An Open Letter to the Woman in the Car Next to Mine

Recently, I was at a local chain restaurant with my family. We parked further away from the door than normal, in an area where most people do not park because it takes a few extra steps to walk inside. Next to where we parked was a woman, sitting in her car, very obviously binging. This letter was inspired by that woman.

Open Letter


You don’t know me, but I understand your plight.

I understand what it’s like to go through a restaurant’s drive-thru, or to order take-out and hurry back to your car, making sure you park far enough away that it is unlikely that someone will park next to you.

I understand what it’s like to have your mouth salivating at the thought of what is inside the bag.

I understand barely being able to contain the desire to RIP open the food the second it is handed to you. But you never do, because you’re terrified of what the drive-thru attendant may think of you if you started eating right there. Plus, you need to remember how important it is to keep up the facade that the food is not ENTIRELY for you, that you bought 4 sandwiches + fries, for other people to enjoy too.

I understand what it’s like to think that if someone were to see you, know you, or hear what you were doing, that they’d be disgusted.

I understand the self-hatred that begins the moment you pull into the drive-thru, but hits its crescendo the second you finish that last bite of food.

I understand the embarrassment you feel when someone pulls into the parking spot next to you, and sees you stuffing the steaming heap of french fries into your mouth.

I understand what it’s like to binge. To suffer, to struggle and try to cope with binge eating disorder.

But, I’m writing this letter so that you know you are not alone. That you are not disgusting, and that are people in your life that if you confide in them, will support you and lift you up.

I am writing to tell you that you don’t need to be embarrassed. Other people have experienced the same struggle, and understand what you’re dealing with, lean on them for support.

I am writing to tell you that you don’t need to hate yourself. That hating yourself will not heal you, but that accepting yourself, and working to overcome binge eating disorder will.

I am writing because I’ve been you, and there are times when I still am. But that with the love of my husband, and some good friends, I am slowly healing, and that you can too.

Take care of yourself. Put yourself first. Don’t accept excuses.

We’re all rooting for you!



I am linking up with peas and crayons.

9 Responses to An Open Letter to the Woman in the Car Next to Mine

  1. Jen says:

    I can’t tell you how glad I am I followed your link from Wine’d Down Wednesday. I write this through tears because this letter struck a chord with me. I’ve been there. I’m in a really good place right now with my relationship with food, but I have an intimate understanding of binge eating and the feelings of guilt and shame associated with it. This is a wonderful letter and I’m going to share it on all my social media accounts in the hopes that it will reach and touch many people who need to know that they are not alone. Thank you for this beautiful expression of compassion and empathy.

    • Jillian416 says:

      ::hugs:: 🙂

      I’m so so glad that you are in a good place with food. It helps me see that there can be a way out. Everyday gets a little better, and I’m definitely stronger than I was a few months ago, but there are still some days where I just don’t know how to control myself.

      I appreciate you visiting and sharing the post. It truly means a great deal to me! Take care of yourself.

  2. Val Newman says:

    Jen (above) shared your blog and it hit an emotional chord with me as well. My relationship to food is a day to day struggle. The self hate is the worst. I feel so much better physically and mentally when I make good choices. I guess all you can say is “that is past” I am one meal away from healthful eating and control. It’s a mantra I try. It works most of the time. I want it to work today. Anyway, thanks for describing an emotional event and letting us all know we are not alone.

    • Jillian416 says:

      Hi Val – I’m so honored that my post touched your life. That is a really great mantra to have! I actually may keep that in the back of my head from now on, “I am one meal away from healthful eating and control” I adore it!

      Thank you for stopping by!

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