Christmas, Food and An Eating Disorder

Christmas, Food and An Eating Disorder

 

 

Christmas has always been a tricky time for meand I don’t think I am alone in this.

 

For me however, this is for a very specific reason. If you have not read any of my other blogs in the past few years, then the jist of it is this: for almost a decade of my life in my late teens and 20’s I battled binge eating disorder, coupled with a serious case of exercise anorexia. Ie bingeing on huge amounts of food and then exercising for many hours each day to try to “undo” the damage.

 

Something that you may relate to if you have or are currently still battling this eating disorder – is the immense pressure and stress that comes with PUBLIC food centred events.

 

For me, eating and bingeing was a private affair. I did it behind closed doors, away from anyone I knew. So when there was an event like Christmas where a lot of food is involved AND you are constantly surrounded by people, this brings a TON of stress.

 

As with any event – you are constantly battling the URGE to eat everything in sight, but also the INTENSE AWARENESS that you are being watched and judged, and therefore MUST RESTRAIN yourself from eating too much incase others see you.

 

This constant pressure on the inside makes it a total mess in your own mind.

 

You can’t think straight, or hold a conversation well. While others seem to effortlessly gaze over the food and decide if they want it or not, you are SO conscious of every morsel, every bite, constantly feeling that you are being watched, judged. You have to maintain a sense of looking NORMAL.

 

You know all the tricks – the food you can get away with that you won’t be judged for, even though YOU know that it truly isn’t healthy. And then the food that you can FEEL you will be judged for straight away, so you fight yourself every time you see it.

Whilst you see your friend without thinking reach for a handful of chips every now and then and no one batts an eyelid, you just KNOW that if you were to do it EVERYONE would see.

 

All of this – this internal battle, rages on as you try to maintain conversation, smile, and look like you want to be there and NOT with two plates of food in the other room.

 

It’s not just Christmas. It’s all social events. You hate how no one else seems concerned about the food. And yet inside – you are screaming.

 

Everyone else just picks food up as they see it and want it. Whilst you are busy deciphering everything you have eaten, who saw you eat what, and how to steal away some more food without being seen.

Anyway… you get the idea. If you relate to the idea – then you really get it.

 

Having been on that side, for years, feeling a sense of dread every time a social occasion came up – I truly appreciate how different it is now.

For years I tried to convince myself – you are here for the company, not the food.

 

But as long as I stood there depriving myself, I could not even fathom giving a shit about what my boyfriends uncle does for work.

Until I dealt with what was really going on. The reasons I was using food as my drug of choice.

 

The emotions and fears that I was running from, trying to numb, trying to push down with food.

 

The things I wanted to ignore and fight rather than face.

Namely – and I kind of want to pause here because this is ACTUALLY what it is ALL ABOUT-…..

 

That I wasn’t happy with myself. My life.

 

But mostly…. What I was choosing.

 

I was miserable. Stuck. And everytime I thought about what I didn’t want to admit – food helped fill the void instead.

 

And now? Well now I love social occasions – because I can actually enjoy SOCIALISING.

 

I could not care less about the food. Half the time I bring my own just so I don’t have to concern myself if it is something I will like. Or I eat before. Or I am fasting. Whatever – it’s not the point.

 

The point is that I go and TALK. Listen. Interact.

 

And when food comes around I DO effortlessly glance over it and decide if I want it – as an afterthought to the conversation I am involved in.

The difference?

 

I have nothing to run from. The life I live is not suffocating me. I live on purpose and with passion.

 

And THAT is the difference between then and now.

 

If you relate to this – and STILL struggle in this way around food and social occasions then start here:

 

With a simple question…

 

What am I stuffing down? What would I feel if I didn’t eat my feelings right now?

 

What do I truly want that I am not admitting to myself?

 

Get real. Get raw. And get the fuck on with it.

 

 

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