One Way or Another

One way or another a problem with food was going to pry it's way into my life.
Over the last few days I've been trying to figure out when my obsession with the things I put in my body began.  If you've been reading for awhile, you know the first time I realized I was bigger than the other girls in my neighborhood was in 3rd grade.  My friends and I were running through the sprinklers when I noticed my thighs were bigger than my friends' legs.  As a little 8-year-old I didn't think 'oh I'm too big, I need to eat less,' in fact, at that point, I didn't even tie food and the size-of-thighs together.

No, no - my obsession with calories, fat grams, and exercise didn't begin until my Freshman year in high school.  I was in dance - I had to wear tight jazz pants and a spaghetti strap t-shirt next to my stick-thin co-dancers (these were flawless girls - one of them was even Miss Texas last year).  Plus the whole "fat incident" which I wrote about here.

That year I only ate things under 5 grams of fat - slim fast bar for breakfast and for lunch, then low-fat frozen dinner.  I didn't eat chocolate, sugar, pork, cheese - and the list went on.  When I got home from school I would walk five miles - then I would spend two hours dancing.

Two years later I tried Atkins.  That's when my bad relationship with food went to the other end of the spectrum - my binging began.  The rest is history.

My relationship with food is deeper than just 'I love it and can't stop eating.'  In fact, that's probably the case for most of us.  I've realized a food disorder is not confined to anorexia or bulimia.  It seems the world is not as quick to accept binge eating/overeating/compulsive eating as a disorder.  At least for me, there is something in my mind that will not allow me to just be friends with food.  Instead, I've been in a constant battle with food for over ten years - first it was undereating, now it's overeating.  One way or another this food disorder, bad relationship with food, obsession with food - whatever you want to call it - was going to run my life.  Now, it's time I fix it.

Opinions?  Do you qualify your overeating as a disorder?  If not, why?  Which end of the spectrum are you on - anorexia or binging?  Have you ever switched sides?  Any advice on how you are fixing your relationship with food - I need all the help I can get!
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 Living Life Moment
Now it's time for the moment I really took life in and enjoyed it.  Believe it or not, it actually happened at work.  I had a great day at work and thoroughly enjoyed writing my show today. I had great stories and great teases!  I was very proud, my anchors even gave me a pat on the back after the show.

10 comments:

Anna

Goodness. I'd not read the fat incident story, but that's very harsh. I had something similar happen to me when I was in middle school and I, too, clearly remember it was the point where I became aware of how heavy I was. Which in retrospect, was not heavy at all!

To answer your question, I was on both sides of the spectrum. I was bulimic in college and lost 35 lbs (guess what, that led to developing gallstones!), and afterward, I overate to the point of gaining 85 lbs.

Karen@WaistingTime

I reflect on this myself. I have never had a classic eating disorder. But I have come to realize, after all my yo-yo years, that there is something wrong with my relationship with food. Now where that comes from and what causes it is still a big question mark for me. I am torn between thinking I overeat or binge because of habit or some conditioned response ...versus... some hidden underlying emotional reason that I cannot figure out. I was thin as a kid. I think I have gotten worse as I have gotten older. Not the typical way to do this, I know.

Have you considered Overeaters Anonymous? I read a couple of blogs where the author has had great success that way.

Food Addict

Anna, there's a group that says obesity is caused by "soul wounds." A perfect example of a "soul wound" is my incident and your middle school incident. They're traumatizing events that stick with us whether we know it or not.

It's amazing what our relationship with food can drive us to do to ourselves. It seems like you and food are on a lot better terms these days - what's your secret? The running alone??

Food Addict

Karen, figuring out what's behind our relationship with food is SOO hard, but as I blog I think I'm getting closer. All the books and TV specials I've seen on the topic have examples of people developing bad relationships with food after a traumatic event like a death, etc. I don't have anything like that... so I've been stumped. Unfortunately, I think my reasoning may just be a little more superficial than many others... just that I felt like the "fat girl" in high school and college. Good luck in that journey - once we know the problem it's easier to fix.

I read some bloggers that are part of Overeaters Anonymous. I have been considering it. Before starting my blog I was working through the Narcotics Anonymous steps and replacing drugs with food. OA and NA seem very similar... it would be great to have that support. Thanks!

Sharon

I've never switched sides - undereating is not on my radar and never was. I'm not sure I ever thought of myself as having a disorder, but when the terms "food addiction" and "compulsive overeating," became more prominent, I immediately identified with both and started reading. I saw many characteristics of my eating behaviors in both terms.

There is also an organization called Food Addicts in Recovery (www.foodaddicts.org) that has some similarities to OA, but also some distinct differences. It's rather new and not nearly as many chapters across the US, but you might want to give the website a look.

Remember we are all in this together trying to figure it out and make it better.

Thanks for your comments on my blog. Those last few posts haven't been easy to write.

Food Addict

Sharon -
Isn't it interesting that our bad relationships with food can be so similar but so different. Everyone has dealt with food differently, and everyone got to that point through different experiences.

Thank you for passing along the Food addicts in recovery link. I will take a look at it, I would love to be part of a support group like that.

And I am glad you've opened up on your last few posts -- I think it's therapeutic for you and inspiring to all of us!

Dr. J

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Excuses-Begone-How-to-Change-Lifelong-Self-Defeating-Thinking-Habits/Wayne-W-Dyer/e/9781401921736

I watched his PBS special on this.

Food Addict

Thanks Dr. J. That's sounds like something I can really use. I will check it out!

The Binge Diary

It IS an eating disorder. I just went to treatment for it and learned firsthand that our disorder is very, very similar to bulimia.. bingeing just without the purging. I went to Shades of Hope. You should look into it. www.shadesofhope.com

Amber Raza

Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Looking forward to reading your next post.


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