How do you know you have a food addiction?
What is considered a ‘normal’ amount of eating? What’s considered too much?
“I might be eating ‘normal’ amounts, but just of the wrong kinds of food…”
I’d been in denial for almost a year before recognising that my addiction is a real one. I thought I just really loved food! People were impressed at how much I could eat, and not be already obese. I used that as an excuse, not really thinking about what it was actually doing to my body.
So how can you recognise your own addiction?
Here are some symptoms of a food addict/compulsive overeater/someone with Binge Eating Disorder (BED), whatever you want to called it!! The more you answer yes to, the more likely it is that you have an addiction to food.
- Do you think about food most or all of the time?
- Are you depressed about your weight?
- Do you binge? (especially on high carb and/or sugar loaded foods?)
- Do you feel like you cannot control yourself once you start eating?
- Do you become ‘numb’ whilst binging, kind of like you’re on auto-pilot?
- Do you continue the binge until you feel positively stuffed and extremely sick?
- Are you then disgusted in yourself and what you’ve just done?
- Does it make you feel guilty and depressed?
- Do you then swear to never do it again, but always relapse?
- Do you do it in private, away from friends and family, so that they won’t judge you?
- Are you ashamed of what they might think?
- Do you avoid social situations because you’re ashamed of your weight?
- If you do take part in social situations, are you more looking forward to what food is being served rather than the company of your friends?
I’m no doctor, I’m not medically or psychologically trained, but man do I research. I’m also a victim of this disorder, and those questions above would’ve all received a yes from me at one point. Thank goodness, I’m on the mend. If you can relate to any or all of these aspects, then you may have a food addiction.
I think everyone knows the symptoms of Bulimia. However, some people might, like I was, be in denial. I didn’t purge every day. And sometimes I’d go like a week without purging. I never purged after a regular meal. If I ate something nutritious, I wouldn’t even think about it. Only after these binges (which got progressively more frequent), would I purge. I started to notice the affects of purging in my face. It’s called “chipmunk” face, and it’s when the glands in your jaw bones swell up from the constant purging. Look it up! My face was totally swollen and it made me even more self conscious because I knew this is not how I am supposed to look. My throat was sore, and those glands were sore. I’d wake up each morning feeling like my face was a big fat bun, it felt like I had the flu pretty much all the time! That’s when I decided to actually do something about it.
So, to anyone who purges sometimes and doesn’t think they’re bulimic because they don’t do it all the time, please realise the incredibly dangerous affects purging has on your health. It’s extremely dangerous, and guess what? Purging doesn’t get rid of all the calories you’ve consumed during the binge. You’re body extracts and uses calories immediately after ingestion, so while it may reverse 50% (at the most) of the calories, it won’t totally eliminate what you’ve just done. Before I knew this, I was confused as to why I was putting on weight.
I’ll talk more specifically about Bulimia in a later post, and I promise to post more often! This week has been hectic!
The important thing to take home from this post, is that if you can relate to anything I’ve just said, please re-evaluate your situation, and ask yourself truthfully and honestly, whether your habits are not just habits, but actual problems. You may want to seek professional help, or even just advice from friends or family. If you’re too ashamed to tell anyone you know, please contact me! I’d love to hear from you and I know I can help give you the support you might be in desperate need of. Sometimes all you need is someone who’s experienced the same things as you. For example, I saw a psychologist for 6 months after losing the love of my life, but I found that people who understood what I was feeling deep inside were much better at helping me than my psychologist who only understood the medical side of my depression.
My next post will be about FOOOOODDD! yes, but HEALTHY food. It’s so important not to develop a fear of food as a result of your condition (like I did for a brief amount of time). Loving food is normal, and healthy. We should all LOVE food! But love the right foods, eat them at the right times, in the right amounts, and you’re happy as Larry!
Stay healthy, xxx
P.S. The below picture is what I will teach you moving forward, so follow me!