My Battle with Bulimia & Overeating
© Tina Anderson, http://flirtingwithfitness.com
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Last week I wrote about living within our own prisons when we can’t let go of detrimental or negative thoughts. I mentioned experiencing my own jail cell and how I broke free. It was a monumental battle – the battle to not escape to food in lieu of dealing with boredom, frustrations and feeling overwhelmed, etc. Sound familiar? I know some of you have shared a cell with me, so to speak. But, how many of you have spent time with the porcelain bowl after you ate too much? Yes, I’m talking about bulimia.
I was a junior in high school when my girlfriend told me that we could eat a bunch of food and then throw it up so we wouldn’t gain any weight. I was dealing with newly divorced parents and living with my father, an incredible man but a man that was barely keeping it together. I was hiding my pain and I had already started to turn to food for comfort. Not hard to see the writing on the wall. I started binging and purging and I did it off and on up through my first year in college after gaining the typical “freshman fifteen.”
How did I stop? Are you ready? It’s not pleasant but if there is anything that I am, it’s transparent. I stopped before the internet and Google and before I knew there was a name for what I was doing. No one knew of my private hell. But, something very dramatic happened and it scared the bah-jezus out of me.
I threw up blood. That was it. I washed my face, looked in the mirror and decided that I would never stick my finger down my throat again. I’m sure you’re wondering and the answer is, unfortunately, yes. I went back to it a few times several years later but that was way back when. All good, now. And, the good news continues. I am a recovering emotional eater and I have worked extremely hard to salvage a healthy relationship with food. It has been a seriously bad-ass, difficult struggle and to this day, I read and listen and pray and meditate and journal and do whatever I need to do to maintain and even grow in my thoughts and habits in regards to how I deal with being uncomfortable. Boredom is a big issue for me. I like to have fun. I like new challenges. I like new things to try and see. I like new, exciting and fun anything but life is not like that when you’re raising a family and dealing with homework, carpools, laundry and dinner, etc. I have an incredibly full and blessed and even fun life, but the everyday grind can cause frustrations and boredom. Bottom line, I’ve read a ton of books, I’ve been in psychotherapy. I worked with a spiritual director. I’ve studied and researched all the facets of this issue and although understanding it doesn’t “cure” it, I’ve developed a giant toolbox of my own support systems and the more I use them the more they become positive new habits.
The nights in my prison cell, sitting in disgust after overeating and wanting to crawl in a hole and start the day over are done, thank-you-God, all my angels and spirit warriors and all those who walked this path before me and were brave enough to share their experiences and solutions. And, I am here to say that it took years (that’s plural) and years (that’s plural again) to get this under control and I did it when I owned my thoughts and realized that I had an addiction to food and that I used it to escape from my current uncomfortable situation. Just like I did when I hid in my basement bedroom with a carton of ice cream and ate myself into a food trance and consequently, forgot about my problems for a short period of time. After the ice cream is gone, your problems aren’t and then you have more. Not a good way to exist. Truly a prison.
By the way, I have a message board with Team Beachbody (with 24,000+ views) in which I write and reply to others that have similar issues. It’s heartbreaking to hear some of the stories but it’s also a fantastic, loving and supportive area to share and to not feel humiliated and ashamed. Here is the link if you want to stop by and many blessings on your journeys!