July 8, 2017

Why eating disorders aren’t ‘clean cut’…

This won’t come as a surprise.  I think about food.  I look at food.  I take interest in the food choices of others.  I eat food.  ALL.THE.TIME.

At what point does this become seriously unhealthy? At what point do I say enough is enough? How many more articles can I possibly dream up on the subject of ‘clean eating’? Fear not, you’re safe…

I have what can only be described as a strange and sometimes unhealthy fixation with food, it’s something I’m working on, however, I’m tangled up in the spider web and I cannot get free. I know I’m not alone, I think we are finally coming to terms with the fact that many of us have complex and unhealthy relationships with food. The term ‘eating disorder’ isn’t just a reference for those who hugely restrict or binge with food, resulting in extreme weight loss.

We live in a world where every other person appears to have an allergy when diets and plans are being thrown at us in every direction. Even Greggs came up with a healthy eating plan and before you mock the idea, it wasn’t outrageous, just not hugely appealing.

Anyway, I’m confused, I’m tired, I’m gaining weight and I’m losing my self-control

When I become stressed or frustrated, I turn to food, I hardly drink and I haven’t been giving my workouts my all. I’m still coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, working two jobs, trying to plan a wedding and make some time for myself and my partner. Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m not making excuses, it’s just a simple fact that we need to share that it’s completely acceptable not to be ‘fine’.

So, I turn to food for energy, a thrill, or a treat…

I’ll be ‘good’ for a few days, eating in a wholesome 80/20 way and feel on top of the world, then in a moment of boredom or sadness, I’ll automatically reach for biscuit or 4. Everything in moderation is fine, there’s no wrong or right because we shouldn’t label foods or completely restrict certain food unless we have a medical reason. My problem is, I don’t know where to stop, I simply don’t have an off button, once I’ve started I simply cannot stop these binges.

We’ve all seen and related to meme’s which state something along the lines of…

*Breakfast – Fruit

*Lunch – Salad

*Dinner – Family sized pizza, whole bar of dairy milk, 16 cookies and half a jar of Nutella

The simple fact these memes exist reassures me that I cannot be the only person caught up in this complicated and unhealthy cycle with food. At the same point, it worries me, why are we not addressing this more? Why are we not talking about eating disorders in a more varied way?

I know it’s personal, there’s never really ‘one fits all”, If anything I’d love to understand what triggers these emotions within us, is it Habit? Hunger? Dehydration? For me; I feel that partly its genetics and the fact my Dad lost a lot of weight then I’d see him obsessively exercising, eating well and then suddenly bingeing. Another part is it”s a habit, I’m so encompassed in this cycle I can’t seem to find the way to extract myself. Finally, mental health plays a role, we can’t blame everything on this, but I feel that my emotions dictate my eating habits.

There are times that I have to unfollow certain people online as they have unhealthy relationships with food and I simply cannot handle that appearing on my feed. Secondly, despite claiming to have great relationships with food and being body confident, many large influencers are going on what’s referred to as a ‘cut’ aka losing body fat/weight. It shouldn’t have any impact on me, the reality is that it does and the problem lays with me, not them.

Do I have a solution? No

 I could download another diet plan, or read yet another self-help book, maybe I’ll just look at another blogger who’s painting a picture of having it all sussed out. Or maybe I should accept my quirks and face up to the fact we aren’t all the same and that applies to our sometimes complex relationships with food.

What”s your relationship with food like?

Katie

x

7 responses to “Why eating disorders aren’t ‘clean cut’…”

  1. Rachel says:

    I could really relate to your blog post, I go through spells of emotional eating, eating really unhealthily and getting into cycles of being unable to stop when I am anxious or stressed, I find biscuits are the worst – it’s refreshing to read an honest blog post on the subject. I often feel like quite alone, especially when I see a ‘perfect’ view of things on Instagram.
    This post has helped me feel not so alone and has reminded me to stop being so hard on myself – I know the less stressed I am the binging will stop. So much respect for you for writing this post. It has helped me in so many ways!

    Rachel x

    • Katie G says:

      Hi Rachel,
      I’m so glad you could relate! It’s so important for us all just to be a little more honest about how we feel and what’s really going on. I never used to eat many biscuits but then suddenly I was mindlessly eating them as I was peckish or just going on a crazy binge!
      Onwards and upwards! xx

  2. Sarah says:

    I’m awful with food – I start off well, plan my meals out during the day and then on the drive home stop at the shop to grab something we need for tea and grab a bag of crisps and scoff them in the car – some days it’s just a little bag of crisps, other days I’m shoving a sharer of bugles into my gob in the 5min journey from home – I need to get better at planning in snacks so I don’t binge on the way home!

    • Katie G says:

      I’m exactly the same at times – I get home and suddenly I’m rummaging around in the cupboards like a mad woman! 🙂

  3. Christy says:

    Your relationship with food sounds exactly like mine! I was introduced to clean eating by a PT 4 years ago, and while I purposely no longer fixate on clean eating, my relationship with food has suffered ever since. I’m “good” for a while and feel great, then have a massive binge for no obvious reason, feel rubbish, undo all my hard work and hate myself. Then eat “good” and repeat. I tried telling myself I’d never diet again so I could end the cycle but then I just ate ridiculous amounts of rubbish for months because I could. Now I’m looking at a holiday 4 months away and desperately wanting to feel good in my bikinis… so I’m back to trying to diet and count macros. It never ends. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and never go to that PT meeting so I wouldn’t be so focused on food every minute of every day.

    (I don’t blame the PT himself, it’s my own issues that have caused the problem. Plus he introduced me to weight training and I’d never want to undo all the hard work I’ve done building up muscle! My mum is also forever dieting/binging so I agree it’s possibly to do with genetics)

    xx

    • Katie G says:

      Ahhhhh, I completely get where you’re coming from! I pretty much do the same, I get wildly fixed on a certain diet or idea and I’m really ‘good’ for a few weeks and then boom I’m completely out of control.
      I do think we create these issued and become fixated, once we are in that pattern it’s extremely hard to step away and cut it out 🙁 xx

  4. Christy says:

    Your relationship with food sounds exactly like mine! I was introduced to clean eating by a PT 4 years ago, and while I purposely no longer fixate on clean eating, my relationship with food has suffered ever since. I’m “good” for a while and feel great, then have a massive binge for no obvious reason, feel rubbish, undo all my hard work and hate myself. Then eat “good” and repeat. I tried telling myself I’d never diet again so I could end the cycle but then I just ate ridiculous amounts of rubbish for months because I could. Now I’m looking at a holiday 4 months away and desperately wanting to feel good in my bikinis… so I’m back to trying to diet and count macros. It never ends. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and never go to that PT meeting so I wouldn’t be so focused on food every minute of every day.

    (I don’t blame the PT himself, it’s my own issues that have caused the problem. Plus he introduced me to weight training and I’d never want to undo all the hard work I’ve done building up muscle! My mum is also forever dieting/binging so I agree it’s possibly to do with genetics)

    xx