My Struggle With Food

Today we’re getting all personal on the blog. For me this has been a post that I’ve thought about writing about for a long time but never had the strength to do so until now. I admire those bloggers who can share their deepest, most personal details so maybe I might inspire even one person to speak up.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with food. Up until the age of about three, all I ate were chips. Then after that, it became pizza and chips until I was about seven. Gradually, I began to try different things but it’s still little variety compared to everyone else. It got that bad when I was about ten that I went to see a dietitian. She was a typical doctor and told me to eat fruit and vegetables. In one hand, I blame my parents for not force-feeding me as a child. At the age of ten, she was basically calling me anorexic. I knew it wasn’t true but it didn’t stop people from calling me it. It was eating but because of my lack of diet and my regular, often grueling dance classes, I was alarmingly thin.

When I got to secondary school, it got worse. This is when my lack of eating turned into an eating disorder. I was going to dance four to five nights a week for several hours, playing netball twice a week and sometimes only eating at dinner because I was at school. Somehow I still managed to have loads of energy to do it all as well as keep my grades sky high.

When I turned 13, I decided to cut back with dance and by fourteen, I’d quit completely. Even then, my eating habits didn’t change. Up until I was 16, I was still managing to get through the day with one meal inside me.

It turned really bad when I started college. I only lasted three months at one college as I quit in December 2009. From then to when I started a new college the following September (2010), I ate all the time. For some strange reason, I wasn’t putting on any weight even though I wasn’t exercising but I still felt fat. This is also the time that I developed depression. I barely left the house apart from to go to work, I fell out with most of my friends and was so alone.

In September 2010, I started a brand new college where I knew very few people and knew I had to make an effort. I managed to eat three times a day by having breakfast at college before my classes started, having a regular lunch time and eating with my parents when I got in. I made new friends, I looked healthier, I’d finally got an interest in boys. I’d stopped dancing but started the gym with a new friend and we went at least three times a week, usually after or before college. However, I had a dark secret that most of them to this day still probably don’t know about. I was suffering with bulimia. I was eating a normal amount and working out regularly but during the night, I’d wake up and make myself throw up. It all spawned from me fancying a boy and him not fancying me back. It set off alarms in my head that the reason was because I wasn’t skinny enough. The rejection gave me zero self-confidence but I was able to mask it in public. By throwing up everything I ate, it gave me the control over myself. When it comes down to it, it was psychological more than anything else.

This disease was apparent in my life until I was in my second year of university. If you follow my blog, you’ll have read previously how much I don’t like the experience but my second year gave me clarity. I finally realised what I was doing to my body. After seeking help on online forums, I slowly began to recover. In order to make friends, I joined a society doing something I enjoy and started to make an effort. I was dealing with it in my own way.

As of now, I’ve realised that my health is more important than what I look like. I’ve tried to cut down on snacks and junk food, but I haven’t got rid of them completely. I’ve started drinking three litres of water a day to stay alert. I’m eating several small meals a day rather than two huge ones. I’m joining a new gym this week and will be starting society rehearsals next week too. I’ve also looked into joining a new dance school. I still have my bad days where I overeat or don’t eat at all. I still look in the mirror and don’t like what I see but I’m starting to see a woman who has overcome lots of obstacles.

I’m far from someone preaching about fitness and eating habits you must do but I think it’s about time that people see eating disorders as a major problem. If anyone out there is struggling, drop me an email (it’s on the sidebar at the top) or even if you just want to talk to someone. I know many bloggers have gone through a similar experience on this so just know, you’re not alone and you can get better.