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Finally admitted that I have an ED, caused by my mother's ED

tonysawicki

tonysawicki

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Australia
Hello everyone. I just joined this forum, and I'm seeking some support, or just some empathy. I want to share my story, because it's burning me up inside.

TW: binge eating disorder, anorexia, discussion of emotional abuse, brief mention of suicide.

My mother suffered from anorexia in her youth, and throughout my childhood, she shamed me for my weight despite the fact I was underweight. She told me that my thighs shouldn't touch when I walked, despite my body type being thicker than hers, regardless of my weight. She was obsessed with dieting, but hid it beneath a facade of being "healthy". She'd keep sweets in the cutlery draw so that we (myself and my sibling) had to look at them every day, but were not allowed to eat them, or else we'd be punished. She openly told me that she'd rather commit suicide than be overweight. I was around 14 when I heard this comment. She called me ugly when I didn't look the way she thought was best, she expected perfection in every way, and she saw me as a reflection of herself. She shamed me for other things throughout my life, in more severe ways, but I won't go into detail-- needless to say, she's a delight.

I always viewed any consumption of food as an excess, due to her influence. Any dessert or sweet food was shameful. I think my overindulgence and bingeing comes from that psychological mess. I would hide any consumption of food which wasn't "allowed", and whenever I had access to snacks, I would shove them down as quickly as possible. I knew she would shame me for eating.

I have continued to do this, oscillating between normal eating habits and bingeing. This is despite the fact I've lived away from her since age 18. But lately, during the pandemic, it's been to a grotesque excess. Today, I binged so much that I was in physical pain. I felt like vomiting. The problem has become horribly common. I need to stop.

What have been your tactics to deal with binge eating? How have you handled your eating practices?

I really need help, and I appreciate anyone who reaches out.

Thank you so much in advance.
 
calypso

calypso

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Hiya and Welcome to the forum. I think your mum sounds quite toxic isn't she? I do sympathise with you on that. Have you ever thought about therapy for this? I think you need support and good therapy to overcome the negative thinking she put into you. I have had therapy for other issues and its been invaluable in me coping with my problems with childhood (I had trouble with my father's negative influences on me).

I hope others with more understanding of EDs come here soon to talk to me.
 
tonysawicki

tonysawicki

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Australia
Hiya and Welcome to the forum. I think your mum sounds quite toxic isn't she? I do sympathise with you on that. Have you ever thought about therapy for this? I think you need support and good therapy to overcome the negative thinking she put into you. I have had therapy for other issues and its been invaluable in me coping with my problems with childhood (I had trouble with my father's negative influences on me).

I hope others with more understanding of EDs come here soon to talk to me.
Thank you for the welcome!

She is absolutely toxic, yes. She's a controlling, narcissistic, unhealthy parent who allowed her problems to ruin the lives of her children.

I've been to therapy for other matters, and will be seeking specific help for this problem too, now that I've admitted it's an issue. I know myself very well, and I know my mother very well, so I'm not intimidated by the prospect of seeking professional help.

What I want from this site is empathy from others, really :) I'd just like to know how others have combatted their ED, and what day-to-day tactics have proven effective for them. Obviously we're all different, but I'm curious to know nonetheless.

Hope you're having a good day, and thank you again for the welcome.
 
D

DeltaBlue

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
13
Location
UK
Hi.

I came here very recently seeking the same help and advice.

What I’ve read previously is that you need to deal with what triggers the desire to binge. That can be an equally big challenge. A second thing is to learn to distract yourself at the point of ‘binge temptation’. Other suggestions have included eating very very slowly, keeping a food diary, planning what you are going to eat and eating at very regular times.

Some of this is very simplistic and if the problem is as real and immediate as it is to me then it won’t be specific enough or maybe not strong enough.

I have no answers as is obvious because I’ve been a binge eater for decades. I hide food sometimes and for the first time last week ate secretly at work when others were also in the building. I’ve done it often enough before when here alone and I do it at home or in the car.

In the UK we’re just supposed to be starting a fight against obesity. They are talking about banning bogof deals, moving sweets away from the till and restricting ads for junk food. This might help some but I’ve never not eaten because of price and I don’t watch any TV ads.

I don’t know whether weight is a problem for you. I lost a moderate amount of weight inside 4 months in 2017 because of a girl. That was so easy and I could have kept that up indefinitely if only things could be made to work properly between us. That route is now closed hence putting half of it back on. I also stopped biting my finger nails for the first time in half a century. That I have kept up.

For what it’s worth I binge to commiserate a bad day, celebrate a good one, to relieve boredom or simply because I want to. Sometimes it happens three times a week or maybe just a couple of times a month. This may or may not help but one things for sure - there are more of us doing this than ever have the courage to speak up.

If I find an answer you’ll be the first to know, but for now don’t think you’re alone in this.

Delta
 
D

DeltaBlue

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
13
Location
UK
One other thing.

Some suggest a food and exercise diary for some circumstances. I started one this morning but I‘m not into diaries & stuff.

D
 
tonysawicki

tonysawicki

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Australia
Hi.

I came here very recently seeking the same help and advice.

What I’ve read previously is that you need to deal with what triggers the desire to binge. That can be an equally big challenge. A second thing is to learn to distract yourself at the point of ‘binge temptation’. Other suggestions have included eating very very slowly, keeping a food diary, planning what you are going to eat and eating at very regular times.

Some of this is very simplistic and if the problem is as real and immediate as it is to me then it won’t be specific enough or maybe not strong enough.

I have no answers as is obvious because I’ve been a binge eater for decades. I hide food sometimes and for the first time last week ate secretly at work when others were also in the building. I’ve done it often enough before when here alone and I do it at home or in the car.

In the UK we’re just supposed to be starting a fight against obesity. They are talking about banning bogof deals, moving sweets away from the till and restricting ads for junk food. This might help some but I’ve never not eaten because of price and I don’t watch any TV ads.

I don’t know whether weight is a problem for you. I was 18 stone dead this morning. Three years ago I was 19 stone 7. I lost 3 stones inside 4 months in 2017 because of a girl. That was so easy and I could have kept that up indefinitely if only things could be made to work properly between us. That route is now closed hence putting half of it back on. I also stopped biting my finger nails for the first time in half a century. That I have kept up.

For what it’s worth I binge to commiserate a bad day, celebrate a good one, to relieve boredom or simply because I want to. Sometimes it happens three times a week or maybe just a couple of times a month. This may or may not help but one things for sure - there are more of us doing this than ever have the courage to speak up.

If I find an answer you’ll be the first to know, but for now don’t think you’re alone in this.

Delta
Thank you so much for all your advice! I'm so happy to have connected with someone who is experiencing some of what I'm going through. I really appreciate you taking the time to reach out, and I want you to know that you're not alone either. I may have a different story but I share some of the same habits and struggles.

Now that I've calmed down throughout today, I have a more firm determination to deal with this. I feel really empowered.

What I've done, is I've organised my calendar to cater for food control. I have meals prepared for about two weeks in advance, and on Monday and Friday, I'll allow myself one "snack" per day, as snacks are my issue. (I will often buy them in bulk and binge.) I don't want to try the cold turkey thing, but I do have very good self control when I put my mind to it, so I'm going to allow myself one snack item twice a week, and stick to it. If I can't do that, I'll loosen the rules even more.

For me, identifying the issue is half the battle. I needed to admit this was a problem to start handling it. The cravings have begun tonight, as they have so many other times, but I'm holding steady so far. I'm eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in organised portions. Thankfully the pandemic makes me even less willing to go outside, so I can't just up and buy snacks from the grocery store with the same carefree attitude I did before.

For context, I have faced some pretty heavy shit in my life, and been to therapy for many years. So I'm used to pain, and I'm used to resilience. That makes me a bit different to many other folks, in the sense that I know myself very well, and I'm used to recovery. I've conquered OCD, depression, and clinical anxiety. I truly believe I can conquer this, too. I've accepted that this will be an ongoing problem, and I believe I will always face some desire to binge.

TW: alcoholism
.
.
.
.
.
.
For context, I gave up alcohol because I was using it unhealthily, so I know I can deal with my eating disorder too. I relapsed only once, and only had one drink before I stopped. I haven't drunk at all since then.

I believe that there is strength within all of us. It takes some darkness to find that strength, but it is real.
 
tonysawicki

tonysawicki

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Australia
One other thing.

Some suggest a food and exercise diary for some circumstances. I started one this morning but I‘m not into diaries & stuff.

D
Ah, good luck with this! I tried keeping a food diary too, it never worked for me. But maybe it will work for you!
 
tonysawicki

tonysawicki

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Australia
For what it’s worth I binge to commiserate a bad day, celebrate a good one, to relieve boredom or simply because I want to. Sometimes it happens three times a week or maybe just a couple of times a month.
This is precisely what I do, too. I always end up hating it halfway through, and in preparation for a binge, I always know I'm about to hurt myself. I was reading about BED and several sites implied that people binged for consistent amounts of time, which made me doubt myself, because sometimes I would only binge a couple of times a month, like you. But other times I would binge on a near daily basis. So hearing that someone else's experiences fluctuate is very reassuring.
 
D

DeltaBlue

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
13
Location
UK
Thank you so much for all your advice! I'm so happy to have connected with someone who is experiencing some of what I'm going through. I really appreciate you taking the time to reach out, and I want you to know that you're not alone either. I may have a different story but I share some of the same habits and struggles.

Now that I've calmed down throughout today, I have a more firm determination to deal with this. I feel really empowered.
This is precisely what I do, too. I always end up hating it halfway through, and in preparation for a binge, I always know I'm about to hurt myself. I was reading about BED and several sites implied that people binged for consistent amounts of time, which made me doubt myself, because sometimes I would only binge a couple of times a month, like you. But other times I would binge on a near daily basis. So hearing that someone else's experiences fluctuate is very reassuring.
What I've done, is I've organised my calendar to cater for food control. I have meals prepared for about two weeks in advance, and on Monday and Friday, I'll allow myself one "snack" per day, as snacks are my issue. (I will often buy them in bulk and binge.) I don't want to try the cold turkey thing, but I do have very good self control when I put my mind to it, so I'm going to allow myself one snack item twice a week, and stick to it. If I can't do that, I'll loosen the rules even more.

For me, identifying the issue is half the battle. I needed to admit this was a problem to start handling it. The cravings have begun tonight, as they have so many other times, but I'm holding steady so far. I'm eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in organised portions. Thankfully the pandemic makes me even less willing to go outside, so I can't just up and buy snacks from the grocery store with the same carefree attitude I did before.

For context, I have faced some pretty heavy shit in my life, and been to therapy for many years. So I'm used to pain, and I'm used to resilience. That makes me a bit different to many other folks, in the sense that I know myself very well, and I'm used to recovery. I've conquered OCD, depression, and clinical anxiety. I truly believe I can conquer this, too. I've accepted that this will be an ongoing problem, and I believe I will always face some desire to binge.

TW: alcoholism
.
.
.
.
.
.
For context, I gave up alcohol because I was using it unhealthily, so I know I can deal with my eating disorder too. I relapsed only once, and only had one drink before I stopped. I haven't drunk at all since then.

I believe that there is strength within all of us. It takes some darkness to find that strength, but it is real.
Thank you so much for all your advice! I'm so happy to have connected with someone who is experiencing some of what I'm going through. I really appreciate you taking the time to reach out, and I want you to know that you're not alone either. I may have a different story but I share some of the same habits and struggles.

Now that I've calmed down throughout today, I have a more firm determination to deal with this. I feel really empowered.

What I've done, is I've organised my calendar to cater for food control. I have meals prepared for about two weeks in advance, and on Monday and Friday, I'll allow myself one "snack" per day, as snacks are my issue. (I will often buy them in bulk and binge.) I don't want to try the cold turkey thing, but I do have very good self control when I put my mind to it, so I'm going to allow myself one snack item twice a week, and stick to it. If I can't do that, I'll loosen the rules even more.

For me, identifying the issue is half the battle. I needed to admit this was a problem to start handling it. The cravings have begun tonight, as they have so many other times, but I'm holding steady so far. I'm eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in organised portions. Thankfully the pandemic makes me even less willing to go outside, so I can't just up and buy snacks from the grocery store with the same carefree attitude I did before.

For context, I have faced some pretty heavy shit in my life, and been to therapy for many years. So I'm used to pain, and I'm used to resilience. That makes me a bit different to many other folks, in the sense that I know myself very well, and I'm used to recovery. I've conquered OCD, depression, and clinical anxiety. I truly believe I can conquer this, too. I've accepted that this will be an ongoing problem, and I believe I will always face some desire to binge.

TW: alcoholism
.
.
.
.
.
.
For context, I gave up alcohol because I was using it unhealthily, so I know I can deal with my eating disorder too. I relapsed only once, and only had one drink before I stopped. I haven't drunk at all since then.

I believe that there is strength within all of us. It takes some darkness to find that strength, but it is real.
You’ve come through a lot. And you seem to have won several victories. Well done. This must give you confidence to sort this one too.

I hesitate to give any definitive advice because everyone has unique circumstances and challenges. One guys excuse is anothers real reason. We should take what we perceive to be the best bits of each other’s advice and adapt it to our own circumstances. Our specific circumstance then has a specific response.

I got through yesterday OK. Today is starting well. I have food plans made but I do have to visit a store this morning. If I stick to the list I’ll be OK. Thanks to you I think I’ll stay clear of the snacks for the first time in many weeks. I’ll know for sure in the next 90 minutes.

I’ll report back.
 
D

DeltaBlue

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
13
Location
UK
You’ve come through a lot. And you seem to have won several victories. Well done. This must give you confidence to sort this one too.

I hesitate to give any definitive advice because everyone has unique circumstances and challenges. One guys excuse is anothers real reason. We should take what we perceive to be the best bits of each other’s advice and adapt it to our own circumstances. Our specific circumstance then has a specific response.

I got through yesterday OK. Today is starting well. I have food plans made but I do have to visit a store this morning. If I stick to the list I’ll be OK. Thanks to you I think I’ll stay clear of the snacks for the first time in many weeks. I’ll know for sure in the next 90 minutes.

I’ll report back.
Little victories!
 
tonysawicki

tonysawicki

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Australia
You’ve come through a lot. And you seem to have won several victories. Well done. This must give you confidence to sort this one too.

I hesitate to give any definitive advice because everyone has unique circumstances and challenges. One guys excuse is anothers real reason. We should take what we perceive to be the best bits of each other’s advice and adapt it to our own circumstances. Our specific circumstance then has a specific response.
Thank you! And I agree, we're all very different. Even "excuses" have the potential to reveal our vulnerabilities, and the ways that we're hurting. Recovery and changing deeply-ingrained attitudes is difficult. Anyone who's making an effort deserves respect. It's okay to struggle, and it's okay to have a non-linear healing experience.

I got through yesterday OK. Today is starting well. I have food plans made but I do have to visit a store this morning. If I stick to the list I’ll be OK. Thanks to you I think I’ll stay clear of the snacks for the first time in many weeks. I’ll know for sure in the next 90 minutes.
Hey! How're you doing? How'd it go?

Also, I'm heading to the store myself, about to give my self control a test. I feel confident!
 
tonysawicki

tonysawicki

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Australia
Update (TW for discussion of food and triggers).
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Went to the store today, bought one single snack food, as I had planned. Really proud of myself for holding back. Also bought fruit (mandarins, kiwi fruit) and cherry tomatoes, for times when my cravings are too strong to resist. This way, I will go to the kitchen and eat a piece of fruit, instead of going and buying a bunch of unhealthy food to gorge myself on. I'm aware that cravings and dependency on food doesn't just disappear, so this way, I'll be managing my expectations while also eating healthily.

I found myself triggered when my housemate started loudly unwrapping chocolate, crinkling the packaging and making a ridiculous amount of noise. They've been very receptive to helping me throughout my ED recovery, so I'm hoping that I can speak with them about reducing the auditory triggers in our home. They can eat chocolate, of course, I just don't want to be in the same room when they do. And I don't want to hear the CRINKLECRINKLECRINKLE of packaging all throughout our apartment. That sound is just so strongly tied to bingeing and excess, for me personally.
 
tonysawicki

tonysawicki

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Australia
Update (continued discussion of food and triggers).
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Just asked my housemate if they would mind closing the kitchen door before loudly unwrapping foil-packed snacks. They agreed. I was nervous about daring to ask!

I don't know whether this affects other binge-eaters, but I feel guilty for experiencing this problem, and I'm struggling with the shame of having an eating disorder that affects me daily. So I feel very thankful that I live with someone who is so willing to accommodate me, and help me to avoid triggers. If I was still living with my parents, I would probably not be handling this so well. I feel very blessed to be in the life situation I'm in.

I'm thinking now, about an issue which the pandemic has made irrelevant. What I'll do when I'm around other people, at parties or whatnot. Whether I'll eat the snacks that are offered, and whether I'll be able to hold back from overeating. I'm glad that I have some time to build up my resilience and self control before then, if I'm honest. I haven't told my other friends that I'm suffering from an eating disorder, so I suppose this is a bridge I'll cross when I arrive at it.
 
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