I can’t pinpoint where it began.
My memory jumps from eating pizza, pasta and cheese to feeling really guilty after eating a carrot.
Looking back at old diaries I had tracked my weight for years, which is possibly where it began – did that just become too obsessive?
As a teenager in school, no-one flagged anything up at all (although this may have perhaps been due to all of the other chaotic things in my life at the time).
In hindsight, it is quite worrying that I sat at a table with 8 other girls every lunchtime and they only ever saw me eat sugar-free Polos. Or the occasional chocolate chip cookie (but only ever one).
To be honest, nothing was said at all.
Until, one day, my mum came home uncharacteristically early from work to find Post-It notes (to myself) covering the fridge. She went ape and I just pretended I hadn’t realised how below 100lbs was – I’d pick a new target – don’t worry mum.
In hindsight other than this, my eating behaviour felt rewarded.
College and beyond
My first long-term boyfriend would discuss dinner – for him. He was fully aware that I hadn’t eaten all day, but when I’d say “I’ll just have an orange later”, he’d reply: “OK but don’t get too skinny”.
In my early twenties, my partner didn’t even notice. It was quite simple. I’d tell my mum I was eating at his and then tell him I had eaten earlier. I also exercised for at least 2 hours a day. If I was only working part of the day, I could fit a solid 6 hours exercise in per day. I dropped 2 stone in weight while I was with him, but no-one said a word.
Around the same time, my mum took me shopping for jeans … in the children’s section. My favourite pair of jeans were children’s age 12; I got great pleasure out of saying I was wearing child-sized jeans (at this point I was in my 20’s).
I also can’t pinpoint when that really ended; I suppose I can safely say that when I met my current partner everything began to change for the better – he is my rock (aww).
Swings and roundabouts…
However, when my relationship with my mum broke down, I swung firmly in the opposite direction.
I had food hidden in my car, in the wardrobe; I got up to eat at night. Then I became depressed about how huge I was, so I bought baggy trousers. And under no circumstances would I let my boyfriend touch me.
I ballooned up (no joke it was fast) two or three clothes sizes. The body fat composition test said my body fat was officially ‘too high’ (thanks…).
My relationship with food may never be 100% perfect and it is something I am constantly working on. I catch myself in a chain of thoughts and try to analyse what’s happening to reign it in, and I (try to!) talk with counsellors about it.