On Sunday, 27th May 2018, I made the decision to break-up with the one thing I had relied upon for years to ‘love’ me – my relationship with food. In particular where it had taken me to, ‘binge eating disorder’.
(A.K.A my Spotlight – my version of Winston Churchill’s Black Dog of Depression, which would always come shining when things were about to get messy).
Today (25th August 2018) it has been 90 days.
I haven’t binged since.
I’m really proud of me…
And I felt called to open up and share an experience that met me at day 21 – because I know if you’re in the depths of yours right now (or know someone who is) an eating disorder can feel like hell on earth, every single waking moment of the day your mind is consumed with thoughts that torture you, that steal your joy, it’s like there’s no end in sight… and I also know you might just need to hear this.
(If you need me to back-up a moment, I shared a brief history of my food relationship here when I started writing this blog – click here to read it.)
I’d love to share with you every single fragment of wisdom that’s come to me through this, I really would, though believe me when I say I could turn this into a book… So I’ll begin here…
It’s true when I say I’ve lost count just how many times I went to bed saying to myself, “tomorrow is going to be the day that you say goodbye to binge eating for good, and no matter how hard it gets, you will not give in. You WILL NOT give in, you hear me? You got this.”
It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. Because most of the time within the space of 24 hours, or two days later, the entire cycle would begin… again.
In fact up until now the longest I had gone without melting into the arms of binge eating was 2 weeks. 2 loooong weeks. So you can imagine that 90 days, a whole 13 weeks, is a pretty huge deal.
I remember on 27th May (day 1) feeling terrified…
I was so tired mentally already thinking about food almost every waking hour and I was so fearful of celebrating and counting the days incase I re-lapsed, because up until now I always did… re-lapse.
I was scared what was going to come up. I was scared of being alone with the feeling. I was scared of listening to the feeling.
And despite breezing through the first 3 weeks with ZERO urges tugging at me to go and soothe my soul with mountains of sweet food, I found myself waiting for the moment shake me and pull me into the dark again…
…Then the following week it happened.
*Knock knock knock*, my binge-eating demon came knocking at my temple door…
I had just finished dinner, feeling resentful about celebrating ‘another day of making it through sticking to my macros and eating ‘good’ food’… And I really didn’t need her to come knocking now.
No. I didn’t… Because what happened next got ugly.
At first I sat with her, and with my arms crossed tight against my chest I kept trying to push her away.
I turned my head to look outside, I grabbed my phone to scroll through instagram, then a voice inside of me said, “snap out of it Amy, don’t distract yourself in ANOTHER way, face this bitch off!!!”
I got up, grabbed my jumper and my car keys, walked up to my front door, and then the voice came and spoke to me again…
“Amy, stop. Please don’t turn the key. I know the thought of eating 3 family sized bars of dairy milk, a jar of nutella, gluten-free cookies, ice cream, more cookies and a bag of m&m’s (or three) sounds sooooo enticing right now… but you know you’ll hate tomorrow, and you know you’ll miss the gym, and you know you’ll be so annoyed with yourself that you didn’t sit with Binge AGAIN… so please, please come back and sit down, I’m not begging you, I’m telling you.”
For the first time ever I listened…
I took my shoes off, sat on my bed jumper still on, and said out loud (feeling slightly insane in the brain), “Ok, I see you, I hear you, I feel you, come sit next to me because I really don’t want to eat, and I know that you once saved me but I don’t need saving from that time anymore.”
I put on a song, turned to my left as if Binge was sitting right next to me, and I was stared into her eyes.
I sang the song at her. I cried. I wailed hard. I hit the bed, and I sobbed, “please leave me be, I don’t need you anymore… please.”
And with that I was so tired from crying, singing, feeling every word, hitting my bed, screaming into my pillow, and facing Binge off… that I collapsed on my sheets with a smile of relief.
I did it.
I sat with her.
And I faced her off.
For the first time I felt strong. I felt powerful. And I knew from that day forward if I could let go of my keys, take off my shoes, turn around, sit on my bed and look Binge in the eyes… that I could face her off the next time she tried to save me.
Because really, that’s all she ever wanted to do (and did).
She saved me from one of the darkest times of my life when I did need her love most…
And now she just needs to be told and reminded that those dark days are over, that instead of my protector she can become my friend instead, and even act as a warning sign to bring me back to ME again.
That realisation becomes easier when I remind myself every single day, of the commitment I’ve made to mySELF, to never leave me again – and that the way back to this divine connection wherever I am, whatever I’m doing is through my breath.
So my darling souls remember if there’s one thing I want to gift you with knowing today it’s this – there’s no magic pill that will take this pain away, it all begins with you and working with one of the things that has always been there for you – your breath…
The breath is your entryway and exit plan… Whenever you feel triggered and Binge comes begging at your feet, whisper to yourself “breathe into it, this feeling is not going to last, you are going to be ok, you are ok.”
It can hurt like hell, but this hurting is doing something so beautiful, it’s softening and opening your heart to stepping into your power and experiencing true freedom.
So much love for you 💛
You’re more bad-ass and stronger than you know.
You are a warrior and I’m walking here with you.