We have a love hate relationship. I love food, but food doesn’t love me.
I have never been a skinny size 8, I’ve always had a bit of meat to the bone, and I’ll be honest I have never really accepted it. I was always the chubby friend at school, always compared to my slim and tiny friends. I always compared myself. I loved food, but I didn’t love any form of exercise. After all my friends could all eat what ever the hell they wanted, and stay as skinny as a rake.
It wasn’t until I reached teen years and my mental health problems started, I then developed a negative relationship with food.
If I’m happy I eat, if I’m sad I eat, excited I eat, bored I eat, depressed, I eat, anxious I eat. Food has become a real comfort blanket, an unhealthy obsession. Doesn’t matter what it may be, how many calories, or how much sugar.. I’m eating it! Over the years I have honestly abused my body with what I feed it.
Sometimes I feel like food is the only thing at the time that makes me happy, sounds so horrid and selfish when I have 3 beautiful kids in front of me. But honestly food can control my life! I’m reaching into the fridge or cupboards not even realising it. Every diet out there I have done, I’m always trying to find a way to reconnect myself, and take control of that relationship.
My weight has done nothing but yo-yo over the years, before pregnancy I sat around 10 stone and a size 10. By the time Annabelle was 2 and I fell pregnant with William.. I hit my biggest ever. A size 16/18 almost 14 stone, I had just allowed myself to eat and eat and eat. I’m an all or nothing girl let me tell you, and when food and diet is concerned it literally is all or nothing.
I have bounced from a 10 to a 14 for the last 6 years.
My problem was officially given a name; Binge Eating Disorder they call it. And boy do I binge. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, it is classed as an Eating Disorder.
There are so many different types of eating disorders.. whether you eat too much or too little, or not at all. They commonly start during the teen/ early adult years. They can lead to serious physical health problems. Treatment including medication, and therapies are available. But never feel ashamed which route you choose, what works for one doesn’t always work for another. Therapy and CBT is so hit and miss with me!
Binge Eating Disorder is where a person will eat a lot of food in a short space of time on a regular basis. Similar to bulimia you will not feel control of your eating. It is very likely to cause you distress and guilt, sometimes you may feel disconnected and struggle to remember exactly what you have eaten.
I have experienced those feelings.. I have rammed a ton of food down my throat so fast- I cannot remember most of what I had just consumed. I loose control when my binge eating triggers, I cant stop myself going back for more. In one episode I could easily eat:
3 packets of crisps
A whole large chocolate bar
2 bowls of cereal
A bag of sweets
Punnet of fruit
A whole packet of biscuits
Large slice of cake
And some chunks of cheese
This is just an example of some things I have eaten during one or two episodes, it really does vary. But I wont lie its also terrifying. How your mind can just take control like that, how you can just loose yourself without even realising. And the guilt that hits you after is just so upsetting. When I realise a short while later what’s just happened, all I want to do is make myself throw it up and weigh myself. But I cant. Its too late for that!
Doctors are usually the best people to diagnose if you feel you have some form of eating disorder. Usually the best way for them to assess you is taking into consideration; your thoughts and feelings, any diets you are on or have been on, your mental health, anything happening in your life, what you eat or don’t eat, how often you eat etc.
I honestly cannot pin point exactly what triggered BED for me.. I did have a lot go on in my childhood which effected me mentally, and that may well be the cause. I think a mix of PTSD, Anxiety, Bullying, Depression and just my moods in general contribute for me.
I have to be so careful. Any little thing could set me off, which is absolutely heart-breaking when you’ve got yourself stuck into a diet and you’re making yourself so proud. I recently started Exante which is a meal replacement diet. Sometimes these kinds of diets aren’t always recommended for people with eating disorders like me.. but for someone who cries at their appearance and weight I’ll try anything.
I did pretty well and lasted 7 weeks, but by the 7th week I could feel myself slipping, as I have started attending the gym and working out 6 days a week its making me hungry. When I get hungry, like really hungry I begin to pick. So I picked on the healthy things, things I was aloud. But then it quickly turns into “ooh one of these wont hurt”, or “its the weekend I’ve done so well I can have a treat”. Annabelle’s birthday came around, so of course I allowed myself some pizza and cake.
I cant stand that feeling the next day when I realise what I’ve eaten and what I’ve done.
Can I not just enjoy some naughty treats ever?
I can. But first I seriously need to re evaluate my relationship with food, to understand and know my limits. How I can get myself to stop when enough is enough.. To some it may sound so silly, its just food after all; I really can’t tell you how hard it is.
10 years I have spent trying and craving to be slim.
I’m at a point where I don’t know how to accept my body, I don’t know how to look at my figure in the mirror and smile at what I see.
How do I tell myself no? How do I weigh out treats instead of over indulging in everything in less than 10 minutes?!
I think sometimes it’s so easy for people who have no understanding of the disorder to just label us greedy, and say we just eat too much plain and simple. But there really is so much more to it than that, It’s an on off relationship with food, that you really have no say in how or when it happens. It’s tough trying to re evaluate that relationship and get myself back on the straight and narrow, it can be even more challenging when it happens for no reason, because their isn’t always a trigger that sets it off.
The amount of times I’ve started diets and failed, all I want is to loose weight and learn what my body wants and needs. Any little sense of emotion, or hunger,that creeps up and I’m reaching straight for the cupboards, it’s not always boredom.. Sometimes even just being at home where there’s food doesn’t help.
It’s a strange sense of relief eating during an episode. I can’t explain it but at the time it makes me feel safe, happy and satisfied, until the guilt kicks in after.
How the hell does food become such a comfort blaket?
This week I have slowly been introducing food back in after doing exante for 7 weeks, it’s been hard I can’t lie. I haven’t been awful but I have picked, I just missed food too much to continue without.
But I have also found that I can control myself, I can stop myself when it’s time. That is something I’ve never been able to do before, I open the fridge tell myself no and I close it again.. The best tip for that is make a drink, make 2 or 3 drinks if needed. They help me feel so much more full.
Remind yourself of where you want to be- body wise, mentally, physically! Food does not control us.
I can honestly say depriving myself was the worst thing I could do, I rewarded myself and over indulged.. When anyone has ever said to me “everything in moderation”, I’d think what a load of nonsense.. But it’s true.
Now I’m not ever saying I won’t binge, as it doesn’t just go away like that.. But I’m trying to train my mind, reminding myself, rewarding myself moderately a little more often than after 7 weeks! My body can’t crave it that way.
I can’t say my mental health won’t drive me to food, because at some point or another it will. When you’ve had that comfort for so long, it’s almost part of your bodies routine.
I’m rambling I know, but I need to get it off my chest! Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting a loosing battle, I laugh because it’s food for christ sake.. How does food have this much control over someone.
Im taking it day by day for now.
All my love
See you in my next Blog