Thursday, 20 February 2014

I have an eating disorder

I automatically assume that when people talk about eating disorders, they are talking about bulimia, anorexia etc.  In my head, this was tiny people not willing to eat.  
However, I do have a problem with food.  Everyday I wake up and I have to try to eat healthy, I have to try to make good choices.  That is not an eating disorder.  What I am talking about is my destructive button. 


Just stop eating crap, was the general consensus as the treatment to lose weight, as a general public image.  Obesity is not generally placed in the same category. Eating disorders talk about control, body image, low self esteem, being trapped in a cycle, the disorder becoming your comfort zone, being highly sensitive to other peoples perception of you, having obsessive behaviors and mood swings. 

I suffered and still do with all of these, maybe not all to the same degree. 

If it makes sense, I would eat and I had my normal unhealthy eating habits, then it would step up a notch or rather I would binge for no reason sometimes, but I knew I wasn't hungry, I would get annoyed with myself and then repeat the process, because I was so out of control but I could control my out of controlness.  This is my own word.  My relationship with food was not just one of enjoyed and relaxation or nutrition, it was my controller, my dictator, my ruler. 

This was not just because I loved food, which clearly I do and I get great enjoyment from it, but for me, food was also my weapon, my social regime. 

I suppose if your going to have any form of disorder, at least it's the most socially accepted disorder.  Not because it is understood, but because it is visible, it's everywhere.  People of all shapes and sizes are every where that we go, but shopping centres, tv adverts, general marketing, all focus heavily on food and indulgent food.  Our work canteens, hospital canteens, deli's, pubs, you name it, unhealthy food is in abundance. 

Now my weight gain was not solely due to the destruction mode of me.  Some of it was a lack of food education, not having an interest or more to the point covertly, removing myself from people who were conscious because I felt that the focus was then on my weight issue. 

Now not everyone who attends Weight Watchers will have these issues, for some, it's getting the excess baby weight off, nipping the middle age spread in the bud, some just need to reintroduce themselves into healthy eating habits. 

I am talking about my own experience here and maybe to those that are "Morbidly Obese" which I was.  

The cycle of obesity for me, was a stage of mental struggle.  I was extremely aware of myself, but I did like myself and enjoyed myself.  However, the initial fear of trying to change my ways was at time overwhelming. 

On top of this, I was ashamed that my weakness was so obvious.  There was no hiding my size.  

Change was slow, very slow and at the start it was a military operation but then my self destruct button would kick in, then, I felt I had failed and that cycle started off again as if I had never been out of the cycle. 

Obesity is not as simple as seeing a dietitian, been giving the healthy eating plan and just moving on.  That would be the miracle.  Most dietitians that I have ever seen are very thin, with little understanding that eating is more than just the food your consume.  The struggle is real.  We may not look weak because of our size but that does not mean we are strong.   A complete generalization of dietitians, this is my own perception, I would like to add.  

When I started Weight Watchers I remember my leader saying that a weight problem was 80% in the mind and 20% in what we eat.  I laughed and thought, yea 80% of the time, I am thinking about food or eating it, 20% Im sleeping.  These words were true.  

I did not get to goal because I just learned about the food.  I could have over complicated the plan just so that I had an excuse to give up.  Instead, I listened to myself about why I was eating.  I'm not talking about the 3 meals per day, I'm talking about falling off the wagon and getting run over by and then it reversing over me.  At those times I started to listen.  

The truth was, food was in a sense, my addiction.  All food, and I used it to suit whatever need I had at the time. 

The ultimate happy picture in my head, was a skinny Claire, that was goal, that was what happy people had, carefree perfect lives wrapped up in a skinny body. 

This is not a transformation, that transformation was in my mind set.  I started to see that, being healthy was happy.  Healthy meaning looking and feeling healthy.  

The transformation was ridding myself of my toxic thoughts.  They are still there, but I try to keep them at bay.  I remember that a thought is not fact.  It is our perception which it not actual reality. 

If you think this is heavy reading, which it is, think about what happens when you eat and if you can relate to any of this, let me know.  Be brave, take the leap and when failure happens, move on.  Jump out of the cycle, it's not that interesting when you travel your entire life in circles. 

It would be nice to know if others feel like this. 

Enjoy the Niptuck way, so you don't have to!


  1. The feelings you describe are all to familiar to me, the difference is I don't remember having this relationship with food when I was at my heaviest. I joined ww last year and have lost two and a half stone, then I began to really struggle with the last stone I had to lose. When my weight plateued I seemed to become more and more obsessed with food and feel like I've lost complete control. Well done for being so strong, hopefully I'll get there too. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You will get there. You just need to be persistant, that's key in WeightWatchers. I do understand what you are saying though. I don't remember being so obsessed with food before WeightWatchers, but I think that was because I was not eating anything in moderation and therefore, everything was at hand and consumed. I was a thoughtless eater so when I started to become conscious of the food I was eating, I did feel that I was thinking about it all of the time. For me, I think this was more of an awakening to what my eating habits were like before and because moderation was so difficult for me, it became a little consuming and some of that is because I wouldn't and refused to trust myself. When I did start to trust myself I did really loosen up about counting the food.

  2. I could not agree more - ever since I was 10 I have struggled with my weight - now 50 I still struggle. I hate when people bring biscuits or chocolate when the visit - for a cup of tea - who can stop at one two finger kit-kat - I am not that person - never have been - never will be.
    I do not like getting biscuits, cake or sweets as presents - I can not stop at 1 biscuit, 1 slice of cake or 1 sweet! To address the balance I try to have one four finger kit-kat - and count it - or a Cadbury twirl and count it - damage limitation!

    1. Damage limitation is one of the best skills that I have ever learnt. Moderation was and is still extremely difficult for me. Like you, I have learnt that sometimes I am better off having the bar that I really crave and just counting it, rather than trying to substitute it with lower propointed bars and then eating myself all around the house.

  3. I can relate to every word on this post! The mental struggle and the shame can be palpable… if you don't' struggle with this ..people can be very dismissive! Many times I've heard 'why don't you just go on a diet!' like its that easy… it is for some but for 'lifers' like me.. its a constant battle to understand why I treat my body this way.. fantastic post! xxx

    1. Thanks Skinny Doll:-) People are very dismissive, it really is a battle and I don't think that will ever change for us Lifer's, everyday it is still there. I had thought that getting to goal would mean that I was free of the demon, I have just learned how to tame the beast, it's always there.

  4. We have been reading your blog for a while and this is our first comment here.

    We have been 'forced' to now live a healthy way of life because of various illnesses, but completely agree and empathise with your views and accounts here. Your feelings are so familiar to us.

    Your blog, along with some others have inspired us to start our own, so thanks for your honesty and writings.

    We would like to include a link to your blog on the links page of our blog if that would be ok with you?

    Kind Regards
    Dieters in Wales

  5. This is me in a nutshell!
    I have been in and out of weight watchers for years... re-joined last year to gain another stone but yet I continue to go each week hoping that something will click!! It is a very lonely place in that circle sometimes and I think I have convinced myself that I will never reach goal or be able to say no to food.
    I would love to know what tips you have for controlling those stressful days as I seem to be going around in cirlces close to a year now :(

  6. You just described this post, I did not know until recently that there was such a thing as binge eating disorder, I always thought I was just greedy and lazy with no will power. It is so good to read your blog and realise that other people feel the same, I know it's time to change, I.have been a weight watcher on and off for many years, and have lost weight but always gained it back, but this time I realise I must work on my head also in order to fix my body. Your video has much, and also moved me to tears, as I see that video, and it gives me hope that one day I will have that 'after' pic that I can be so proud of, thank you x

  7. I love this post. I'm 28 years old and have been on weight watchers for 14 months. I did slimming world before and between the both I have now lost 6st 10lb. I had type 2 diabetes from the age of 16 and at the beginning of this year I reversed it and came off the diabetic register after being on injections and tablets. I have a major issue with food, I think about if from the moment I wake up, thinking about how many pro points are in things, wondering what to eat. If I fall off the wagon which I do regularly I punish myself, I get upset, moody, I feel like the worst person in the world and I convince myself I've put on a stone or more, even when I eat that little bit more by using my weekly points, I feel fat and disgusting. I am aware tthat it's in my head, but I understand how people become bulimic, I look in the mirror and still see the 20st girl I was before, I still look huge. I think once you have that kind of thought and negativity about yourself, I don't think it ever goes away. It's nice to know I'm not alone though. Kayleigh x