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My eating disorder started as far back as I can remember, even as a 5 year old child, I was obsessed with desserts and snack foods, food hoarding, and binge eating. It started when my parents got divorced and I'd go to stay with my dad on the weekends.
Dad would take me to the store and tell me to choose what I wanted for my meals, and to pick out a bunch of treats. He had NO rules about food, whatsoever, and I felt like I could have the world on a plate. I began to associate food with happiness and love at that time.
At my mom's house, the rules were strict: Eat what you're given (parents dished up the plates) and clean your plate. This was a big problem for a kid like me who had a serious aversion to red meat, and gagged at most vegetables. Forced to sit at the table, crying for hours after everyone else had finished, then being spanked and sent to bed hungry really fueled my anger and resentment, and made me want to eat more. I started getting up at night to sneak food.
WELCOME TO SECRET BINGE EATING.
After getting caught, spanked, and sent back to bed a few times, I realized that I'd need to have my own stash of food for my night eating.
WELCOME TO FOOD HOARDING.
I used my allowance to buy candy, donuts, chips.....anything I could eat in my room without detection.
As a teenager, I started exercising excessively to control my weight. I loved the sense of mastery and control I felt when I was lean and strong. I felt invincible, but I was still binging, now with fast food as well since I had an after-school job.
I got married to a man who turned out to be an abuser and used food to comfort myself, gaining 150 lbs.
I finally divorced him 18 years ago, but have continued to have self-esteem and emotional problems and continued with food as my only friend (or so I thought).
Now at 42 years old, I weigh 300lbs, I'm diabetic and asthmatic, with fibromyalgia, arthritis, one knee needing a total replacement, and depression.
The good news is that I'm working on making healthy choices now.
I'm seeing an eating disorder therapist, working in partnership with my doctor and a nutritionist, and have my blood sugars under control.
I've lost a few pounds and expect to lose more after I start my water aerobics next week.
Now instead of hating myself when I relapse and binge, I use positive affirmations to encourage myself and just start again rather than dwelling on my mistakes.
I've disclosed my eating disorder to everyone I'm close to, so that I no longer keep any secrets about it. I even showed my boyfriend where I used to keep my food stash so he can confront me if I start hoarding again!
I still have a lot of living left to do, and I plan to be as healthy as I can!
I'm learning to love and appreciate myself, and feel that life is good again, and getting better every day!
Edited to Update
Here I am again, a couple of years later. Relapsed big time. Lost my health insurance and stressing out. My boyfriend and I have weathered some ups and downs, and really care for each other, but sometimes I don't think we are going to stay together. This makes me feel frightened and more depressed, so I reach for food to manage the stress. I feel like I'm falling.