Out of the Closet

Okay now, be honest.  Have you ever been a closet eater?

I was.  (DH… are you reading this?)

Not often.  But enough.  Enough that I felt guilt.  Enough that it contributed to my weight gain.  Enough that I knew I did not have a healthy attitude about food.

A lot is written about closet eaters.  For some people, the practice is frequent enough to classify as an eating disorder.  It was never that bad for me.  Just another red flag.  Closet eaters tend to be overweight.  No surprise!  Many just don’t want the comments that they expect will come when they eat in front of others.  But I am sure there are as many reasons to eat in secret as their are different diet plans and blogs on the subject.  I think it all comes down to one question – why do we do it?

Sometimes I hid my eating because I wanted a treat and didn’t want to share!  That little bag of M&Ms was going to be all mine!  But most of the time it was because I was embarrassed to be eating whatever I was eating.  Like a whole bag of Milanos in the car.  Or multiple Snickers ice cream bars in one sitting.  Or McDonald’s french fries – no burger, just fries.  Been there and done all of that.

And I knew that if I felt the need to hide the food I was eating, I probably shouldn’t be eating it!

But here’s an ironic twist:  the new and improved me who no longer cheats on my diet now sometimes secretly eats the healthy foods!  I don’t want to answer questions about why I am snacking on veggies or if I am dieting or what kind of protein bar I have or…

Funny how things change.



Filed under dieting, emotions/emotional issues, food, making a change

14 responses to “Out of the Closet

  1. theinnerweigh

    The car was my “safe haven” for secret eating. Talk about distracted eating! Sometimes I would be trying to open a bag of something (while driving) and be ashamed to think that it was little better than drunk driving in terms of the attention I was giving the road. Why the car and why secret eating? ….probably something to do with privacy and shame.
    I’m happy to say that it has been a while since I have indulged…..and it is so much easier to keep my car clean now!

  2. I used to be a secret eater, too, only it mostly happened in my car and whenever DH was out of town. It was terrible!

  3. I bet we all have been/still are closet eaters.

    I haven’t been for years. If I wanna eat, I’ll eat.

  4. I used to eat when hubby had class. I’d PIG out- I’d go to the store and order enough food for two people. I’d say I deserved a “treat” and just use that as my time to go crazy. Looking back I’m like wtf was I thinking?!

  5. Closet eating… It’s definitely something that used to be chronic for me. If I am honest, it still recurs at times. But getting over it is a long-haul process not an overnight ditch. It was biscuits or chocolate or ice cream. Because I knew I’d never get away with eating that quantity of food … JUNK food … infront of someone else would bring all kinds of comments.

    I’ve now learned it’s not so much the food. I crave the texture, the crunk of biscuits or indescribable texture of cookie dough. It’s usually triggered by low self-esteem. And knowing that, I’m working on it.

    Great post x

  6. Honesty. I’m good at that 🙂

    Yes, closet eater, secret car eater, secret bathroom eater, secret anywhere eater. Ooh…I guess that just went against my honesty comment…

    So here’s the dirt…. It started when I was a kid. I lived with a PROFESSIONAL dieter/restrictive eater. We were rarely allowed treats, but if they were in the house (my mom hid hers) we would find them and sneak them. It was horrible. I used to wonder why my friends got little debbie cakes, granola bars, or kudos in their lunch. I had to take veggies and ranch and fruit many days. Mind you, I was not overweight until I was an adult!! I felt horribly deprived, so of course when the option for a treat arose I hid and binged.

    I don’t do it much anymore, because my family truly doesn’t give a rip what I eat. I didn’t want the poisoness food enviroment I was raised in to seep into my home. Luckily, a cookie is just a cookie to my boys. Hallelujah!!

    OK…sorry…probably….may be too much info…

  7. You are totally singing my song, right down to not wanting people to question why I’m eating anything.

  8. I constantly find spent Milky Way wrappers in my bathroom. I know nothing. lol!

    Have a great weekend! 🙂

  9. Shoot… I could have been the poster girl for closet eating. Is there a club? I could be president of it.

    Let me tell you, I learned early on that if I wanted to really enjoy food, then I had to eat it alone. If I didn’t, then everyone around would stare and make comments. So I would find ways to get what I wanted “in the closet” so to speak. It’s like I had a love affair with food. Correction. I DID have a love affair with food.


  10. I’ve never been much of a closet eater, but I think that was because so many friends/family members are “big eaters” too. There’s safety in numbers. 🙂

  11. Funny how many of us hide it from our husbands! Makes me wonder if they are doing the same:)

  12. Yes. I am a closet eater.

    I wanted more. Especially of treats. I felt entitled, especially for being such an ‘unselfish’ mom and wife.

    Now, I still feel worn thin. Not as much though. Also, I feel entitled to having my body feel so great after a workout. Plus, my goals are driving me.

  13. Hi. My name is Angie and I was once a closet eater. ( Hi. Angie) My “closet eating” was actually eating in bed after my husband fell asleep. I was CONVINCED that I could not fall asleep without satisfying that urge for a midnight snack. I was embarrassed to eat it in front of him because he had so much more will power in that area and always tried not to eat later than 8pm. I’ve stopped doing that, thankfully. I’ve gotten more comfortable with living with the occassional hunger pain and have also taken to filling it with a drink I keep next to my bed. The urge for the midnight snack is still there, though. My fingers are crossed that one day it won’t be! ~ Angie

  14. Brightside susan

    Oh yes, from childhood on I have hidden foods, eaten alone at home and in the car. Every once in a while someone in my family would come across one of my stashed treats, so it wasn’t exactly a secret…

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