From a young age I’ve had a complex and unfortunate food addiction, one where no craving was satisfied and if there was ever a family party, it wouldn’t be uncommon to find me sitting or standing near the buffet, piling my paper plate up one, two and three or more times. I knew the relationship I had with food wasn’t as it should be, but I always hid behind the mask of overeating to cope with my anxiety and my feelings of despair.
I feel a part of it was because I was terrified of everything, I remember being about ten years old at the top of someone’s bunk bed crying hysterically because I was so scared to get down. The fact I was always bigger, naturally more curvaceous was something else that didn’t help matters. I hated Physical Education because in shorts my thighs were twice as big as all the other girls around me and my boobs looked unsightly compared to their childish flat chests. Therefore, I ate and didn’t exercise. Repeat this cycle and here I am at twenty-eight years old, struggling to break the addiction and nearly six stone over my healthy weight.
For those who know it, it’s a vicious cycle. You eat because you’re sad but make yourself sad from eating so you eat more to deal with the extra level of sadness you’ve brought upon yourself. I can’t even begin to tell you for how many years I’ve given myself deadlines and goals in which to lose weight, only to find myself at that milestone no smaller and if anything, even bigger than when I started. I have a wealth of clothes in the wardrobe that are miles smaller than I am because I have the inevitable ‘one day’ mind-set that has yet to surface. And the funny thing is, at one stage in my life where I did lose weight I still felt humongous and my male friends found it easy to pick on me for not being one of the naturally skinny girls the same age as us. And so, I ate, and so I ate… and here I am totally overwhelmed and unhappy at how unfit I am and how unhealthy I feel.
The other day a dream came true. I was accepted onto an Undergraduate course from September to spend the next three years training up to become a Diagnostic Radiographer. But it dawned on me that it meant long days on my feet, and my heart sank that I was going to be starting something I am so happy with but would be doing so with no confidence and feeling the lowest I’ve possibly ever felt in myself. And so, the spiral began which meant heading to the shop, grabbing some biscuits and stuffing them down with all my feelings than admitting I needed to take the hard route and become a better version of myself within the next six months.
Why am I writing this? Well, I have thousands of times before and have hastily deleted it, so felt it could disappear along with my problems. But this time I’m desperate, I don’t want to be looking at clothes that are size 20 and for September to be here and nothing has changed. This is my opportunity to be better, to take care of myself and to become the person I always have. But I have to take the hard route. I have to be hard on myself and I no longer can hide behind the overeating that is overall my enemy and not my comfort.
Today I will make myself accountable. This is the start of a new life. If I want to eat, I’ll do something else. I’ll go for a walk, read a book, have a long hot shower or write down what’s making me feel for the cravings. I don’t want to be thirty and still be the same person I was when I was a child. Today is a new start. A clean slate. It’s never too late to work towards the person you want to be. It won’t be easy but surely there is nothing but reward than I can benefit from. Wish me luck!