This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week and my mind quite obviously returns to the times I struggled and battled with my weight.
I am not sure I could put an exact diagnosis on my eating disorder and I never acknowledged it officially nor received any treatment. All I know is that for many years, probably from the age of 17/18 I was very conscious of the way I looked. I was told on numerous occasions that I was ugly and grotesque. My abuser also told me that noone else will want me and after years of being told this you can’t help but start to believe it.
I started making myself sick after meals and really limiting what I actually ate. I was always disgusted with the way I looked and thought I was fat. I battled with this on and off for many years. I would weigh myself religiously on the same day, placing the scales on the exact same position on the floor, standing on them at the exact same time every week. If I lost weight I would feel great but this was short lived because it was never enough. If I didn’t lose any weight or if I gained any I would chastise myself and would not eat hardly anything for a couple of days afterwards. It started ruling my life and I wouldn’t plan anything around meals in case I couldn’t get rid of it afterwards. I wouldn’t go and eat with anyone else because I would be expected to eat everything through fear of being rude.
I couldn’t tell you how I got out of each cycle but I can always remember that a negative comment, look or action dragged me back into it. I went from eating very little in one cycle, to eating a lot and then justifying why I ate it knowing I could then get rid of it straight after eating it. I would eat something I craved but then feel really guilty during or immediately after finishing it. I would then become really angry with myself, make myself sick and then feel ok again.
Thankfully I haven’t been in this situation for quite some time now but that’s not to say I still don’t think about it. I would be lying if I said otherwise but I’ve thankfully refrained from falling back and starting a new cycle. It is really hard sometimes but I’m not going back there. I told my really close friends and some of my family about it to make them aware and as a protection method for me.
I don’t know how many of you reading this can relate to what I’m saying but I don’t believe it takes a lot to fall into this trap. It creeps up on you and your in deep before you realise, like it did with me it could become a habit. Dieting can be done in a healthy way but when it starts to dictate how you spend your day it’s gone wrong somewhere and needs to be nipped in the bud..
What I didn’t realise is the physical problems resulting from starving your body of vital minerals, vitamins and other substances consumed daily to help your body and mind to function. Apart from feeling lethargic and sluggish your also damaging your organs. Not just that but as your making yourself sick your potentially causing damage to your oesophagus due to reflux of food and acid. The acid then also damages your teeth and creates numerous other problems.
If you look at why your making yourself sick in the first place, how much more attractive are we with a boney structure, rotting teeth and really thin hair. See, when I read that back it’s common sense but sadly our minds don’t really work that way!! If you can relate to this then I urge you to talk to someone about it. It’s so easy to creep into but not so easy to climb out of. Tell someone as I did so they can keep an eye on you. Don’t allow yourself to get to the stage where your sick of eating. Speak out before too much damage is done both physically and mentally, for yourself and for others.