The Two Facets of My Disease: Angels and Demons

By Laura Moncur @ 6:47 am — Filed under:

The Two Facets of My Disease - Demon Vs. Angel from Starling FitnessI saw this Tumblr post from RyanJJohn today and I cringed with recognition. He said:

Every day I struggle between “I wanna look good naked” and “treat yo self.”

There they are again: the two facets of my disease. For the longest time, I only thought that the “treat yo self” aspect was my disease and that the “I wanna look good naked” part was healthy, but they are BOTH manifestations of my eating disorder. The “I wanna look good naked” part of my disease makes me exercise too much and restrict my food too much, which, ironically, makes the “treat yo self” aspect surface.

They appear to be polar opposites. They appear to be a good and bad side of myself, like an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. That’s how they are portrayed in every cartoon I ever saw.

The Two Facets of My Disease - Angels & Demons from Starling Fitness

In reality, however, they are BOTH bad. They are both on the same team. They are both trying to hurt me. Whenever the “treat yo self” aspect of the disease shows up, it means that there is something amiss in my life. One of my character defects have resurfaced and is causing trouble. Maybe I’m upset about something and haven’t been honest about my feelings. Maybe I am feeling self-pity and want to make myself feel better with food instead of working on my gratitude, acceptance and setting realistic expectations.

At the same time, if the “I wanna look good naked” aspect of myself shows up, urging me to skip a meal or do more exercise than is healthy, it ALSO means that there is something amiss in my life. Sometimes the SAME problem will spur BOTH feelings within me. My self-pity might make me want to exercise too much to show those guys that I’m worthwhile. Instead of jumping on the treadmill, I should be working on my gratitude, acceptance and set some realistic expectations.

The “I wanna look good naked” is just as evil as the “treat yo self.” It has taken me a decade to realize this. One isn’t good while the other one is bad. They are both bad and they are both trying to kill me.


Exercise Is Totally Hard And Stuff

By Laura Moncur @ 7:29 am — Filed under:

I was looking at A New Leaf in Everfree and I found this animated GIF from the game, Animal Crossing.

Exercise Is Totally Hard and Stuff from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Cookie, the lazy dog, says, “Yeah, exercise is totally hard and stuff. I think I’m gonna go take a nap and read a book or whatever.”

It’s true. If you over-do it, like I did for YEARS, exercise is hard and stuff. I have lost 51 pounds NOT over-doing it. I have consciously tried to keep my exercise totally mellow and stuff. My only goal is to move for thirty minutes. The way I’ve achieved that goal is by taking the dog for a walk every day. We average a mere 2.7 mph because Nina is so busy smelling interesting smells. It’s a pathetic workout, one which Cookie could easily do without breaking a sweat.


Part of my problem was that I thought I had to hurt myself to make the workout work. I took to heart the slogan, “No pain. No gain,” when really I should have just enjoyed the view and smelled a few interesting smells.

The next time you are procrastinating your workout because you think you need to go all out or go home, just take a walk. Not a power-walk. Just a simple and easy walk. Make your workouts mellow and stuff and you’ll actually DO them instead of take a nap and read a book or whatever.

I’ve talked about Animal Crossing before here:


Health and Fitness Magazines Never Had What I Needed

By Laura Moncur @ 10:50 am — Filed under:

I saw the ad on the corner of the screen. I can’t even remember where I was on the vast chasms of the Internet, but I saw it there: an ad for Self Magazine.

Health and Fitness Magazines Never Had What I Needed from Starling Fitness

I was surprised when I saw it because I wasn’t attracted to it. The inexpensive price for the subscription didn’t attract me. The six free gifts didn’t attract me. Not even the gym tote attracted me. None of it drew me nearer.

But that somehow seemed wrong.

Usually, when I am losing weight, I am DESPERATE for positive motivation. The last time I weighed as little as 180.6 pounds, I was subscribed to no less than THREE health and fitness magazines and I read TONS of blogs and thinspiration sites online. I have lost 51 pounds and I don’t feel any attraction to purchase a subscription to any of those magazines.

I think the reason is that I now know they don’t have the answer. They have diets. They have exercise moves. They have fluffy pieces that tell me how to wear makeup with glasses, but they never made me thin. I don’t need a diet. I don’t need exercises. With the bingeing in the realm of my Higher Power, I am able to lose weight slowly and healthily. No motivation required. I don’t need magazines. I need meditation. I don’t need thinspiration blogs. I need outreach phone calls to other OA members.

This is nothing short of amazing to me.

In fact, I suspect that health and fitness magazines and all of those thinspiration blogs I read were another facet to my disease. If I find those magazines and their promises to drop a dress size in a week alluring, that’s an indication that I might be in trouble. Just like cravings for binge foods is a warning that something is wrong in my life, maybe attraction to those magazines is the same. Instead of buying a magazine, I need to analyze my feelings and see which one of my character defects have popped back up.

I am so grateful to the OA program. It has helped me in countless ways. Not only am I healthier and losing weight, I am happier, calmer and less insane in my every day life.

Overeaters Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog.


How To Start And End Your Day With Love

By Laura Moncur @ 2:35 pm — Filed under:

I read the headline to this old Sara Lee advertisement and I thought to myself, “THAT! That was my problem for so long!”

How To Start and End Your Day With Love from Starling Fitness

It reads:

How to start and end your day with love.

Pecan Morning Love

Strawberry French Cheesecake Evening Love

That’s what we all want, right? We want to start our day with love and we want to end our day with love. The only problem with this ad is the idea that it comes in a pie tin.

I’m not villianizing pie and coffee cake, mind you. You can work a slice of pie into your diet as well as any other high calorie food. I’m just pointing out that sweets and desserts are NOT love.

Love is a hug. Love is a kind smile when we make a mistake. Love is a calm and loving response when we have a bad day. Love is NOT food.

Oh, but it can FEEL like it sometimes. That’s why it fools us. Sometimes love MAKES a pie, but it’s the person who made the treat, NOT the treat that is the expression of love. Don’t get fooled.

Or maybe love isn’t around, but there’s pie and when I eat it, it ALMOST feels like love. Yeah, that dopamine response is good, but honestly it’s not THAT good. It’s close, but a hug is much, much better.

So marketing is doing what marketing does best and fools me into thinking that a Sara Lee coffee cake IS love, but they are wrong. So how can I do it? How do I start and end my day with love?


If you want more love in your life, you MUST be the first one to give it away.

Love Isnt Love Till You Give It Away from Starling Fitness

I know it sucks that you have to put your heart out there on the line. I know that as much love as you give out to strangers, lovers and acquaintances will never come back to you in the same form or quantity. But it WILL come back. All you need to do is honestly love others and SHOW them it every morning and every night and you can start and end your day with love. No pie required…

Images via


Two Facets of my Disease

By Laura Moncur @ 7:04 am — Filed under:

I saw this image on Breathe Happiness and it shocked me into a realization.

Two Types of People - Two Facets of my Disease from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Fasting day 1 in full effect

Going to eat the rest of my graduation cake for every meal today because I don’t even CARE.

Built to Bulk posted this first and commented:

There are two types of people…

The thing is, the longer I am in recovery, the more I realize that THESE are the two facets to my disease. My disease wasn’t just all bingeing. It was also starvation. It was also exercising so much that I my toenails fell off.

Every time I feel like bingeing, that is an indicator that something is wrong in my life. Paradoxically, every time I feel like upping my exercise drastically, that is ALSO an indicator that something is wrong in my life. Every time I feel like changing my calorie goal to a far lower number so I can lose more than one pound a week, that is an ADDITIONAL indicator that something is wrong in my life. It’s never about the food, whether I want to eat ALL of it or NONE of it. It’s never about the running, whether I want to do nothing or ten miles in a day. It’s about WHY I want eat, restrict or exercise too much.

I am so grateful that I have finally learned this. When I am tempted to overeat, over-restrict or over-exercise, there is something ELSE going on. Maybe I’m anxious about something. Maybe I’m angry at someone. Maybe I’m resenting something from my past. Maybe I am getting too proud and have forgotten my humility. Whatever it is, it’s not about the fasting. It’s not about the graduation cake. These are the two facets of my disease and they are warnings every time they surface in my mind.


Beware The Pumpkin Spice Latte

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

Beware the Pumpkin Spice LatteStarbucks is bringing back the Pumpkin Spice Latte early this year, which brings joy to many people, apparently. I’ve seen excited ramblings on Tumblr and FaceBook, which is all well and good, but only if you know what you’re getting into.

You see, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is not just a cup of coffee. It’s basically a milkshake that a little coffee looked at once. Look at these nutrition facts from Starbucks’ website. If you get the smallest cup (8 oz.) and ask them to use non-fat milk and no whipped cream, you can get away with it for only 130, which seems like a LOT to me considering I can have three ounces of chicken for the same amount of calories.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Nutrition Facts 8 oz

If you’re feeling like a tiny 8 oz. cup is not enough, however, you might order a Venti. Since you’re going big, you might as well splurge with whole milk and whipped cream. If you do, you’re drinking 510 in one cup.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Nutrition Facts 20 oz

Torani® Pumpkin Pie Syrup Sugar Free at Amazon.comSkip Starbucks altogether and you’ll be $3.50 richer and thinner. Here’s how to do it. Use the Torani Pumpkin Pie Sugar Free Syrup in your coffee and you’ll spend zero calories on your coffee unless you choose to put milk or creamer in it. The reason Starbucks coffee tastes so good isn’t about the coffee. It’s about the SUGAR and MILK that they put in. The pumpkin spice is just a flavoring added. Save yourself the calories and make your own.


Food Porn

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

I had to adjust my Pinterest boards recently. I realized that so many of the things that my friends were pinning were food porn. They weren’t necessarily unhealthy foods being posted, but I was seeing page after page of pictures of food. Sure, they were healthy food pictures like this one.

Food Porn from Starling Fitness

Still so many images of food just aren’t that good for me. They make me feel hungry even when I’m not hungry. So, I unsubscribed to the boards that my friends had set up that pertained to food. ALL of them, even the healthy food recipes. I decided that when I’m feeling like I need new food recipes, I’ll go find them myself.

The funny thing is, BEFORE OA, I used to love looking at pictures of food. I would fantasize about making the recipe or ordering it at a restaurant. I spent A LOT of time thinking about food I was never going to eat. Now that the compulsion to eat is being handled by other means, I can see those images for what they are: FOOD PORN.

Image via: Breathe Happiness


Anorexia Knows No Age

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret reminded me how hard eating disorders can be.

Anorexia knows no age

It reads:

Anorexia does not discriminate and it knows no age.

People assume that anorexia is a young person’s disease because that’s all we see in the media, but it can hit people at any age. The same is true with bulimia, binge-eating and exercise bulimia. You’re not “safe” once you hit a milestone in your age. You’re not even “safe” if you used to suffer from an eating disorder and have been in recovery for many years.

In fact, when you have a relapse, it usually hits you HARDER and STRONGER the second time. If you have been recovered and you fall back into your eating disorder, it will be that much harder to get back out. Your brain is pre-disposed to being addicted to these behaviors, so if you give it that crazy hit of dopamine again, then you are playing with fire.

I HATE the fact that I will never be free from binge-eating. I haven’t had a binge for over seven months, but I am not safe. I will never be safe and every day, I need to meditate and get my “hit” of those brain chemicals that are released when I have a spiritual experience in order to hold off the eating.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.


PostSecret: Soap on the Cake

By Laura Moncur @ 12:50 pm — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret reminded me of how I stayed in my addiction to food for so long.

PostSecret - Soap On The Cake from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I had to put soap on this so I wouldn’t eat it out of the garbage. It wasn’t even that good.

I knew that putting soap on food was a sign of disordered eating. I remember throwing away cake and thinking, “See, I’m not that bad. I can throw away cake and not have to soap on it like those poor people who are binge eaters.”

It was a way that I tricked myself. I wasn’t a binge eater because I could throw away food without getting it out of the garbage. Of course, nothing was stopping me from going to the store and buying another cake, some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a bag of Munchos. And I did…

The worst part of that postcard is the last sentence:

It wasn’t even that good.

THAT is the wretched betrayal of this disease. The longer we live in it, the less dopamine charge we get from bingeing, so foods that used to taste divine don’t taste as good as they used to. They start to taste bland and we are ever-searching for a better dessert or salty snack.

I can’t believe how many lies I told myself about my binges. Just a few months ago, I would have smugly nodded at this postcard, not realizing that disordered eating comes in many shapes and sizes. Just because I refuse to eat out of the garbage can doesn’t mean that I’m not a binge eater.

The telling aspect of this disease is that last sentence. Wanting to binge and when I did, it didn’t even taste that good, is THE definition of the biological problems that occur with binge eating. If you are noticing this trend in your eating, get some help, because this problem only gets worse the longer you have it.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.


PostSecret: Obsessive Cravings

By Laura Moncur @ 12:52 pm — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret reminded me of how I white-knuckled my way down to 150 pounds.

PostSecret: Obsessive Cravings from Starling Fitness

It reads:

My diet makes me obsess about food to the point where I google image search my cravings in an attempt to stave them off…

Just a note to this person and anyone else in this situation: IT DOESN’T WORK. I have done many crazy things to keep myself from eating food, which just fed my obsession.

Once I realized that I had no control over food, I saw how silly all these activities were and how they actually made my food obsession worse. I also felt a huge wave of grief and self-pity because I felt completely and utterly doomed. I was fully aware that there was nothing I could do to control the biological urge to overeat. My hunger response was so broken and I felt as if I could never get past this.

And then I found this awesome other part of my brain. It had been there all along, but I never had been able to access it before. Now, I let it control all my eating and it does a better job than I have ever been able to do on my own.

If you are feeling hopeless over your eating behaviors, there is a way out. Get yourself into an OA meeting. Get a sponsor, do what your sponsor tells you to do, and learn to access that powerful part of your brain that can handle your hunger more than you could ever do it.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

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