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Pressure to FEED

I know the source of my binge eating is stress and pressure. When I am happy and healthy is when I eat what I want, when I want and listen to my body's cues rather than stressing over food and macronutrients. The second I feel pressure to be more, or strive for aesthetic perfection, I start to restrict, then binge, then restrict.

As a fitness competitor, I was told to live a cyclical life. Be normal, until it came time for contest prep. Once the 12 week marker came up on the calendar, it was "cutting" time. Meals were timed, weighed, measured and planned out to the fullest extent to ensure I had "just enough" to get through training, and never too much to halt fat loss. Looking back, I wholly regret starting in on this journey of "health and fitness" as it seems to bring out the worst in people with any type of food issues.

This is something I have dealt with since competing to some degree, but only recently (since the New Year) has it become a real issue for me. I would binge maybe once a month, and usually it was just a large cheat meal, then I would hop back on healthy eating. I didn't consider that I had any real eating disorder, just some issues with appetite sometimes. Recently though, I binge any day I am home alone. I start eating, and don't stop for hours.

After my first show, I found out I was Celiac, dairy intolerant, and egg intolerant. This made life really hard for a while. Breakfast was toughest, but I soon found "paleo" and that gave me a community to rely on and ask questions of. It also fueled my neurosis. Paleo cut even more things from my diet, and while I am happy to have a name for my food restrictions, and a community to ask questions of and gather recipes from, it wasn't the healthiest place to live.

I seem to go through phases, even though I am not competing anymore, where I plan nothing and feel happy, then fall back into being neurotic and trying to "fix" what isn't broken in me. My new "plan" if you can call it that, but I prefer "anti-plan" is this: don't plan. Eat when you're hungry, live your life, be active and social (I play lacrosse, ski, play volleyball, and have two huskies who love go for hikes and bike rides). Traditional training only seems to bring out the old "competitor" ideologies where I desire change constantly and it comes out in the way I start to manipulate my diet.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program