I talk about my history of ED a lot here. What I have never really gotten around to is talking about the other issues I have with food.
When I was 11, I started getting sick. At least 5 times a week, I would have no choice but to take to my bed with stomach spasms, pain and all manner of symptoms. No body had any idea what was wrong with me. I was afraid to go to parties, to leave the house, to do anything in case I got sick while I was out. It was around this time that I started to withdraw and become introverted, partly due to my illness, partly due to first episode of depression. This continued for five years with no change.
Various visits, tests and misdiagnoses later, a gastroenetrologist diagnosed me with IBS. Although I now knew what I was dealing with, I was still frustrated; IBS is a diagnosis of elimination – basically, nothing else was wrong with me – and it was a chronic syndrome i.e. there is no cure, only remissions and exacerbations.
To counteract this, I decided to cut out all wheat, yeast and various foods out of my diet completely. My sickness episodes (while still ever present) decreased dramatically and I also lost about half a stone in a short enough period of time. I was also starting walking and eating healthier in general and I was happy that I was able to be freer with my social life and was looking better. I was still dealing with depressive and anxiety episodes but I had come a long way from my earlier days.
When I decided to quit self harming (another story for another day), I took up binge eating instead. When I gave up the wheat and other foods, I switched to tracking the ingredients in food. This turned into tracking the calories and then reducing calories. The more stresses I had in my life, the more stringently I kept to my “diet”. The less food I ate, the less I was sick (there was nothing in my stomach to make me sick) but overeating, and even normal eating, pushed my body to such an extreme that I was put off eating properly again for days.
To be continued…