Eating isn’t really something most people consider a challenge. It’s simple, if you’re hungry eat. If you’re not, don’t. Try to eat more vegetables than junk food, and make sure you’re getting enough protein. Not that complicated, right? But for someone with any kind of eating disorder, or disordered eating in general (yes, they are different) eating can be one of the most stressful times of the day.
I’ve had a variety of disordered eating issues throughout my life. For most of it I was restricting my diet, and not eating as a coping mechanism. Now it’s the complete opposite where I binge when I need comfort. Neither are a good thing and I’m working to get things under control, but for now, here is my story.
If you like this post or know someone who might like this post, please give it a share! Shares, comments, and likes are what keep this blog running! Thank you! <3
In the Beginning
My restricting started simple enough. It actually had nothing to do with body image, or anything health related at all. My parents fought a lot when I was a kid. And by fought, I mean, my dad was very angry and yelled a lot. So, as a child when these fights happened, I was too scared to go downstairs and get something to eat. So I learned to ignore hunger pains and deal with not eating or eating very minimal things like a granola bar or fruit snacks. I’ve since moved on from this, but I did end up with 5 Things I Learned From Being Raised By My Parents.
The restricting as comfort kind of just fell into place after that. It also started getting worse around the time I was hitting high school. I was a chubby kid. I think it had a lot to do with my being super premature so my parents were over feeding me, and with the amount of junk food in the house. I spent a good portion of my puberty years being slightly over weight. I remember my dad trying to take me shopping in the boys section as a kid because they had a “husky” size range. Basically a fat kid section.
But the restricting hit a peak when I was a senior in high school. I had no real control over my life, I was finally getting over the fat stage, and I took the reigns of the only thing I could really determine, my eating.
I tried to go vegetarian at that time, mainly because it’s a socially acceptable way to restrict. It’s actually very common for those with restrictive eating to attempt vegetarianism or veganism as ways to control their intake. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking that at the time. I just knew my eating habits were shit so I was trying to make myself eat better by forcing myself to eat more vegetables.
At this point in time I was approximated a size 0 or 1, depending on the clothing brand and was hovering around the 105 lb mark. This continued on into college.
After college I tried to get my life together. It was easy to not really think about eating habits when you had to fit that between classes, practices, and having a social life. Now that I didn’t have a dining hall on hand, I had to figure out what to do on my own.
I was, and relatively still am, one that snacks instead of eating meals. Since I never really was the type of person to be big on food, snacking was my best option to actually eat anything. I was a big popcorn eater (and still am)!
However, in an attempt to get my disordered eating under some kind of control I started snacking more… I’m sure you can see where this is going.
I moved from a job where I was standing next to a copier most of my day, and walking to the post office every day to a legit 8 hour a day sedentary job. I still snacked the same.
I wouldn’t necessarily say I “ballooned” up, but my weight did start to steadily increase from about 125/120 lbs to 140 lbs. And at 5’1″ that puts me in the overweight category.
In my attempt to get myself to eat more, I turned my restrictive coping mechanism into a binging one. It wasn’t instant and definitely took a few years to do, but now I find myself aimlessly snacking throughout the day and looking towards comfort food when I’m stressed out. Previously I would actually get nauseous enough that eating wasn’t appealing to me, now that doesn’t happen. The mind is definitely an interesting organ.
I haven’t found my solution to binging yet. I’ve been trying to figure that out for a while now. However, I’m taking some steps to get myself to a point where I hopefully won’t have to battle with food as much as I do now. I made a recent post about how to be healthy without dealing with the food portion of things and I’m working on getting myself into a better mindset.
Now, I’m actually considered overweight. Not by much, but a little bit. I have a higher amount of body fat than I’d like, and that’s not something my mind is telling me. However, the interesting thing about all this is that because I always saw myself as fat, I didn’t notice that I had gained far more weight than I should have.
I always saw my body as overweight, and I did have more body fat than I should have, regardless of how much I weighed, so I didn’t notice when my body grew. While it’s not the end of the world, I do have a family history of various medical issues that being overweight will make worse.
I’m still working on eating properly and with my morning coffee now a thing, I’ve been able to keep my snacking in check! I still have a long way to go, but I’m taking it one day at a time.
If anyone wants to share their story or give some tips on battling disordered eating, Let me know in the comments!