From 14 to 40 a story of disordered eating and how I overcame it.
Updated: Mar 2
Through talking with Jenny from https://www.seedlancashire.co.uk/ today, an eating disorder support service based in Preston, it brought back the familiar feelings that I had going through my own eating disorders when an emotional eater.
14 is when it all started for me, by being bullied at school. I was no way huge but I was no ‘skinny Minnie’ either and being taunted, shouted at, nicknamed and shunned really did hit home. I felt rejected, betrayed, completely alone with a nickname I hated ‘Thunder Thighs’. Thunder Cats was a childhood fave of mine and every time I heard the them tune that is what I heard instead -thunder thighs.
I took matters into my own hands, I cut took very drastic action and cut out all food but bread and only drank water, nothing else passed my lips for about a year and my weight dropped to the Skinny Minnie status. I was 7 stone, normal weight for my height was between 8 and 10 stone. I was severely underweight, but I had got what I wanted, the nickname had gone, and I was socially acceptable, but at what cost? I was still growing into a young woman and boy did this mix my mind up, big time. I thought the only way to get that attention was to be that slim girl.
My mum being told she had lupus kicked me back into touch as I was worried this would really affect my mum’s health, eventually it did but I like to think that we delayed it somewhat with me looking deeply into what foods would be best for her to build her gut heath and what food can do to the mind and body. My own food habits did improve, but I kept a close eye on my weight, something that didn’t leave me until several years later.
24 and I was hit with a bloody big sledgehammer that took the number one man in my life away, my dad. He was my rock and without him I was a mess. I couldn’t cope with him gone; I couldn’t cope with the grief are being round my family. After a year or so, I moved down to Liverpool, to be with my new partner. I know now this was escape for me, I was running away, wanting to start a new life where grief couldn’t touch me, but here’s the thing with grief, it’s a sneaky sod and creeps up when you least expect it, and it crept up on me. I was left alone at night as my partner worked long hours, so I turned to food. I used food to block out the loneliness, the boredom and mostly to push down the grief.
1,2, 3 stone was easy for me to put on, until it stopped at 6, and I hated what I saw, Thunder Thighs was back. I hated myself, I hated the way I looked, what the hell could I do? After disasters with both Weight Watchers and Slimming World I saw a nutritionist who got me to tune into me, start to understand my own intuition when it comes to eating the right foods at the right time and I started running, something that is still with me today as it helps me with all the shit that can go on in my head.
So, you may think that was it, here I was successful at work, new home with my husband, the guy I moved from Newcastle to be with and not long past my 40th birthday. Life has way of throwing curve balls to see how you cope and here comes another of mine. My husband and I had gone to Canada to see if we should stay together as we had been drifting apart for some time – he had his interests and I had mine and we were both working long hours, things were not they way they used to be and Canada was the make or break holiday, we decided to break.
Divorce isn’t fun in the slightest, even if it is amicable and to top that my new ex-husband was calling me late at night leaving me drunk messages of either abuse, blaming me for the split or saying he may commit suicide. I felt awful but know from this there was no way back, though the divorce and the mental torture I lost my high powered job and fell into depression, and for the last time emotional eating hit me smack in the face again, this time very much as a control mechanism – food was the only thing I could control, but at times I didn’t feel I deserved food so would go days without and then binge, starve again and binge again.
It wasn’t until I started seeing a counsellor that things started turning around, first with my self-worth, I was a good person, she got me saying that time and time again until I believed it and I thank my counsellor for that.
It was now 2016 and I had a choice to make, to go down the same route and to take on another sales director role or to take anew path, try something new, something that lit my soul. I chose my soul path and I trained to be a health coach and completed further training in emotional eating, my eyes were opened well and truly, I wasn’t the only one and by getting back in tune with my body I was intuitively aware what was best for me when it came to the foods I was eating and the story I was telling myself.
Today I coach women who are in the same boat I was once, and I love it. To know I can make a difference to my clients and really be the catalyst that changes their life for the better for good is such a wonderful privilege and pleasure.
So here I am 46, no longer on the path of emotional or disordered eating, loving life, loving food, being my natural self, empowered and strong and sharing my knowledge with women who also no longer wish to be the slave to emotional eating. Yes, its been a journey but I have learnt so much along the way and it’s a journey that’s made me what I am today, a good person and happy with that