Trigger Warning: This post contains talk of disordered eating, restriction, eating disorders, etc. If that’s likely to trigger or upset you, please don’t read this post!
Earlier on in Blogmas I talked about my reasons for not being vegan, and touched on my slightly troubled history with food and eating. Whilst I’ve never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, I have struggled off and on with food and eating for several years now. Although I’m at the point where my physical eating habits are generally healthy (as in, not disordered – not necessarily ‘nutritionally healthy’), I still struggle with disordered thoughts around food and eating.
Since I firmly believe that humour can be a great healer, today I thought I’d share with you 3 weird thoughts I still have about eating, even though I’m pretty much recovered. Because, let’s face it, brains can be weird as fuck and sometimes you’ve just got to laugh at how ridiculous your thought process is.
This person skipped lunch, so now I have to not eat for longer
I am naturally a very competitive person. Just ask anyone who’s every played Monopoly with me! Unsurprisingly, therefore, this trait has carried over into my difficulties with eating.
When I was at the height of my struggles, I used to ‘challenge’ myself to see how long I could go without eating. If I suddenly realised that it was 3pm and I’d not eaten anything, my brain would immediately challenge me to go longer. Even now, if I hear someone around me mention that they’ve not eaten, my brain tries to force me to enter into a weird silent competition with them.
In those situations, I usually drown my brain out with a bar of chocolate.
I must tell everyone everything I know about nutrition without letting on that I’ve ever had eating problems
One of the weird side effects of having once had eating problems is that I know a lot about nutrition and food in general. If you ever want to have a three hour conversation about your metabolism and how your body burns energy, I’m your gal.
Unfortunately, most ‘normal’ people don’t know this information, unless they’ve studied nutrition properly. Which means when I do inevitably start reeling off obscure facts about nutrition, most people look at my like I’m a little bit insane. Which maybe I am.
If I walk 10,000 steps today, I’m allowed to eat ALL the carbs
Obsessing over numbers has been a central part of my weird relationship with food and eating. Whether it was an arbitrary goal weight, or a particular number of calories, numbers have consumed much of my eating life. Which is weird really, given how much I despised maths at school.
Whilst counting calories and obsessing over goal weights are in the past, I still often find myself fixating on pointless numbers – and rewarding myself based on them. Most recently, I’ve found myself becoming obsessed with the number of steps I do in a day. Hitting the magical 10,000 steps that the internet insists is the holy grail of numbers has become somewhat of a personal challenge of mine.
Of course, realistically I just eat ALL the carbs ALL the time anyway, regardless of the number of steps I’ve done. Because nothing shuts up a stupid voice in your head quite like an entire pan full of pasta.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with issues around food and eating, I really encourage you to seek help. I am living proof that recovery is possible, and that you can get to a stage where you can laugh about the weird quirks of your brain. Below are some resources that you might find helpful:
B-eat – The UK’s Eating Disorder charity
Do I have an eating problem? – A video by Chidline ft. YouTuber Melanie Murphy
Eating Disorders – An introduction by the NHS