Stuffed With Emptiness: Pizza In The Car

Posted: October 6, 2011 at 6:52 am

I feel strongly about bringing more awareness to the struggles of binge eating. The “Stuffed With Emptiness” series delves into details and thoughts of significant moments of my journey. If this topic could be triggering to your own thoughts and experience in any way, please read with caution or wait to visit FFF later.

Catch Up With Previous Stuffed With Emptiness Posts:


A little over two weeks had passed since my first binge. I regained the illusion of control over my food and the memories of hiding Pop Tart wrappers in the trash had faded away to the recesses of my mind. I approached a special weekend and only had that on my mind.

I quickly readied myself for the weekend, prideful and, at the same time, ashamed of what I saw in the mirror. I always wanted a body that would impress Bryan*. Would it be enough? Our years of on-again, off-again back and forth weighed on me emotionally and I just wanted to win him over.

This weekend will be my chance. The distance and hectic schedules won’t matter anymore. He will want me enough to make full time for our relationship. I just know this weekend can change everything.

The weekend went as expected – like a shot of heroin into each others’ blood streams – completely wrapped up in each other in an addictive, obsessive way…only to come crashing down to pain at the end.


On my drive home that Sunday afternoon tears welled up in my eyes. I knew our little cat-and-mouse games would return – him only wanting me when I distanced myself. Yet I knew I would continue pouring myself out to him, giving him all the control. The undeniable realization washed over me: I would never reach the point of a priority in his life. The surge of emotions swallowed me whole….and I didn’t want to let them out.

As the natural course of my thoughts played out on the two hour drive home, I thought of what I deemed as my failures of the weekend. A dinner out where I ate a few slices of pizza entrapped my thoughts. I could not shake the image of eating pizza from my mind.

Suddenly, I found myself parked in front of the $5 large cheese pizza carry out place near my house. I ordered quickly, fighting back the tears. I kindly smiled through the anger as I thanked the man for my pizza, then rushed out to my car. I pulled around to a vacant corner of the large shopping center parking lot, peeling my eye’s for my mom’s car since she regularly frequented the area.


I opened the box and pulled a cheesy, greasy, sub-par pizza slice to my lips. I took a bite. A large bite. I kept biting until I could barely fill my mouth anymore. I was almost choking between the sobbing and the chewing. But I couldn’t stop until the entire large pizza had vanished as if into thin air.

I zeroed in on the pizza. I could see nothing else. I could only feel hot grease sliding down my throat, instead of the bile of fear rising up. I could deal with the physical pain of an overfilled stomach, because it helped me avoid the emotional pain of once again not measuring up.

My mind had twisted my actions into a way to show Bryan I didn’t care that he didn’t value me enough. I could do what I wanted and eat an entire large pizza if so desired. Screw trying to please him.


In reality, I too didn’t value myself enough. From that moment on, food became the way to stuff down and hide that painful truth. I was unwanted.

Unlovable. By my father. By my boyfriend. By my friends – or lack thereof. By myself.

I left thinking the weekend would change everything. I was right…just not in the way I had imagined.

Have you ever tried to determine your worth based on someone else?

*name changed

Tags: ,

65 Comments to “Stuffed With Emptiness: Pizza In The Car”
  1. Wow. This post is so honest and real – I love you for sharing things like this. I have definitely been guilty of basing my worth on what others think of me in the past. Now I like to base my worth on what God thinks of me! 🙂

  2. Khushboo says:

    Opening up is never easy so thank you for doing so, Tina! I firmly believe that you should never change who you are for anyone else…those who expect you to change don’t matter and those who DO matter will not expect you to change. Have a fab day, my friend!

  3. Katie says:

    Beautiful post!

    I love the first quote!

    I have had that problem, determined my worth with my ex boyfriend, he made me feel like nothing and made me feel like if I wasn’t with him , I would never find anyone or be anything.

    SO glad that I overcame those feelings, trust me, it took time, a year, it was a hard year, but I finally found myself and started loving myself, and realized whoever gets me one day is pretty lucky ; )

    And I met mike 3 years later, we are both so lucky to have each other!

  4. Great post! So honest, and I loved reading it 😀

  5. I love these types of posts – I think every woman has been there at some point (not the binging, but the not feeling loved).
    I just hope that everyone can overcome those feelings as we did and find the right man who loves us no matter what!!!

  6. Kelly says:

    Oh Tina…this breaks my heart. I had issues with stuffing my emotions through physical pain. Nothing serious…but whenever I would get overwhelmed or not want to deal with something I would dig my sharp nail into my skin until it broke and I would bleed. I can’t really explain but that release of blood felt so good. I remember my mom found out what I was doing and she got me to talk to someone because she was afraid it would lead to cutting. It probably would have. Thankfully I stopped (I was in middle school) and never picked up the urge again.

    I am glad that you are sharing your story. I think it is so brave.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks, kelly. And thank you for sharing your experience. Isn’t it scary to think the paths we could have taken if not for someone there to care. I pray every person facing such struggles can open up to the support of someone else. It makes such a big difference.

  7. Lee says:

    When I was around 14 or 15, I was overweight. Not extremely so, but I probably weighed around 185. My father told me that I needed to lose weight because boys don’t like fat girls. I think this ruined my self esteem for years and years.

    18 years later (how did that happen?), I still remember those words and they hurt. I’m sure my father would have no recollection of it though.

    • Tina says:

      I know what you mean. Certain words make such a HUGE impact. I still vividly remember things my dad said to me and sometimes they still get to me…even though I don’t believe them. I think we have both come a long way though. And thankfully have friends like each other and others who “get it” via blogging to have support. 🙂

  8. I defintely have had problems basing my worth on what other think, but these days I do try and try and try to counteract those thoughts with what I think of myself. We have to love ourselves first before we can love anyone else. 🙂

  9. You’re so brave, sharing such a personal and painful story!
    Even though I’ve never had a binge like this (I think), I used to eat my emotions very often, sensing the same lack of love from my family, always thinking that I’m not good enough in a way.
    Why do so many young girls (and boys) have to go through this? It’s so sad!

  10. Rebecca says:

    Tina, I can’t thank you enough for so honestly sharing your pain and struggles. I’ve never battled binging, but a lot of the same emotions motivated me to obsessively restrict my eating and other unhealthy behaviors. There are so many voices in this world telling us who we are and what we should be. Trying to follow them is oppressive and deathly. I’m so glad I can find my complete and freeing worth in God! Thank you sister, for being a voice of encouragement to so many!!

  11. Lori Lynn says:

    I actually went to a Christian counselor for almost 3 years, b/c of my self-esteem and weight issues. Amongst everything, I have struggled with feeling “worth” as well, though I know I’m loved by my family and by others. Even though I “know” that I am, in the moment when I’m feeling down, it just doesn’t seem good enough. It’s when those thoughts prick at you and tell you that you aren’t good enough. And then blinders are put up, and all you can think of is that food that would make you feel better. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  12. Tina, thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. I can tell just how vividly you can still re-live these experiences. I feel like I’m there with you. Thank you so much for helping to raise awareness! I have never known much about binge eating, and I’m learning from you.

    • Tina says:

      It affected and encompassed me so fully for so many years that it’s all too easy to remember it all so vividly. It’s really hard and every time makes me want to cry, but I just feel like I HAVE to…no matter how difficult. Thanks for the support, Lauren. 🙂

  13. Such a sad story, but what a beautifully written post.

  14. i’ve done that more times than i wish to admit to with friends and boys, but i’m thankful that when things went south i could never sit there and find something to actually blame myself for other than that. it’s a quick realization for me, and although i’d rather not feel that way at all it’s helpful to bounce back quickly and learn!

  15. Amy Lauren says:

    *hugs* I really appreciate your strength to share your story and bring awareness to binge eating.

  16. This is a great post! I am sure it was difficult to write, but you are not alone on this! I can relate to what you said about depending on other people to fill you up or make you feel good! You never see it until your out of the situation though. You should be proud you have come full circle, some people can’t get out of that mind set.

  17. Tina, this is very powerful. I don’t know how I missed the first post. I’ll have to go back and catch up. I don’t always deal with my “real” struggles with food. I think this might inspire me to go deeper. Thanks for the push.

  18. tina this post made me cry for you. i’ll be honest, i was ignorant about binge eating before reading your posts. i always assumed “binge” eating was eating a dozen ton of cookies after dinner or half a gallon of ice cream or something. i thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that binge eating is more than that. far more.

    also, i am so sorry you went through that kind of pain and self doubt. you are such an angel in this world and i’m so glad you have come to love yourself and know what a phenomenal person you are and not base your own worth on the opinions or actions of others. you’re wonderful and i feel grateful to have you as a friend.

    • Tina says:

      You got me all teary eyed, Julie. It was a VERY hard time and definitely encompassed soooo much more than food. I guess that’s why I want to share it, no matter how difficult? Anyways – love you and thank you for your support! It helps so much being surrounded by fabulous friends like yourself!

  19. I can definitely relate to your post. It’s a horrible place to be in. Thanks for having the courage to post about it!

  20. Tina, I admire your openness and honesty is this post so much! In my younger years * not that I’m old now, but high school age ;)* I was certainly guilty of basing my self worth on someone’s opinion of me. I think the beautiful thing about growing up is learning to love yourself and your gifts, without having to have approval from others.
    Thanks so much for sharing your story with us!

  21. Those feelings and actions are something I still struggle with far more often than I would like to admit.

    Thank you for sharing your story with your posts. They mean so much to so many of us. It helps to know that we really aren’t alone, and that other people have shared our struggles and found a path out.

    • Tina says:

      We definitely are not alone…and I hate the thought that so many people think they are. I hope I can help just one person not feel as alone as I felt during all those years.

  22. What a deep post Tina. I’m sure it was very hard to write.

    I have been guilty of basing my worth on what others think of me. I think we all have throughout our lives.

    I’ve gotten better since I’ve grown up and now I really don’t care what others think of me. It’s only important to me if I’m a good person and if I’m doing the right thing.

  23. Thank you so much for sharing you story Tina…it really means a lot to me. <3

  24. So perfectly written, I was right there in the car with you inhaling my own pizza to hide the self-doubt created by allowing other people to determine my value. I definitely didn’t realize at the time what I was doing, and I didn’t even realize when I “fixed” it- but I’m so glad to have figured out I am worth it!

  25. Thank you for being so honest about your experience with binge eating. I just wrote my first post about this subject yesterday, and I know how unbelievably honest and hard they are to write. I put my worth through other people for far too long and I am so happy now that I have surrounded myself with people who are honored to be friends with me, and I return the feeling with them. Through myself, good relationships, and god, I know that I can get through those struggles. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  26. You are so brave for sharing this Tina. Thank you for being honest and open, binging is something so many women struggle with and yet it isn’t talked about enough.

  27. jobo says:

    Wow, Tina, that brought tears to my eyes. I again, just wanted to hug the you then (and kick the crap out of Bryan!) and the you now for overcoming that. You are incredible. And yes, I have tried to determine my worth based on others…it’s called comparing myself (for me) to others. It’s a sickness, I think, at least for me, and sometimes it still happens. I am better about it than I used to be though.

    • Tina says:

      I’m laughing because when I started reading your comment I was like “who is bryan??”. Duh! Name change. LOL

      And HAPPY BIRTHDAY again!

  28. Tina says:

    Thanks for sharing this Tina! You are such an inspiration to me. I still struggle with binge eating. Listening to your experience and learning how you overcame it give me so much hope. You are awesome!

  29. Thanks again for sharing your personal stories.
    You are such a beautiful writer- your words create such clear pictures in my mind!

  30. I love how open and honest you are about your life. Thanks, as always, Tina.

  31. Jess says:

    Wow, Tina. This was powerful (and difficult) to read. You’ve come so far, this much is clear. Though I can imagine it was a very long road. Just goes to show how strong you are to persevere like you’ve done!

  32. Errign says:

    The honesty you show in these posts is both refreshing and heartbreaking. You have clearly come so far in learning to LOVE yourself, which is AWESOME.

    I’ve always kept myself pretty distant from most everyone, so my thoughts have never revolved around what so-and-so thinks of me, but I do have bad days, and I let negative thoughts dictate what I do.

  33. Tina, every time you share a piece of yourself like this, you leave with me goosebumps and tears. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable.

    It’s amazing how easily we base our self-worth on other’s perceptions. So many times I want to go back in time and give my young self advice and a peak at her value.

  34. Oh, Tina. My heart is aching for your-then-self.
    What a powerfully written post. I was gripping on every word! I’ve never binged, but I did deal with a pretty serious eating disorder in high school.
    So courageous to write this post!

  35. And here’s why I like you…so REAL and honest! Thanks for this post, Tina!

  36. My heart goes out to you and your old self here, and I am so happy you have come so far. I definitely have had similar issues…I was more of the sit at the fridge girl and eat everything I felt like I might have wanted (and the weirdest combinations).

  37. Melinda Gonzalez says:

    I have tears running down my face. Even though I don’t know you in real life, I am so proud of you for opening up so much. I think way too many girls think “their the only ones” dealing with binge eating. Realistically, a huge percentage of women fight with this issue. I WAS one of them. I am recovered, and so are you. Stories like this can give others hope.

    • Tina says:

      Thank you so much, Melinda for your comment! I said in a comment above too, but if I can help even one person feel less alone in this process, then reliving the pain by writing these posts and even all i went through then will ahve been worth it and for a purpose. Hugs to you, friend.

  38. I don’t know if you’ve read this book before, or even if you’d be interested in it, but Confessions of a Carb Queen sounds very similar to your experience. So heart wrenching and honest. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve dealt with some binges in the past but never like you have. You’ve definitely come a long way and I pray that you continue on the path you are headed – level headed and focused on your health instead of vanity.

  39. Kiah says:

    Like the others who already commented: thank you for sharing! I love the quotes (I’d never heard either before). I feel like even though you’re specifically addressing binging, you also address a bigger issue of young women demanding/expecting less for themselves in relationships.

  40. I so appreciate your honestly here. Having dealt with bulimia for some time, I can so relate to you on this. There were so many times that all I could think about was food. I can remember a time when I had just started treatment and I was crying because I just wanted to go home. When the nurse asked me if I thought I was ready to go home I easily said yes, of course, but in my mind all I could imagine was getting my hands on some cookie dough. Obviously I hadn’t dealt with any feelings up to that point.
    Every now and then I can feel those thoughts creeping back in my head…I need to go to the store to buy a bag of chips to eat them all…but I continue to try to be honest with myself and also open with my husband. It always helps reel myself back in.
    You are doing wonderful things by sharing your story. There definitely needs to be more help in advocating for awareness for these problems.

    • Tina says:

      I think the struggles never really end. I still get those urges too, like you said. Having support and knowing ways to reflect and be more self-aware certainly helps. Thanks, Angela!

  41. Thank you Tina for putting a face and a voice behind binge eating. I think so many people really don’t understand it, who does it, and why we do it. This series is extremely important and it’s focus is so dead on- I really appreciate the quotes you linked up with the emotions that you were feeling. So much of my binge eating I know is attached to the feelings of not being good enough, not measuring up, and not appreciating how important I am to the world.

  42. The Wall says:

    […] morning, I wanted to go ahead and share the second installment of the “Stuffed With Emptiness” series, which means I never got the chance to share my great time from last night. We had a good one in […]

  43. Stephanie says:

    I’m so sad reading this post. And glad that I’ve been reading this blog long enough to know that there’s a happy ending (or “continuing”, I guess I should say). I’ve definitely shoved food down my throat to push away a sad, empty feeling. Luckily it never got out of control, but it broke my heart every time it happened. I’m so sorry that you were so sad, my friend.

  44. Angie says:

    Thank you for writing this post… I’m a long time reader, but this is my first comment. I really need this post today as I am struggling. I have a history with eating disorders, but have been in recovery for a long time. That said, I changed my exercise routine a 10 days ago to put more emphasis on the quality of my workouts (I think I had become too focused on the time / calories burned stuff and didn’t want to go down that road…) My appetite has been in check and I’ve been eating healthy. However, last night I was really tired so I went to bed as soon as my oldest son went to bed. I woke up ravenous. I knew that I needed to honor my hunger and eat something so I made some good decisions. That said, the hunger is normally satisfied after a good meal, but I have been hungry all day and it’s wearing on me. I thought about this post a few minutes ago (I read it this morning) and remembered that I’m feeling hunger because I’ve been busy and I’m not binging/restricting like the old days. It’s hard b/c I really want to be healthy and don’t want to put on weight that will be too much for my body. I worry that I’m getting older and my metabolism is slowing, but I still get hungry and I have to eat. Anyway, thanks for writing about your experiences so I can remember that having a day full of eats doesn’t mean I’m hiding out and binging like I used to.

    • Tina says:

      It sounds like you have definitely come a long way too. So awesome! And I get the still mental struggles with how to balance it all and honoring your body, but want to make sure you don’t go overboard, etc. I still have that too. Thankfully we can support one another. Thank you for commenting! I loved hearing from you. 🙂

  45. Cassie says:

    I just wanted you to know how much your posts mean to me. As someone that has struggled with weight, eating, and disorded thoughts, your honesty truly helps me to understand that I am not alone.

    I am just a reader, not a blogger, but I love reading about your faith and strength and how you have overcome these difficult times. I know these posts must be hard to write and may be uncomfortable for you, but please don’t stop. I know you are encouraging to me and I’m sure many other readers and bloggers out there.

    Thank you for being you and sharing yourself with us.

  46. Amy says:

    Such an absolutely amazing post. I’ve struggled with this off and on for as long as I can remember. I remember doing that with a Whopper at Burger King senior year of high school. Again, horrible boyfriend situation. THANK YOU for sharing! It’s amazing to see stories like this and know that I was/am not alone in having dealt with this. You rock, Tina 🙂

  47. Wow, such a powerful, amazing post Tina…thank you so much for sharing this. I haven’t posted about this (yet!) on my blog, but I think my past toxic relationship with a particular boyfriend definitely played a part in my eating disorder and me striving to be an unrealistic thin weight. I never felt good enough for him…always felt I had to be this perfect, tiny, blonde girl. So I dyed my brunette hair to blonde for him and whittled down to a tiny size, but that was never good enough for him…he still continued to cheat on me and disrespect me. It’s interesting how we hide those emotions through our eating behaviors…and how for years I would keep coming back to him, it was like a drug. Thank god I found my husband…I don’t know where I’d be without him.

  48. Cait @ beyond bananas says:

    So honest and so incredibly real. Letting the value of myself lay in the hands of another person is something I used to be far too familiar with. If it weren’t for a was for unrealistic and morphed values and obsessions that overwhelmed my being.

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Tina.

  49. Alaina says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am struggling to put my own thoughts together at the moment but this has really impacted and meant so much for me to read. your story with bingeing is something I will be following closely. Please reveal more so I can learn of others journeys!

  50. […] that allow me to cover the many things I love to discuss. I can go from serious posts like my “Stuffed With Emptiness” series to workouts to stuff with the kids to laughing at […]

Leave a Reply




Catch Up With Recent Posts

Announcement Time

Posted: November 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

Well, I have had a whirlwind of a few weeks over here. I missed all of you so much! I can’t express enough gratitude for your patience while I got some important things sorted out. Some scary things. Are you ready for the announcement? Here goes! I will no longer be blogging at Faith Fitness […]

88 CommentsRead more →

Self-Love Reflection: The Road Not Taken

Posted: November 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hello FFF readers! Nice to meet ya! My name is Carissa and my husband and I blog at Fit2Flex.  Well, I blog…he consults! We are both certified personal trainers with a passion for healthy, active living and clean eating.  I am also studying to become a registered dietitian, a race announcer, and a runner.  Stop […]

24 CommentsRead more →

Healthier Eating For Kids

Posted: November 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about tips for baby feeding magic. What if you let baby choose what’s for dinner? Check out their cute "Quest for Yum!" video and see what happens! As parents, we want the best for our children. We help them to feel loved. We strive to teach them […]

14 CommentsRead more →


Posted: November 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Hey, everyone! I wanted to pop in and say I am working on some new and exciting changes.  As a result,I may not be posting as much during the coming week.  Please stay tuned for the big announcement! Love you all! And still feel free to find me on Twitter and Facebook for the time […]

21 CommentsRead more →

Where The Change Happens

Posted: November 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

It’s kind of funny. I become a certified personal trainer and the first workouts I turn to this week come from someone else. The book came in for me at the library last week and, after flipping through it, I couldn’t wait to give the circuits a go. Making The Cut includes a lot of […]

79 CommentsRead more →

From Beginning To End

Posted: November 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

Good morning! First off, thanks for the many congrats yesterday. Love you all bunches for the tons of support you have given me in so many things this year. I hope I can return a little bit of that love through this here blog as well. So yesterday I had my first parent-teacher “conference” for […]

55 CommentsRead more →