Hi, my name is Claire and I suffer from an eating disorder.
This blog is my story. It is an honest picture of what my problem is and how I have been fighting it these last 2 years, when everything else failed. It isn’t a criticism against anybody who does things differently.
One week ago, I finally made the decision to completely stop tracking what I eat. It is a new stage in my fight. I’ll come back to that decision later...
I suffer from BED (Binge Eating Disorder). According to Wikipedia, in the US, BED “is prevalent in up to 30% of those seeking weight loss treatment”.
BED involves extreme overeating in a short time, again and again, week after week (if you think you might suffer from it, have a look at the Wikipedia page above, I found the definition really helpful).
If you have followed my blogs or looked at my page this last year or so, you might have read that I haven’t had a single binge since January 2012, after a major breakthrough with my therapist...
That is still true, I haven’t had a binge as I used to for over a year. It is joy, it is progress. It is huge!
Yet, I still suffer from BED. The ‘beast’, the disorder, is evolving, taking other forms, as I am fighting it with some success. But my mind and body are still mixed up. My BED didn’t appear suddenly, it has been created by 30 years of attempts at controlling my weight one way or another. And it has only started to get better when I looked at my mind (through psychoanalytical therapy) rather than my body...
After I understood (January 2012) why during binges I mostly ate things that I hated...
... I understood (July 2012) why I kept overeating even though the binges had stopped. That was a very important step as well.
After this July breakthrough, I really tasted the sweet taste of freedom for the first time in decades: I was naturally, easily, eating ‘normally’. I stopped eating when I had had enough, it seemed so easy I couldn’t believe it! It lasted almost 3 months and I lost 13lbs!
I think what happened next was that I went back to controlling rather than enjoying my food (and also forgetting the big discovery of the ‘2 Claires’ mentioned in my July’s blog). I wanted more weight loss rather than more pleasure in what I was eating. As soon as the ‘controlling’ was back, as soon as, consciously or not, I felt the pressure again, the freedom was lost and I started eating more, of things I didn’t even enjoy much! I stopped losing weight. And gained back, little by little, the 13lbs I had lost.
This is where I was a few days ago. Back at the same weight I was in July 2012. I was in despair. As I was trying to analyse what had happened, I wrote down:
“I suffer from an eating disorder.”
It FINALLY reached my brain... Would you tell an anorexic person: “Eat more, you can do it!”? Of course you wouldn’t. He/she is sick. It won’t help. So why am I telling myself: “Eat less, eat this, not that, you can do it...”? Control control control... I have to LET GO.
So, a week ago, I decided to completely stop tracking what I eat. Now I actually try and apply the 3 principles that I applied without realising when I lost the 13lbs:
- to only eat when I am hungry
- to always only eat the foods I really want to eat
- and to stop eating when I am not hungry anymore.
Last year, STRIVER57 sent me a link to an article in the New York Times about mindful eating which I enjoyed very much. It is here if you want to have a look:
I had heard about mindful eating before, but didn’t think I could ever manage it. When I read the NY Times article, I realised again how much I thought it was THE solution for me... but I was too scared, I wasn’t ready to take the risk. Now I want to stop the controlling which is ruining my relationship with food, and I believe I can. I need to stop feeding my eating disorder! The 3 principles I follow are inspired by the mindful-eating ones.
In a week, I lost almost 3 pounds. I weighed myself last Saturday, and again this morning. Now I’ll go back to only weighing myself the 1st of each month. I am in no hurry, I just want to become freer, much more than to lose weight.
If you have made it so far, THANK YOU! It isn’t easy to share so openly about these things, they are complicated and take time to explain. But I do hope that my story can help someone who reads this blog.