Think of ‘addiction’: your mind tends to go to alcohol, drugs, gambling perhaps. But what about food addiction? How do you manage a habit that can’t be avoided totally, because you ‘substance’ of choice is also that it also vital to keep you alive. Here @mor3nika shares her experience of Binge Eating Disorder.

  • When I read that Clemmie, whom I follow avidly on Instagram, was looking for lists on 1 addiction and 2 eating disorders I realised that I had a couple of things to say about both subjects

  • This is because for a very long time I have been suffering of an eating disorder called binge eating disorder or BED

  • It all started when I was a curvy teenager in sunny Sicily.

  • Big hips and breasts made me interesting to the boys’ eyes but I felt so wrong and different from what I thought I was supposed to look like.

  • One of those thin models in Gap ads, teeny weeny boobs, super flat tummies, small perky bums, visible hip bones.

  • I looked curvy and sexy, too sexy for a 14 years old.

  • Really jeans and t shirt didn’t go with my body at the time and I wasn’t confident enough to just wear whatever looked good on me.

  • I just wanted to fit in (literally)

  • Mum tried to help: diet, constant remarks about weight, more diet and also she started counting the snacks in the house: crisps, cakes , ice creams that were always at home to please my little brothers.

  • I hated to be told off and getting a lecture on how to be healthy and look good and being compared to other girls.

  • So I realised that I could hide. I started buying chocolate and snacks after school,  put them in my school bag and eat them at night. All at once. In a rush, terrified they would discover me and tell me off.

  • That’s how my addiction started.

  • I had no other way to cope with stress. I was chubby yes but they couldn’t prove I was stuffing my face.

  • It was me against them! I was fucking the system… I thought.

  • That’s also when I started to put on and lose weight consistently

  • It very varied by about 2 and half stone. by the time I was 18.

  • Uni was a bit better for me, I felt more myself and I had a bit more balance and peace.

  • Moving to London and the crazy stressful life of working, understanding what people were exactly saying to me at all time and standing on the right side of the escalator together with cheap junk food and a minimum wage job made me dive into my addiction head first.

  • It was so quick and so bad. I never felt so hopeless and powerless before.

  • I had reached one of my heaviest weights when I met the love of my life and father of my child, I felt so unworthy of him that I kept secretly eating.

  • On the tube, just after work, at work, at night.

  • We would buy groceries together and I will finish chocolate bars during the night when he was sleeping and replace them the following day so he wouldn’t notice.

  • I felt lonely, fat and unworthy. And all of his love and care was not enough for me not to feel like the impostor.

  • How could he be with me?

  • How could he love me?

  • Sure he will leave me soon for a skinny blonde girl who’s not scared to be alone in a room with a fridge.

  • It got bad. I was scared of going out. I would constantly feel nauseous. I was always tired and unhappy.

  • BED is not deadly but it makes you feel out of control and unworthy of love.

  • Here are some interesting facts about it

  •  It is real. It’s an addiction and an eating disorder. 

  • It’s common. In fact the most common eating disorder among adults.

  • It entails not being able to cope with stress or pain without food.

  •  It really plays with your mind. You will be looking around for places where you can find food fast and leave minimum traces

  • People who suffer of BED are not greedy. Very often they don’t even enjoy the food.

  • I’ve been eating horrible 7 days old orange flavoured muffins bought at the only off licence I could find before a job interview and cold chicken breasts at night.

  • Not everybody will understand what BED sufferers go through.

  • People who suffer this disorder are ashamed of themselves and will often try to make up for the calories assumed with hardcore gym sessions.

  • • Sometimes is hard for people to understand or take you seriously: years ago I tried to talk to my boyfriend about it and open up saying that on my way home (10 minutes bus ride) I managed to eat a whole pack of short bread and now I felt disgusting and nauseous. He laughed and I felt like he stabbed me in the heart. I still remember to this day how humiliated I felt by that laugh. Still think about it and feel my cheeks going red. He then apologised and read about it and really helped me in overcoming this.

  • • The shame. Often overweight people will eat almost nothing in public. That’s because there’s nothing worse than being that stereotype. Being the fat person who’s eating a massive sandwich. They care about what you think about them.

  • It’s not about being healthy it’s about self care and self love.

  • Therapy helps, a lot.

  • Reading helps.

  • Giving a name to this thing helps.

  • Walking helps.

  • It can be overcome but it never really goes away.

  • One day you just have to make a conscious decision to love yourself.

  • For me this happened when I had Oliver. 

  • My son saved me from myself.

  • Something clicked in my mind and made me realise that looking after me was the best way of looking after him.I suddenly really forgot about how I felt and how I saw myself and started feeling grateful for my body. For the stretch marks and the cellulite and the broken capillars. Because mine was the body that had produced a perfectly healthy little person

  • Also he runs around constantly so he’s my personal trainer

  • What Oliver says to me every day in his weird Italian English baby language is “You are beautiful, you are enough, you are worthy, you are deserving of love, laughter, sticky kisses, giggles, chasing around, teletubbies, brum and helloooo. ” And I believe it .

  • You will constantly be scared of not being strong enough and falling into the addiction again.

  • This may always be your thing and go back to stress eating every time anxiety hits. But really telling people around you that this worries you, will help.

  • People are often essentially good and they will support you.

  • If your size is now 10, you need to get rid of size 12/14/16 and 8 jeans that you are keeping in your wardrobe just in case it all falls apart and you yo-yo.

  • You have to accept the person that you are now. I have wasted so much time waiting to fit in my size 10 jeans from uni, and now that they fit, they look ridiculous and they are absolutely unwearable.

  • Friends and family can help.

  • Your partner is your rock and he/she will help you if you let him/her.

  • But you have to be clear and know what you need from them.

  • But eventually it’s all on you.

  • Show yourself a bit of love by going to therapy, by reading a good book, by having a facial, buying a top of your actual size.

  • Your actual self, not the one you may be, not the one you have been.

  • Be understanding with yourself but do not hide behind the words “I’m stressed”. Go to the source of the problem and see what you can do to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

  • Yoga, meditation and mindful breathing really help.

  • Mind maps. They are the best way for me to understand the triggers and what is going on in my messy head. Google it. It will help.

  • Do not lose hope. Seek help. Decide to get better and you will. 

  • And finally, try to be kind to yourself. I read somewhere that the criticism that we get when we are kids, becomes our inner voice. 

  • You can learn to discipline your inner voice and train it to talk to you kindly. With the same words that you would use with your friends, when they need comfort.

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  • Reply Hannah Lloyd May 28, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Thank you so much for putting into words how I feel EVERYDAY. This was like reading an account of my day to day life…
    My anxiety stems from having my second born and my only coping mechanism is eating. My sister and I are in the same boat and often discuss that if you have an eating disorder on the other end of the spectrum, there would be help available for you. Or if you struggle with alcohol addiction, but with this… you’re deemed fat and lazy.
    Thank you for sharing an insight onto what it’s like living like this!

  • Reply Ksha May 28, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Hi sweety,
    Thank you for your blog post.. It’s helping me. It’s so complicated to put words on BED. I feel so bad and lonely but I’m not, I am so surrounded and lucky, but finding people who can understand make me glad.
    Keep going, never give up and I am following you in your way to the success.
    I am french, I have always been a BED person, I mean it started when I was 13. I felt what you felt. Last year I stayed in London, and I felt the same again.
    Now I’m 24, but I still feel like a girl in front of my food, alone in the dark. That obsession make me guilty and I can’t manage it forever. I don’t want to be a BED person, I don’t want it to be a part of what people see in me. So, I am going to follow a therapy. I hope I will be able to talk about all of it in the past. Wish me luck?
    I am so proud of you. Bless you

  • Reply Delaney Frye October 16, 2019 at 4:55 am

    Finally… something I can relate to and feel understood. Thank you for your story <3

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