Where does it start…?
Where does what start you may ask? Where does the addiction to food start. The comfort you feel from food…that’s what I want to explore, for me anyway, where mine started.
I was born into a poor family who struggled to feed their family of five. Dad didn’t like to work and mum did her best with what she had. We didn’t have Mc Donald’s on every corner, not even the local store as we lived on farms, big farms miles from anywhere. We didn’t have lollies or chocolate. Most days we lived on baked beans and eggs. So why did I grow to have a weight issue?
Well there are a few reasons. The first would be when we did move to a more populated area, I was a teenager and I could access all different foods. Foods I had never previously tasted. I wasn’t taught nutrition or how to eat healthily, so I had no idea about calories, or what was in the food I was eating. For the first time ever I had tasted all these yummy foods and wanted more and more and more!
The second reason was as big as the first, but I didn’t realise that until I looked back on my childhood. Without going into a lot of detail on my childhood, it wasn’t great. I was the eldest of 3, due to circumstances I was made responsible for my siblings all the time from a very young age. I was also the child who my parents took everything out on. Dad would tell me his woes, mum would scream at me because she couldn’t/wouldn’t take her frustrations out on dad. Then mum was diagnosed with cancer when I was 13. Well you can only image how that turned our whole world upside down. I became the carer for my siblings as well as my mum to a point, dad left us and life was strange, confusing and emotionally hell. I used food as my escape, my comfort. Food was my friend.
When food becomes your friend you are generally covering up something else you don’t want to face in your life. You beat yourself up with food, you eat when you are happy, you eat when you are sad, you eat because “oh well I have blown it now, I may as well eat more”. Emotions play a huge part in food addiction.
How do I stop it? Well it all starts with ME. What I mean by that is you need to work on you, work on those emotions, change things in your life that are making you unhappy.
Change the way you think about yourself and food. You need to change the relationship you have with food. Food fuels your body it gives you life and energy. It should not give you comfort. It is not supposed to be your friend.
Work on who you are.
· Ask yourself who am I?
· What do I love about my life?
· What is pulling me down?
Start something new, try something you may have wanted to try for years (e.g. dancing class) Just get out there and find out who you are! It won’t happen overnight, it will be hard work, but it will be rewarding and you will begin to love yourself…Food is just a small part of your day to nourish yourself and give you the energy to get through your day, enjoy it and tell yourself each time you eat,
I am eating to nourish and care for my body.
How did I get from where I was to where I am now you may ask? I simply do not have the answer. Part of it was reflection on how I got to this point in my life, how I used food as my comfort and part of it was a massive desire to change, to be set free from my past and look forward to a brighter future. No one chooses to have an obsession with food, to be overweight but everyone has a fight in them, a fight that is worth every second.