For most of my teens and all my twenties, food was an extremely dangerous enemy to me - to be contained when possible. After years of utter chaos, pain and insanity, I found salvation in a programme of extremely rigid food containment (a blog I wrote for years still exists, both as a reminder for me and to give hope to others) which kept the demon contained. It took work and commitment, but for years I found that I could have a life between meals - all three meals were committed in advance to my sponsor each day, in detail, then weighed and measured; with nothing in between but black coffee, tea or water. No matter what. 24/7, 365, no exceptions. It took planning and commitment but I was able to live life in between those meals.
One day in late 2010 I was at a conference. People were prayed for. I felt no particular need so I stayed in my seat. Someone called me out and prayed for me - I don't remember what he said, only that it wasn't very earth-shattering - but I knew, that evening, that I had been freed. After years of daily, no-exceptions weighing and measuring of my food I started the next day with extreme caution. I took my scale to breakfast, but I had chosen not to call my sponsor that morning. I sat at breakfast and my scale remained in my bag. Slowly, as if the food could attack at any moment, I took my first bite. And another. And I was truly free.
Over the next few months I learned, completely re-learned, how to eat. I was no longer avoiding all sugars, grains and starches as the enemy. I no longer had to wait 4 hours in between meals, or avoid snacks. In learning, I gained some weight; but I never spiralled out of control. I truly had been healed, actually totally unasked-for (I had been convinced I'd found as much freedom as I could ever have!)... but it was like having to learn to walk after a stroke, I had to learn to eat in response to hunger cues and appetites and choices I could make.
While I have been free from the madness since that day in 2010, it's been a journey in terms of body image. I will never have a model body - I'm just not built that way. I'm short, muscular, and strong; not lithe and willowy. My wonderful man calls me 'curvaceous'. I remind myself often that he is the only person I really want my body to appeal to; as long as he likes what he sees, it's all good. That includes myself and my merciless eyes; it doesn't matter if they're less than happy at the mirror's reflection.
|Photo taken at about 20 weeks.|
I'm not eating for two, I'm not going crazy with food: those days are over. But I am gaining weight. And for the first time, I'm absolutely fine with that.