I’m Melissa, a woman in my mid-30’s who, in my private life, struggled with disordered eating issues when I began this blog in June 2008.
I created this blog to help myself and others who are afflicted with this sickness, and to raise awareness of an often taboo subject. In time, it morphed from Tales of a Disordered Eater to Tales of a (Recovering) Disordered Eater to Tales of a Recovered Disordered Eater.
Now … it’s Let There Be Light. Because in this moment, THAT’s what defines me. My past isn’t something I wish to erase … but it is just that — the past. I’ve been fully recovered since March 2009.
On a personal level, I’ve been happily married to my college sweetie since 11/18/2006. I am a PR professional, a mom (our sweet Maya was born December 18, 2010 and beautiful Benjamin was born October 3, 2013), and I currently live in Michigan — though home is also DC (where I went to school and grad school) and NJ (where I grew up).
I’m an idealist. I believe love conquers all. And I love long walks and cafes, traveling, good dark chocolate, running outside and pondering the intricacies of life. I am obsessed with politics, Sex and the City, tall boots, fall, NJ pizza and bagels, Lancome Juicy Tubes lip gloss and (don’t laugh) my Crockpot. I speak Spanish. And I have lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and San Salvador, El Salvador.
I’m Type-A all the way, have total first-born tendencies and am a control freak. My mom once sent me the book, Performance Addiction. Enough said!
I believe in my heart that life is meant to be lived … and that my disordered eating issues hindered my ability to do that, rendering me inflexible and rigid; anxious and tense. But I had faith and hope that, in time, I would overcome these demons and live the happy, healthy live I strove to attain. And I’m there. I’m SO there.
If you have a question or comment, please feel free to email me . I will respond as soon as I can.
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57 thoughts on “About”
Hey Lissa! I am enjoying reading more about you! I love the way you write, and am seeing little pieces of myself in your struggles and experiences. Things have improved for me a bit as I have a more relaxed attitude and splurge more often now…but with my wedding coming up, I fear I will be back in obsessive diet mode. You and the family on the boards can hopefully support me through it 🙂
Thanks, Kate! I am glad you’ve been relaxing a little and enjoying life more, and even with your wedding coming up, try to hold on to that positiveness…you’ll be a beautiful bride no matter what!! Love Core!
Love your blog!
I am on my WW journey again. I really enjoy your writing. I’m done having children but I sympathize with your concerns. Kids are worth the effort. I say that sincerely. My kids are both teenagers and I still think they are worth it!
I have a perfectionist daughter. She puts a lot of stress on herself. She is also my first born. Maybe your mom and I should compare notes?
Anyway, keep writing and I’ll keep reading.
Cathy 38 Bremerton, WA
Thanks so much for your comments, Cathy! I am glad you’re enjoying the blog; I am enjoying writing it! It’s really been therapeutic for me. LOL about your daughter…perhaps you should compare notes 🙂
Hi Melissa, I just found my way over here from the WW Core Board, and I have to tell you how much I am enjoying your blog! Such thoughtful writing, and I really connect with the topics you are addressing!
Thanks so much, Petra!! I’m glad so many people are connecting with the topics–I’m going to try to mix things up as I go on, and not all of them will be so serious but still it’s good that it’s out there now!
I’m so glad to have another wonderful piece of writing to frequent. Thanks for tackling such a tough topic and for being an inspiration to all of us who fight this demon. You know I’m here for you all the way!
Thank you so much, Staci–that means a ton. It is a tough topic, but you’re right–so many of us fight this same demon in different forms. It’s good to know we’re not alone.
I found your blog through the WW boards – love it!! Especially this: “I believe in my heart that life is meant to be lived … and that my disordered eating issues have hindered my ability to do that, rendering me inflexible and rigid; anxious and tense.” Getting a hold of my eating means way more to me than losing weight… I want to feel like I’m living my life fully without any unnecessary struggles and insecurities holding me back. Keep it up and visit my blog if you have the chance.
Thank you so much, V. I do believ getting a hold of my eating will be my path to freedom and am so glad to know others feel that way too. I will check out your blog, as well!
Stumbled across your blog via elastic waist and, like many have said before me, I can really empathise with a lot of what you write. I look forward to reading more!
Hi Cara, thanks so much–it’s really nice to know we’re not alone.
I also came across you blog via Elastic Waist. There are so many similarities between you and I, it is truly disturbing. The only huge difference being that my disordered eating starting much younger in life (17), but progressed in many of the same ways as yours did, add on top of that being a competitive runner, which made things even more complicated as I became more disordered.
Thank you so, so much for sharing your story. You are incredibly brave, and it means so much to know that there are other people who have suffered or are suffering through similar, painful issues.
Luckily, since going to therapy 3 years ago, plus medication, I am no longer depressed or deal with as many eating disorder symptoms. There is hope!
Keep up the good work with your blog! I will definitely keep reading. 🙂
Hi Alison, thank you so much for sharing your experience. Being a competitive runner, I’m sure, made things even tougher. I am happy to know there is hope, as you have said. I am still considering therapy, as well. Thank you and I appreciate you continuing to read! This is a topic that is so near and dear to me, and it’s amazing to know just how many women are equally impacted.
Hey Amanda,I had a cloupe of follow-up questions about the template that I sent to you at your bloggerbuster e-mail and I just wanted to make sure you saw it as I am afraid it might have ended up in your spam pile. Anyway, I sent it on Feb. 9th from my gmail account. If you get a chance, could you check and see if you got it? Thanks again!Mike
Your blog has been extremely interesting to read. I’ve been working on becoming a normal eater over the last six months and lawdy, the journey isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
I think the uncensored style you use is just downright amazing and your efforts on this is inspiring. I’m not sure if this is fitting, but I’ve been working with an online forum/group called http://www.normaleating.com and you might find it to suit you. It’s really a supportive network of women of all ages who work through their emotional/disordered eating through a 4-step, somewhat structured/somewhat personal journey.
In any event, I wish you all the best and look forward to having you in my google feed reader!
Hi Becca, thanks so much and congrats on your progress so far!!
(Blushing) thank you… I will most certainly check this group out!!!
Thanks and keep on reading 🙂
Hey Melissa! I just stumbled onto your blog today, and I would like to commend you for how far you’ve come. I love the idea behind your blog and the posts I’ve been able to read so far have been very thoughtful and wonderful. I’m adding you to my blogroll if that’s alright!
Hi Jenny, and thank you–that means a ton! Absolutely 🙂
I’m so glad to have found this blog-I too can calculate every point I’ve eaten in the middle of the night and I’m aware but just can’t seem to stop. I’ve tried it all-sleep study, therapy, snacks beside the bed, every muscle relaxer known to man (ok not everyone but many). I even tied myself to the bed and bought a refrig. lock. Nothing works. I sometimes think all of the obsessing about points is the cause. Did I mention I even gave hypnosis a shot ( 2 sessions and then the $$ was killing me)? Looking forward to hearing how others deal.
Hi Bonnie and thanks for stopping by! I still suffer from time to time with the midnight waking and eating and it’s one of those things I’m learning to live with, versus trying to stop entirely. (It’s less effective when I freak myself out about it).
I do know it was WW and point-counting that started me down this path, and it might be the same for you. A hypnosis shot — wow — I haven’t tried that one. I wish you the best of luck …
This is John Davenport and like you I write extensively on weight and fitness issues. I’d like to ask a favor of you. I’ve recently published my own ebook on how I overcame emotional eating and managed to shed over 30 pounds. I’d love to get your feedback on the ebook since I enjoy your writing and would value your opinion. It’s very readable so I wouldn’t be taking too much of your time and I’d appreciate the feedback.
Also, I’m sure this is a subject to which your readers will respond, so I believe your time will not be wasted. I would consider it a personal favor, and hope to get an email from you.
If you do have the time to go over my new ebook and offer feedback, simply email me here: email@example.com, and I’ll email a review copy right back.
p.s. My website is at http://emotionaleatingsolution.com
It was nice to meet you today and now I am wishing we had more time to chat in person. I don’t have much time now to explore your blog, but I will be back! 🙂
So nice to meet you too, Lisa!
And John, I will get back to you yet.
I found your blog by clicking here and there from here and there. Of course the WW tags caught my eye. I’m enjoying what you have to say. Thanks for having this blog.
Thanks so much, Jessica!
i came from NovemberBlue’s blog to here. i love what you have to say, and i agree that disordered eating is often a taboo subject. i will be coming back often. i hope you don’t mind if i add you to my blogroll???
Melissa – I am a night eater. Sometimes I’m half asleep, but usually I’m wide awake. I feel immense guilt the next morning, but not enough to stop eating. Sometimes I try to go back to sleep, but I almost always wake up again until I’ve eaten. Then I’m up for 30 minutes or so and go back to bed.
My snack is usually a few graham crackers, although if there’s cake or brownies (which there never is), watch out!
I have about 5-7 pounds to lose and am killing myself in the gym. Then I squander points every night. I am absolutely insane.
I’m a teacher with two Master’s Degrees, so I’m smart enough. I sure could use some advice or feedback from you. Thanks.
I am an editorial producer for a national television show based in New York. We are looking for a guest to come on our show and educate the public at large about night eating. You are NOT alone! We are trying to spread awareness so people, like yourself, can feel confidant to reach out and get help. If you are interested in hearing details about our show, please email me at Christiembear@gmail.com
Hi Miquie and absolutely, I’d love that thanks!!!
Hi Becky. I so wish I’d had the solution for you, but sadly, I don’t. I will say, it’s been about three or four weeks now of no midnight eating? I have lost track. For me, it’s either I wake and eat … or I chew-and-spit. Right now I’m in the latter cycle (on and off) It stinks, but I will eventually get to a place where I engage in neither behavior.
I know what you mean about being a smart woman, and still struggling with the midnight eating … soooooooooo frustrating!!
I’ve tried everything but lately what’s been helping is being dad tired when I hit the sack. Like, dead tired. And when I wake to pee, I just don’t even think about the kitchen. It used to be autopilot. I think when I am content/fulfilled in most areas of my life, I don’t do it. But when I struggle in more than one area (be it work, friendships, relationships, family, body image, weight, etc) it manifests itself in midnight eating. Or chew-and-spit. Neither is healthy or optimal.
Best of luck to you … I wish I had the answers!
i have been following your blog for awhile now, and i really enjoy it, and find much comfort as well. thank you for keeping it. i was inspired by you to start my own blog. i just posted most of the stuff a few days ago, but have been working on content for a long time. i hope it is OK with you that i added you to my blog roll list, and i was hoping you might be interested in adding me to yours at some point. i think we have a lot in common. i would love to have you guest post sometime!
anyways, thank you again for your continued blogging!
Hi Clare and thank you — I added you to my blog roll!! So far I am not doing guest blogs here — but possibly in the future I will and for sure, I’ll keep you in mind. Thanks!
I just saw your site, but thought it was weird/neat some basic things we have in common… my fiance is from NJ and has family in DC, we both currently live in MI (and it’s where I’m from), and I studied in Bs. As. for a half year in 2008 (IT WAS AMAZING)! So yeah, fun coincidences. 🙂
Hi there Kristie and talk about mondo-coincidences!!! Too funny! 🙂 And yes, Bs. As. … and DDL !! are amazing.
I found your site researching my very own “disorder,” chew and spit. Sounds like we (unfortunately) have this in common! Wow, it just breaks my heart to read about your struggles because it’s like reading the exact thoughts in my own mind. I’ve had disordered eating for about 3 years but since entering college it’s just spun out of control. I could see the school therapist but I just CAN’T imagine anyone not being freaked out when hearing about “chew and spit”…it seems so unusual. Not to mention terribly embarrassing 😦
Anyway, just thought I’d write to you because I think youj’re doing a great thing with this blog. Maybe starting my own would be therapeutic. Take care!
an article you might be interested in…http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1889742,00.html
Hi Kayla and thank you for writing. You’d be surprised at how non-freaked out people are to hear about it (professionals) — I was shocked; I thought I was alone!!
Awesome article, Clare –thanks for sharing. Will link to it tomorrow!
Thank you for your blog. I was interested to read about your trigger – and empathetic, as I had a similar trigger. Having not owned a scale or a full length mirror, I went into the doctor’s office as a fairly confident girl with a decent self image, and came out 15 minutes later as a heffalump who knew her BMI and who everyone was staring and laughing at. I wish I could go back to seeing myself the way I did Before, but even 30 pounds lighter now all I can see is flab and stomach and the prevailing fact that it IS doable and if losing weight is an achievement why not excel at it even further. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog, it is an inspiration.
hey there – i’m a new reader and i’m loving your blog. very inspirational 🙂
Hi Lisa! Lara at Thinspired sent me on over here! Great blog that I will definitely add to my reader. PS – Love my Joe’s jeans too 😉
Oh dear – so sorry! I meant to write *Melissa* not Lisa!!! You can delete that post if you want – just wanted to apologize for that inadvertent typo! Best, m.
LOL no worries, Michelle — and welcome 🙂
Thank you for this blog. I know that food journalling is an issue for me and leaves me feeling both happy sometimes and like a failure at other times. Anyways, I look forward to reading more of your friendly, comforting words. Cheers!
Thanks, Jennifer, and welcome!
I got your site by searching and read about you. I got some tips from you.
Love your blog!!!
I can so relate to what you’ve shared in your blog. Thank you for putting it out there for the world to see! And your “bump” is just beautiful. Congratulations!
Thank you for sharing your story on your blog. I find myself inspired by your positive attitude despite going through some rough patches in your life, specifically with your disordered eating. I’m about 10-15 years younger than you, but I feel that I can really relate to your past suffering. Reading your post has made me realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me, and more than that, there is such a good life ahead.
I tried to email you, but for some reason I was unable to. I would love to hear back from you and share more of my story with you. Thank you again for your inspiring words!
Thank you for sharing about you.
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I was just surfing for info on cutting coffee and diet soda out of my diet and I found your blog. I just HAD to tell you that your main title picture (when you were pregnant it looks like?) you look so beautiful! Just glowing and healthy and radiating happiness. It is quite inspirational and I thought you should know! Thank you for sharing it with us. : )
Oh my goodness, thank you, Jacqueline! That means so much to me. Yes, I was 8 mths pregnant — it was taken a month to the date before I had Maya 😉
Just came across you blog and love it! Can’t wait to read new posts! 🙂
How i finally fully recovered from 2 years of severe binge eating. My transformation story.
From binge free to leaning out and full recovery after 2 years of severe binging.
I would deeply appreciate it if you take the time to watch this video and if possible, share it on your blog so you can help me reach out to people out there suffering to give them a glimpse of my own experience and on how i overcame it. It would mean so much to me. I am finally binge free and i want to share my story and the methods i used to get here with anyone suffering from binge eating as i was truly suffering while i was in it myself. I hope this information is somehow helpful to some of you out there suffering. Know there is hope and there is an end if you choose it.
I have built new empowering habits to replace my old disempowering habits and i want to share how i did this with you all!
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Please write to me if you have any requests of what you need help with or what kind of advice you need.
Feel free to contact me for any advice or questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.