Food has always played a big part in my life. Growing up breakfast was a huge deal. No one left the house without eating breakfast. Cereal, toast, or porridge on a weekday, cooked breakfast on a Saturday and whatever we fancied on a Sunday, but we had to eat it. Lunchboxes came home empty if we didn’t want a fight, if you didn’t eat all of your main course at dinner, there was no dessert or supper. And the portions were not small.
But with sixth form and heightened responsibility, I was rarely home for meals. After seven years of being bullied at school and even longer than that at home, I needed control of something and food was what I could control. Especially as I wasn’t being monitored as closely. I started skipping breakfast, telling my parents I was getting it at school. Lunch was a plain roll and as for dinner, I perfected the art of silent purging. I pushed myself faster and harder and occasionally binged and purged when I craved the taste of something sweet.
Recovery is where I have been for the past fifteen years. I’ve managed to stop myself from any of those behaviours mostly, except when highly stressed a few years back, when I reached an all time low of 90 pounds in weight. On my 5’6″ frame that was too thin.
In the past two years though things have seriously changed. It’s been eighteen months since I last seriously thought about restricting or bingeing and purging, twelve months since I calorie counted with regularity, and a month since I thought that I need to go on a diet.
I will never say I am out of recovery, but today I can honestly say that my relationship with food is back on an even keel. I have sat at work listening to people talk about diets and how to lose weight and not been triggered into old thought patterns, I am finding it easier to not compare myself to others. I am seeing the beauty of my own body. Some days it’s harder than others but I always have at least two things I’m thankful for and love about my body and that is a step I never thought possible.
And I’m proud to print this and hang it in my kitchen: