Love it or hate it, I need it. We all do.
No not that black salty stuff in the funny-shaped jar… food.
I am not ‘on’ a diet. I am not following a ‘plan’. I do not advocate any sort of ‘diet club’, especially the ones where you pay to be weighed. I’ve tried them. I’ve had the feeling of dread that’s led me to desperately try to squeeze out a poo before a weigh meeting. And I’ve had some success at losing weight on diets, but I’ve always put it back on. If you are one of the people who has had amazing successes with them, then well done. I am very happy for you. Truly. At one time I would have been desperate to have had such success. But I didn’t, and now I don’t want to.
Over the years, since childhood, I’d struggled with ‘disordered eating’. From starving, to bingeing, from chewing food and spitting it out, to sticking a toothbrush down my throat to induce vomiting. I hated eating in front of people, especially if I hadn’t made the food. I was obsessed with counting calories and weighed myself up to 50 times a day at my worst. No one knew.
When I first went to the GP to ask for help he told me I couldn’t have an eating disorder because I wasn’t underweight. That in fact I would benefit from losing a few pounds and he helpfully gave me a diet sheet. Sigh. Binge. Barf.
It was 15 years before I asked for help again. I’d been for a check up at the dentist and he’d matter-of -factly asked me if I vomited regularly. My tooth enamel had given me away. I was distraught, but thanks to my new-ish faith, and the desire to want to be able to take part in all the social stuff at church (fellow Christians will now be thinking of bring and shares) I sought help.
Thankfully by that time attitudes and understanding towards eating disorders had changed enough for me to be taken seriously. Plus I now have a fantastic GP.
I went through a couple of years of, therapeutic intervention with a psychologist, including CBT, EMDR and counselling. I learned a lot about myself and my behaviour around food changed. I also received some healing through prayer, which completely wiped all the calorie stuff out of my head. It was bonkers, like wiping away a detailed etch-a-sketch picture in one swoop.
My behaviour with food has changed a lot, and I no longer do all the unhealthy, destructive things I used to. Sometimes it feels like I could, and stopping myself can be a battle, but it is getting easier.
So. I said it before and I’ll say it again now – I am not on a diet. This blog is not about diets or weight-loss plans. If you want that, there are plenty of them out there and I wish you all the best with it. But for me, the next part of my journey is to learn about real food. Nutrition. What my body needs to function as its best.
This will be a very important part of changing my life and fixing my heart. And I intend to wholeheartedly rant about it.
Here is a link to an organisation in the UK who provide information and support around eating disorders.