On overeating.

This past weekend Andrew’s parents took us out to Perry’s Steakhouse to celebrate Andrew’s birthday.  My parents were watching Jojo and this was the first time someone else was putting her down for her bedtime and I was ready to enjoy the evening out without having to wear a nursing friendly top. Woohoo!!!!! lol

The meal started with a spicy margarita for me at the bar.  Easily one of my favorite drinks.  I love tequila drinks, but am NOT a fan of whiskey drinks.

Once we got to our table we enjoyed a seafood appetizer for the table.  

Then I had a wedge salad and some bread.

And then a glass of wine.

For my meal I ordered the legendary pork chop.  Have you ever had it? It has 3 different parts – ribs, a super tender part that I don’t know what it’s called, and the loin.  

We ordered family style sides for the table – brussels, au gratin potatoes and steamed asparagus.

Then dessert was a trio of treats that I didn’t find super special and wouldn’t order again.

When we finished the meal, I was overly full and I’m sure everyone else was too, but we didn’t sit around and talk about it…we were there to enjoy.

While I could give you ideas for being present while eating and having awareness of when you’re full (i.e. when you are walking into a restaurant, visualize how full you’d like to be when you walk out of the restaurant), I thought sharing this experience would be a good reminder that some eating experiences are not about eating until comfortably full.  They are about adding more joy to your life through food and sometimes that mean ending up overly full.

I do think there are different types of overeating.  There is:

  1. pleasurable overeating
  2. chaotic overeating

Pleasurable overeating is what I’m talking about here.  A meal eaten with the intention of enjoying.  While chaotic eating happens in reaction to deprivation or if you are trying to not feel something and want to use food and the feeling of fullness to numb out.  There are multiple types of deprivation with food…

  1. physical deprivation – under feeding yourself
  2. mental deprivation – merely labeling a food as bad is more likely to lead you to overeating that food

Either deprivation type can lead to you getting stuck in the restrict-overeat cycle.  I lived that cycle for years and I’m sure some of you have too so you know that it’s not super pleasurable.

Your body can handle pleasurable overeating from time to time.  You don’t have to restrict leading up to the event or restrict following the event.  Your body will let you know what it needs if you’re willing to be curious and calm enough to listen. The thing about fullness is, while sometimes uncomfortable, it goes away without you having to do anything to make it go away.  And then your body will need to be fed again.

I’m all for developing ways to cope with stressors in life that don’t involve food or exercise and I’m also all for sometimes enjoying a massive meal with people you love.  Sure, meals with other can be about connection, but there is nothing wrong with them being about enjoying the food experience too.

I was super in love with my palm leaf pants, but Maggie ripped a hole in them when I got home…so they probably won’t be worn out of the house again.  Lame.


  1. I really appreciate you sharing this! I have had to remind myself that intuitive eating isn’t about new food rules or perfection. Overeating at times is perfectly healthy & normal. This meal looks amazing, & so do you, Kylie! I’m so sorry about your pants, though! Our baby girl, Rachel (our oldest cat) will get in a mood & jump up to the top shelf of our closet. She’s put some tiny holes in my clothes. 😱 I hope you have an amazing day!

    • Are all the cats still doing okay, Kori? I know you mentioned one was on a pretty intense medication regime for a while there? I hope all are doing well<3

      • Thank you so much for asking!! They all seem to be doing so well. Mason is still on chemotherapy that we administer at home. They did decrease it to every other week because his anemia had worsened slightly, and they felt it could be induced by the treatment. We go back on Monday for his follow-up exam, so fingers crossed! Rachel was found to have elevated blood glucose Feb. 2017 at their routine dental cleaning, and so far, her prescription food has kept her controlled. We love our babies so much like you all do Maggie, so we’ll do anything. <3

  2. Aww sorry about the pants :( I love the outfit on you!

  3. I was just thinking that I wished more people would reflect on and include as permissible (and even, at times, valuable) the possibility of overeating. EVEN the possibility of overeating to numb out. While it’s not what we want to have happen all the time, it’s also not the worst way to handle a particularly difficult feeling. Unconditional permission to eat was what got me out of the restrict/binge cycle, and that included eating more than my body may have needed at any given point, for fun, yes, but also for emotional regulation. Which I then learned to be a clue that I needed to pay attention to what was going on, and maybe come up with some other ways to soothe…in addition to food. Thanks for this, Kylie!

    • Agreed! I remember when I was working on stopping fearing foods there was plenty of eating to cover up unpleasant emotions because
      1) I hadn’t developed any other way to cope at the time and…
      2) I decided it just wasn’t worth it anymore. It wasn’t worth having to go back-n-forth in my head with “should I eat the brownie or not eat the brownie?” JUST EAT IT AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR EVENING! That question “Is it worth feeling this overwhelmed with a food choice?” was helpful for me because the answer was always “NO, just eat the thing” and that overtime gave me, like you mentioned, unconditional permission to eat.

      Thanks for sharing, Kate!

  4. LOVE your outfit! Wow, you are beautiful inside and out :) your confidence shines through so clearly! You are an inspiration.

  5. What a fun & yummy night! I for one can never go to one of these fancy shmancy steakhouse type restaurants without overeating because there is so much food. Those pants are adorable! Can you use an iron-on patch on the inside to fix them? That’s my go-to correction method (just fixed one of my hub’s button-down shirts yesterday in fact ha).

  6. Ooh love that outfit so much! I need to get more denim! Love this perspective on pleasurable vs chaotic overeating. I am visiting family right now and have definitely had some meals that were “pleasurable overeating,” and while part of me was tempted to feel guilty, it’s becoming so much easier to just move on and be thankful that I got to enjoy delicious food with people I love!

  7. Great post, I like how you’ve put this into words cause I often feel guilty about over eating. I love your perspective on it, I feel now I should be more aware about the reason behind my eating (which is a good reason if it’s an awesome meal with good company) than the ‘healthiness’ of the food!

  8. Love this! I hate how there are so many posts our there teaching us how to avoid overeating when going out to eat with a lot of other people (since thats when a lot of overeating tends to happen). I remember how that would leave me hyper-focused on what I was eating and my hunger levels rather than on the company and connection. Which left me deprived in a whole ‘nother way. These days, I laugh along with everyone else about how stuffed we are but how we would re-order everything right now to experience it all again :)

  9. I love how you are all about truly normal eating!!!  I’m always amazed at how great my body is at balancing nights like this without any help from me!!  I’m almost always less hungry a day or two later.  I even find that my body sometimes needs days where I get a little more full to feel satisfied overall and my body is so much better at figuring it all out than I ever was (:  

    • When we can step back and be non-judgemental about our eating it is really great to see how our body doesn’t need to be micromanaged! Great comment, Jen!

  10. love that distinction between chaotic vs pleasurable eating.

  11. Great post & sounds like y’all had an awesome night out (happy birthday Andrew!).  I’m guessing your parents had a great night in w/baby girl!!!! :)

  12. I LOVE how real you are. Thank you.

  13. First of all that sounds like an awesome and very enjoyable night. I love how you are focused on enjoying food, taste and most of all company! And make the point that sometimes the food is just that, a part of enjoying yourself.

    I always watch the people on the table who have no eating disorder (like my husband)… and the truth is … they just dive in. And then he might (without thinking about it) sometimes eat less for the next meal, or the carbs and the sugar make him want to take a long walk. Or nothing happens at all. Since I stopped stepping on scales overeating seems both less dramatic…. AND less frequent, and this summer just like last summer I will never say no to at least some little dessert when celebrating with people – no matter how stuffed :D

  14. Thanks for this, Kylie! I think simply accepting the fact that it’s *okay* and *normal* to overeat really helps me feel more competent and in control around food rather than crazy and anxious.

    • Thanks for commenting, Joyce! I think just have thoughts of “don’t overeat, don’t overeat, don’t overeat” is more likely to make someone end up overeating. Mental or physical restriction of food isn’t helpful for having a peaceful relationship with food and usually makes one feel crazy and anxious like you mentioned!

  15. I actually saw this pop up a few days ago and I had been meaning to read it, but I never got around to it… and in a sense I’m glad it took me so long because it allowed me to navigate a similar experience completely on my own.

    I’ve started working two jobs and as a result Kyle has had to take on a bit of the cooking every so often when I just don’t have time… a process we both have had to get used to. For him, he can finally have things just the way he wants to have them in all his pickiness. For me, I have to navigate both the guilt of NOT providing the food (it feels like I’m shirking a job responsibility!) and the ED stuff that on occasion pops up in my head when I have to eat a meal that I wouldn’t have chosen based on mood or just whatever else I had already eaten that day (which at this point 99% of the time stems back to mood moreso than an ED place). Regardless, if I do have a meal that is typically not something I would have picked or violates some OLD rule that I’ve long since done away with, that voice can still pop up in insecure or over-worked/stressed moments.

    Yesterday I worked both jobs, and by the time I got off I was so tired. Plus I’m fighting off a cold which doesn’t help. Kyle managed to find a garlic bread at Costco that was made with ROASTED GARLIC (aka I can actually eat it as I’m allergic to raw garlic). And steaks which we haven’t had in forever either. So I got home, and he had made garlic bread and steak (no vegetables haha!).

    I will say, it has to have been one of the BEST meals I’ve had in a long time. I haven’t eaten garlic bread (an old FAVE) in like 7 years. And I knew going in I would probably eat past comfortably full.

    Here’s the thing though- despite all the stress and fatigue, I didn’t even care. I was FULLY present eating that meal, and just savouring those flavours that I hadn’t had in SO LONG. And I did eat past comfortably full- I had 3 or 4 pieces of garlic bread and definitely felt stuffed. But I didn’t chastise myself for it for once in my life. From everything I’ve learned, it’s completely NORMAL to overeat on occasion, and the experience was entirely enjoyable! I had a cider with it, and then we just sat and relaxed for a couple hours before taking the dog on a lazy, relaxed walk around town.

    In none of this did the ED pop up, and that was entirely fantastic! I can’t remember the last time I have overeaten without even having the voice pop up in my head, and without feeling guilty.

    Just a note to let everyone (who has managed to read all the way to the end of this- kudos!) know that it takes SO MUCH TIME and SO much trial and error but it is possible to overeat in the way that Kylie describes, and that that experience is TOTALLY OKAY.

    • surprise, surprise Kyle wasn’t feeling a vegetable with dinner haha:))

      Such a great point that feeling peaceful about eating past fullness takes time and practice being gentle with yourself.

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