This is something I have always wanted to write about but have always stopped myself. Mostly out of worrying what others will think but with today being world mental health day I thought it was a good day to post about it especially since I’ve had the blog a few years and I have always put it off, even now I am so nervous writing this.
It may come as a surprise to a lot of you especially with the blog being mainly about food that for most of my teenage years and early adult life I have suffered with an eating disorder. There I said it. I hate that term and it always gives me shivers if I ever need to say it. I don’t particularly want to write about what was wrong with me or what I went through, more so how I turned it around especially when I became a mother. Please be aware a lot of this may not make sense or seem to flow but this part of my brain will always be mush and hard to put into words so bare with me…
Having an ED can mean many things, for me it meant I hated eating. Obviously I did eat but not a lot and I didn’t enjoy it.
I don’t even know how it started, probably a mix of the world being how it is and me being how I am. So in a nutshell I probably had this from about age 13, didn’t really realise until 16ish, got help eventually about 17 (one doctor actually laughed at me for being “silly”) and I stopped seeing the specialists about 19 out of choice (my doctor was a bit of a dick).
Fast forward to me being pregnant first time. Even though I had been fine for a number of years now the fact we would have a child soon brought a lot of feelings back. When I say I was fine – I was eating, I wasn’t scared of eating out anymore, I wasn’t avoiding certain foods but I still had my bad habits. With my past being considered the midwife asked if I wanted to see a dietitian, I didn’t see why not, I always preferred them to the doctors. As pregnancy went on my mind went a bit crazy, not just with eating issues but anxiety. I was referred to a specialist to deal with the worries I was having, mainly that I was going to end up enormous after the birth and spiral out of control mentally and have my baby taken away – yep I was a bit of a nutter. I used to make up these situations in my head and worry about things that might not even happen!
I did get better, I was so determined this time as I did not want to be a bad example to our future baby. I didn’t want them to wonder why mummy doesn’t try new food or doesn’t eat snacks or sometimes doesn’t want to eat in public. I didn’t want to pass on any of those habits or dislikes for food that ruined so much of my life. I wanted food to be fun, a family thing and something we all enjoyed. I was more certain than ever that I was going to change. It was hard work and my dietitian really helped talk me through what was going on. I tried so much new food, LOVE eating out and love cooking – a world away from where I used to be.
When it came near the time to wean Abel I could feel myself worrying again, how could I feed this tiny perfect human if feeding myself has been such battle?! I could have let this break me again but I didn’t.
Weaning Abel and his diet now has got to be one of the proudest things for me in my entire life. Looking back at how I was at my worst, being told having kids possibly wouldn’t happen if I kept going and thinking I was “fat”. I really have done myself proud.
This was the whole reason I started this blog, to make myself do better and keep at it and the fact that it has now turned into what it has and inspired so many others is amazing. I do not want Abel going through what I did and in some small way I hope the work I put into him having a good relationship with food, me getting better and enjoying food again will help him continue to love it.
I put my poor parents through hell with my eating issues and I will forever feel crap about that as I think they thought it was their fault sometimes when it 100% wasn’t. The media and how the world views “beauty” has a lot to answer for. Even now with social media being bigger than ever we all compare our lives to these little squares on instagram or everyone’s facebook updates. It can effect people so much. Especially becoming a mum when your whole world and body changes so quickly it can be easy to pick at things and make yourself feel low.
Skinny doesn’t = happy and it certainly doesn’t = beauty. I found this out the hard way and will have consequences of that for the rest of my life. I guess I hope writing this will help others in some small way and show it can turn into something positive and it won’t have a hold over your life forever even though it can seem that way. Don’t be scared to get help or tell someone, anyone!
Life is short so enjoy it and all the food.
Picture by Tamara Studios.