I have a simple relationship with food on the surface, I eat almost anything and I will try almost anything; raw fish and blue cheeses are my only no, no foods. If you scratch the surface though, my relationship is much more complex. I comfort eat, and I over eat. It doesn’t matter how much food is put in front of me I am compelled to eat it.
When I am worried, upset, anxious, sad or bored I eat. I take negative feelings and I shove food on them. As a child I had to eat everything that was put in front of me and even now I find it difficult to leave food on my plate, but I try very hard to. Just to try and retrain my mind. But this is more than that, when I don’t want to feel something I eat or if I don’t know how to deal with something I eat. Cake, deserts, crisps, biscuits. I have no preferred numbing food, I just eat anything I can to stop me from feeling bad.
This negative behaviour has created other problems, it simply isn’t possible to consume this amount of food and not gain weight. Having never made myself vomit or used laxatives because I can’t stand being sick, or the effects of a laxative either, I gained weight. It didn’t help that I had a breakdown and well I shoved food on that one. Then my back pain started, and between the pain medication and reduced mobility I put on even more. My body rebelled further and my periods became, not irregular, no that would have been one thing, I bled constantly. Finally having had a hysterectomy I began to lose weight. I even started to exercise. And, just when you think all is going well. I had my first episode of Cauda Equina Syndrome.
Even fighting this and the increased pain, I continued to lose weight. I settled with a 5 stone loss and said I was done. I felt great about myself.
For the first time I was eating a healthy balanced diet and with my mood controlled and my pain manageable I wasn’t not comfort eating either. Then I went back to work full time and my struggle to maintain my weight loss began. I struggle to eat regularly at work, either working through lunch or not taking something prepared and having to purchase a sandwich. Once I have eaten off plan during the day, I will continue to make poor choices, and slowly the weight crept back on.
After 12 months I had put a stone back on. A change in jobs to a more stressful one, meant my diet choices got worse. A sandwich van came twice a day and it was convenient to grab a sausage roll or a sandwich. Something I could eat as I worked. As my pain worsened and the stress of the job increased so did my poor choices and at the point where I left that job I had put another one and a half stone back on. This has crept up further with the present levels of pain, and while it goes up and down I am extremely conscious that I am not helping myself at all.
Well not all the time. I know I need to stop using food as if it was a comfort blanket, but right now, I don’t have it in me. I can only fight so many battles at once and the shear effort it takes me to get out of bed, to not give in and spend all day crying, is all the fight I can handle. And so, right now if I can do something that means I can ignore the despair I am feeling, even if it is just for a little bit, I’m gonna eat the cake, or crips, or biscuits, or whatever.
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