Tag Archives: Emotional Eating

Boundaries and Recovery

I had a revelation this morning as I was waking up, that wonderful place between sleep and wake, I love it there, I seem to get a lot of insight when I am listening.

I had been dreaming about an old boyfriend, and saw his disrespect for me, something that for me at the time was perfectly normal. In the dream, we had arranged to meet up after a party where we both were and all of a sudden some friends of his had turned up and he said sorry I am going with them……..not would you like to come nothing, I was  just dropped.  Somehow I just accepted it, just like I had accepted it most of my life.  Even though I was so angry inside I did not have the words to say how I felt and this is not ok, and I realised in that moment, this is where my addictions come in.  It was a real moment for me.  I would stuff the anger with booze, food and then become passive aggressive and as a child this is when I would self harm, I had no words to say this is not ok for me, they were buried way deep inside and for some reason they still are to a large extent.

I am realising this behaviour is a huge part of my depression and my mental ill health, I had no way of really understanding how to deal with this. No words. My parents were pretty unreliable, my father was busy working and often away and anytime I challenged my mother on her lateness, which was most of the time, she would always put it back onto me, saying something like ‘I am here now, what is your problem’ and I would be left with it.  Now I see the problem is she never called to say she was late, she just turned up and that was supposed to be ok, now I am seeing it is not ok, but all this time I have thought it was me and I have chosen so many people to replicate the same thing.

I am begining to realise the extent of my co-dependency, it is definately at the root of my addictions.  I am only now getting to see my part in things, my part is not putting up with it, setting boundaries and if necessary walking away.  I realise that, as I said to a friend of mine, we teach people how to treat us, if we respect ourselves then they will, it has taken me years to really understand these words and for them to go from my head to my heart.

I am finally learning a language that I lost.  I would blame others for treating me like shit, I had no idea I let them.  And likewise, others would blame me for treating them like shit and I would take it on, they would blame me for treading over their boundaries, I did not know they were there, they never told me.  I feel I have had a great epiphany this morning and I want to share it with you, I think the world is going to become a much easier place for me as I am learning that maybe, just maybe all that shit was not mine, I could have said not thanks, please take it elsewhere, this public convenience is actually closed.

Borderline Personality Disorder/Emotional Intensity Disorder…what’s worse? Week 6

What a week I have had……….it has been like the big dipper at Blackpool amusement park, on the highest ride of all.  I have found fellow suffers, blogs, videos and so much out there, now I am finally focused on what the issue at hand is.  I have had difficult decisions to make, but made them and in the midst of all that, I feel like my heart is breaking……………the grief is overwhelming and then I tell myself who really wants to read all about that? Surely they all want positive nice and fluffy stuff, then I decided that maybe you would like identification and one day may be good, the next bad and the next utter crap!! That is how life is for me at the moment and I think and hope that it is that authenticity that you will actually want to connect with.

I am finding this STEPPS course so difficult and even wondering if is for me, seriously.  I actually need some support as well as the course on a regular basis from someone who is aware of the course and helping me to deal with what is coming up, and that is not happening as yet and I am finding it very very hard to manage without it.  This week we did Challenging, challenging the thoughts that are in your head, the thoughts that come up that are not real!! Well, what if you actually believe they are real?  As some of you may see, I am on the road to recovery, and it feels like a very long road at the moment! At the same time when I am going through the questions on the sheets to answer how could you challenge this particular thought, for example, ‘it is wrong to have your feelings’ ……..I am struck by grief and rage at the fact that if I had been allowed to have my feelings I would not be in this position, I cant seem to just answer the question………each and everyone of them is bringing up more and more stuff that is not anything to do with me really, it is all their crap that they have put onto me and now I have internalised it and am doing it to myself……………its a process, and one thing I am grateful for is I am feeling my feelings!

I have found two resources that are helping me to not feel so alone and help me to connect with my feelings. I would like to share them with you.  One is a video and the other is an article, all things I have discovered as I research my tribe.

I hope you find them helpful whether you are a sufferer yourself or helping someone who is.

This video is one of the most beautiful and clearest descriptions of how it feels to be me. Although I am not in as bad a place as I was regarding the more severe behaviour, the feelings are there.  Sometimes words are just not enough.

I have also found this article so helpful and what an inspiration Marsha Linehan is.

Thankyou for reading my post, I hope you will continue to follow my progress!

Penny

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2012 – It’s Not All About The Food!

A reporter friend of mine, Sara-Jayne Kirk has done two great interviews this Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  One with ED Specialist Ann White and another with Gregory Szanto, the Founder of The Sussex Eating Disorders Clinic in Eastbourne.  Both of these interviews give such insight into the depth of the problems for those suffering from Eating Disorders. They also highlight very clearly, that Eating Disorders have very little to do with the actual food and much more to do with emotions.

As well as being helpful and empathetic with the sufferes, these interviews also highlight the gaping whole in the NHS provision for people with this problem, which I know personally only too well. I hope you will find them useful and please do pass this blog on to anyone who you think might benefit.

For some people this is their only addiction. For others, like me, it was found buried under the carnage of alcoholism, drug addiction, sex and love addiction, not to mention all the other ways I had  learnt to avoid my feellings.  Franetic activity, workaholism, never ever being able to be alone and all to try and fill a huge emptiness in my soul. It is also on the check list for those with Borderline Personality disorder, along with other addictions, such as alcoholism and sex.

A friend of mine told me recently that it is to do with ‘mother love’, lack of love, lack of connection, lack of attunement or rejection or abandonment.  For me, this has always made perfect sense, and this is not a blame game, it is fact for me…………and it is for many other people I know.

Fortunately, I eventually had treatment for my compulsive overeating, binging, bulimia and undereating, I have a food plan, do not eat white flour or sugar and have lost a lot of the weight I put on over a very short period of time. But it never ever goes away and I have to watch myself every single day.

If I feel upset, rejected or unloved, it is the very first place I can go………….and sometimes without even knowing it.  I diluded myself the other week when I brought a very small bar of dark chocolate from the ‘Free From’ range. I had barely got through the door, promised myself that I would have it with a cup of tea, but it was gone before the kettle had boiled.  I know why, and it scared me. I felt so rejected by someone and there it was! Thank God it was just that one bar.

In 2008, I hated what I had become, I felt utterly miserable and hated life.  Slowly I am recovering.  I ate on feelings, and still have to watch it, as I have already said, when it is really bad it can still catch me out.  I would always eat on feelings that I could not express, but now, what is different is I have people and places to go where I can express them and someone bothers to listen without telling me I am crazy or making it all up for attention.

For that I am truely grateful.

Using Herbalife Helps Manage My Eating Disorder

I had been talking with a friend of mine about how I am struggling with my weight and want to loose some. She mentioned Herbalife to me in passing as her friends were running the business locally, but I didn’t really take much notice to be honest. However,  it wasn’t long before a chance meeting introduced me her friends Maria and Oskar who are also my local Herbalife distributors.  I was sceptical at first about trying it again because I had tried it in the 80′s and thought it was frankly disgusting, but I decided to have another go and I am very happy that I did.

When I was a child I was always questioning why I could not just take a tablet and not really worry about the whole eating thing, and I wanted to know that I have all that I need to keep me healthy.  It seemed logical to me that if I need xyz to keep going, then why can’t I have it in tablet form, random thoughts? Maybe not!!

I have suffered with an eating disorder for many years now, my weight fluctuates on a regular basis and as I have got older it has got far harder to shed it. I am an emotional eater, or not eater and I have recently seen my portion sizes creeping up and my clothes feeling tighter. I have another 30lbs to loose and I need help to shift it.  I have now turned 51 and really want to look my best and make the most of my life, and for me, that includes feeling and looking good.

So, I have embarked on the Herbalife eating plan and it is working for me.  It has taken a while to get to grips with as some of the products are quite sweet, for me that is not good, it triggers binging so I have had to be really careful and honest, it would have been so easy to say ‘yum, they are delicious’ and continue with them, but who am I kidding!  So, I now have a programme that works for me and the support of Maria and Oskar, who I have to say are amazing in working with me to get the best programme I can get.  Their willingness to listen and want the best for me also helps me to be honest and it works.

I have the vanilla shake, which I mix with soya milk and a banana or strawberries for example; the protein bar; the soup; fibre and herb tablets and multivitamins, and the tea, I have the original one which I prefer. I have the shake twice a day and a snack inbetween each one and then a healthy meal in the evening. I have already lost 5lbs and am looking forward to the rest coming off and feeling good as I do it, not starving myself or worrying about what to eat etc, it takes the pressure off for me. It is also balancing my sugar and I am working towards my optimum nutrition.  Being in recovery is a challenge and anything I can do to easy the stress is great for me.

I am going to be writing about his regularly so you can keep an eye on how it is working for me and then maybe have a go yourself.

If you want to learn more click the link above and see what you think, I am very glad that I did.

New Helpline for Binge Eaters Discussed on Loose Women

It was a brilliant show today, the topics covered were varied as usual and today there was the announcement of a new helpline for Binge Eaters called ‘Buzz About Binge’ set up by Pam Ojalae who believes that there needs to be more help for people who are going for fatty treats. I could not agree more.  I have tried to find the details for you but cannot find them anywhere, but I thought I would let you know that there is such a thing out there now and maybe the number will come up on google in the very near future, please let me know if you find it before I do.

kate Thornton was very courageous and disclosed that she herself has had an eating disorder and went on to explain the shame around not being able to share this horrendous illness for the feelings of disgust and how it is still not really talked about, good on her for being so open.  If you click on the link above you can see more of this discussion.

Thanks as always to the women on the panel for making it such an informative and fun programme and for being so willing to reveal themselves.

Vanessa Feltz and her Gastric Band on Loose Women

Thank you Vanessa for your honesty about how you feel about being over-weight, you have helped hundreds of women by being you.  On Loose Women today Vanessa Feltz openly admitted she had to resort to having a gastric band fitted because she just could not loose the weight. That awful feeling of feeling so unattractive she described beautifully and the feeling of not being able to wear what you liked to wear because your choices were now limited, all the above I understand, I have been there, I blew up from a size 10 to a size 20 in a matter of a year, I felt like someone else.  I was under so much stress and I ate to give me energy and I became so obese some of my friends did not recognise me, it was one of the loneliest times in my life.

I have battled with my weight all my life and was diagnosed with an eating disorder in 2008 officially.  I had tried everything and for me it has come down to no sugar, no white flour, no caffeine, and an eating plan which consists of 3 meals a day and ensure that I have equal portions of protein, carb and veg and fruit with every meal, plus exercise 3 times a week.  I found it excruciating at first and could not do it without support because I ate on my feelings.  So what happens when the eating stops, the feelings come up, and they have to be dealt with.

There are places to get help for people with eating disorders and fellowships that don’t cost money, but like everything there are waiting lists, therapists cost approx £50.00 and hour which is out of a lot of peoples price ranges.  Vanessa did touch on the fact that she could afford this when asked by Sherrie what about others who don’t have the funds for a gastric band.  This is becoming more and more of a problem, most things cost and not everyone has it.  I guess there is also a priority for those who do have money, how much do you spend on food and how much will you give up to get well.

Compulsive overeating is a disease, one that is not discussed enough and can even be described as an addiction, if you suffer from this problem and would like to discuss it further please do get in touch, send me a comment or a message to penny@pennysnowball.com and I will help in any way I can.

Thanks again Vanessa and I wish you well with your treatment.

Penny