Eating disorders don’t happen in a vacuum—they are serious and complex illnesses that affect people of all backgrounds and experiences. Having struggled with two eating disorders myself for over 13 years, I know what a lonely journey this can be. Everybody has a story, and it’s time to release the stigma and shame around eating disorders!!
Today I will share my story, the raw and honest truth of my struggle with food, binge eating and orthorexia
February is the month of love and we give a lot of love, however, we can be very hard on ourselves for emotional eating.
Listen to the episode here
1.5 years ago my life was a mess, I would wake up pinching my body fat around my waist and hips swearing never to eat sugar again only to binge later in the day.
I was miserable and ashamed about how I looked, especially in the mirror!!!
My disordered relationship started at the age of 12 when my gymnastics coach slapped my belly and told me I was getting fat, fast forward 2 years in high school and I was living off 3 crackers, a boiled egg and and apple during the day followed by the smallest plate for dinner. I started smoking at 14 as a way to manage my weigh as I read in a fashion magazine that it had helped one of the models I idolised at the time.
This carried on for 7 of years until I ended up in a car accident in my second year of uni. This combined with an abusive relationship resulted in me putting on weight. I hated the way I looked and wished I could just be normal around food. My weigh escalated for the next 3 years where I reached my highest weight. I would live of coffee and cigarettes during a 13-15 hour work day and then eat a full chicken and 2 potatoes at night followed by a bottle or two or red wine.
In 2007, I decided enough was enough and instead of following a healthy eating plan I went on a restrictive eating plan with injections cycled with a cabbage soup diet, I started running and the weight gradually started coming off.
Things seemed okay on the surface but instead of finding balance, I decided to take things to the extreme. I replaced cigarettes with running, technically this would be a good thing but I used running as a way to make up for weekly binges that would creep up.
In 2013 my dad got sick and I felt helpless about my family situation, I would be good during the day, eating my food on my food plan, but would have cravings all day , I could literally see see pasties in front of me all day.
I would resist all day but on my way home, I would stop at a service station or pastry shop and buy 2-5 items that I would eat in my car on my way home. I would stop at a shopping center to discard all the wrapping as I would be so ashamed of how much I have eaten and didn’t want to throw the empty packets in our dustbins at home. When I got home I would put on my runners and head for the road to make up for what I have done. I just wanted to feel confident in my own body, I wanted to be able to drive home without the undeniable call from the pastry shop
I felt ashamed of what I’ve eaten and would get on the scale every day and pinch my belly and hips hating myself for what I have done , everyday I would swear that I would be good for the rest of the week cutting calories and going for extra run’s to make up for the damage I have done. This would only last a day or two before I would find myself back at the service station.
I was desperate for help and went to see a psychologist, she dismissed my behaviour and told me that I wasn’t a binge eater as I wasn’t overweight. Even though some of her tools helped me it didn’t stop the binge and it was only when my dad recovered that my behaviour subsided to maybe a once a month binge.
Things seemed to be normal for a while until the dr’s found a blood clot on ,my brain. I had an intense fear of dying or bleeding to death due to blood thinners I was taking in order to dissolve the blood clot. I Could no longer run as much because of being sick, decided to cut out carbs and sugar to try and control my weight and cravings but eventually I would binge on cake or pastries coming back from doctor’s visits. I just wanted to be normal around food wanted to control myself when I went to the shops, most importantly I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin.
In 2016 I attended a mind power course facilitated by Robin Banks and from that moment I knew I was meant for something greater , I was meant to help women going through the same struggles as me, I wanted to make an impact in the world.
Mid 2016 we moved to Australia, It was an exciting time but also extremely stressful leaving friends and family, I gained 5kg’s because of the stress eating from my illness, moving countries and the anxiety of flying my dog over to Australia (Which was a complex and risky process).
I would indulge in all the Australian food and biscuits (whole box of tim tams would be gone in 10 minutes ), I felt like I would never be successful if I can’t even get my eating and drinking under control and it felt like my dream of becoming a spokesperson and healer for those with binge eating disorder or emotional eating would just be a dream as I felt I wasn’t thin enough to help others so I put this on the back burners as a wild dream.
I was determined to make up for the damage I have done, so I went back on my binge guilt cycle of a restrictive diet after another. My weight would yo-yo between highly restrictive diets, weight loss shakes, clean eating plans, 21 day challenges , you name it. I just wanted to be thin and perfect so that I could help my future clients. The pressure of working a 9-5 and teaching yoga as well as studying health coaching combined with the need to be perfect made everything worse, Started obsessing about every little thing I put in my mouth. Went on 2 restrictive cleanses to attempt to get my body right but the binge eating got worse, I would binge every day, I felt that I just needed to find the right diet to get control of food.
While learning the power of coaching, I hired a health coach to help me find my way back to a healthy relationship with food. I used meditation, breathwork, yoga and essential oils as additional tools to help me on my path to recovery. Finally, I had a normal relationship with food, I could have a piece of cake and stop. I started accepting my body and myself. My self-esteem strengthened and this is when I realised I can help other women going through this struggle with food. This is where my Food Freedom Program was born!!
If you want more information on how to finally quit binge eating for good go to http://quit.wholesomelifestyleproject.com/
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Can’t wait to see you in the next episode where I will be sharing some drivers behind overeating
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