I hate food. I hate eating food, talking about food and even watching food. So after noting the title of this post, you can understand this is going to be difficult for me to write.
Here we go.
I was 14 years old, at the beginning of my summer holidays, just before the start of year 10. I was starting to find myself and become more aware of how important body image was amongst my peers. I wasn’t huge by any means, but I was ‘chunky’ and the boys in school certainly made me aware of this, through nasty remarks and cruel jokes.
I made a decision at the start of that summer, that I was going on a diet to reinvent myself. My parents were all for it, they always thought I needed to lose weight and be more healthy. I don’t think they realised how destructive and painful this weight loss would turn out to be.
I started by using a points based diet, which worked really well. I was shedding the pounds, still eating healthily and I began to think that I could lose more weight if I skipped the odd meal or cut some more calories. I was right. The weight dropped off me and by the end of the six week holiday, I had lost two stone.
I received so many compliments and my parents just turned a blind eye to my injurious methods. I felt great when I went back to school. I had new popular friends and boys were actually interested in me. I became obsessed with becoming thinner.
It wasn’t long before the elation turned to misery. I kept cutting out meals and hiding food. The first time I made myself sick was awful. I drank salt water and cried for an hour afterwards. I just lay on the kitchen floor and sobbed;
“Why am I so fat and disgusting?”
The longest I went without food was a week. Not one morsel passed my lips, just water. I felt weak, like I would faint any second and I had constant headaches. My friends started to notice I wasn’t eating and asked me to stop. I kept thinking;
“How dare you tell me to stop this, you are only friends with me because I lost the weight in the first place!”
I had lost nearly four stone and my friend’s Mum became concerned. She made an appointment for me to see a doctor. The only reason I agreed to go, was so I could ask for diet pills. When I arrived in the doctor’s office, I asked for the pills but was suprised when he asked me to get on the weighing scales.
I stared at the scales, frozen with terror. I weighed myself three to four times a day but never in front of anyone. Eventually I got on and started to cry. The doctor said he wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist and he would give me a letter to give to my parents.
I was a mess. I didn’t want help, but I was exhausted and tired of being controlled by food. I decided I would leave the letter on my Mum’s bed and head out for the night. I should have just told my parents face to face but I was young and scared of what they would say.
I returned home the next day and lay on the sofa. My Mum came rushing in.
“WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!”
she was holding the letter in her hand and shaking it wildly at me.
“THIS IS TYPICAL! YOU’RE ALWAYS AFTER SOME DRAMA, A BIT OF 999!!”
All hope drained away from me. I looked up at Mum with immense sadness. This was the one person who was meant to throw her arms around me and tell me everything was going to be OK.
I kept quiet and we never spoke of it again. I can’t eat with my parents now and I have put on a lot of weight after constant secret eating. Food, to me, will always feel like an affliction.