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Compulsive eating and mental health Living the Healthy Way
A Book on Physics and Philosophy
A guest post By Love2EatinPA. If you too would like to contribute then contact us.
Since childhood, something has compelled me to compulsively overeat and binge.
It made me feel out of control, but yet I could never seem to stop myself. I would shovel food into my face, regardless of hunger. It didn’t even taste good after the first few bites. I could be totally stuffed and feeling ill, but there was this bizarre frenzy inside of me that made me feel like I just had to have more and more food.
I would tell myself each time when I finally finished and felt horribly, both physically and mentally, that THIS was going to be the last time I ever did it, sadly it rarely ever was.
In late 2007, I realized that my eating issues were in fact not just a “sweet tooth,” but instead, an eating disorder.
I immediately googled Overeaters Anonymous and started looking for a therapist. OA meetings helped me to realize that I was not alone. It was somehow reassuring and comforting to know that it wasn’t just me.
.I was determined to find out why I would go on these out-of-control binges. Going to therapy helped me tremendously. When talking about my childhood, we uncovered the reasons why I had this eating disorder.
There were at least two things going on. One was that my mother used to hide food from me because she knew I would eat more than my share and not leave enough for the rest of the family. I vividly remember, every Friday after she got home from work and food shopping, helping her unload the groceries. I would unpack something like double-stuff Oreos, Chips Ahoy or Mallomars. Later that night or the next day when I would go to have some, they weren’t in the snack drawer. I would turn the house upside down looking for them, but to no avail.
I remember being disappointed that I couldn’t find them, but really didn’t think anything of it as it was all I knew. However, I learned via therapy that unbeknownst to me, my mother was giving a message – I couldn’t be trusted with food. In addition, I grew up rather independently. My mother was not warm and fuzzy. There were no heart-to-heart talks. I learned things from books, not from her. She was not a nurturer.
A Book on Physics and Philosophy
In addition, I had a father who through my tween and teen years used to tease me about the size of my rear end. He thought he was funny. Little did either of us know the damage he was doing to my spirit, my self.
Neither of my parents was being malicious or trying to harm me, but they surely did. I turned to these forbidden foods as my comfort, for my nurturing, for love. Before I was even 10, I would go to the market when no one was home, and buy a pint of ice cream, big bag of candy, package of cookies or cake, come home and eat it all and then stuff the wrapping into the market bag and bury it deep down in the trash because I didn’t want anyone to see what I had bought and eaten.
Therapy saved me and put me on the road to recovery. I learned that as a happily married adult with children of my own, I was still compulsively overeating as my defense mechanism that began as a child and perpetuated into my adult life. I learned that as a child I had no power, so it was acceptable for me to turn to food for a sense of control and comfort. But as an adult, I had the power to recognize why the eating disorder began and to take control over it.
As you can imagine my weight yo-yo’d up and down over the years. Fortunately, I was athletic and was usually playing a sport or going to a gym, so I didn’t get as heavy as I easily could have. For years I counted calories (no matter how astronomically high the count was), got on the scale at least once a day, and when I was on the losing slope, would be weighing /measuring my food portions.
Back in March, I took the giant leap of faith and started eating intuitively. It has been so freeing and empowering to let go of all the controlling behaviors I had towards food/eating.
My mental well being, body and spirit are so much better now. Though it took me over 30 years to realize I had an eating disorder, and not just a sweet tooth, I embraced the disorder and was determined to learn how to best deal with it. I realized that compulsively overeating and bingeing now were not going to change anything that happened to me as a child.
I embraced what my parents had done, knew they were just doing the best they could and put that part of my life in its own little compartment, tucked away. I put it behind me and moved on. I was at peace. I opted not to tell my parents about my eating disorder or the role they played in it, as I do not want to hurt their feelings. Maybe at some point I will tell my mother, but I’m not sure there would be a point to it, except perhaps some closure for me. My father thinks he walks on water, so there would be no point in wasting my breath with him.
I haven’t binged in over 2-1/2 years. I’m in a much better place now. I now eat to live instead of living to eat.
If you want to read more of my story, struggles and triumphs, you can check out my blog at www.confessionsofacompulsiveeater.com
BIO: I am a 42-yr old recovering compulsive overeater. I am happily married with two children under the age of 11. I feel like discovering that I was a compulsive overeater/binger was a giant stepping stone in my personal growth. I work out at the gym four days a week and love what it does for me both mentally and physically. I am a freelance writer and proofreader. While I have been a runner for almost 14 years, I am about to do my first triathlon in mid-August.
Emotional Overeating – More Steps to Recovery (compulsive-binge-eating.suite101.com)
Signs of Compulsive Overeating (beliefnet.com)
Eating Healthily is a Serious Mental Disorder (eatrundoyoga.com)
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