#89 My story
I was a lean and active little girl with a real independent streak. I am the eldest of four and was always very grown-up for my age (I got sillier as I got older!)
I adored my home life and family. My passion was riding horses and everything animals and horsey. And my Mother, I adored my mother more than anything in the world. But I was badly bullied at school right from the beginning until a year before I left. I didn't integrate well, I was different.
I wanted to be an actress, a nun or a showjumper. My aunt was an actress and was engaged by my parents to put me off the idea, the voice in my head told me I wasn't pious enough to be a nun, so Showjumper it was!
I left home just after my 16th birthday to be a working pupil in a showjumping/ dealing/ hunting yard in Cheshire. It was a 3 or 4-hour drive from home.
This was the mid-1970s and working pupils were treated like dirt! But it was a live-in job with 3 cooked meals a day. I had never eaten like that in my life. At home, meals were hit and miss apart from our evening meal which we all sat down to. I was made to feel stupid, untalented and inadequate - before this, I thought that I was a bit of a star riding wise. I really came down to earth with a thud! I was also very homesick so on top of the 3 cooked meals I went to the local shop and stocked up on sweets and crisps. I also went to the pub and regularly drank way too much. I also remember embarrassing incidents like "who ate all the cheese- we were counting on that for sandwiches today" I had eaten it all after everyone had gone to bed. My need for food was insatiable. I was so miserable. Oh my gosh, I WAS BARELY 16! I DRANK, SMOKED AND ATE AWAY THE PAIN. In 6 months I went from 55kg to 87kg+.
I could not go home because the man who got me the job had sexually abused me and I was scared that if I let him down he would tell my parents. I'm crying for my 16-year-old self as I write this - I haven't let myself do that FOR A LONG TIME.
This was the start of years of weight loss, weight gain and eating hell. I loved food, I hated food. I went home eventually. I was so ashamed of how fat I had become. I was constantly dieting or trying to. One day I was home and eating a huge salad for lunch. My Dad looked at my plate and said "no wonder you are overweight look at how much you eat". I loved my Dad, I was devastated. This was the real start of my eating disorder. I didn't eat for 10 days.
By the time I got married at 20, I was back down to 59kg (starving and bingeing, starving and bingeing)
My weight fluctuated through the 7 years of this marriage always dieting, always feeling fat. Always losing and regaining the same 6-7kg obsessed with dieting magazines, especially the before and after pictures and articles.
When this marriage ended I easily got skinny. I lived on alcohol, cigarettes and diet coke. I was a freelance riding instructor and schooling horses for people and working in a bar at night. Then I met Kenny and my weight fluctuated again. Such a waste of mental energy constantly in a battle in my head over food and body image.
I remember one Xmas when Kenny was in NZ and I was alone at the cottage in Wiltshire. He had told some friends of his from London to come and stay over Xmas. They were so sophisticated compared to country bumpkin me. I overheard the women talking about someone with bulimia and it sounded like a great idea so I taught myself to be bulimic. This opened the flood gates to eating disorder land for a second time.
When I had my son I was determined that my kids would not have a bulimic Mother and I was fine for a few years.
But when I gave up riding for a living and became a PT I got talked into doing a bodybuilding competition and that bought the bulimia back.
My mother had died and I was living in NZ and terribly homesick. So again I ate to keep my emotions at bay. I was sick, tired, overweight and depressed. I hated myself and my body.
This only a part of my story with weight, body image and food.
But what I can say is that over the years I have got better. I was medicated for depression for many years but I have been free of that and bulimia and buffering with food for many years now.
Through my journey to wellness:
1. Stopping overdrinking helped me a heap.
2. Learning mindfullness techniques helped.
3. Going vegan has helped
4. But mainly doing the work on my brain has been the best thing! I am finely free of the emotional food chatter!
My Bulimia is gone I am at my forever weight. I sit between 59-63 kg and I am now able to do a shred and be happy to gain muscle and lose body fat for health and love my body in the process and that is the biggest gift of all.
Making peace with it all and having the absolute privilege of helping others through their weight loss journey IS MY MISSION.