Secrets Young Women Keep: Eating Disorders
- Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Angie tried every diet that exists. Then she began binging and throwing up. Soon she was on a weight-loss rollercoaster that caused her health problems and didn’t keep her weight down for very long. Food controlled Angie. The solution to her problem with food had always been nearby; she’d just chosen to overlook it.
My weight problem started when I was about eight years old. A thin girl around my age told me to my face that I was fat, and I remember how badly she hurt my feelings.
Most of my family is overweight. Dealing with my weight problem was an ongoing struggle throughout my childhood and teen years. Even when I wasn’t hungry I ate, but at the same time I was extremely eager to lose the weight. I’ve always been an emotional binge eater with an obsession for food. I was binging so much that both my mind and body didn’t know what was going on. Food became my comfort. I ate when I was happy and when I was sad. Sometimes I ate so much that my stomach would ache in agony. At times I had to unbutton my pants, make my way to a couch, or lie down. Needless to say, two hours later I would be right back at it.
I was really depressed over my indulgence with food, which was often. I forced myself to go on a diet. I took the latest diet pills and made false promises to myself and to everyone else that I would stay on that particular diet and lose the weight for good. But after a few days, I always clung to the food and would get into the same vicious cycle. It was as if I were in an abusive relationship with food. I loved it, but I hated how it made me feel. Food controlled me, and I allowed it to do so. I overate all of the time, and this cycle went on for years.
It was pathetic. I was embarrassed, and I felt horrible about myself. I knew exactly how I would feel if I ate too much, but I did it anyway. I knew what it would do to my thighs, butt, waist, and hips—but I continued to overeat.
At one point, I read that Albert Einstein supposedly said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” I began to wonder if I were a crazy person with an eating problem. It was so out of control that I knew I had to make a lifestyle change—so I did.
It was extremely hard, but with some help I started to get my life under control. I started drinking plenty of water and exercising every day. Sometimes that exercise might be simply parking farther away from the school entrance so that I had a longer walk, but it counted.
And I began writing about my struggles and all of the other things in my life, which has helped me in getting my weight problem under control and in putting everything into perspective. When I saw my feelings written down on paper, it helped me realize what was really going on in my life. Writing has become my therapy, along with reading a lot of self-help books, and keeping the fridge and cabinets stocked with healthy food. I’ve always enjoyed snacking a lot, but now I make sure I eat healthy snacks including fruits, nuts, vegetables, yogurt, and low-cal and low-fat snacks.
I’m maintaining a healthy weight. I feel better physically and mentally. It wasn’t an easy fix, because there is not an easy fix. And I don’t think of this as a diet; I think of it as the way I should have always been eating. Do I ever sometimes eat something really calorie-laden? Rarely, but I do. Then I go right back to eating properly. I tell my story because many other young women allow food to control their lives. If food is controlling your life, I encourage you to make a change. Make a change and make your life better.
Unlocking the Secret
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