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My Relationship with Food

My relationship with food has never been a good one. I don't really know how or why I became obsessed with my food or how it all got so messed up.

I was always very active as a child. I was in the swimming club, I played netball, softball and I also did gymnastics. I wasn't a fat child, so I was never picked on about my weight, but for some reason I remember it all went south when I was 13 (first year of high school) so that means that I have been battling food one way or another for 27 years - why have I done this to myself??????????

When I was at high school, I just decided to stop eating. I can't remember what set this off. It wasn't boys because there were no boys at my junior high school. I had given up all my sport except for my netball, this was mainly due to moving interstate. I really wanted to keep up my gymnastics too, but there was none close to where we were living. I really don't know what started this off. Maybe it was because my bestie Tracey and I used to collect Dolly magazines and we wanted to be like the girls in them. Or maybe it was because that since giving up swimming I began to get a little bit of a tummy and Tracey didn't have one so maybe on some sort of subconscience level I was trying to be like Tracey. I noticed that I always ate more than she did, but then Tracey didn't play ANY sport, but back then I don't think I really knew the science behind food and exercise. Maybe that is what triggered my anorexia.

For many years I suffered a silent anorexia, no one knew about it. On all the charts I was classed as underweight, but only by about 5kgs. I don't think it was "real anorexia" I just didn't eat as much as I should have and I would skip meals where possible. As I got older (15) I got a part time job at McDonalds. This is when my eating became a lot worse. I remember there were a couple of other girls working there and all they talked about was their weight and how they wouldn't wear anything bigger than a size 8. Back then a size 8 was tiny, not like now where a size 8 is equal to a 14 in some shops and a 12 in other shops. Anyway, maybe this was another reason my eating got worse, cause I wanted to be "skinny" like them. The thing was though, I was already skinny, I was already below the recommend bottom weight for my height, but when I looked in the mirror I just didn't see it.

While working at McDonalds for the next 3 years while finishing high school, not eating became really easy. I used to ride my bike to school early so no one knew that I hadn't had breakfast. It's easy to put a bowl and spoon in the sink with some water in it so it looks like it has been used and then rinsed. I did always have a salad for lunch so it always looked like I was eating to everyone at school. Most of the days I worked at McDonalds I wouldn't eat, no one noticed, and when I got home I would tell mum that I had eaten at work. I started to drop weight and mum would make a few comments, but I would just tell her that I was tired from school, sport and working part-time and because my mum worked 2 part time jobs she didn't really notice what I was eating. My brother and sister were always off doing something so they never noticed and dad, well dad just never noticed anything or if he did, he never said anything, plus he was always busy at work.

Whenever my friends and I went out I would eat with them, but that was the only meal I would have for the day. I became a 1 meal a day person. Even after high school it seemed to get even worse. I was taking diet pills, I think they were called Medi-Slim or something like that. I would take 1 in the morning - you were supposed to eat 1/2 an hour later, but I never did and the tablets would make me soooo sick. I skipped lunch and then I would take another tablet at dinner which consisted of salad. I was eating 1 salad a day for ages. My body became used to it and eventually I wasn't even hungry anymore. I did drop down to under 50kgs though and with my height of 175cm it was starting to become a little noticeable. My mum and I started to argue about food because she didn't think I was eating properly - she was right, but I would never have admitted it to anyone. In fact, this is the first time I have ever acknowledged this to myself or anyone else.

Eventually after about 5 or 6 years I did start to eat more, but I also developed bulimia. I didn't think it was "real bulimia" because I didn't vomit after every meal. This went on for a few more years until I shared a house with 2 people, 1 was a Hawaiian Ironman triathlete and the other was a girl who loved to ride her bike and run. These 2 people inspired me to adapt a healthy lifestyle. I joined a gym and I began to workout with Wendy. I was actually enjoying my life and food for the first time in years. Eating healthy food - real food. Fresh fruits and veges, seeded breads and so on. I had put on 15kg so I was up to 60kg, which was in my healthy weight range, but I felt great and because I was working out, doing weights, swimming, running, aerobics and even martial arts I had never looked better. I was toned and fit. I felt fit and I looked fit. I was happy.

Then one day I became pregnant. Once I was pregnant with bub #1 my whole outlook on food changed. I was pregnant, I could eat for 2 now - wrong, you still only need to eat for 1. I began to eat stuff that I never ate biscuits, ice-cream, lollies, froot loops. I couldn't workout because I had really bad morning sickness, I was vomiting 24 hours a day for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and I was studying so it didn't leave much time for the gym. I just craved sugar and that's basically what I lived on for the 9 months till he was born, which left me 30kg overweight.

The worst part was though that I had developed all of these really bad food habits again, but in the opposite direction. Instead of not eating I was over eating, I had become lazy as well and had no urge to go to the gym and I kept eating like I had been eating when I was pregnant. My pregnancy made me really hungry. I knew I had to do something, I had nothing to wear so I joined WW. Eventually I lost 22kg which took me down to 73kg which was the top of my weight range then for some reason I started to put the weight back on. By the time I fell pregnant with bub #2 I was already 100kg and I had Type 2 diabetes. Amazingly, I managed to lose weight during this pregnancy and after I had her, I was 95kg. I decided that I was tired of being so overweight so I went back to WW and got down to 86kg before finding out I was pregnant with twins so I stopped the program again. I blew up to 122.2kg by the end of my pregnancy. After having the twins I was 104kg, but again with all the overeating I had been doing during my pregnancy, I just couldn't stop and I ended up at 115.2kg and even my maternity clothes weren't fitting anymore.

THIS was my FINAL moment. I knew I had to do something about this and I did. I am now back under 100kg. I am eating healthy foods and not craving the sugary things anymore.  For the first time ever in my life I can honestly say that I believe in me, that I can do this and that I will do this.

That is my story and my unhealthy relationship with food which is why I am where I am today. I am sure though, with hard work and determination, I will one day be back at my 60kg goal.

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