Emotional eating

I just read this beautiful, powerful quote and it was the inspiration I needed to get this post happening. I haven’t put anything onto this blog before that has made me quite so nervous about sharing, but here I am, ready and willing to bare something quite personal, with anyone who reads my blog. Which is scary because at the end of the day it can be read by anyone!… “Hey there, you… person I can’t see but know is reading this!”  *I’m waving with a goofy and nervous smile on my face…*

vulnerability

Why am I sharing something that makes me so nervous? Because its one of those things that way too many people struggle with, yet no one seems to talk about it openly. At least they didn’t when it was an issue for me anyway. I’m bringing my courage to the table because on this blog, I want to talk about stuff that’s real. If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is that talking helps. Oh my god, it helps! So, if me showing my imperfections and vulnerabilities and risking being the talking point for people is going to help others, then so be it. I have bigger shoulders than I used to and I can handle what anyone wants to say about this post, whether it to me or behind my back – I’m cool with it. The point is that there are so many lessons to be learnt from this situation, for me especially, but maybe for you too.

Anyway, here goes:

I used to binge eat.

Because I was sad. Or angry. Or because I just couldn’t stop once I started.

Sometimes it would start with the intention of just eating one (usually something sweet like a Tim Tam) which would lead to another and then another and another and next thing I know, the whole packet is gone. Instant disappointment. Then anger. “I can’t believe I did it again even after I promised myself I wouldn’t. What the hell is wrong with me”. Then after the anger wore off, I would think ‘well stuff it I have already eaten the whole pack so what does it matter now, I’ll just enjoy it today and start fresh tomorrow’. So I’d go searching for something else. Not because I was hungry but because I was telling myself that from tomorrow I couldn’t have this anymore so I better really enjoy it all now.

Other times I would get food knowing that I was going to be able to eat it all without anyone knowing. So I’d scoff the whole lot and really enjoy it… Until shortly after and I started thinking about what I had just done. How I’d let myself down AGAIN.

Then there were the times where I’d had a bad day or something had happened that upset me or made me frustrated. So I’d turn to food for comfort. But I’d go a little crazy and eat a whole tub of ice cream, then some chocolate and some biscuits. And of course, I’d just end up either sadder or more frustrated because of how I dealt with my bad day, by bingeing!

On exactly six occasions, I made myself throw up.

Let that sink in for a bit. It’s pretty serious shit.

I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to get fat, that was never really an issue for me. I did it because I would freak out about the unhealthy crap I’d just put into my body. I’d feel guilty, I’d feel like a absolute fool. What damage was I doing with all that sugar and artificial crap? I remember waiting for my heart to race once the sugar set in. In hind sight, it probably had a lot to do with the stress of the whole situation, not just the sugar I had ingested. It was on that 6th occasion that I realized something was seriously wrong and that this wasn’t ok.

As you can see, I was in a viscous, unbalanced cycle of emotions and self punishment. It went on for months and months, maybe years but it wasn’t constant. I had ups and downs, good months and bad months. But it took a hell of a lot to get over it. LOTS of soul searching, help seeking, self honesty, journaling, digging deep, finding root causes, food education and even a little heart-wrenching counseling. But I did get over it, and here I am, able to talk about it, openly.

emotional eating woman thinking

What I’ve learnt

The universe will never give you anything you can’t handle. I really believe this and I also believe that everything happens for a reason.  We are given what we need at the time, not what we want. Everyone wants a picture perfect, happy life filled with glitter and unicorns that fart rainbows. But life doesn’t work like that, it just doesn’t. We are given situations to learn from and to grow from. This situation? Well the universe dished it up and (after a while) I handled it. And, I have learnt more about myself than I can possibly explain. Are you stuck in a situation? Know, that whatever it is, you can handle it.

The best lessons are learnt from shitty situations. When you emerge on the other side of something heartbreaking, or something so hard that you thought you may never get through it, you’re stronger, you’re wiser and you’re a better person. In any shitty situation, there is a lesson to be learnt, make sure you find it.

Tell the truth. To yourself. To your loved ones. To the world. This is what got me through this binge eating nightmare. Once I started being honest with myself about exactly what was going on, it got easier and I was able to fix it. The truth can honestly set you free. Find the truth then live it.

What I hope you’ll take away from this

Be nice to people, you never know what they are going through. People judge others every day, but being judgmental is weak and its the easy thing to do -its easier than helping someone or facing their reality (because it isn’t your reality its just so easy to turn a blind eye). People often struggle behind closed doors and do their best to put on a brave face. The next time someone seems short or snaps at you, or is too wrapped up in themselves to notice your new hair, just remember that you don’t know everything that is happening in their life, so be nice and react with love.

If this story hits home, then know your not alone. You are never alone. There is always, ALWAYS someone who wants to help and people that love you. And there are people who know what your going through and people that can help you get back on track. You don’t have to be a slave to a shitty thing like this. Seek help, I am so gosh-darn grateful to myself  that I sought help. You will be too. Hey, if you think it will help, email me!

Right now

I’m proud of myself. So. Bloody. Proud! And as weird as this will sound, I’m glad that this is part of my past, because in the end, I’m a better person for the journey I have travelled. I’m stronger, healthier, happier. And you know what, I’m so much more open than I used to be! This post was so easy for me to write just now, and I have that same goofy grin on my face I did at the start of writing this, except now, it’s a proud goofy grin, not a nervous one.

A special note to my dear family & friends:

Don’t be upset that you never knew about this. I used to be so withdrawn and I bottled EVERYTHING up, just ask my Husband! He had a hell of a time with me not talking about things. But, the past is the past and we are in the here and now. And right now, this issue is not an issue anymore. I’m kicking life’s ass, I promise.     – xxx -

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12 thoughts on “Emotional eating

  1. So proud of you right now Rach, I have tears! Tears of love. Tears of proudness. Tears of understanding. And tears to know this is not a part of your life anymore. Love you and love your honesty. So proud to call you my sister xx

    1. Thanks Jess. I have shed so many tears over this mess. But no longer do I feel the need to cry, I’m empowered and I’m all about self love. Binge eating isn’t compatible with that! xxx

  2. Rach,

    You are so amazing! Everytime I read one of your articles I admire you more and more. Gosh, makes me so proud to see how far you have come!

    Reading this, I have the same goofy smile on my fave as you.

    Keep on keeping on sista :-) xox

    1. I love you man! (Really though)
      Thanks so much for your support Nic, it means a lot to me. Its people like you that make it easier and easier for me to write what I really want to talk about. X

  3. Wow Rach, that would have taken a lot to share, but I am so glad you did share it.
    There are so many habits like this around and it’s good to see that help is always just around the corner.
    Love your work and thank you for sharing – you are an inspiration.
    Cat x

    1. Thanks beautiful. There are a lot women out there struggling with the same kind of thing; I have receive numerous emails from reader who went on to share their story with me and its blown me away how similar the emotions involved are. I’m glad more than ever that I shared this. X

  4. To struggle is inevitable, to make a move and share your struggles is courageous and selfless, and you ought to be so proud of yourself Rachael, I definitely am proud to know and love you. I’m sorry for what you went through and anything tough or scary that you may go through in life now- but at the same time, I’m so glad and inspired for what you did with your situation and what you took from it and how you are able to see an opportunity for growth in every hurdle and circumstance. It’s seriously, possibly the most important ability any person can possess, and you got it girl. You are beautiful and brave and I wanna thank you for some things that home with myself- particularly the being honest with yourself about unhealthy or stifling behaviour and/or actions- and generally for sharing a piece of your history and experience to help others along their way. A well-deserved, well done :-) Xxxxx

    1. Thanks Jorj, I always leave my blog with a smile on my face that’s stretching a little further than before I had read your comments. Thanks for always reading what I have to say and I love that you always relate. Xxxx

  5. You are such a brave girl to admit this on such a public forum. Kudos to you!

    I’m also a binge eater. I’m getting better but its something I’ve always struggled with. I can eat healthy for around 3-4 days straight and then have a relapse and eat half a packet of tim tams or several pieces of cheesecake. Its ridiculous because you know it’s bad for you, but you just do it anyway. Even after pulling my head in and losing 30kg, it’s always there, it’s a daily struggle. I’ll probably never have a healthy relationship with food. But it’s improving.

    :)

    1. You will definitely have a healthy relationship with food, don’t set yourself up for failure Hun. Focus on the positives (in everything!) because this is one of the most important things we can do. If we always see the negatives then life will always be hard. And don’t be hard on yourself because everyone wants to only ever move forwards, but the truth is we all take small steps backwards once in a while. Keep working on it, because you CAN be free of this! I received a beautiful email from a reader just the other day and she told me to not eat my emotions – I loved it! I hope it may help you too xxx

  6. What a girl I feel like Jess at the moment so proud to have known you and your journey and see the gen that has come through the other end. yes aa brave inspirtional story to help many other youn and older men and women. when we put our selves out ther it is a risk and risk tkers re so precious and rare like diamonds. Go girl love you and wish I had more time with you. I am starting another 21 days on day three already had some home made chocolate but thats ok. Thanks Rach.

    1. Oh thank you Julie for your lovely words, it was so nice to read this comment you have left me. This particular little risk has paid off 100 times over for me, which could be a worry because its encouraging me to take more!!
      Lots of love, Rach

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