‘My Real Story’ as Posted on “Healthy Girl”, Part 1

For those of you who didn’t feel like clicking over in yesterday’s post, here is part of my ‘real story’ as posted on Healthy Girl.

If you just started reading my blog, this will fill you in on where I’m coming from. If you already know my story, just skip the post below. =)

My eating disorder story began over 30 years ago when I was about 8 or 9 years old, when I became a compulsive overeater and binger. I had a mother who hid junk food from me because she said/knew I would eat more than my share and not leave enough for the family to enjoy, and I had a father who teased me in my teen years about my rear end being big. He thought he was a riot and that I knew he was teasing, but he had no idea how that “teasing” affected me.

For many years I binged on sweets like there was no tomorrow, always hiding the wrappers, packages and bags out of shame. My weight ballooned up and would come down when I would diet, only to balloon back up again. It was an ugly cycle.

As I got older and got married, it continued. When we went to parties or events, my mind was busy centered on the food, instead of enjoying time with friends. When we hosted parties, I loved cleaning up because then I got to devour leftover desserts when everyone had gone. I lived to eat, instead of eating to live.

I thought about food all the time. I would think about what I would eat next before even finishing what I was currently eating.

My recovery first began in December of 2007, a few months before I turned 40, when one night, the words “compulsive overeater” somehow popped into my head. I got on my laptop and did some googling, and found my way to the Overeaters Anonymous website. They had a list of questions that asked something to the effect of “are you one of us?” I answered “yes” to most of them.

This was both horrific and wonderful at the same time. There was the shame of having a sickness, a disease, an eating disorder, but at the same time, being an A-type personality, I was thrilled there was a name for what I was doing and realized that I could get help.

So my passion then became getting help for myself. I went to OA meetings, I found a therapist, and I got honest with myself and my husband. I wrote him a very long, cathartic letter revealing all of my food/eating secrets. He knew I liked to eat sweets, but had no idea that I did so much eating in secret and how much I thought about food/eating.

I cried off and on for days. Decades of my secrets had finally come bubbling up to the surface.

OA helped me to realize that I was not alone. Through therapy I learned that the things I mentioned earlier in my childhood are what turned me to the comfort of food. I was not getting the nurturing and love that I needed from my family, so I found it in food. This pattern repeated itself over and over again as I got older and had become deeply ingrained even though I married an amazing man almost 13 years ago.

I have been binge-free since I realized and embraced that I had an eating disorder. I lost the extra weight I had been carrying and have maintained the loss for 20 months now. I did this by counting calories, weighing and measuring food portions, and working out. I also weighed myself every day.

Oddly enough, I weighed myself and have counted calories for over 20 years actually, even when the numbers were astronomically high. I felt like food was the only thing I could control in my life.

In January 2010, I started to just get on the scale once a month. The mere thought of that gave me heart palpitations, but it turned out to be quite simple. Then in late March, a certain calm or peace came over me and I decided I was ready to delve into the world of Intuitive Eating. Six months prior, the mere thought of giving up my calorie counting, weighing/measuring my food portions would have had me laughing in your face, but at the end of March, all the therapy, eating disorder books I read and blogging gave me the awarenesses I needed to make the giant leap of faith.

Almost three months later, I can’t tell you how empowering and freeing it is to have dropped that white-knuckle grip of control I had on my food. I have come to learn that “normal” eaters overeat occasionally. The difference is that they don’t focus on it and beat themselves up about it. They just put it behind them and move on to the next meal or day.

The “voices” in my head that roared like a lion when I was in the throws of compulsive overeating and bingeing have become the whispers of a mouse.

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

17 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. karen@fitnessjourney
    04 August 2010, 6:48 pm

    What an inspiring story. It reminds us parents the damage that we can do when we are judgmental with our children. It is so easy for a child to focus on the negative things that are said to them as well as the non-verbal communication that they pick up on.
    karen@fitnessjourney´s last blog post ..Golden Nuggets

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, karen. it’s nice that you picked that out from my story. i didn’t realize how much impact i had on my kids, food/eating-wise, until the last few years. i don’t think i’ve been judgemental, but i’m hyper-sensitive of passing down my ED.

    [Reply]

  2. amanda
    04 August 2010, 8:40 pm

    It was weird with my family because my dad use to tell the my thyroid doctor (he would get on my case about my weight) that I would always be fat because our whole family was fat. I also use to get teased non stopped when I was kid about being the fat kid. I also went to a small private school that from K-8th grade there was only 20-30 kids per class. It was hard to break away from that. I did find comfortable in food because doesn’t judge you.
    amanda´s last blog post ..Running gear &amp Asian Festival

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    oh boy, sounds like you had it pretty rough, amanda. and yes, that is a reason many of us turn to food – because it doesn’t judge us and it gives us comfort. unfortunately, food doesn’t help us to gain self-esteem or self-confidence to get beyond all the bad stuff.

    [Reply]

  3. Julie - Big Girl Bombshell
    04 August 2010, 9:24 pm

    Great story and it certainly gives hope.. Yes…food as our nurturer…….THANK YOU
    Julie – Big Girl Bombshell´s last blog post ..And the Day Came

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, jules!

    [Reply]

  4. Mental Disorders 101
    05 August 2010, 3:04 am

    'My Real Story' as Posted on "Healthy Girl", Part 1 | Confessions ……

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  5. Jody - Fit at 52
    05 August 2010, 9:03 am

    Oh, I clicked over! Let us know when part 2 shows up!
    Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog post ..Change &amp Single Moments in Time!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it’s up today, jody!

    [Reply]

  6. tanyasDailyProductReviews
    05 August 2010, 9:43 am

    You come so far, glad to hear you are binge free…huge success there!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thank you!

    [Reply]

  7. MB
    05 August 2010, 10:05 am

    It’s such a struggle to get out of the grip of compulsive overeating and bingeing. I still have those voices in my head once in a while after indulging in too many carbs but now I’ve learned how to fight them and tell them to shut the hell up. It doesn’t always work but I’m getting stronger and better at it. Practice makes perfect, right?

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i’m not sure if those voice are ever going to go away completely MB, at least for me. After 30+ of being eating disordered, i think it will take some time for the voices to truly go away, if ever. and yup, practice makes perfect, the more days under my belt the better!

    [Reply]

  8. Lisa
    05 August 2010, 8:07 pm

    Love the last line about the voices becoming like the whisper of a mouse!! I long for that day…

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    that day WILL come for you!

    [Reply]

  9. Sarah
    06 August 2010, 9:31 am

    Christie, your story is truly beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for allowing yourself to be so open about your journey. Your words give me hope!
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Simple Thanks

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    lol! i don’t know whether you meant to write this on another blog or if you just called me christie by mistake. either way, i’ll say thank you. =)

    [Reply]

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