Let’s see if I actually have the guts to post this or whether I will just write it purely to get it off my chest in attempt to love my body again. I won’t beat myself up if I don’t post it, it’s just I really don’t write about my eating problems, they’re not out in the open like my A & D. They carry more stigma than them I think and there are more jokes associated with (my types of) eating habits than people that have ever taken it seriously.
Let’s go for it. Public or not.
I don’t remember the cause of why my eating behaviours became unhealthy I just knew it wasn’t right and I had a problem.
Back to the beginning- I don’t think I thought I was ‘fat’ as such, I just think I was scared of getting ‘fat’. Not the true meaning of the word, just the meaning I made for myself that would mean me being ‘bigger’ than others my age around me.
I already had a few complexes that didn’t bother me too much as it seemed in an older world I had an attractive figure…this may all seem a bit weird. I’ll add some context.
At school I was a bit late to the boyfriend/girlfriend scene. I say late – I was probably the dreaded ‘norm’al. Everyone else had a first kiss early and were ‘seeing each other’ (you know like: so and so is going out with so and so and then the next day like oh my gosh he totally just kissed my best friend) and I was just not into it.
Being tall and developing curves early on made me look a lot older and inappropriately I got attention (wanted or not) from an older crowd. I wasn’t skinny but I was slim and curvy.
I started throwing up after meals. I thought it was a secret but one day after a meal at my grandmas, really strangely my mum asked to sniff my fingers after I’d been to the bathroom (firstly, cheers mum for not thinking I’ve washed my hands! Secondly, oh gosh, she may have caught on). I refused her generous offer (to sniff my hands 👍🏻) out of rebellion and just hoping it would make her look weird but it probably didn’t help and made her more suspicious. Not much more was said and my binge eating and/or standard eating continued followed by purging. Bulimic tendencies…
When mum passed away, I was left alone at home for long periods of time, and due to loneliness and after learning how to cook (not the healthiest of meals but I’d never cooked before!) I passed time by cooking a meal. Eating it. Making another meal. Eating it. Then having another meal. And eating it. Full size meals, usually 2-3 a night. To pass time and to stuff an empty burning in me left from when sunflower left. Ouch. I’d be bursting at the seams full until I felt sick but as I stopped making myself sick I began overexercinging instead.
It was 2 buses or a 15/20 minute walk then a half hour bus to school but instead of this, if I’d be bingeing the night before, I’d wake up and be out the house at 6am and walk to school – 1 and a half/3/4 hours (thinking I’d burn off the calories from the night before).
Aged 15 I had a gym membership, people thought it would help me to relieve stress. However, I’d go first thing in the morning, have a set amount of calories I’d want to burn then go to school. OR instead of making 2-3 meals I’d spend the night there, until it closed and walk home.
Among my many therapies that people sent me to, to get help after mum passed – I don’t think my family knew about my eating problems, but the doctors did and tried to give me therapy around this but it was clear that the latter problems were all about using food to fill my emptiness and time from what had happened. I’d developed this unhealthy habit even further and nothing could help at the time as I went back to my empty home. Fridge, not so empty.
A few image concious family members would make remarks about my body; When I’d put on weight from the binges tutting at me and saying be careful I don’t get fat, or complimenting me when I’d lost weight which I felt pressure to sustain. Even now, depending on who I’m seeing, family and friends wise may dictate whether I wish to wear looser or tighter clothes. It’s sad really. Ofcourse people aren’t always aware of the power of words and looks, especially if they are none the wiser of your silent struggle.
These problems continued but no longer controlled my life and so I just carried on.
A vivid memory I remember is when there had been a COSCO (bulk supermarket) delivery where I had boxes and boxes of McCoys salt and vinegar crisps and Galaxy chocolate bars. I had no control and would go through at least one of each a day but sometimes more and I didn’t think anything of it at the time but looking back I’d blamed this for making me fat! (Gaining weight).
Anyway, va va voom zoom into my 20s and my eating problems materialised again, more noticeable (to me than ever).
The reason I’m writing this today is because I’m not in the best place with my body right now. I’m at my biggest (in a long time I imagine, although probably not even that noticeable to many as I fluctuate time to time) and I’m so concious. Deep down I know my body is powerful and beautiful and keeps me alive. It’s my home and fights so many demons despite what I’ve done to it.
I love my curves and shape, it’s very similar to mum’s. I like that. But it’s the extra I’m carrying that’s haunting me a bit. As you can imagine it doesn’t help my confidence in my relationship. My partner is very patient though, although sometimes my thoughts make me believe he thinks what I think which isn’t nice when I’m struggling.
It’s helped me by writing and owning the reality of my eating problems today, I can breathe a little.
Fitting well under the EDNOS diagnosis I still refer to them as eating ‘problems’, (As disorders are usually when it interferes with your daily life), but maybe I’m still in denial with a swish of stigma, or maybe I’m determined to win this battle.
I love you Abs, love Abs X 💚