Vulnerable post ahead my darlings! Please be gentle with me. Also, NO ADVICE WANTED.
CW/TW: binge eating, eating disorders, dieting, substance abuse, icky men
In 2020, I finally acknowledged to myself that I have disordered eating.
Many folks numb pain through alcohol or drugs. My late uncle was an alcoholic and prescription drug addict for many years, so I saw the pain her brother's struggles brought my mother throughout my childhood. I never wanted to make my mother cry, and very deliberately didn't go down that path. I enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage, but by and large substances have never been my thing.
But food? Oh yes. I began to binge eat in middle school and high school. We moved to a new town and I started to face bullying. I was always that weird kid. In hindsight, I probably always knew on some level that I had an unorthodox connection to spirituality and queerness. In the big city, that was ok, but in my smaller town being different wasn't acceptable.
So I began to binge eat, and my weight started to climb. Depressed? Eat. Feeling anxious? Eat. Feeling sad? Eat. Bored? Eat.
Plus, as someone raised and socialized female, I was constantly bombarded with messages that my body wasn't beautiful or desirable the way it was. At least, not in a healthy way.
And when I was about 15, I started getting unwanted attention from older men I encountered in my life. So gaining weight was a way to make myself unattractive (I thought) in order to stay hidden from that unwanted attention, or to deflect it. If I could make myself invisible, I could avoid pain.
On top of that early trauma, I am literally a classically trained French chef. I went to cooking school, and chef work was my first career out of high school (though I quickly realized that working in predominantly sexist kitchens for 13 hours a day wasn't for me). Plus, most family gatherings and holidays always centred around eating, so I have a lot of happy memories tied up with food too.
Food has always been (and still is) my passion, and I will not dim my joy in eating, but over the years I've had seriously unhealthy relationships with it.
And food is the one addiction you can't cut out cold turkey.
I struggle with viewing myself as desirable and sexy. Those aren't really words I've historically attributed to myself. Cute? Pretty? Generally attractive? Sure. But embracing my own inner sexpot is hard for me.
I'm better at it now, but I still struggle. I'm at the heaviest I've ever been, so that's hard. And no, I don't want advice or suggestions of diets that worked *for you*. The point is to love myself at any size. ALL bodies are good bodies. ALL OF THEM.
With lots of therapy, guidance from Spirit through Tarot and astrology, and rethinking my life generally, I'm on a road to healing, but it's so hard, every day.
And I'm not perfect - never will be. I can only try to be kind to myself and offer myself grace when I have a bad day.
If you're struggling, know that you're not alone. And if you're looking for help, here are some resources if you live in North America:
Sheena's Place offers FREE support groups, they even have art therapy!
NEDIC | home offers resources and referrals if you're struggling.
Free & Low Cost Support | National Eating Disorders Association is a good place to start if you're in the States
Here's my vulnerable, make up-free, no filter selfie where I was feeling myself:
Sending SO MUCH LOVE to all my Abundant Hearts out there. Know that I see you, and if you ever want to talk, I'm here to listen.