Confessions of an emotional eater

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Content warning: food, eating disorders.

Today I have been feeling anxious, so I wanted to eat sweet things.

I was full of lunch, but still bought an extra chocolate flapjack and smoothie. They were supposed to last me the afternoon, but I devoured them in minutes. My craving was not satisfied. And I still feel anxious. Only now I feel sugar cravings and anxiety and shame about giving in to my cravings.

I hate the feeling of my stomach feeling full. Even now, years on from starving myself for perfection, I feel guilty when I feel I have “indulged” in too much.

I know this is bullshit. I know I should be kind to myself.

And yet I cannot.

Is this because, I fear that having a healthy relationship with food would cause me to put on weight?

What would be wrong with that? According to the the measurements that I obsessively record, I have unhealthily low levels of body fat.

But this doesn’t matter.

I know that it isn’t about what I look like. Or even my health.

It’s about being a “good girl.” About doing what I should do. Doing what’s right.

I am the girl who always wanted to be perfect. To never cause a problem for my parents, busy visiting my sister in hospital or battling with her to take her medication. I needed to be good, so that nobody would ever worry about me.

I was good at school. I kept my head down and did my work and focused hard on what I was supposed to do, who I was supposed to be.

Am I doing it right? Sometimes I was so fraught with self-consciousness that I would jump if anybody ever spoke to me. If somebody criticised me. I’d burst into tears.

My greatest embarrassment? I often still do.

See, being a good girl is exhausting. It leads to anxiety, fear, and a bin full of chocolate wrappers. Chocolate hastily eaten when nobody is looking.

I eat my emotions because I can’t tell you how I feel. If I do, you might worry about me.

4 thoughts on “Confessions of an emotional eater

  1. Helen

    People worry even if you dont talk about what’s wrong. people who care about you and love you have made the choice to worry, you aren’t responsible for someone else’s thoughts, feelings or worries.

    I don’t know if you’ve literally just written this or if it’s about a different day, but if it’s today, you’re doing on of the big deal things in less than a week so you’re going to be feeling some stress, burnout, anxiety etc. And there’s probably a whole host of related emotions you’re feeling below that and thoughts you’ve not consciously let yourself think.

    Eating disorders are clever, they see a bit of stress and jump in offering to save the day. They seize the opportunity to get back in control and pre wedding with dress fitting related stuff is the perfect chance for the eating disorder to take back it’s power.

    How else can you help the anxiety?

    Reply
    1. Kate Post author

      How else can I help? By writing about it. This was today, and I knew I was being silly, but wanted to share because we all have silly days where we slip up and let the eating disorder take back it’s power (II loved your blog post about taking back power btw).

      Everything you say makes sense. You are very wise Helen x

      Reply
      1. Helen

        We do all have days where we fall back and i’m glad you were able to write about it. I am however going to gently challenge your use of silly, it isn’t silly it’s a (not great) coping mechanism x

        Reply

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