Thursday, 18 February 2010

Know yourself

One of the things I most love about losing weight this time around (in comparison to other less successful attempts) is that I'm actually in tune with my body. That sounds horribly pretentious and wanky but bear with me.

When I was gorging myself on food I never had the chance to actually listen to my body. I packed her so full of sugar, fat, stodge and junk that she couldn't tell me what she needed. I would eat until I was so full that it actually hurt. I'd have to lie down because I was in so much pain and felt so bloated. Then, once an hour or so had passed, and the bloated feeling had diminshed slightly, I'd carry on with the crisps, cocktail sausages, biscuits and sweets. Then I'd feel terrible again.

The lowest point of my entire life came in May last year. I'd eaten so much and felt so full and bloated and in pain that I made myself sick. I then cried for about two hours and wondered how the hell I'd ended up like that. I vowed there and then that I'd never do it again. But of course I did. I think, however, that was the first moment that I actually realised what I was doing. It was the first time I ever really considered that I might have some sort of eating disorder. Non-purging bullemia? Who knows. I stopped for a while, I told my partner at the time all about it, all about the eating and the sadness and how out of control I felt. It was the first time I'd ever told anybody. That was the same day that he finally admitted he loved me. We then spent the weekend making life plans and talked about how our future would be. I'd never been so happy.

Then, two weeks later, he left me. Without explanation. Without so much as even a backwards glance. He cut me out of his life. I trusted him enough to tell him about my problems with food (a major major thing for me) and then I was left alone, wondering why I'd ever trusted him at all. So of course I did the only thing I knew how. I ate. I binged. I cried. I blamed myself. I gained 28 pounds.

Looking back and writing it down here is actually incredibly painful. I feel so sad that I let myself get like that. It was a sorry state of affairs.

Anyway, the point of this post was that now, because I'm eating healthily and have left my bingeing days behind me (6 weeks and counting), I know what my body wants. I know when to have green tea or fennel tea (amazing for the digestive system and to combat bloating). I know when I need a glass of water and not food. I know when I'm retaining water. I know when my period is about to start (I'd messed my body up so much with food that I never knew if it was hunger pains, pains from being too full or period pains).

I'm actually letting my body speak for the first time in my life.


Lainey. said...

I can indentify with some of those feeling so clearly. My ex never had an issue about my weight, or so I thought. One night, when I was talking to him about marriage- specifically us possibly getting married and how much I wanted it, he said the most hurtful thing that anyone has ever said to me – and of course it was weight related. I can still remember that moment. It was that comment that sparked our breakup. He could have murdered someone and I would have stood by him but the things he said to me, that really showed his true feelings were unforgivable.

I don’t think some people have any idea how much it takes for people who have weight and food issues to be really honest about them, and the level of trust it takes to open up like that.

Helen said...

I never knew how Chris felt until a few months into the relationship, when I found some msn conversations he'd had with a friend. I confronted him and he admitted that he hated my weight. It surfaced sporadically throughout our time together. One minute he'd be saying how much he fancied me. The next he'd be calling me fat in the middle of an argument. Once he said he was ashamed to be seen with me in public.

Even now I get tears in my eyes when I think about the things he said.

The best bit? He used to weigh about 16 stone himself.

Anonymous said...

*big hug for you*

I know how you feel, and I can certainly relate to the Nasty Ex thing...

You're doing so well. The thing with Slimming World is that it helps tou learn not just how to lose weight, but how to eat healthily.

Keep going, Helen. We're all rooting for you.

Helen said...

It seems like lots of girls have had the same experiences with less than tactful exes. It makes me sad :(

I do feel like I'm doing well but I'm patient and want to be thin NOW!

Thankyou xx

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog post. Before medical school I found myself doing the same things and gorging on foods. I had no idea that I was giving in to my psychological temptations. I now realize that true hunger is felt throughout the body. The nice thing to know is that humans do not need the "requiered" 3-4 meals a day. Keep up the great work with your articles and please stop by my health blog sometime. The web address is

Anonymous said...

The "I want to be thin NOW!" thing is a big one for me - there is a post coming on it soon :-)

Helen said...

Davon - Thankyou. I'll be sure to stop by!

Amy - Glad it's not just me!