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Girl Talk: I’m A Secret Eater

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During Kim Kardashian’s Wedding Special, it was not failing to include her groom in her venue choice or that her sister accused said groom of being opportunistic that struck a nerve with me. It was when Rob Kardashian, Kim’s younger brother, got made fun of by his mother Kris for having a fat butt.

As portrayed on the show, the 24-year-old keeps crumb cake under his bed and sneaks other sweet treats while his famous family sleeps. His sisters are always trying to put him on a diet. Khloe even went so far as to place an alarm on her pantry door to alert her to Rob’s late night snack attacks. He is shown in one episode secretly eating Taco Bell in his car to avoid being caught by Kourtney.

Rob’s latest role as a cast member on “Dancing With The Stars” has thrust him into the spotlight. The amount of weight he’s lost is impressive. His partner Cheryl Burke even bragged about how much his appearance has changed. No more jiggling man boobs!

I know how Rob feels. My junior year of college, I lost 132 pounds, eight sizes and was even quoted in Self magazine, sharing my weight loss secrets. In many ways, it was easier being fat. No one ever asked me for dieting tips when I weighed 292.2 lbs. No one ever looked twice when I was snarfing down a cupcake. But, just like no one wants to see an alcoholic drinking a beer, no one wants to see their formally fat friend eating a slice of pizza.  So I sneak food.

I remember the first time I broke my “diet,” like an addict remembers the first time they got high.  I had not had a single morsel of “bad food” since I started dieting. Not even a cookie – afraid that that a single bite would send me straight into the fetal position stuffing a box of Oreos down my throat. I was seated in a booth at Chili’s Bar and Grill, the lighting was dim, and it was loud.  I white knuckled the menu, trying to skip over the burger section. Then  I broke down and ordered a bacon cheeseburger and French fries. It was as amazing as Rob’s secret rendezvous with Taco Bell. Better than I imagined. Really, there’s no way grilled chicken and steamed broccoli could make me feel that good.

I wanted to tell everyone that I’d eaten the Brad Pitt of Cheeseburgers.  But no one wanted to know. I called my friend Kirsten.

“Guess what? I had a cheeseburger and fries tonight,” I confessed.

It was as if I called her from the ledge of the 89th floor of the Empire State Building. And she was trying to talk me down.

“What’s wrong with you? Stop and think about what you’re doing,” she urged.

And I did think about it. From that day forward, I started lying about all junk food I consumed.  It’s gotten so involved, it’s as if I’m running a covert military operation every time I eat a cupcake.

During my last mission, I left the revolving doors of my NYC office in a rush. I maneuvered down Sixth Avenue, practically playing human Tetris to make my way through the Rockefeller Center crowds to reach my destination. I walked into Magnolia Bakery, home to the world’s finest cupcakes, and ordered a red velvet. Again, an apple is nothing compared to one of Magnolia’s heavenly butter bombs.  I tore into the box, annoyed that it stood between me and my junk food.

Why do they put a single cupcake in a box and tape it shut? No one buys one cupcake and waits until they get home to eat it.

I started licking it as I walked down the street, which the me quoted in Self magazine would have strongly advised against. Never eat and walk.

I was on a sugar high when sirens started going off. My conscience shouted “Abort! Abort!” when  I saw two of my co-workers on the street.

I had three choices: Let them see me eating the cupcake, turn around and run, or throw the entire cupcake in my purse.

I threw the cupcake, icing and all, into my bag.

“Shoshana!” I heard them shout in my direction.

The “Mission Impossible” music had already started to play as I contemplated my exit strategy.

“Hey, I’ll see you tomorrow, I’m late for a class at the gym,” I lied.

I committed the ultimate sin. I concealed my cupcake indulgence with a fake trip to the gym.

Rob, you’re not alone. If we were sneaking cocaine instead, we’d go to rehab, but because we appear thin enough, because we depend on food to live, friends and family think our problem is easily fixed. It’s not.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don’t diet.  The Eating Disorder Foundation states binge eaters are “so good at concealing their binge-eating habits from others that even close family members or friends are unaware they suffer from an eating disorder.” Binge eating shows up in around 30-50 percent of people in weight control programs, and, surprisingly, 40 percent of that total are men.

Even while I acknowledge that secret eating is not good for me, it’s still a struggle to stop. Occasionally, I’ll break down and hide a cupcake in my purse. And when I do, I will be comforted by the idea that somewhere in Hollywood, Rob Kardashian is probably eating Taco Bell alone in his car.

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