The truth is I’m a food addict. Not just someone who loves and really enjoys food but someone who relies on and uses food to comfort them, to suppress emotion, to support them and to help them. Someone who feels they are not always in control when it comes to how much they eat and when they stop eating. I am telling you this because I know I’m not alone.
My beautiful mum did her best to make sure we all got off to a good start. We very really had chocolate, crisps, sweets or fizz drinks. Fruit, vegetables and a varied died were what was fed to me. Homemade, home cooked and always delicious. When she died there was longer any rules to food in our home and everything became accessible and available. I no longer had to ask I just took what I wanted. Mums death sent my food addiction spiralling. I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I was deeply unhappy and I felt I need to find a way to support myself and to hide my unhappiness. Food did that. It made me feel full and less alone. I gave me pleasure and joy when my life was giving me none. Then it made me feel guilty and ashamed. It made me hate myself and made me feel worthless which only lead me to want to eat more. It was a cycle that kept repeating. By the age of 13 I weighed 13 stone and was getting bullied because of my weight.
I decided to stop eating so much. I limited myself to a piece of toast and an apple per day. I lost weight and everyone just assumed it was normal weight loss as I was a teenager with ‘puppy fat’. I struggled with not eating because things were still happening within my life that were causing me pain. These things meant I really, really wanted to eat food. I wanted the love, the comfort, the fullness and the wholeness that food gave me. That’s when I figured out Bulimia. I still got to eat but just vomited afterwards. I’m so sorry to my body for this. I’m so sorry that I did this to myself. What came next was a 10 year battle to stop something I started but was now totally out of control of. I hated bulimia but I loved it too because it was my only escapism from a life I hated and a person I hated. Me. Although it took a lot of work I am no longer bulimic and have not been for many years. What I am left with is the tendency to over eat. I often can’t tell the difference between feeling physically full and emotionally full. My mind often tricks me into eating way more that I need. How? By creating a sense of urgency. It’s so powerful that I tend to lose all reasonable thought. My mind also creates resistance to change by creating excuses for my eating habits. Sometimes I hear these thoughts and assume them to be true. Only most of the time they are not. The mind has had a coping mechanism for years and now it is very scared to lose it. I on the other hand want it to be gone.
2017 has been all about learning more and more about me.It has been about writing and expressing and discovering more about who I am getting back in touch with myself. Now though it’s about enforcing. Self care is about the being kind and care. It’s also about a does of tough love. I know what I am doing and now I need to face the music and find away to stop. When it gets tough, which it will, I must find the resolve to not give up because on the other side is even more freedom. I want that freedom so I am willing to take on the handwork to attain it.
Love and light,