My Relationship with Food
Let's talk about food.
We all have a relationship with food. It's something we share as animals. Gotta eat.
Whether you've never had an issue, are a serial dieter, or have suffered from an eating disorder; you eat food.
But some people struggle with it everyday. In my case, it's binge eating.
How do you know?
I recently asked my friend if you could say you have an eating disorder without having been diagnosed. Her answer was brilliant.
"You know your body better than anyone. If something's not right, don't wait for someone to confirm it." YES. I fully resonated with that.
My relationship with food has been a roller coaster. I was an overweight kid growing up. I think I just ate a lot in my grade school years but as I got into middle school I definitely started bingeing. Whenever I felt stressed, depressed, or got in a fight with my mom, I would lose control and eat as much food as was readily available. It was like I blacked out. Whenever I 'came to', I would feel even worse about myself and either do it again or cry myself to sleep.
This is a binge eating disorder. The lack of control and disgust both point to signs of self harm.
I want to point out that this is very different from emotional eating.
If you have a tough day and want a few extra squares of chocolate or are going through a break up and eat a pint of ice cream. that is perfectly normal. If you're making conscious decisions to eat those things and it is a reasonable amount that doesn't make you hate yourself, you're good.
I really do hate myself after binge eating. After bad episodes I feel like I might throw up or literally explode from how full I am. I'm literally, physically, disgusted with myself and simultaneously think I deserve it along with thinking 'what have you done?'
As I've gotten older I've learned ways to cope with this disorder. First is having a healthy mental state. Which is easier said than done. This is something you have to keep working on everyday.
Next is getting rid of trigger foods in your house. I try to keep only healthy, whole foods at home. That way, even if I lose control and binge it's hard to get to the point of disgust. This has definitely been learned over time and isn't foolproof. I've gone down some dark holes and ordered delivery. It's an everyday struggle.
Just the other day I almost broke. I was under work stress, traveling, tired, and having issues with my boyfriend. I really wanted to order enough food for a family from a local pasta restaurant. But I didn't.
I talked to myself. It sounds funny but it worked. I talked to myself like a calm, loving parent would talk to a child throwing a tantrum. Saying it was okay to have these feelings and offering other ways to cope. I had already been feeling myself fall into the blackhole of binge eating and then somehow I pulled myself out.
It was a huge victory and one that I hope to accomplish again next time. But also I won't beat myself up if it doesn't work again. We need to show ourselves love and then maybe we can learn to love ourselves.
You can reach out! If you're suffering from binge eating (or any stress) I'm here to listen.