I had an eating disorder, but didn’t even realise.

Even writing the title to this post was a bit weird, it sounds so ridiculous.

So. After living  such an unhealthy lifestyle for so long, I dived straight into a healthier one at full force (read my first blog post here). However, because I had no idea about the importance of proper nutrition whilst losing weight, I was blindly leading myself into dangerous territory, eating little and yet doing as much exercise as possible. And I thought it was great. By July 2014, I had dropped two stones easily,  I felt much happier and more confident- but I wanted things to move faster. I proceeded to buy protein shakes from Protein World, which were amazing at first, but then my progress started to slow down and I plateaued (but I’ll talk about this in more detail in a separate post). Because my body was now in starvation mode, nothing I was doing seemed to be helping me shift more weight, and this is when the eating disorder started to take control.

‘Orthorexia Nervosa’ literally means ‘fixation on righteous eating’, which is how my condition started out; but it then rapidly spiralled out of control into binge-eating and bulimia. Just to clarify, I had absolutely no idea that what I was experiencing was disordered eating, and it was only when my housemate happened to be studying around the subject in one of her modules (she’s a Psychology student) that she happened to point out to me that I definitely had a problem. It almost became a kind of joke we had: we would laugh about ‘The Guilt’ (the enormous sense of guilt I experienced when eating a ‘forbidden’ food) together, and nickname the condition ‘food anxiety’. I think this was to mask the feelings of concern she had towards me, and it was a way of covering up just how serious my mental health problem was becoming.

One of the worst moments in my mind came when my housemate asked if I fancied going out for tea. Before we even had the meal I was experiencing ‘The Guilt’; and, bearing in mind that I had already been to the gym that day and burnt 500+ calories, I came home from that one ‘bad’ meal and started doing an array of exercises in my room, determined that my food wouldn’t spoil my hard work. I obviously now know that ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’, but at the time I was so fixated on burning the calories off that I had just consumed, I didn’t care. I was obsessed, possessed by food all the time, it was crippling. Another example would be when I injured both my hip AND foot at the same time due to over-exercising; and yet I still insisted on training through the pain until I could barely walk and was forced to take a break- thus making me eat less to avoid gaining weight.

Since realising and recognising that I have a problem with my relationship towards food, things have got a little better. I started The Body Coach 90DaySSS Plan in March last year, and although I didn’t see incredible results (again, I’ll write a separate blog post about this as well!), it educated me and made me realise the importance of a good diet. Being healthy isn’t just about the foods you eat and the exercise you do, it is also about having a healthy way of living your new lifestyle, not allowing it to take over your life.

Sharing this post has been truly nerve-wracking, as I’ve only told a few close family members and friends, but I want to be honest on this blog; and I plan to write more posts that are similar to this, in the hope that they will be able to help somebody identify whether they also have an eating disorder that they aren’t aware of.

Thanks for reading,

Soph x

 

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6 Comments

  1. February 12, 2016 / 7:19 am

    It’s normal and common for eating disorders to start like this- that is how mine started. Or so I thought. But years later during therapy they helped me see what really started it. A focus on ‘being healthy’ was there to mask and distract from something else. If you look really deep you might mind the same

    M x

    • February 12, 2016 / 3:04 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been through something similar! I definitely think you’re right, at the time I had just gone through a bad break-up and had a lot going on. Food and exercise felt like the only thing I had control over x

      • February 12, 2016 / 5:52 pm

        That makes perfect sense. It’s good you can see that and know the trigger.
        Mx

  2. May 18, 2016 / 1:59 am

    This was very brave of you to share, and thank you for doing so because I can totally see some of my anxiety in this. I am so happy that you are on a good track now. I hate how slow workout results are, but doing it the healthy way is going to pay off in the long run.
    Thanks again for sharing!
    Steph x.
    marvelsteph.blogspot.co.nz

    • cockaaz
      May 18, 2016 / 10:35 am

      Thank you for reading Steph, and I’m so sorry that you can relate to it! Going down the healthy route will DEFINITELY pay off xxx

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