Something that has gone on most of my life (after I recovered from anorexia & bulimia 12 years ago) is another type of eating disorder which might not qualify as such but really does affect my life and the quality of life that I lead.
Emotional Eating. I eat and binge according to my moods and emotions, and nothing stops me, it’s like an addiction.
If I’m sad I automatically walk to the fridge and open it to find something to stuff into my mouth to hide the feelings.
It’s worst when I’m anxious – I can literally eat the whole day and even when I’m full or feeling sick, I still continue thinking about food and what to have next.
I usually want high-fat, high-sugar things – ice cream, chips, pasta on its own, toast, bread…cereal. Anything satisfying really.
This has had a serious impact on my life. I moved to Britain aged 19 and worked for 8 months as an au pair – in my hideous misery as an under-paid house “slave” I ate to fill the void, and gained a LOT of weight. I went from a size 8 UK to 12-14 (US 6 to 10 or so) in six months; you don’t even want to know how much weight was involved in that dramatic change.
I then started university and attempted to lose the weight, but I got a job at Starbucks and as I have eating problems, I didn’t manage to shift anything; instead I gained more as every evening the muffins and sandwiches that were destined for the thrash would literally call my name and make me eat them, so behind the fridges was the spot where I gulped down huge amounts of sweet things.
I of course always feel BAD afterwards. BAD. I want to puke, and have done so on occasions, although not in a few years. I don’t like it. It makes me fear for the return of the disgusting days I spent as a bulimic, and I also can’t vomit that easily as I guess some of those reflexes got weaker back in the day.
I also know I can’t stop. This has been going on for so long that I have no way of controlling my behavior. It gets better and it gets worse – I only was able to control my weight when I imposed strict rules for myself on what I could eat: if I don’t allow myself to have candy or chocolate, even when I do binge, it’s not easy to get fatter from lettuce.
I am also addicted to sugar. I need sugar. I eat humongous amounts of chocolate bars, candy, cereal bars, ice cream, and sweet fruit on a daily basis. Sugar makes me feel gooooooood. For a minute, after which I feel BAD.
Right now I am craving for sugar. I am tempted to run to the store and buy Mars bars, Twix, Skittles, Haribo and all the other yummy goodness they sell at my local Tesco. I am trying to fight back because I have yet again gained a lot of weight (well I say a lot but my boyfriend thinks I’m too skinny. What does he know about being a young white woman with social pressure to be miniature?!?); I have gained 13 pounds in two months or something like that… 😦 😦
Is there anyone else out there who binges to fulfill a void, to soothe emotions, to just…stuff their faces for no reason? Like a food addict? I want to hear from you! I need help.