Oct 23, 2023Liked by Kelly A. Varner, Open Secrets

Absolutely gorgeous, and equally heartbreaking, Kelly.

Your experience resonates with me. Only, I never got full as a kid, and my dad and live-in grandmother were the vicious role models in my life. But, my mom never stuck up for me. We were all fat except for my younger brother, and my grandmother was only "slightly overweight."

I had undiagnosed Celiac Disease that almost killed me, and of course all my teenage bingeing didn't help—gluten was in basically everything processed back then. But, even after being on a strict diet and over-scheduled in sports and physical activities prior, no efforts controlled my ever-expanding body due to vitamin absorption issues, so the diagnosing gastroenterologist revealed, and later an endocrinologist confirmed. I'm apparently lucky to be alive, and grateful to be.

Now, my relationship with food had to change due to Celiac and a severe mast cell disorder, which any high-histamine or histamine-liberating food (heat and sun exposure, too) triggers and can become dangerous (e.g., anaphylaxis, dyspnea, etc.). I'm sure the chronic stress around food, and the constant at-home and out-of-the-house ridicule didn't help anything.

Your experience sounds wretched. I know how hard it can be to share, but also how cathartic sharing can feel at the same time. Thank you for sharing your story, Kelly.

I hope your relationship with your body at any size and shape, and your relationship with food is at a place you're comfortable with.

All my best,


Expand full comment
Oct 26, 2023Liked by Kelly A. Varner

I see a few parallels and a few differences in my own life. I too struggle with binge eating and was bullied for my fat as a kid. I want more, Kelly. What happened next? Give us the next chapter.

Expand full comment
Oct 26, 2023Liked by Kelly A. Varner

This is beautifully written and so sad.

Expand full comment