I have an eating disorder, I have ever since I was a teenager, maybe a little bit before.
It has varied over the years, it started when I stopped eating then it changed into more of a bulimia type disorder. It remained this way for most of my teenage years and because of the binging side of it I never lost any weight.
I was a big girl and weighed nearly 20 stone when I finished university.
When I left university I started a job, I also started a diet, not an extreme diet, just healthy eating and I dropped a few stone.
Then I got poorly, they thought I had gallstones and advised me to eat low fat, here my eating disorder stepped in and took control. Instead of eating low fat I cut it out completely, nothing over 5% fat passed my lips. I continued this way for a year and ended u weighing less than 10 stone, a massive change from where I had once been.
Not only was I restricting food I also dramatically increased the amount of exercise I was doing and after starting to run only a few miles at a time it quickly rose to at least 13 miles every time I went for a run.
I ran a marathon only 9 months after I started running, a massive achievement, but one influenced not by myself, but by the voice in my head telling me that I needed to get better constantly.
After a year I was told I could reintroduce fat and this really messed my head up, I went from having control over everything to being set free again and I struggler to make food choices.
I didn’t want to gain weight but I wanted the pizza and the chocolate and my head doesn’t work in a way that allows me to have just a little bit.
I returned to my binging behaviours. This time though my eating disorder moved in cycles; I would go through different phases, it switched between restricting, binging and binging and purging. I began to gain weight as the binging took its toll.
I now see a therapist to deal wth my eating disorder, I have to plan my meals in advance but I can only use the plan as a guide, having the mindset that I must follow it exactly only feeds my eating disorder because it gives the element of control.
Since starting the meal plans I have found that it is easier to eat in a way that is healthier, it allows my mind to be less focused on food and t not obsess over every meal and it ensures that i am not undereating.
I also have to deal with the emotional reasons behind my eating and to learn to deal with my emotions in other ways, a big thing we focus on is distraction and self soothing; finding things that take my mind away from food and finding alternative comforts such as hugging someone or having a cup of tea.
When I focus on making sure I do the plans and working on the related therapy I find it does really help.
I want to start to reintroduce exercise into my life but I am wary of the effects it may have on my eating disorder thoughts. I have asked my therapist if I can start playing netball and she said yes because it is for a set session with a limit on the amount of time I can spend doing it so I can’t go to the extremes.
I would also like to join a gym but I think it might be too early in my recovery for me to do this unless I was accompanied by my partner who could ensure I wasn’t overdoing it.
I am excited for my first netball session tomorrow, although I am anxious about meeting a lot of new people, hopefully it will g well and it can be something ai can cntinue with and be the start of my healthy relationship with exercise.