And I am an over eater, not too anonymous.
I have a name, a face, a story and a personality.
Few people around me know about my emotional eating. Some people may have no idea.
My relationship with food has always been very complicated. Perhaps it has been the most difficult relationship I ever had in my life. It started when I was 8 years old.
Due a medical condition, I had to use lots of cortisone. As you might be aware, cortisone can cause a big increase on weights. To prevent an excessive gain of weights, my parents put me on a diet – I was already a bit ‘full’. As a result, from the age of 8 I started to develop a complicated relationship with food and my body. Since I was not allowed to eat the “unhealthy food”, I would secretly eat everything I could when I had the chance – and, of course, I would hide the tracks afterwards. When my parents were not home, I would stuff myself with food to compensate my deprivation. I still remember the “treasure hunt” in my house, looking for my precious treasure: chocolate. Or when I was in friends’ house, or outside and I had few spare coins with me, I had no doubt on what to buy: sugar. Any size, shape, taste. Everything was good enough.
It could be easy to blame my parents for my eating disorder, but I know they love me and I know that they put me on a diet for my health, to give me my best chances. They did it in good faith – so thank you Mum, thank you Dad!
Who knows, perhaps if it wasn’t for my first diet at the age of 8 I was not going to be here, to write about my eating disorder. Perhaps, if it wasn’t for this eating disorder I won’t be who I am today.
Now, of course in good days I like to see my “being powerless in front of food” as a learning opportunity. But in other days I see it in a very different way. I would just blame myself, asking myself ‘what’s wrong with me’ alimenting a negative state of mind.
You know, it is pretty easy to blame ourselves for ‘not being good enough’. Then it becomes a spiral of shame. Food is an addiction and as every addiction it follows the ‘5 point of addiction’ : shame, look for quick fix, fulfillment, guilt and back to shame. Pretty much it works this way
1 I feel very unhappy about something. I feel I was not good enough in that situation or it is my own fault if it happened to me because I am not good enough.
2 I am so overwhelmed. I feel like I either need to relax or either need to punish myself because I am not good enough. I need to find that minutes of peace, relief.
3 Biscuits are always there for me. They help me to relax. They accept me the way I am. They give me peace, they do not judge me. The melted chocolate on my mouth makes me feel like in heaven.
4 Why did I just finished a full pack of digestive biscuits and a big back of crisps? Why did I just lost control over food? Why am I not even able to control what I eat? If I can’t control the way I eat, how can I control my life?
5 Shame. Shame on me, I am not good enough.
And here we go again.
That’s me, for most of my life. You probably didn’t see this happening, you probably had not idea, but that’s ok. To be honest, I am not looking for anyone pity, I used to pity myself a lot but pity has no more room in my life. We all have a story, we all have issues – shit happen all the time, we all have a lack of self-esteem or a wee addiction, whatever is food, tv, social media, alcohol, games or shopping. We are all humans and, as human beings, we are all struggling in a way or another.
Now, teen Silvia is a very different person from adult Silvia. I worked a lot on my self-esteem, I worked a lot on my dreams. Present Silvia is definitely a much more positive and loving person than she used to be. I worked on myself hard, built myself out of love rather than hate. When I was 22 years old I decided to change my life, my destiny. I decided to define myself for how good I was inside rather than how much I weighted – although if goodness was measured in weights I was definitely winning!!
Why about this blog?
It is mainly a selfish reason. First of all I want to admit I have a problem. Lately I have been struggling with my old way of thinking, like almost everyday I have been finishing a pack of biscuits. I am worried I am going to get stock into it again and I do not want for this to happen. I want to learn again how to see my addiction as a learning opportunity, a way to see things in a different prospective, to question and challenge myself in a more positive way, in a more compassionate way.
Also, lately I have been speaking about my problem with few people and I realized that it is a more common issue than I thought it was – other people are just better at hiding it. As a result, it is an invitation to start this self-discovering journey together.
From today, i want to stop being ashamed about my eating disorder. I want to be curious and learn from it. As we say in Italy: “not everything comes to harm” and that’s the attitude I want to adapt.