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Confessions Of A Recovering Closet Eater

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Thursday, October 03, 2013

A closet eater is someone who eats junk food by hiding or sneaking it so nobody else is able to see them. A closet eater is someone who appears to eat healthy in front of other people only to eat unhealthy things, often in large amounts in privacy. This is something that many people who struggle with weight have an issue with. It is a dirty little secret that often, only they know. On that note...

Hello, my name is Brad, and I am a recovering closet eater.

It is something I struggled with for the majority of my life. It is something that I am not proud of and never would admit to myself in the past. As part of my weight loss journey, I had to own up to the fact that I was a habitual closet eater.

When I was a kid, I would grab Little Debbie out of the pantry at a friends house on my way to the bathroom while my friend was in the other room playing video games. As a teenager, I would sneak a can of Coke to another room and drink it as fast as possible. As an adult, I wouldn't eat much somewhere with friends only to hit a drive-thru on the way home and get a couple of cheeseburgers and fries. I have eaten things like candy bars and stuffed the wrapper down in the trash under something bigger so nobody else would see it. Does that sound familiar? And how come I never found myself closet eating apples or spinach?

Why would I do such things to MYSELF? The only person I am hurting when I do this is MYSELF!

People used to see me eat and ask me how I could be so big when I didn't eat much in front of them. I would give the standard lie and say I don't really know, I guess it is just a slow metabolism. REALLY? SLOW METABOLISM? It wasn't a slow metabolism, it was the tacos I picked up on the way home after eating a few healthy things in front of others. I hid that. I hid that shame.

And it really was shame. Every time I did it I felt shame. But some how, that shame didn't stop me from doing it again, and again, and again...It was as if I told the lie to so many people for so long that I actually believed it myself! I convinced myself that I didn't eat a lot of junk food and it was a slow metabolism that caused me to gain weight. WHAT IS THAT?

But the title of this blog is fortunately "Confessions Of A RECOVERING Closet Eater". So how did I quit? I had to admit to myself what the problem was and come to grips with it. I had to forgive myself for what I had done all those years. I forgave myself for all that shame I brought upon myself. The last thing was tracking my food. I held myself accountable for every thing I ate. By doing that, I knew if I was sneaking things that I was only sabotaging my own efforts. I was only hurting myself. That is something I knew in the past but actually seeing it allowed me to break the habit. Even today, I can feel the pull to sneak something from time to time. It is something I don't believe will ever completely go away. So I will deal with it one day at a time and remind myself to never go back to that mindset.

If you have or are still struggling with closet eating, I know it is a hard habit to break. For those of us who have broken the habit, it is a huge relief to not carry that shame around. For those of you who are still struggling to break the habit, just know that you are NOT alone. You are NOT the only one dealing with that problem. Always know that there is hope. YOU CAN CHANGE!

Embrace Your Possibilities

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Brad, I am so proud of you! You are AMAZING! I too can identify. As a child & a teenager I would sneak food into my bedroom & eat it. Mostly extra servings & junk food! I am learning though! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1204 days ago
    emoticon FOR SHARING!

    i have had those moments myself, but, not daily. and yes, it is a SHAME.

    because i have read this blog, i hope that the next time i am tempted to do it, i will think twice.

    thank you. and have a great day!
    1464 days ago
    Thank you for this. You are definitely not alone!
    1492 days ago
    Great. emoticon
    1574 days ago
  • CMIDD917
    This is me. I have struggled with hiding food and eating/binging in solitude. My husband has found my stashes at times, and though he tries to be funny, he can be very shaming. he has even humiliated me in front of other people about it. I think he thinks this behavior will motivate me to change. Wrong. More shame begets more destructive behavior. emoticon
    1587 days ago
  • _BABE_
    emoticon Needed to hear this today!
    1602 days ago
  • TIGER_LILY_613
    Very thoughtful blog Brad. Another great one emoticon

    1602 days ago
    Oh this is so good, and I can relate to big parts of it. Thanks for writing! emoticon
    1606 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. I found a lot of myself within your blog.
    1606 days ago
    1606 days ago
    I snuck and ate all of the reeses cups from the fridge drawer that were supposed to be for the kids...I'm a closet snacker..bad
    1606 days ago
    This is my life, I have been a 'closet-eater' for as long as I can remember- it started when I was really young and I still carry all that shame around- at least now I know i am not alone
    1607 days ago
    Hello, my name is Carol and I'm a cookie monster closet eater. I say semi because I do great as long as there are no "bad" foods in my house. I take a couple cheese sticks to work with me to eat if I get hungry between meals. Chocolate doesn't appeal to me and bagels only call me occasionally because I really don't like the brand my company usually brings in. But one employee in particular brings in batches of cookies his grandmother-in-law makes and delivers to his home doorstep and which he dutifully brings to the office. Our breakroom is open on 2 sides and the only way to get between my cubicle and the ladies' room is past that open area. Cookies don't just call to me: they reach out and grab me and yank me into their container. Now I can't tell my co-workers I'm eating cookies when they know I have been losing weight for months (22 pounds off in 1 year) so I hide the cookies. I wrap my hand around them and carry them on the side away from the receptionist so she won't see them. I carry them under the papers I just picked up off the copier. I set them on my desk behind a paper holder so my co-workers won't see them. And I always have to have 3; if I don't they scream to me until I go back and get more. I can resist doughnuts and cake and candy but I'm totally helpless when it comes to cookies.

    OK. Now I've confessed for the first time. So what will I do tomorrow if there are more cookies on the table? I will look the other direction when I walk by. I will try to walk with someone so I'm distracted. And I will do my mightiest to resist. I'm tired of being plateaued and derailed by those little round devils. And then I will start my modified 12-step program. 1. I must admit I am totally helpless when it comes to cookies.
    1610 days ago
    This is so true. And I could have written much of it! I find that 'when I am good I am very, very good, but when I am bad I am horrid.' And that refers to my eating. Keep on keeping on!
    1613 days ago
  • EFFECT25
    İ read this blog when it just came out. And it just stuck with me. İ definitely could relate to evbit of it. But now that I have lost weight I consider myself as partly recovered. Now I can indeed take the cupcake that my colleague has baked and savour every bit of it with even making funny sounds when eating without a bit of embarrassment :).
    But yesterday I met with a dear friend. We just met recently but we clicked immediately.He is very overweight maybe probably even obese. And we had this reception with food and he wouldn't eat anything except fruits. I was both happy for him that maybe he is having a diet but then when I remembered your blog I just had a deep insight into his brain. I wish I could talk to him about it and share but I know that he willbe probably enbarassed. We talked briefly about his visit to doctors and how he has hypertension, stomach problems, gluten iintolerance lactose intolerans, joint problems. Ah anyways, would really love to help him.
    1614 days ago
  • NLYR20
    I'm been going as closet eater on and off... Wish to get out this chain sooner...
    1615 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1615 days ago
    I could have written this blog! From the time I was little, I can remember binging on fruit punch and Drakes cakes at friend's houses because my mom is a diabetic and we didn't have those things at home. I was a little chubby and I can remember my uncle commenting that I was sitting in front of a cheese platter at a family function and going to town. After that, I would sneak food. I would even steal change from my mom's purse so I could by snack at school and she wouldn't know. As an adult, it has only gotten worse....I will buy a bag of candy and eat it in one sitting and then hide the wrappers, just as you described. It is a daily struggle to fight the urge and to date, I'm not that successful in doing so. What makes me do it!? It's nice to know that I'm not alone.
    1616 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/17/2013 12:21:09 PM
    emoticon emoticon
    1618 days ago
  • DOCKO56
    Great blog as always!!
    1619 days ago
    Me, too.
    1620 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I am so glad that you are recovering and know your weaknesses and are taking it one day at a time, it is all a person can do.
    Your blogs are very good and touch on sensitvie issues, congrats to you for that.
    1622 days ago
    Excellent post - I feel like I know you well, you are so descriptive. I'm so glad you overcame this. Well done!
    1622 days ago
    Great blog!
    1623 days ago
    This is the story of my life. Once I saw my cousin I looked up to hide chips in her closet when I was 8 from there on I hid my food. The only difference between me and her she was tall and skinny and never gained an ounce. As for me it became a horrible addicting action. Still is a struggle today. Thank you for sharing this its good to hear from a voice besides the one in my head having this problem. One day at a time. Great advice thank you!
    1623 days ago
    You've hit the nail on the head for me! It's weird, I know I do it, but I can't figure out why. I can't say I feel ashamed - I feel defiant, like "I can eat what I want and you can't stop me" and as you point out, I'm only hurting myself. Something to dig deeper on.
    1624 days ago
  • CARM1401
    keep going
    1624 days ago
    thank you for your honesty!
    I think you are amazing!
    1624 days ago
    Brad you are amazing, it must have been the hardest thing you will ever do.

    What a great future you have ahead of you with your healthy body.
    1624 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Time to start forgiving yourself. Now, the harder work. Changing behavior.
    1624 days ago
  • BANDMOM2012
    1625 days ago
    1625 days ago
    I really appreciate your honesty, I too am a closet eater. I have lost 20lbs and only have 20 more for goal. However because of this closet eating it remains an elusive goal. I'm on top of it and than I'm not. In the last 6 months I have struggled with the same 5 lbs..up down up down, if I take those lbs and total them I have probably lost the goal weight twice...fear of success? Anyway your blog helped to put it prospective and I will keep trying...Thank You emoticon
    1625 days ago
  • MIMI315
    Thank you for sharing your story. It's hard enough admitting it to yourself, but it's amazing that you are able to share it with so many people now so you can help others and further help yourself.
    1626 days ago
    Hello, my name is Janet and I can relate totally to your blog. Yes, you were talking about me. Thanks for being so honest!
    1626 days ago
    I sneak too, but I do put them in my food tracker.
    1626 days ago
    I really enjoyed this blog... it made me feel like I wasn't the only closet eater out there. I don't feel as ashamed of myself. I'm currently trying to break my habit of closet eating, and it truly is hard. Your blog gave me hope :)
    1626 days ago
    Sneaking food has never been my problem, commitment is my problem. I do so so well for so so long, and then k-pow face slam into the ground. I'm at that point now, time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and make good choices today.

    1626 days ago
    YES. I'm still trying to find my way out. The funny part is that we think we are fooling people with the "slow metabolism" excuse and we're not. Thanks so much for the honesty and being REAL. It is very comforting to feel less alone and understood.

    Kudos to you for your hard work and recovery!!!

    Thanks for all of your blogs! You sir, are a class act and a true blessing to me and Sparkville.
    1627 days ago
    1627 days ago
    Yep, that's me... but I can stop., I have to. Thanks
    1627 days ago
    I saw this BLOG at the perfect time. I have been struggling with maintenance and my weight is up almost 14 pounds from my goal weight. Closet eating/Binge eating hold hands and the label I use for myself is a food addict. When I keep my diet clean I feel great and I don't have cravings. When I give in and have the cupcake at the office or hit the candy dish, the cravings come back and I lose control and revert to old bad habits. I have to stop giving in just because the people around me are eating unhealthy foods which are also my binge triggers. I know I am stronger than that but I also know that no matter where I am in my journey it will be a daily fight. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone and that I can do this.

    I am heading out this afternoon for a 6 mile run (maybe farther if my body cooperates). I am rebooting today and logging my food. The food tracker is THE tool I must use everyday to keep me on track. If I stop logging, I start sneaking food.

    Thank you for your honesty!
    1627 days ago
    I looooove your blogs! Thanks for the reminder that I'm not alone.
    I wrote a blog a couple dayw ago - about my binge monster and I was really afraid people wouldn't identify. It was so shameful to me but when I talk about it I dont have to feel shameful and guilty any longer.
    Each day I fight the monsters of binging and eating behind closed doors is another day I get stronger. I may fall but I will get up and fight for my life.
    1627 days ago
    Hi Brad,

    It comes down to making those choices every day.......will I eat this or that and/or this and that.....or the whole thing? We have to take the time and ponder the thoughts in our minds abou what is important to us and focus on where we see ourselves years from now....staying stagnant or changing for the better. I know you have chosen the latter, and I too am with you most of the time in making good and right everything I do!

    God Bless!

    1627 days ago
    Sounds so familiar!

    Love your attitude and the changes you're making!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1627 days ago
    I've definitely been in that closet. Thank you for the great blog.
    1627 days ago
    So glad you wrote this. I have been struggling with this issue
    1627 days ago
    me too, i could buy some cookies and instead of bring the rest home, eat them all and no one would know
    1627 days ago
    Great blog. You've changed out the shame for pride of a huge accomplishment. Yes the tendency is still there but you have an awareness now that you didn't have before. You are holding yourself accountable for the choices that you are making. Great break through. Keep up the good work and keep charging. emoticon
    1628 days ago
  • RENATA144
    emoticon blog Brad ! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1628 days ago
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