our stories look like on the outside, the solution is the same. There’s only two components to a solution that will give you lasting peace with food and weight. And those are, the Lord. And true and effective earthly resources that will help quiet the chaos of food and weight and feeling controlled and confused by food and weight.
So the two components are the Lord and the earthly resources. And that’s what the Weight Loss with the Holy Spirit program does is it marries these two things. So that we can use the Lord’s strength and be free from feeling controlled and confused by food and weight or holding on to excess weight. The answer is here.
So here’s my story, a little background info on me. As I record this, I am currently 46 years old my faith is a huge part of my life as a Catholic health and weight loss coach and just as a Catholic woman. But I want you to know that I grew up with no faith at all. I converted when I was 29. The only faith influence I had on my life was my grandma who would take me to mass two to three times a year when I’d spend the weekend with her.
That’s it. You know, I believe that this is proof that you cannot outrun the Lord at all. In fact, I didn’t really have any opinions growing up about faith. I just kind of thought that was for other people. And this year, in fact, when I’m recording this today, I’m married 20 years. 20 years. Now, interesting about that is I got married prior to being Catholic, and my husband insisted on getting married in the Catholic church.
Although I thought that was the silliest thing I’d ever heard. I put up such a stink about it because I was like why would you get married in the church?You’re not even going to church. I did know my grandma would be happy if I got married in the church.
And I, of course, wanted my father to walk me down the aisle. The Lord was looking out for me way before I even knew it. So I do have a sacramental marriage. How exciting is that? Like I said, I’m a convert. Converted, I guess now it’s 17 years ago. Okay, so once we got married I thought we would get pregnant right away.
But that just didn’t happen. In fact we’ve been married 20 years now and we have never gotten pregnant. We struggled with infertility. That’s a huge part of our story as a couple. We have two children, they are nearly 14 and 17, two boys that are adopted. And what’s so interesting is I never thought that I would be an adopted parent.
When the Lord told me that he wanted me to adopt, I was really like, Oh no, I am not that good of a person. Because I thought you had to be like Mother Teresa to be an adopted parent. Now I just know. That you just have to want to be a parent. And I wanted to be a mom more than I wanted anything else
Now that’s that’s Denise in her current life. But let’s talk about food. The first time that I ever remember having my earliest food memory about hiding food or having anything that was a little off, well I was 7 years old and I remember hiding melted chocolate chips and I didn’t really have any thoughts about it other than I knew that we weren’t supposed to have food in our rooms. I also was pretty much aware of my weight since as long as I can remember. Like I was always kind of a chubbier kid in my brain. Looking back, I was very solid. And even into my high school years, I just thought I was the heavier girl.
But now looking back again, I was just a very normal weight. In college, I started exercising prior to college. If you would have asked me, what do you play in high school? And if you would have asked me that, I would have said, I play the piano because I was very much dedicated to the piano. So much so that I went to college as a music major and I was a music major for a year until I switched into fitness and health and exercise science and finished my music minor.
So in college I started exercising. And I really loved it. I loved the community. I loved the energy. I needed to get a part time job in college.
I started teaching aerobics, which I thought was super cool.
I’ve been an exercise trainer since I was 18, but let’s talk about my weight. So I’ve always been up and down. Up and down, and when I was at my highest weight, which is about 40 pounds more than I am now, so let’s say like 160, 165, you know, I stopped weighing.
Interesting enough, I was actually training for a marathon, which again, I believe is also proof that you cannot outrun your fork. Now, during that time, I was very lonely. I was in my first professional job. I had a few friends, but pretty much I would just go to work, come home, sit on my couch, watch TV and binge out on saltines and tahini dipped in sugar.
Isn’t that odd? Anyway, I just think that’s so interesting. Well, a couple years later, I ended up getting married. Prior to getting married, I remember restricting quite a bit to get down to probably one of my high school weight. And the reason why is I just kept saying, I was very much motivated, of course, by my wedding and I kept saying to myself, I just want to feel so beautiful on my wedding day.
I want to remember to feel so beautiful and it will all be worth it. So I remember that summer prior to my wedding. Chewing lots of gum and just feeling hungry a lot, and I didn’t care so it was sort of a restrictive time. After the wedding I quickly gained 20 pounds. I had my first real salary.
It was so exciting. I was a fitness director at a YMCA. I quickly gained 20 pounds and my food I never thought was weird, because I always lived overeating at times and then not, and then overeating at times and then not. My first big wake up call, though, was two months after I’d been married.
My husband went out for the evening with his friends, but I couldn’t go out because I had to work the next morning. We had this… container in our freezer of cookie dough. I thought it was a great idea to pull that out. standing in my kitchen I would take one bite with a spoon, I had enough and so I put it back in the freezer and then I took it back out and I ate more and I put it in the freezer and I took it back out and I ate more and then I had this bright idea.
It was the first time I’d ever thought about this. I was like, Oh, I know what I’ll do. I’ll just go in the garage and throw up. Now, I don’t know why I thought going in the garage was a good idea, why I wouldn’t just throw up in the toilet, but I thought going out in the garage was a better idea, and I thought, you are so brilliant, Denise.
How come you’ve never thought about this in the past? And then my next thought was like, oh wait, I don’t think it’s a very good idea. Something might be wrong. Anyway, I did try to go out in the garage, and tried to throw up, and it just didn’t work. And the truth is that had it worked, I probably would have done that a lot more.
But it didn’t work. That was the very first time that I had a red flag like, Oh my gosh, Denise, you might have a problem with food. Now looking back, I was just lonely that night.
Food started to become my solution. I was happy, I’d eat. I was sad I would eat. I was lonely, I would eat. I was stressed, I would eat. I’d celebrate, I would eat. I wanted to feel comfortable, I would eat. I was an emotional eater before I got married. Okay, so then when you get married, whatever problem you have or whatever issue magnifies, okay? At least that was my… And then, once we got baby number one home, my food looked a little erratic.
And then once baby number two came home, that’s when things really started to take off. The stress of being a parent, I just didn’t have any tools. My coping tools were food, and more food, and more food, and then I would feel horrible about myself. I would just be stuck in this cycle of overeating. Overeat, feel horrible, say I’ll never do it again, swear off, make a plan, follow the plan for three days, watch myself do something I swore I would never do, feel horrible about myself.
It was just this vicious. And I just didn’t know what was wrong with me. And so if you take nothing else away from today, just know that there’s nothing wrong with you. We just get in these patterns of turning to food for comfort to meet our needs, to give us the comfort that the Lord wants to give us.
I didn’t have any other tools, so of course I just felt stuck. I didn’t know any other way.
My weight fluctuate, and my relationship with food became more and more confusing. My periods of normal eating became farther and farther apart. I’ll tell you what, my weight only fluctuated about 30 pounds, so it wasn’t like a hundred pounds. And I didn’t come into food recovery because I wanted to lose weight.
I came into food recovery not because of my weight. But because no matter what my size, I was in a constant mental gymnastics of what to eat, when to eat, what to eat, when to eat. I was thinking about food 80 to 90 percent of my day and it was just really confusing to me because I had the kids that I wanted.
I had a husband who loved me a lot. My life was great and yet I would rather be standing in the corner of my kitchen hiding with a jar of peanut butter. and pouring chocolate chips in there. I just didn’t know what was wrong with me. I’d be eating a meal with my kids, preoccupied and hoping that they’d leave half their meal so that I could clean it up.
I couldn’t wait for my husband to go to bed so I could stay up and eat the food in a way that I wanted to. It just didn’t make sense to me. I would make these great plans. Remember I told you I was writing diet plans for people? They were paying me for that. I would write diet plans for myself, but I couldn’t stick to it.
At that point I’d become Catholic and I loved my Catholic faith. I was praying hard. I was doing novenas. I didn’t know why my prayers weren’t working. Just thought my faith wasn’t big enough. I’d already been in therapy twice, two different times, to overcome emotional eating.
Nothing was lasting. No therapy, no diets. I’d hired personal trainers. I had purchased so many products. Online products, online accountability groups. Nothing was lasting long term. I was even ready to get into therapy for the third time. When I look back, none of that had lasting results because it wasn’t getting to the root of why I was eating.
What finally changed for me was the gift of desperation, and if you’re feeling desperate right now, hold on to that, hold on to that because that’s what’s going to get you. To continue to listen and to find what the real solution is. I was desperate . This is what happened. My mother in-law would make me fudge and I loved her fudge. She had the best fudge and she brought me a pound or maybe two. I don’t even know. She was just always so generous and would always make me this fudge because she knew that I loved it. I saw myself do something with that fudge. That made me decide this is it and I cannot continue to live this way.
I put that fudge in the dining room. Of course I had one piece in front of people. But for some reason, I don’t know where everybody else was in the house, but I put it in the dining room. And I would sneak in and grab one piece or two pieces. And then I would go up in my room and eat it. And then I would grab another one or two pieces.
And I’d go in my room and eat it. I would go and I was sneaking it. Probably in 45 minutes to one hour I had eaten that entire pound or two. I don’t know how much fudge it was. I felt so physically ill, emotionally confused, emotionally just depleted. I was just done. I had no idea where to turn. I didn’t even know what to call my problem.
Three or four days after this after much googling. The Lord sent me an answer. And at that time I just felt like it wasn’t an answer, but just I could try this. It wasn’t like, I had no idea this would be the beginning to this amazing free life that I have.
And free meaning like, I am free from being consumed and controlled by food. I was simply like, I haven’t tried this. Might as well give this a try. It was just something different. It was something unique. It was something novel that I hadn’t tried. And you might be feeling the same way right now. It’s been nine years since that Christmas.
And the Lord’s taken me on a journey that’s brought me peace and freedom from feeling controlled and confused by food. And what I’ve learned in those nine years is this, friends, it doesn’t need to take nine years. Okay? All I need to say is it doesn’t need to take nine years, which is why I created the weight loss with the Holy Spirit program because I’ve taken everything that I’ve learned in those nine years and used the most effective, most simple things so that you’re not wasting your time, you’re not trial and erroring this.
I’m just showing you, focus on this. Do this now. Do this before you do that. This is where you need to put your effort. Don’t worry about four steps ahead. If you worry about four steps ahead, you’re going to get distracted. I want to show you how to get as much freedom as you can the quickest way possible.
The most effective and efficient methods. And it comes down to this, using a practical, systematic framework. To accomplish just three things. It comes down to knowing yourself. And I’m going to teach you how to do that.
Don’t think that you’re supposed to know that. I’ll give you little exercises so that you start to tune into you. I remember being so disconnected from myself. Somebody would ask me, hey… Do you like this shirt? I’m like, I don’t know, do you like it? They’d be like, hey, where do you want to go to eat?
I don’t know, where do you want to go? If somebody asked me what my favorite color was, I wouldn’t know. I was so disconnected from knowing even myself and what I wanted.
So we’ll connect you with yourself. He’ll connect you with the Lord in a way that you have never done before. You think your faith is big now, my friend? You think you’ve got a great relationship with the Lord now? Trust me when I say it’s gonna be better. You’re gonna have a personal relationship with the Lord in a way that you never have.
And one of the reasons why is because you’re finally gonna let him into this area of your life. To food and weight. Which so many of us have kinda been like, I’ve got this part. Lord, you know, you take care of my family, you take care of my job, you take care of my sick parents, but I’m going to do the food and weight thing myself.
No. This program will teach you how to fully integrate the Lord into every aspect of your life, which is exactly what He wants. Consider this your invitation, my friends. And the third thing that the Weight Loss with the Holy Spirit program will do is reorder your relationship with food. The Lord gave us food for several reasons.
We all know that it nourishes our body, but don’t worry about that. We’re going to reorder your food so that you can accomplish the two other reasons the Lord created food.
He created food. to fill our bellies, so we don’t feel hungry. The second reason that he created food was so that you enjoy it. Oh my gosh, why would he give us taste buds if we didn’t expect us to enjoy our food? I only have two food rules: it’s that you eat food that you love in a way that makes you feel good about yourself.
And I’m going to teach you how to do all of that. I’m going to teach you how to eat food that you love, even without guilt. So if you’re hearing the Lord say, Hey, try this. I’ve got something in this for you. And you’d like to take a step forward using a very simple framework that’s so effective. I’ve got exactly the right place for you to start.
It’s this amazing 5 day challenge that will connect you to the Holy Spirit and let Him reveal to you what He wants you to know about your food and weight loss struggles. He’s got so much to say to you and if you can just turn your face toward Him and say alright Lord, I’m willing to learn what you want me to.
It’s a very simple challenge. It’s five days. It’s not a diet. It doesn’t require willpower. There’s no deprivation. In fact, you don’t even talk about your food, but what you do need is a pen and a spirit of willingness and you will invite the Holy Spirit in and he will reveal so much to you.
And so as you heard my story, I hope that you could identify with some part of that and just know that even though our stories look different on the outside, maybe you’ve had 50 pound weight gain and 50 pound loss and 50 pound weight gain and 50 pound loss, or maybe you were a binge and purge, or maybe you were just a restrictor.
I just want you to know that the solution is the same. The solution is connecting with the Holy Spirit. But before we can do that we have to find a way to do our part. And you need a simple framework that will help you reorder your food so that you love your food, you feel good about yourself, and that you have those lasting results.
And you’re connecting with the Holy Spirit. So I invite you to join that challenge. And if anything, just know there’s nothing wrong with you. You’ve just gotten into these patterns, but I’m going to teach you a new way. All right, everyone. Have a blessed day.