Eating disorder

i am developing an issue with food. Or “not food” to be honest. Not eating.

weight, body image, appearance.

Here we go again.

like a lot of young women, I had a variety of eating “issues” in the past. My height, 158 cm, means that I show extra pounds easily, and both of my parents were /are overweight. From the age of 18 I have been ‘dieting’ pretty much continuously. At times I have been anorexic, not seriously, but enough to drop my BMI well below ideal: much more often I was bulimic. I have taken all kinds of slimming pills, laxatives (although never appetite suppressants as I’m afraid of them) .

in the last 10 years my weight has bounced between 8 stone and 11 stone. The former makes me look like a lollipop and the latter like a weeble. My relationship with food and eating/  fuel/ weight  is entirely screwed up.

like most people ,(well women anyway) who stop drinking, I calculated how many calories were in my daily bottle of Sauvignon, and assumed that the 700 calories a day I would no longer be imbibing would result in a steady measurable weight loss. It didn’t. At the beginning I actually didn’t care. I was far too busy focussing on not drinking , and I took heart from sobermummy’s experience that her weight loss, started at about 100 days. I didn’t have too many issues with carb stuffing, but my weight stayed stubbornly static at about 10 stone 7. That’s 147 lbs and a BMI of about 26.

Then, of course, as my sobriety lengthened, the clarity of thought that slowly developed , made the way I was living, the stress of my financial situation and the relationship between ExP and my children, the main focus of my thoughts. And being “out of control” of those things turned me back to one thing I could control – my eating. The starving / binging cycle started again. Very secretive, very stealthily I found myself binging, and then compensatory starving. Then the starving started to feel good ….

i can eat ‘normally’ , around other people, but not for long. I’ve lost weight, and that feels good. To an extent it is good, I’ve lost a stone -15lbs to be exact , and look better for it. All my clothes fit and I feel more confident BUT …

Since I split from ExP , since I have been doing counselling and since there are so many uncomfortable, painful feelings around my head … it’s become a different kind of addiction. Feeling hungry, or not (and very often it’s not) has become another way of punishing myself? Or controlling something that feels out of my control.

Im concerned about this – but I don’t seem ready to do anything about it. At the moment I’m almost enjoying the denial, I don’t know why.

My weight is a very good barometer of my emotional well being. When I hover at 10 stone, it tells me that my emotional state is ok. Prior to my “breakdown” in 2014 my weight plummeted to just over 8 stone and then I fell apart. It’s a kind of early warning sign. I AM noticing this – I can’t and don’t want to get back to that state of extreme anxiety and depression. I don’t think that I will.

but I’m marking my place here. I’m being honest that all is not well. And I need to address it.

Somehow.

 

 


13 comments

  1. It’s really good that you are recognising it and giving it a voice here. I read somewhere that eating disorders and alcohol abuse are very closely linked. When I stopped drinking the first time around I developed bulimia. Every time I stop drinking I can feel the tendencies creeping back in. I think what you say about punishing yourself rings true. It really is a form of self-harm. I hope you are able to sort through this with your counsellor or therapist. Ultimately it comes down to self-acceptance and self-love (something that is very foreign to me), once we can do that all of these destructive behaviours will stop. xxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Feeling hungry, or not (and very often it’s not) has become another way of punishing myself? Or controlling something that feels out of my control.
    Im concerned about this – but I don’t seem ready to do anything about it. At the moment I’m almost enjoying the denial, I don’t know why.”

    First of all I think this is mostly linked to the lose of control and a “natural” response (at least for us) to all the changes that is taking place in your life. I’m also sliding back into the not-eating and at least in my case I know it’s a first response to no longer being able to numb my feelings -> feelings come and to me that is out of control, un-controllable and scary -> stop eating to regain control but also actually numb both your mind and soul because you’re (I’m) too tired to have the energy to feel anything.
    I think in writing this you show that you are becoming MORE ready to do something about it, it’s a step, a huge one. Maybe you could mention this to your therapist and tell her all about it and then together you can decide if this is something that needs to be addressed immediately or if it can wait while you work on other stuff. I think you’re doing great and I applaud you for writing about it as well. Lots of kind thought/Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I did discuss with my therapist yesterday. I was revoltingly agitated yesterday and very anxious, felt calmer once I had talked it through. I’m not there yet tho’ xx lily 🌷

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  3. Tell your therapist. I u understand exactly what you mean. I did almost exactly the same thing.

    I get a “high” off starving. I love the control. I don’t like the hangry, obsessed and ridged Anne that accompanies that.

    Unconditional self acceptance takes a lot of conscious effort and time. Recognizing you are doing this helps a lot.

    My biggest liberation came with throwing away my scale. I did it early on. The number was too significant for me. That trigger is unnecessary.

    Big hug. Thank you for sharing this. It is a huge step to talk about it.

    Anne

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Lily I completely get what you are saying. I have a problem with eating – more bingeing than starving though. Sometimes I wish I could starve and I feel envious when I read that you have lost weight which is a terrible thing to feel. I know that hasn’t helped but all I really want to say is I’m here and I get it. Hugs Tori xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eating disorders seem to intersect substance abuse. Another unhealthy coping mechanism. Before I was drinking too much, I had a 5 year stretch of self induced vomiting so many times a day that I am surprised I never had bleeding in my esophagus. Years before that was anorexia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad you spoke to your therapist about this. What Anne said about getting a high off starving.. That resonates so much with me. At my thinnest, when people were saying how great I looked (some, people on the street giving me more attention.. tho my close friends thought I looked ill..) I knew I was starving myself and I LOVED IT. Years before that the binging and purging. Was all about the control, the physical throwing up everything, all the bad shit, knowing it was wrong, not caring, a big FU to everyone… though no one knew…

    I haven’t got control of my binging now – but it’s better than it was. I think I’ve made myself sick a couple of times since I got sober.. but compared to how many times I’ve wanted too – that’s nothing. It’s all self harm. Punishment. Control. And I don’t want that. In any form.

    Sorry, I’m rambling. I don’t think I have an off button atm! x

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