Sunday, October 2, 2011

Confessions of the eating disordered

I know a lot of women who, when they're having a bad day, jokingly say that they're going to "eat their feelings". It's kind of a true statement. I mean, it's sad, but true for way too many of us.
For some it's more than a bad joke to poke fun at our hormonal selves.
For me, for instance, it's a life-long problem.

Hi, my name is Mrs. Miscellanea and I have an eating disorder.

I didn't realize that I had a problem until I was 27, but in reality, it was there from a very early age. As a teenager I took diet pills and starved myself because it was so easy to control. I always felt like the fat friend, even when I was 5'9 and 112lbs and people were telling me -no- begging me, to eat something. I'm not sure what it is about my perception of myself but it has always been slightly askew. I only recently (through the help of a majorly confident friend) began to think of myself as somewhat attractive and somebody worth knowing.

But back to the food issues at hand. 2006 was a very rough year for me.....for my family as a whole. Illness, addiction recovery, death, we had it all that year. And the way I chose to cope was by visiting the drive-thru a couple times a day -between regular meals- and eating until I physically could not put any more food into my body. 
Having been born with a gastrointestinal defect, this created so. many. problems. 
I was miserable all of the time, but I couldn't stop myself. My stomach would hurt so bad that I wouldn't be able to get out of bed. My joints hurt. I had migraines. But I kept eating.
Until one day in Fall, I happened to drive passed a Weight Watchers and that's when it hit me. 
I had to get a hold of myself. So, I joined and Weight Watchers became my version of AA. 
It wasn't about losing weight for me, it was about self-control, and WW was really beneficial because of their amazing support system. Since then, I've been much better but I do fall off the wagon from time to time. 

I know what you're thinking- it just sounds like I like food. Well yes, everyone does, but no, that is not my problem. I use food the way an alcoholic uses beer. 
I don't gorge myself because I enjoy it. I do it to feel better. Or to punish myself. Or to celebrate. Or to mourn a loss. And it's not a piece of cake. It's a half a sheet cake at midnight after everyone goes to bed, a family sized bag of chips in my car when no one is around, a whole watermelon to myself, until I feel so ill that I cannot even move.
And then the next day, I will work out for 3 hours, eat a bowl of veggies and a rice cake and admonish myself for the misdeeds of the previous day. 

Binge, starve, binge, starve. It's another one of those things that people don't talk enough about.

Well, I'm here to tell you that yes, the cycle is brutal, but I intend to break it.

1 comment:

  1. This story is eerily similar to mine. It's hard for people to understand food as a coping mechanism, that's it's not just like "oh this tastes good so i ate it all"

    In january my insurance is going to start covering WW, and this post totally encourages me to go. Thanks!


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