At least a couple of times on this blog I have published a blog post titled 'I'm not just fat, I have a problem', this was one of my favourite posts to write, as I felt like I was breaking down some sort of wall that had been built around eating disorders. I am really encouraged to see how much people are talking about PND and depression in general nowadays and I pray that one day people will break the silence and speak about their issues with food/ eating disorder/ food addiction - call it what you will.
So if I say eating disorder to you, what do you think? What are the first things that come to mind? Is it incredibly skinny young girls with their bones sticking out? Anorexia? Or perhaps it is Bulimia and the thought of people making themselves sick? Yes those seem to be the instant thoughts that the words eating disorder conjure up.
However, Anorexia and bulimia are not the only eating disorders. There is another which is just as serious but in a different way and that is the eating disorder I suffer from, the one of compulsive overeating. Some people fail to recognise that as a problem, some people would just say I am fat, lazy, greedy or even dumb. However if you change the words to disordered eating I think then pretty much everyone would agree that both binge eating or picking the whole day long are not what our bodies were designed to do. That kind of eating is against the natural order of things and that is why some of us get very fat and unhappy to boot!
So why do those of us who have an eating disorder do what we do? There is no easy answer to this, if there was we would all get help and be cured. Nothing quite so simple available sadly. It seems to be generally agreed that those with an eating disorder seek to control through their food. This could be because we feel out of control in other areas of our lives. Where the anorexic will go without food from their body, or just eat small portions in a certain order, the bulimic will stuff their face and then perhaps make themselves sick, use laxatives or excessively exercise to control their body from gaining weight. Whereas the compulsive overeater or binge eater will stuff their face. Literally stuff their face, it is not a nice thing.
Please do not ever think that those of us who eat too much really enjoy it. Those flippant comments from healthy friends 'ohh I wish I could eat like you do'. Really? I seriously doubt it. For fleeting moments we may get a buzz or high as we look at the food, plan what we will do and start to eat. But do we taste and savour it? Probably not in the main, we are too focused on whatever it is that is driving us to eat. That could be feeling angry, unhappy, out of control, anxious, depressed or on the flip side even elated and excited. Any emotion away from the norm can drive a person with an eating disorder to act-out. Believe me it does not take much with my warped mind. I have a headache, know my instant answer? Eat chocolate, totally illogical isn't it?
The week commencing 20th February is UK Eating Disorders Awareness Week and I would love to see some people speak out and break the silence. The amount of emails and DM's I have had in reponse to being open about my eating disorder is fabulous, but imagine the collective voice we have if we speak out.
We do not have to be ashamed that we have or had an eating disorder. Statistics show that about 1.6 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder. See, you are not alone, there are lots of us and at all different levels of our addiction. But please know that you can gain so much by being honest with yourself and exploring this more. Go to Beating Eating Disorders and take a look around, see if anything resonates with you.
There is some superb help out there and you do not have to start at your local doctors if you really do not want to. You can refer yourself to many addiction or eating disorders clinics, google your local area and make that phone call. Or what about Overeaters Anonymous? Have you heard of them? They are amazing and you don't even have to have 1p to be able to access the support and help that is available through them.
Just been tweeted a link from Emma's blog. She has had the courage to speak up and has opened a linky for anyone else who is posting on this subject. Take a look at LLM Calling.
I'll leave you with a few simple questions. Go ahead and ask yourself them -
Do you worry you have lost Control over how much you eat?
Do you believe yourself to be Fat when others say you are too thin?
Would you say that Food dominates your life?
Do you ever make yourself Sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
Do you eat when you are not hungry?
Do you have feeling of guilt and remorse after overeating?
Do you eat to escape from worries or troubles?
Does your eating behaviour make you or others unhappy?
If you are nodding or recognising yourself in some of these questions then please do seek help. Make a phonecall, speak to a friend or a doctor. Just do something, please for you might just have a problem.
and if you read this and want to chat to me, then do get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org or @MichelleTwinMum) and I'll happily chat. I'll never break your confidence you can be sure of that.
God Bless, Mich x
#Mumentum gang, I hope you do not mind me linking this up. I am not at all suggesting any of you have eating disorders. I was wondering what I woud write about this week as I had not felt inspired about anything and then when another lovely blogger reminded me about eating disorder awareness week I knew this was what I needed to write.