Life after binge eating disorder

Recently I started reading Bodyposipanda’s book “body positive power” … honestly I’ve wanted to read this book for a while but I always was slightly nervous to start. I knew it would change the way I think and I was scared that if I read it,it would be the nail in the coffin and my dream of being skinny would be over.

I’ll talk more about the book once I’ve finished reading it but it touches on issues I wanted to address on my blog. You see my blog is like therapy to me and whilst I write I unpack emotions I never knew I had and start to feel a sense of peace.

I want to talk about my experience of binge eating disorder and how my life is now that I have “recovered”.

I have spoken about my experience on here before which you can read here. That was 3 years a go now and reading Megan’s book has brought a lot of things to the forefront of my mind. She speaks a lot about her experience with eating disorders and constant dieting and that is something that really resonates with me.

This is me at about 15 years old which I would probably say was the height of my eating disorder. I remember seeing this photo and hating how I looked. You can see how unconfident and unhappy in my skin I was, it’s written all over my face and in my body language. I never wore jeans as I thought they made my legs look huge, I always thought they looked the most slim in shorts and tights. I rarely had my arms out because I thought they were fat.

My dream was to be skinny. Like all of my friends and all of the celebrities I looked up to. Every other female I met would be analysed on how fat or skinny they were in relation to me. Every time a boy I liked didn’t fancy me I was convinced it was because I was too fat. Every time I felt left out with my friends I thought it was because I was the fat friend. I imagined them sat together laughing at how disgusting I was, their mums would talk to them about me and say “she’s a nice girl but she’s quite fat isn’t she”. The reality is that they probably weren’t thinking that at all and if they were then that is pretty shallow on their part and speaks more about them than me.

Food consumed me. I was obsessed, possessed. I couldn’t get it off my mind. I would binge almost daily and I don’t just mean have a few too many slices of cake. I would go in to a frenzy, a daze almost. I’d eat and eat and never feel satisfied. It didn’t even need to be tasty or “nice” food… it was whatever there was there. I couldn’t stop myself and regularly tried to starve myself to make up for it. I’d skip breakfast and lunch and feel so unwell at school. My stomach would rumble in class and I would be mortified, I’d imagine people thinking “of course the fat girl is hungry” and by the time I got home I’d be binging again, it was an horrific, agonising cycle. If I went for sleepovers at my friends house we’d often stuff our faces. But I struggled to stop, eventually we’d all be feeling sick from over eating and even though I couldn’t fit another morsel in… If there was food left over I couldn’t relax. It would be in the back of my mind constantly.

I literally used to pray to have anorexia. How sick is that?! I never even realised that I already had an eating disorder of my own, after all how could I? I was getting fatter and eating disorders are supposed to make you thin.

After therapy through counselling and prayer I eventually recovered. It took years and years. I’d say by the time I was around 18 I’d stopped regularly binging and by 20 I really felt freedom around food again.

So now, nearly 5 years on, how am I doing? Well I definitely believe that I am recovered, however, the scars will always remain. I have almost daily reminders of what I have been through. Every time I over eat and I feel guilt that I’m slipping back in to old ways, I am reminded. Every time I feel hungry in the evening and ask my husband permission to have a bowl of cereal I’m reminded of how much I need approval that what I’m eating is ok. Every time someone mentions anything I’ve eaten and I suddenly feel judged, I’m reminded.

I cannot restrict my diet now. I know that if I do it leads back to toxic mindsets and desire to binge. I try to have a healthy lifestyle, eat nutritious food and exercise regularly. But that’s as far as I can take it or all the old thoughts begin to creep in.

As things go, though, I’m doing really well. I no longer hate my body most of the time (of course I still go through periods of self hatred but I’m getting there). I have freedom around food and if I want to have a slice of cake every now and then I can do so without feeling guilty. Of course I still have the odd binge but I think most people do. So yes, the scars may always remain but I have hope that in time they will continue to fade.

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