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.