Food and eating have been continual struggles for me. As a child, I was punished by withholding food. At times I would cook a dinner for the family to help my mother out but then I would not be invited to eat dinner with the family. I got the leftovers I could sneak. I was frequently sent to school without a lunch. With no money to buy a lunch, I was left to my own devices. My best laid plan was to act up and get detention for which the punishment was cleaning the lunch tables after lunch while everyone else went on to recess. I'm ashamed to say that I ate many of my lunches from the trash that my classmates discarded. As I type this, my face is hot and red with shame; my most common emotion connected with eating. As a child I was ashamed for sneaking food because I knew it was not a normal activity for a child. Now, as an adult, I am equally ashamed because now I binge in secret.
I have always feared not having enough food to eat. I secretly obsess when I sit down at a meal that I will not have enough and what I eat will not fill me up. Ordering at a restaurant creates anxiety because often I don't know what the portions will be and again I will not have enough to eat. If I have a chance, I will eat before a meal if no one else is around. And if I have another chance, I will eat after a meal if no one else is around. Tough to do with a husband and three kids around but I still manage. I am terrified of going to sleep hungry.
What about emotional eating? Yep, I do that too. I'm self-destructive as hell and binging is destruction at it's finest. When I'm sad, I eat. When the memories are too much, I eat. When I hate myself, I eat. And then I hate myself even more for binging. When I write this, it makes no sense to me logically. But I still do. Food is comfort, food is punishment; I learned both of these lessons as a young child and I carry out both equally well.
How do I stop this obsession with food? I'm not sure. But I have to figure it out because it only breeds my own self-hatred.
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