I think I started to obsess about food around the age of 18 and also how my body looked. Before that I can remember being confident, sexy and happy without question.
I can remember not being able to eat, after being dumped by a boyfriend I was madly in love with (looking back now It was hugely co-dependent, plus a little bit of love).
Oh, and a time before that, which “may” have allowed the following behaviours, was when I was in a show for a stage school I went to. I was also 18, and I asked my dad how I looked on stage. I was referring to my ballet talent. He said, “I could do with losing ten pounds but, yeah, I was good”. Now I’m 100% sure my dad didn’t mean any harm from it. But because he said it, it allowed other men to say it… other people and other situations to “judge” me and “accept” me based on my physical appearance and or weight etc.
So after these events, I started to repeat these kinds of events. I got boyfriends who would ask me to lose weight. One would say I was too pretty to be fat. Another said some nasty things during a break up. You look fat while you’re on top of me! I was mortified. My self-confidence crushed! How could he mock me in such a vulnerable private act? I was so upset and embarrassed that being angry at him or telling him to eff off didn’t even come into my mind. I mean, I wasn’t even fat! Or overweight! I just wasn’t a size 8, I was a size 12!
|Here I was “too pretty to be fat” especially my arms, not my words|
Anyway, I started dieting, cutting out certain things. I never didn’t eat. I actually liked food a lot. In fact, I used to wish I had the will of an anorexic, so I could stop eating. How bad is that?! So I kind of loved being dumped, as I would go off my food for a few weeks, only eating the bare minimum. Then I’d start to look really skinny and good and I loved how I looked but not how I felt.
So, when I wasn’t being dumped and off my food I would obsess about calories, the gym! I tried juicing, weight watchers, slimming pills - which made me go off food and my heart race to the point of feeling faint and moody and angry. I even took some illegal pills, which are so dangerous for you. If I didn’t go to the gym. I would feel so guilty that I would take at least 10 laxatives. I’d be on the loo all through the night in excruciating pain but feeling good that I felt like my insides where coming out and how flat my stomach felt.
Again, I loved how I looked but hated how I felt.
There was definitely a love hate thing going on. I’d even obsess, just before bed, about what I would eat the next day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I woke in the morning, first thing on my mind was food. And all day, like most of the minutes in each hour, food, food, food.
I wanted to get into modelling - again I was being judged by my manager. “OK, get really skinny,” he would say. “Only eat this or that,” he would say. “Oh and we need to get rid of your double chin.”
“OK,” I said, “I will.”
|I knew I had to say yes to the shoot. But I’m the past there is no way I would have been seen dead looking like this. I was overweight and unfit and very unhappy with my look. But I knew I had to say yes as a way of acceptance of how I was.|
I was so used to being told to change. You’ll be good enough if this or that. That this was my normal. It was soooo unhealthy.
Everything seemed so out of reach for me. I began to feel like a failure. As I was so close to things but an inch too big here or there to make it, to be loved, to be accepted. I would wake up and think of what I was doing that day and what I would be eating or what challenges I would face regards to food. Fridays at work we had a “fat Friday” which meant we ate McDonald’s or pizza or something like that at lunch. I sooo badly wanted to join in. And I did sometimes. But the guilt! The guilt was huge. I would go on and on about it so much. People must have been so sick of me. I was already known for my weird concoctions I would bring in. My juices that looked like pond scum ha! ha! Or the “lose 9lbs in 11 days” diet where one meal was peanuts and grapefruit. I mean wtf?!?!
Eating out wasn’t fun. I’d look around the other tables and see people enjoying food and having “normal” conversations but I was sitting there consumed with how many calories in this or that. I’d want a pie or potatoes but no! Look at the salads look at the salads! He won’t love you if you’re a fatty! Hurry up waiter and bring the wine so I can get tipsy and pretend to be happy!!! If it wasn’t for the wine I’d be mute! See I would also use food to cheer me up. So I was in the middle of an internal food war! I needed food because I was so sad but I also needed to not eat it because I was fat! It was awful. These cycles of losing weight, feeling good, then bam! No gym for two days! You bad girl! Take some laxatives to bring you back down on the scales! Anyway… it carried in like this for years. I loved how I looked but I was never happy. I was so sad.
I even got so anxious around summer time, or should I say approaching Summer time. See, I didn’t think I was good enough for Summer, Summer clothes, Summer festivals, Summer holidays, Summer photos. I really wished I was skinny, so I would fit in with what I thought people wanted from me and society too, oh and not to mention those skinny denim hot pants. I hated my arms and my thighs, I used to be so envious of people with slim legs and arms. And I loved a cloudy or rainy day! I could hide then :).
Another boyfriend, another one watching what I ate, also admitted he would have preferred it if I was skinnier, I was a size 8/10! WTF!!!! So, when he ended up finishing with me, I was embarrassed. So much so I wouldn’t leave the house. Not in day light, I’d go out when it was dark, then home to binge eat. Yep, I started to binge. Mainly on cereal and McDonald’s. I’d go to the drive-through after work. And sit there in the car park, feeling so awful, even fatter and even more self-hate. So sometimes I’d go round again. Or, on my hour journey home I once stopped at 4 drive-throughs, and, yes, I bought four Big Mac meals. The foot well of my passenger front seat was full of McDonald’s bags! I’d get home and eat dinner which my mum had made. Then I’d go up and cry in my room. My mum would come in and I would say, “Mum I’ve just eaten four Big Mac meals and my dinner what is wrong with me?”. She hugged me. And said in a caring voice. I think you’ve got a problem darling. I can’t remember exactly what was said but. She gave me an elastic band, to put on my wrist, and to ping it whenever I thought of food.
I was now getting physically bigger. I realised I was making myself fat, to protect myself from being loved and dumped again. It was so painful.
I’d done a 360, now I was getting bigger.
I found a new love for exercise. I started boxing. I loved it! I looked forward to going, taking part and how amazing I felt afterwards.
|I loved being fit and healthy when I was boxing|
I started to feel like I was getting more balance in my life. I also started studying self-development and found I didn’t love myself (NO SHIT HA! HA!) Everything I did screamed “I don’t love myself” from my actions and behaviours to my non-stop negative self-talk.
The scales had to go as well. As they would also control how I felt and how my day went according to what it told me. Plus, I could weigh myself every time I went to the bathroom! I was obsessed! Literally it was a numbers game for me. Numbers on the scale - numbers in the calories! Ha ha makes me tired just thinking of all that negative energy I was lugging around.
Now I was bigger. By a measly two stone. I looked back on old photos and I could kick myself. What was I thinking? I was so beautiful. I still am but, Jeeze! I was a hottie! I mean… I could have loved life so much more. I could have done so much more. Given so much more. I was so wrapped up in myself and my body and how much I hated myself.
I fell pregnant, October 2017, and I was 12 stone, regularly going to Boxing, but still comfort eating. Not so much bingeing but just eating out of boredom and I guess I felt a bit lonely. Actually, looking back, I was quite depressed and anxious. Food was still a crutch but I was balancing out.
As my pregnant belly got bigger, I did get more and more anxious at how big I was getting, but it wasn’t because of how I looked. I was more scared of just how big your belly goes when one is pregnant ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! I totally went with it when I was pregnant. I ate what I craved, I didn’t enforce any kind of diet as I actually eat a lot of fruit and veg, on top of the cheese burger cravings I was having :)
Towards the end of the pregnancy I did over eat a tad as I was so anxious. However, I had a new found respect for my amazing body. Every time I googled what the baby was doing and what was growing and forming from one week to the next I really was in true awe of my body. My body knew exactly what to do. And when to do it. Just like that.
I was in love with my body. Wow! I never ever thought I would hear myself say that to myself ha!
|Probably looking the healthiest but feeling very insecure|
It is true though… I really was and really am shocked at how nasty I used to be to myself.
I have come such a long way and still have some way to go. I have to keep practicing self-love, and being an example to my 8 month old daughter who is growing up so fast. I feed her with positivity and lots of love (As well as a balanced diet of course) I still do not have the best relationship or behaviours with food, but like I said I am nowhere near where I used to be, though I am still bigger than when I fell pregnant, I love my body, and I do not let it hold me back or (excuse the pun) weigh me down.
Now I’d love to be fit and healthy. On my own terms, In my own god damn time! Doing what I love: boxing, horse-riding, walking, jogging, walking the dog, dancing around the house with the baby, meditation, yoga… as well as not using food to cover up feelings of anxiety or boredom. This is something I am working on. And am finding quite challenging. So my journey continues, one day at a time.
You can follow my journey on my Instagram lolly_j_b
where I love to help by sharing, inspiring, anyway I can. If it helps me, it might help you too.
Lots of love, Always… Lolly xxx