you can't go home again.

The phrase "you can't go home again" has long mystified me. What do you mean you can't go home again? Of course you can! You just save up, buy a plane ticket, pack your things...wait, wait, wait...get on a plane and then boom! You're home again. Doing all the at-home-things you used to do!

It wasn't until I spent a month vaporizing my life at home, then four months living seven thousand miles away that I realized...ohhh. Yeah. You can't go home again. Physically, yes. You can put your body in that exact same city...maybe even in the home you grew up in. But you can never again recreate the person you were or the exact bubble you lived in before you left. There will always be this nostalgic haze that hangs around the days you can't get back.

My mind is tumbling with complicated, excited and jumbled thoughts as I clumsily, sleepily pack for my midnight flight back home to Wisconsin. There's just one thing that keeps snagging up my excitement over flying back to the US to reunite with family + friends. And here it is:

I am a binge eater. Not the comedic binge eater who calls herself a binge eater because once she ate an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's after a bad break-up. (Although, yes. Done it.) But a diagnosed, by-the-books binge eater. (More here.) Back home, I had a grasp on it. I was so mindful of what came into my house. When I felt myself losing control, I'd go for a long walk or bike ride... I had a system. And it worked! But here...my new life...I'd liken to putting an alcoholic in a liquor store and asking them to stay sober. I am home, alone, all day. Being in your house, with food ten feet away 24/7 is exhausting. It's a binge-eater's nightmare, and a battle I fight no less than seventeen times a day. And many times I've lost that battle...I've stood there eating boredom, loneliness and homesickness. It's embarrassing to admit that you lack the self-control to walk away from an entire loaf of bread...even when Gabe and I talk about it, I can't help but cover my face and cry hot, humilated tears. Your mind grasps that you shouldn't stand in the kitchen and eat four bowls of oatmeal until your tummy explodes, but something just takes you over. And you do. And then there is shame. So, so much shame that you can't just get your crap together and be normal like everyone else.

And as math and science would have it...I've gained weight. Two pants sizes of weight in four months.

It's silly, but I'm afraid to go back home. Afraid that I don't look the same. Afraid to go shopping or see old friends who will think, "WHOA. Beth got married and reeeallly let herself go. Yikes." And I know. No one I actually respect and love will think that. They know I struggle with deep-rooted causes of this problem....and that I do indeed fight. Instead, the people I love will think, "I can't believe you're home! And you're living the Middle East. WHOA, girl!"

Truly, my logical mind grasps that the opinion of those I love and trust is what really matters. That message is just delayed in getting to tiny part of my mind that controls the vast, chaotic space of my emotions.

So, I've promised myself I'll leave behind the size 6's and 8's that easily slipped over my thighs a few months ago...and along with them the sense that I'm not good enough, simply because my pants read 10 or 12. Instead, I'll pack up my suitcase with the few things that still fit my larger-frame, the smile I rarely cease to wear, and I'll return home again...to the people who have always loved me, regardless of my pants size.

In that way, I suppose, you can always go home again. :)


  1. I relate to this post. Oh how I relate to this post! I so often have a disconnect between what I logically know and what I emotionally feel. And I, too, have been struggling with my eating habits since being unemployed and homesick! It's tough! I *wish* my pants were a size 10 or 12!

    But you're right. Nobody you love or respect would be thinking anything other than how jealous they are of your adventurousness, and how great it is to have you home. And they'll just all be glad to see your beautiful smile again!


  2. Oh sweetie.

    So glad you can go home. Thanks for sharing about your struggles w/ binge eating. My problem is similar, I suppose. When I'm stressed, I don't WANT to eat. So I don't, until I'm very very hungry. Then I usually eat lots (not quite binge-worthy, I'd reckon), but I can relate a bit. I connect food w/ feeling loved. When my husband is gone (as he is for the next 3 months), I find it hard to *want* to eat--I see it as a chore, rather than a pleasure.

    My SIL & I were talking tonight about how women in the U.S. have such a messed up view of how we *should* be, which causes so much unnecessary anxiety & stress. The problem, I think, lies in the fact that so many of us think we *should* be a size 2 or 4, when in reality, or genes or bone structure were never meant to go there, or be that.

    Anyway, you're beautiful. Your family & friends will be thrilled to see you. I hope you have a marvelous time, Bethany, dear. ox

  3. oh my dear,

    all my best to your going home and i really hope joy wins over fear... you´re beautiful, inside and out.


  4. Bethany Wuerch, I adore you.

    Go home. Be loved. Regardless of your pants size.


  5. Aww this was a lovely post, I really understand it. As one who moved recently too - I know what you mean. When I go back to Aberdeen I won't be going home, I'll be in the same city but my life and myself are so different. I get the boredom eating too! I have gained almost one dress size in 2 months. So I think I'm on the same track as yourself! You're not alone, but I am trying to remember how my partner prefers me to eat than to not, and he said to me so long as he comes home to the same person, I could be any size and he won't care :) I am sure Gabe feels the same!! xxx

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Bethany. I feel like I always say this, but thank you for your honesty. I can totally relate. I'm not a binge eater, but I am overweight and every day I say I want to be smaller but then there is a total disconnect and somehow I am eating all the sweets I can find. And the shame? It's worse than anything because you can't go back yet you know it isn't your fault. It's about more than willpower. The fact that you are able to admit to it and share it with the world means you are one step closer to being able to control it. When you go home, you'll have the support you need and you're right. They will love you and care for you no matter what.

  7. Bethany,
    Sometimes your posts make me cry. The things you write come from a heart that has no size tag. We've never met - but believe me when I say that if we ever would - your size (today's, yesterday's, anything in between)is the last thing that would concern me.
    Be good to yourself. Sending hugs...

  8. You are so, so, SO beautiful! Both inside and out. Reading your blog brings a little bit of extra sunshine to all of our lives every single day. And you're right -- all the people who matter will love and respect you no matter what. Who cares what the rest of them think!

    <3 Anna

  9. Can't wait to see your beautiful face!!!! xo Send some dates our way!!!

  10. I am always so moved by the brutal honesty you give us in your posts. I think it's beautiful. Thank you.

    I think you're wrong, though, about the "can't go home." And I counter that thought with the oft-overused "home is where the heart is" sentiment. Whenever I visit my parents/siblings, at the house that was once my home but is no longer, I still get that sense of coming home. And it has nothing to do with the building, or the street, or the town. It's about the people. Surrounding myself with my family, I always feel more at home than any other time in my life, regardless of where we physically are. And in that sense, I think, you can always, ALWAYS go home again :)

  11. Oh pumpkin. Do me a favor when you go home: put on a gorgeous feminine dress, some sassy heels and your favorite shade of lipstick (you wear it so well!)... and strut your stuff. You're too beautiful for words and should feel stunning, no matter what your pant size says. You're such a sweetie for being so honest with us and yourself throughout this crazy time in your life... and you deserve to kick back and relax at home without a care in the world:) have a blast. Xo

  12. Man, this really touched a place in me. Two years ago I lost thirty pounds and I felt so incredible! Then I graduated college, got a desk job in social media, parked on my butt 40 hours a week, got married, changed birth control, and all that weight came right back. I was so ashamed! Ashamed that people would think less of me, think I was weak, think I had "got my man" and now didnt care...all untrue. I'm working hard now to lose the weight, but you have to cut yourself some slack. As long as you are aware of the problem, you can't let yourself slip too far. Do they have gyms in Kuwait? That would be a great excuse to get out of the house and on your feet! Buy a Wii and play just dance even!

  13. oh bethany! I'm so happy for you to go home and see your family again and feel the love from them again. Especially since it has been a struggle for you these past four months. I know that no matter what size you are you are a beautiful woman inside and out! The fact that you have shared your innermost thoughts that had to have been a challenge makes you even more beautiful inside! I'm certain than in time you will learn a new routine that helped you deal with this difficult problem. You have your amazing husband, family, and us bloggyfriends to help you along the way! Safe travels and have an awesome time back in wisconsin! And get some crafting done too :) that will make you feel extra happy!

  14. Oh Bethany...this post made me cry (not the first time I've cried from your blog, by the way). You are such a beautiful and strong woman, and I know that I'm not the only person out there who looks up to you.

    It makes my heart hurt, knowing the battle you've had with yourself over this, but it makes me smile, hearing you say that you know that those who love you, really love the real you. We all love the real you too, and just know that there are quite a few of us out here that can relate to your issues with food (I know I can).

    I hope you have a safe and wonderful trip home my dear.


  15. you're a brave soul my dear...putting it all out there like that. don't worry, the beauty of weight is that with a little extra movement and a few less bites of a yummy treat...you'll start shedding it right off! slow and steady wins the race ;)

    safe travels back home!

    - kathy from www.ohyessheblogs.com

  16. Nooooooo no one you know could ever possibly think that way about you Bethany. You are beautiful.

    Have fun at home !

    Love Chrissi xo


  17. Bethany,

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I look forward to every single one of your insightful, honest and beautifully written posts and I think you are truly lovely, inside and out, and whether you've had five loaves of bread or none! There are so many addictions and struggles out there. Though my substance of choice is different, I've fought the exact same inner and outer battles you describe, and it's very tough. In my opinion, addictions share some core traits, behaviors and bad programming, then split off on substance or drug of choice. For me personally, a 12-step program has helped bring me back to sanity, and I am so grateful to have that option. :) But I will also say that after giving up alcohol (and later cigarettes), I find sugar and desserts to be the next thing I reach for. So I try to be conscientious, and the self-awareness and self love I've gained through working my program and working with others has been a real gift. I hope you will find peace, too, through whatever method works for you. :)

  18. Dear Bethany,

    Thank you for being so honest, brave, and beautiful! I have been struggling with a similar problem throughout graduate school (losing weight but eventually falling prey to "entertainment" as well as eating out of depression, frustration, and an irrational fear of not having enough in the future, followed by a deep fear of seeing old friends and acquaintances for the reasons you described).

    Enjoy your trip home! The leaves in your "autumnal" post look absolutely gorgeous :)




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