Today the anonymous blogger from Confessions of a Compulsive Overeater is sharing a bit of her story with us. I love hearing how things just sort of snapped for her one day. Read on, and then let me know if anything resonates with you! xo…Sunny
My eating disorder story began over 30 years ago when I was about 8 or 9 years old, when I became a compulsive overeater and binger. I had a mother who hid junk food from me because she said/knew I would eat more than my share and not leave enough for the family to enjoy, and I had a father who teased me in my teen years about my rear end being big. He thought he was a riot and that I knew he was teasing, but he had no idea how that “teasing” affected me.
For many years I binged on sweets like there was no tomorrow, always hiding the wrappers, packages and bags out of shame. My weight ballooned up and would come down when I would diet, only to balloon back up again. It was an ugly cycle. As I got older and got married, it continued. When we went to parties or events, my mind was busy centered on the food, instead of enjoying time with friends. When we hosted parties, I loved cleaning up because then I got to devour leftover desserts when everyone had gone. I lived to eat, instead of eating to live.
I thought about food all the time. I would think about what I would eat next before even finishing what I was currently eating.
My recovery first began in December of 2007, soon before I turned 40, when one night, the words “compulsive overeater” somehow popped into my head. I got on my laptop and did some googling, and found my way to the Overeaters Anonymous website. They had a list of questions that asked something to the effect of “are you one of us?” I answered “yes” to most of them. This was both horrific and wonderful at the same time. There was the shame of having a sickness, a disease, an eating disorder, but at the same time, being an A-type personality, I was thrilled there was a name for what I was doing and realized that I could get help.
So my passion then became getting help for myself. I went to OA meetings, I found a therapist, and I got honest with myself and my husband. I wrote him a very long, cathartic letter revealing all of my food/eating secrets. He knew I liked to eat sweets, but had no idea that I did so much eating in secret and how much I thought about food/eating. I cried off and on for days. Decades of my secrets had finally come to the surface. OA helped me to realize that I was not alone. Through therapy I learned that the things I wrote about earlier in my childhood are what turned me to the comfort of food. I was not getting the nurturing and love that I needed from my family, so I found it in food. This pattern repeated itself over and over again as I got older and had become deeply ingrained even though I married an amazing man almost 13 years ago.
I have been binge-free since I realized and embraced that I had an eating disorder. I lost the extra weight I had been carrying and have maintained the loss for 20 months now. I did this by counting calories, weighing and measuring food portions, and working out. I also weighed myself every day. Oddly enough, I had weighed myself and have counted calories for over 20 years, even when the numbers of either/both were astronomically high. I felt like food was the only thing I could control in my life.
In January 2010, I started to just get on the scale once a month. The mere thought of that gave me heart palpitations, but it turned out to be quite simple.
Then in late March, a certain calm or peace came over me and I decided I was ready to delve into the world of Intuitive Eating. Six months prior, the mere thought of giving up my calorie counting, weighing/measuring my food portions would have had me laughing in your face, but at the end of March, all the therapy, eating disorder books I read and blogging gave me the awarenesses I needed to make the giant leap of faith.
Several months later, I can’t tell you how empowering and freeing it is to have dropped that white-knuckle grip of control I had on my food. I have come to learn that “normal” eaters overeat occasionally. The difference is that they don’t focus on it and beat themselves up about it. They just put it behind them and move on to the next meal or day.
The “voices” in my head that roared like a lion when I was in the throws of compulsive overeating and bingeing have become the whispers of a mouse.
Anonymous will be back tomorrow or the next day with another post—a post totally focused on intuitive eating and how she deals with food today.
I can relate to so much in Anonymous’s story! I had my first weird food situation at around 7 years old, when I ate 13 Christmas cookies after my mom told me “not to blow it” at Grandmas on Xmas Eve. What about you guys? When did your food issues begin? xo…Sunny
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