Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Remnants of an Eating Disorder



So I did it. Something I thought I would never do again, something I hoped I would never NEED to do again, I joined Weight Watchers.

I have battled with my weight all of my life. At 8 years old, my Mum was going on a meal replacement plan and decided I should do it with her. In fairness, I was a chubby child and I know she meant well but that diet was the beginning of a life long struggle with my attitude to food. I felt horrible when my Dad and sister tucked into their usual meals, and I was given a  foul tasting shake BECAUSE I WAS FAT. But it did work! I lost my excess pounds. And the night I reached target my Dad bought me a Mars Bar to celebrate! My Mum was so angry with him. But I ate it anyway, quickly before she could take it from me. And it tasted to good. Sweet and delicious but I felt like I was doing something wrong  - and that was the start of me feeling guilty about eating food

It was also the start of my yoyo dieting. Long periods of restriction would give me a figure I was proud of but I could never maintain that level of control over my eating. I always cracked eventually. And when I fell off the wagon, I did it spectacularly. It became a pattern. Deprivation followed by treat, I lost weight then immediately regained it. I just couldn't seem to help myself, I was like a girl possessed. Soon the cycle of treats followed by deprivation turned into binges followed by purging. By the age of 15, I had reached my lowest point. My eating was totally outwith control as was my weight. 

And this pattern stayed with me throughout my adult life. 

Then a few years ago I realised that what I was doing had impacted on my daughter. I was devastated - my beautiful, naturally slim daughter was starting to display some of the issues with food that I had. I don't always care much for myself but I adore my children and like all mothers want to give them everything - but not this. I took a step back and looked and the mess I had made of things. My teeth were ruined, my metabolism destroyed, my confidence was non existent and my moods were all over the place. I wasn't going to do this to my baby. I had to do something to sort this out!

And so I did. And I did it cold turkey. I made a decision I would never purge again, and I haven't. And I am proud of that. I understand what an achievement it is and I am so so happy about it. But purging was only half of my disorder. And without purging, the compulsive eating took its toll on my weight. Very quickly I started to gain substantial amounts of weight and despite trying every diet out there, nothing worked long term. I have blogged about my weight loss efforts. My regular readers know that I am often very successful for a while, I am good at restriction, but all it takes is one little slip and its over, before I know it I am uncontrollably binging and all of the weight piles back on. 

It is exhausting. I need help. Three little words but they are a HUGE admission for me.

So on Saturday morning I joined Weight Watchers meeting. Once I had got over the shock of standing on those scales and seeing a number I had never seen before, it was really interesting. I was given lots of info about the plan, which includes weekly meetings and access to a plethora of online resources with an app that lets you track your eating habits on the go. Best of all, I was given a token that reduced the price to just £10 for the first month with no joining fee

Basically the plan is about counting calories but in a simplified way. I was given a budget of 27 points to be used daily with an additional 49 points a week that I can used any way I like - I immediately decided that they would be called my Party Points. All fruit and vegetables are zero points with other foods being given a points value based on not just calories but nutritional content. It all sounds good but for my the secret will be in the discipline offered by a meeting and in the support that Weight Watchers offers. As well as the leader who was lovely, the group all seemed friendly and supportive of each other. Between meetings, the class has a Facebook group where members post recipes, fitness challenges and such like. And the Weight Watchers website itself has a whole section called Community with message boards, groups, blogs all there to help members who are struggling, want to ask a question or just need some ideas for dinner. 

I am hopeful that with all of this support, I can lose this excess weight once and for all. 

My weigh in day is a Saturday so watch out for my weekly updates - and wish me luck.

Have you ever suffered from an eating disorder? What did you do to tackle it?
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15 comments:

  1. Rebecca Ellis15 March 2015 at 11:56

    I think you're incredibly brave for posting this, I know growing up I was always very slim, mostly because I had no interest in snacking and spent way more time outside than in.

    Well... at least until I started 4th year, my weight has been piling on since and apparently I need to loose a total of 37 pounds to be at a healthy weight for my height (BMI and all that) I definitely feel a little more determined lately, it's just whether or not I can do it. x

    www.sheintheknow.co.uk

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    1. Julie - Ellen15 March 2015 at 12:14

      You can do it Rebecca, totally know how hard it is but it will be so worth it to regain confidence and that hated word control. I hope that by blogging about it I can use the support of the blogging community to motivate me - maybe you could think about that too. Let me know how it goes x

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  • I think you're being really sensible and doing it the right way!

    www.thewonderlanders.com

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    1. Julie - Ellen15 March 2015 at 12:14

      Em - I really am trying - I cannot continue to live in such an unhealthy way - it is no good for me or my family - we all deserve better. Please god it works this time x

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  • Julie - Ellen15 March 2015 at 12:12

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  • I think you are incredibly brave to hun:;; ive been a skinny girl all my life until the last 4 years where im now bigger than ive ever been: my weight goes up and down and I struggle with all my eating now all the time as I know I have an illness:

    Well done you its a constant fight

    Laura xx

    We can do this x

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    1. Julie - Ellen15 March 2015 at 13:52

      Thank you Laura, to be honest in my whole life I have had only a handful of periods when I felt slim or was happy with how I looked. It is a struggle, but we can do it x

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  • Good luck beating your demons once and for all. I've had anorexia in my life for the last 13 years and I am determined this is the year I face up to it for the last time! x

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    1. Julie - Ellen15 March 2015 at 20:56

      It's a terrible thing - taints ever aspect of your life. I am determined to rid myself of it finally x

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  • Olivia Bushnell15 March 2015 at 17:16

    Huge good luck to you, and well done for going and getting that help.
    I struggle with binge eating and am putting on weight like there's no tomorrow but I can't seem to stop myself, I know I need help but I don't know where to start. Living as an expat without being fluent in the local language means I can't get therapy or anything like that. I need to do it myself but I fear I can't

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    1. Julie - Ellen15 March 2015 at 20:57

      That does sound incredibly challenging - it's such a huge hurdle even without the language issue x

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  • Well done on posting this!I am in a similar boat...have been a size 8-10 and been a size 14/16 (which on my small frame looks a lot bigger). I managed to lose weight and keep it off for a long time but it's something I always have to work at, can't take my eye of the ball. Unfortunately I did about a year ago and right now I feel stuck in a fat rut. I have no motivation and start to worry about how I will be even more miserable if I dont have yummy food to eat (issues issues issues). I really didnt want to join a slimming club but think I need to purely to have some inspiration, support and people to answer to. Even a wee dedicated online group would help but I am really struggling on my own.
    But well done to you :) I wish you all the best with your weight loss journey x

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    1. Julie - Ellen15 March 2015 at 20:58

      Gemma I am 100% with you - I never wanted to join a Slinming club but I just couldn't do it alone - if you ever want to chat I am here x

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  • Jessica Edmunds15 March 2015 at 20:47

    I am so proud of you for coming out in the open about this and being honest as I think a lot of people can relate. I am exactly the same and I think you learn behaviours from family, my mum was bulimic and my nan is always yo yo dieiting, us women are absolutely terrible and I don't think there is one root cause it is just how we are?! I think eating a standard amount everyday is the best way, and if we have to emotional eat just don't eat junk and bad fats, I eat things like apple crisps xxx


    Blonde Of Carbs

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  • Julie - Ellen15 March 2015 at 20:59

    I think that is true Jess - routine is a comfort and can be really helpful x

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