This is not an easy post for me to put out there but I will try my best. I even wondered if I SHOULD post it – but if it can help someone out there than all the better.
I believe my binge/compulsive eating started slowly in childhood with hiding junk food and eating it all at once in secret when nobody was around or after being told NO you can’t eat this – provoked me to eat it and then some. This progressed heavily into my teen years and came to an impasse . I would now consider this time in my life to be very deep into the cycle of binging, restricting and starving.
I think it stemmed from feeling not good enough in my body, feeling like I was too chubby, unpretty and not good enough in all aspects of my life. I didn’t really have many people to look up to (women) whom loved their body and treated their body right. I didn’t really know what that looked like. The women around me were unfortuantely stuck in their own cycle of poor body image, lack of self confidence and eating issues. I did not know nor understand that food could be a joyful or nourishing aspect of life. Food was my enemy and tool of choice for self harming.
I continually had all of these crazy emotions, stress, worries and thoughts going through my head that I could not control any other way than to eat them on bite at a time or to starve and lose weight. I would later come to find out what the term EMPATH was and this is me to a T.
Being in competitive dance was fun but it also had it’s negative aspects! I was often weighed weekly with my weight being subject of critical conversation, put on crazy diets (sugar free, fat free, low calorie, low carb, atkins etc etc) in order to achieve a desired outcome (to fit into slinky costumes) and at such a young impressionable age too. The stress of dieting on such a young body also lead to all sorts of issues mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Thinking back to this time it wasn’t only me that dealt with these issues. I remember most girls unhappy with their bodies. It was a topic we discussed many times.
I’m dipping kind of all over the place here, so forgive me but I believe the disordered eating and stress on my body caused my period to come at an unnatural age … i was very young maybe 8 or 9 I can’t remember. I also developed hormonal issues and PCOS like symptoms very young and was put on birth control at age 13 to control the horrible cramps and cystic acne. At that time I could not really advocate for myself and didn’t know how messed up my body would become with all of the unnatural hormones floating around in there from taking the B.C pill for so long during my teen years.
There came a time where the dance took over and we rarely ate together at the table as a family, I would always eat in the car on the way to dance classes. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed dance and appreciate being put in lessons but I feel like it negatively affected my body and would negatively affect my future until I came to the realization that I had to let that go and start a new healthy cycle, a new way of eating and living and relating to food and my body. I had to become my own champion and teach myself how to do so.
Ages 13-16 I was dancing at a higher more competitive level and at a dance studio that was very into classical ballet. Everyone was thin and in great shape. That was the start of starving myself and my body. I would easily skip breakfast and lunch with my parents working and didn’t matter what I ate for dinner as I would dance 4-5 hours per night burning it and much more off. My hair fell out, I had zero energy or focus and I got down to an alarming weight for my body type – lower than I had ever been before. I fell asleep frequently during school classes and my grades suffered.
I liked the way I looked though, it felt good to me (just part of the disorder) That summer I came back from national dance competition in Virginia Beach and I had an audition – I didn’t have a successful audition and that’s when things spiraled out of control and back into the binge eating. I didn’t see it then but I can clearly see the cycle now. I was so unhappy about failing that audition. I had put all of my eggs into one basket and could not handle the undesirable outcome of that situation. I remember how depressed I felt that night and I ate two large McFlurries before bed.
Age 16 to around 27 I was stuck in that cycle of self sabatoge and out of control. I would binge and binge and binge – gain an alarming amount of weight(nearly 90 pounds), try to get healthy, lose a few pounds and then something would happen that I would negatively react too and the cycle would start all over. Typically it would stem from poor relationships and negative self talk and mind set.
The scariest and worst it got was when I moved away to University. I had nobody watching my every move and made very poor food choices; binging in bed while watching tv shows and movies, binge drinking with friends etc. I bet in my worst moments I would take in over 10 000 + calories easily. I don’t just mean binging on one bag of doritos – oh no – I would eat dinner with roomates, on the way home stop at Mcdonalds and eat another dinner…get home and order a large pizza and eat all of that to myself. I would pass out feeling dizzy, painful, sore…and wake up feeling hungover. I would do this to myself over and over and over and over again and it negatively affected all of my friendships and relationships simply because I was trying to hide it from them and if they realized they had no idea how to understand my situation or how to help me which I can’t fault them for.
Now, we all have different idea of what binge eating is – but what I describe above is definitely my experience of binge eating. This is binge eating disorder. I ended up moving back home because I knew I needed help. Although the help I was given was not really to find the cause of my binge eating problem but help was given in terms of losing weight. I did end up losing weight but again got caught in the binge cycle. Just `losing weight`helps nothing. You have to do the mental work. You have to figure out away to get your mind, body and soul healthy. and balanced. You have to be able to evaluate the situation, observe what happened, accept it and let it go. It’s OK to go to therapy or whatever you need to do to get the help that you need.
It wasn’t until I met Brent, my husband that the binge eating seemed to slow down. With Brent, I feel my most beautiful, whole, self. I see myself through HIS eyes and my confidence and positive sense of body image has grown.
We do our grocery shopping together, we plan our meals together and for the most part, we cook together and eat our meals together at the table. He knows all my secrets and knew all about my struggle with binge eating and my eating disorders growing up. It was around the time of my wedding that I also embarked on a pretty significant spiritual journey that taught me all about manifesting, shadow work, inner child work, meditation and more. I have several spiritual mentors who have been helping me wade through my past and make sense of things. This spiritual journey weaves throughout my path and has also played a significant role in my recovery from living with eating disorders and being able to finally release the weight physically and emotionally without much struggle.
I got the Binge Eating under control but I stayed at my highest weight (260 ish for transparency) and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes along with PCOS (also having struggled with hormonal issues while growing up) the pcos was nothing new to me but the diabetes diagnosis shook me to my core – I was in utter denial up until that day. I mean…I knew I was still obese – but I had stopped binging and was eating what I thought was your typical “healthy” low carb diet but the problem was…that it was not agreeing with my body. We are all unique and will respond to these things differently. What works for one won’t work for all.
I was so happy not to go up in weight anymore that it didn’t bother me that I was not losing. I was just dealing with a bunch of other unpleasant things that continued to break down within my body (skin rashes, poor digestion, chronic diarreah, stomach pains etc) I also had maintained this weight for almost 3 years and was happy to no longer have the desire to binge or restrict. I wasn’t even motivated to lose weight for our wedding. My mind was right, I had not binged in so long and that’s all that mattered to me. And to an extent, that was still true however I was really not living a healthy, enjoyable life. I didn’t get much enjoyment from food or life in general.
I was just comfortable. I was comfortable with the aches and pains. Comfortable with the disease which was evident throughout my body. Comfortable with the hormonal imbalances. Comfortable in my relationship. Comfortable with not exercising. Comfortable with self sabotage which you will read about further after this page. Comfortable with staying inside and hiding away. Even though I was stuck in this large physical body – some parts of my life had improved and I was comfortable with it all. I also still had that disordered eating “good food/bad food” mentality.
After a great deal of reflection, self analysis, shadow work and inner child work I have come to realize that my path has been rife with self sabotage up until just recently. I had EVERY excuse under the sun to not exercise, to not spend time outside, to not choose healthy, nutritious foods that actually agreed with my body and to simply take proper self care. I didn’t care to heal myself or my life. Even if someone handed me all of that on a silver platter, I bet you I could still come up with the reasons why that I could not do that today. I did not feel worthy of what might come along with making these integral changes in my life.
I had everything I needed all along, the knowledge, the power, the tools within myself but deep deep down I was afraid. Afraid to take a chance, afraid to stand up against the status quo, afraid to say no to the typical way of life (standard north american diet, diet culture and fast paced lifestyle) I had a deep routed fear of being seen by those around me and such a low level of self confidence from trauma that I have been through throughout my life that I could not get beyond. I was afraid to really LIVE and start my life. I was holding onto the past and the patterns and unable to break free.
This pattern of self sabotage became my own personal hell. It buried my intuition. It squashed my bodies innate ability to heal itself. It was the never ending hamster wheel that I could not get off. Being caught up in this mentality and constant patterns of disordered eating and yo-yo dieting really put an undue amount of stress on my body and caused all of these problems I am dealing with today.
Until one day I said no more. I will no longer accommodate the pattern of self sabotage that had become apart of me and I no longer will identify with that. I will no longer kill myself with binge eating and restriction or diet culture, negativity and nasty self talk. I love life, I love myself and I want to live! Like…really live. Disease free. I will no longer accept that I have to live with the disease that I created in my body by the choices of self sabotage that I once made. I have the power to say no and to change. We all do.
The thing is…i was never ready before now. Everyone will have to come to this point in their own time of acceptance and letting go and making the choice. And I’m just glad that my time is now.
My path has been messy and I am still learning the lessons. I am human and I will make mistakes but I am liberated from my past by sharing my story with you all. I have set out to create a new path for myself and my future family. I refuse to go around the hamster wheel again and again.
In May/June of 2019 I decided to hop off the comfort train and actually do something kind for my body for a change. I took a chance and something finally clicked!
Not only have I have been able to eat as much as I want without limitations and my body has responded beyond my wildest expectations, but in the process I have also been healing my relationship with food. Which is so important if you have struggled with disordered eating. As of right now (December 2019) I no longer view foods as “good or bad” as I had done for most of my life and if I choose to have children that toxic way of thinking will never trickle down to their sweet souls because of the healing I have been able to do surrounding that.
This doesn’t mean I am not interested or passionate in health and nutrition, quite the opposite actually. I am so passionate that I enrolled myself in a holistic nutrition program! I have learned so much about the joy of food and nutrition and the difference is I am no longer viewing it as a restriction or limitation. I have learned what foods I enjoy and what foods make me feel good and I no longer categorize food as good or bad.
I no longer feel guilty for indulging at the holidays or on the other hand for saying no to something that truly won’t make me feel my best. I nourish my body well 95 percent of the time and have found my sweet spot for food freedom. I enjoy trying out different recipes and trying new fruits and veggies I may have never tried before! Eating this way is no longer a punishment but a huge expression of self care and love for myself.
After years of torment and struggle the pieces have started to fit together! This lifestyle has poured over into every facet of my life – way beyond just what I eat. It has affected everything in a positive way. In this way, I am able to continue my weight loss journey in a healthful, sustainable and responsible manner that is kind to the planet, my brain, body and heart.
So without further ado – this is path number 2 for me. Join me as I continue to connect to my intuition and follow it in all aspects of my life. I will slow down and enjoy the simplicity of this life and honour my body and health while doing so.
This is my transformation through intuitive living and healing.
This is anything but conventional and I’m OK with that. I am looking forward to what 2020 has in store for me!
“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” – Andy Warhol