I was wondering what were some of the personal and emotional issues that were related to your food issues? I have gone to counseling and attended eating disorder groups and feel as though I have made a good effort to resolve many issues. I know those issues are different for everyone but I wonder what I may be overlooking…
Oh, Jen. That’s quite a long story (hence, chapters 3 and 4 in my upcoming book!)—but I can definitely give you an abridged version, and ask the HealthyGirl.org community to weigh in with their own.
1. First, genetics. I’m not the only person in my family who binges or stress eats. And there is a ton of research about how binge eating may be hereditary. Thanks, DNA!
2. I grew up in a family where looks and thinness were prized. That meant foods that could make you “fat”—you know, anything yummy like sweets, chips, etc.—were bad. That made them all the more attractive to me; and when I did get my hands on them, I wanted to eat and eat and eat.
3. My parents divorced when I was 14. It rocked my little world, for real. I had been body conscious and weird about food before then (first diet at age 8!), but 14 is when the actual binge eating began.
4. I was (am? nah, mostly was) a total perfectionist. People who expect perfection constantly “fail” in their own eyes, and that hurts your self esteem and causes general pain and agita. Food was my soother for all that.
There are so many other triggers for those of us who’ve fought eating issues: Teasing from kids in school, verbal or sexual abuse, possible addiction to certain foods. HealthyGirl.org readers, what do you think yours were? xo…Sunny