I have an eating disorder. I am a food addict! God help me!

Eating Disorders

CAUTION: TRIGGERS

I have an unhealthy relationship with food. There, I said it. Didn’t want to. But, I said it OUT LOUD. I have an eating disorder.

Eating Disorder


From Addiction to the Dance of Seduction

I never thought that I would ever fall prey to an eating disorder. However, the way my family viewed food was the first act of the dance of seduction. Their views about food were imprinted on my brain when I was growing up. I know they only meant well by me. I am pretty sure great-aunts and great-grandmas passed on an unhealthy relationship with food to my close relatives.

I soon realized at an early age, addiction to food gets overwhelmingly obsessive and oppressive with each morsel. On some days, hunger is a ravenous lion, clawing at the lining of my stomach. The roars of the famished feline give voice to the tears rolling down my cheek. The roars have a decrescendo quality to them as they echo in my empty stomach.

Eating Disorder

In my experiences, hunger becomes a dance between addiction and emptiness. The intensity of the sheer desire to fill a void grows quickly and often out of control. With one twirl on the dance floor, or with one mention of the food, I am hooked. Can’t keep my mind off of it.

A silky smooth voice whispers into my ear seducing me to indulge in anything chocolate, a warm ciabatta bread smothered with butter, creamy cheddar cheese, a meat lover’s pizza, and French fries. You get the picture.

Eating Disorder


Food Goggles

I have always had a screwed up view of food for as long as I can remember which was probably at the beginning of elementary school. The habits that were forged over decades would become nearly impossible to dismantle. In the end, I found myself wearing food goggles, much like beer goggles, skewing the proper purposes of food.

Through the goggles, I saw food as a remedy for boredom and loneliness. Food was a friend who always came through. Never judged me. Always glad to see me. I cannot say the same thing about other people in my life.

It does not matter what I am doing: posting a blog, playing with my dogs, or brushing my teeth, the false hankering for food sneaks up on me and totally confuses my focus. Nine times out of 10, I need comforting. A friend, a distraction. Because of the food goggles, I believe the food I reach for will top of my tank. Needless to say, that yearning is not to satisfy a hunger pang. I may feel hungry, but that is what my mind wants me to think.

Every day, I have an ache to find something to fill me up. In my mind, a full stomach equates to a full and well-accepted and well-loved heart. I internally smile. Because of food, I am no longer alone or broken.

Eating Disorder


Take Off Pounds Sensibly

I have a secret that contributed to my food goggles. Now, I must preface this section that it was not my decision. I did not want to go and up until that point in time, I was comfortable with my weight.

I was signed up for a program, before I was 12 years old, called TOPS – Taking Off Pounds Sensibly.

The members met each week. They weighed in and fellowshipped. During the meeting, there were prizes for “biggest losers” and “longest losing streaks”. They exchanged recipes, too.

Eating Disorder

What I could remember of the meetings was that they were long as well as boring. Needless to say, I was the youngest member of the group. Each week, I was exposed to women of all ages. They were all disgusted with their weight and their bodies. Plus, it was used as a venue to bitch and moan about their bodies.

The lessons I learned about health and body image were not positive. I did not learn how to like and accept my body at 12. Fast forward 30 years later and I do not like and accept my body no matter what the scale says.

Eating

What I did learn from T.O.P.S. was that women’s bodies are ugly, not sexy or appreciated. Women’s bodies are supposed to be thin and look healthy. Unfortunately, I learned that whatever I put into my mouth measured the person I was. Too many calories? I am fat and ugly. Too few calories? I am not skinny enough.

I believe this wasn’t the best thing for me.

The truth is that “A female who diets before the age of 14 is eight times more likely than other girls to develop an eating disorder.”(Focus on the Family) 

Eating Disorder


Signs and Symptoms

When I was battling with my eating disorder, I did not act in a certain way which appeared that I was struggling with food. There is not one overarching symptom or sign that points to someone having an eating disorder. However, there are red flags.

Some of the red flags could be:

  • excessive “fat, weight or calorie talk”
  • a pattern of eating a limited choice of low-calorie food
  • a pattern of occasional binge eating of calorie-dense foods  
  • basically an extreme emphasis on food, body weight, and shape or
  • for anorexics, excessive exercising.
Eating Disorder

The bottom line is, “Eating disorders are real, complex medical, and psychiatric illnesses that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships“. If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, please find help! If you do not know, please call anyway. Not all cases are cookie-cutter-alike. Call the helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

Ways to Contact the Helpline

You may reach the Helpline at: 1-(800) 931-2237.

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline

Eating Disorder

ONE PERSON DIES EACH HOUR WHO HAS

AN EATING DISORDER .


References

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