After 41 Years in a Eating Disorder Bondage, FREEDOM Tastes So Sweet
How a 50-Year Old Woman Finally Beat a Lifelong Eating Disorder
I was 9 years old when my eating disorder started.
I'd fallen in love.
Every Tuesday, my knight in shining armor (okay, a beige box truck) would lay golden gifts outside my front door. Salty, golden, crisp... Charles Chips in a big metal tin. I could not get enough.
Of course, eating them all would be wrong. But maybe just one more handful?
But of course, sometimes they did. Hearing, "Hey, who got into the cookies?" filled me with such shame that I couldn't even cop to it.
Then there were the M&Ms and Reece's Cups we sold for band. $1 a box. I suspected there was a problem when I had to ask for an advance on my allowance to pay for being my own best customer.
A Brief Distraction
College wasn't so bad. I was too broke to buy snacks, so the dining hall was it. Plus, the hectic schedule (and the fact that the Rutgers campus is spread between three cities) meant there was no time to obsess over food.
But when I graduated and went off to grad school, then got married and got a job in a doctor's office... food became a source of comfort again. I seemed to get away with it for years, somehow staying ahead of the weight gain.
That is, until after having kids. That last 20 pounds just wouldn't budge. Eating was "my" time, my refuge.
The Parade of Diets Fueled My Eating Disorder
That's when the diets started in earnest. Like, not just drinking Diet Coke and eating rice cakes. Weight Watchers, Fit or Fat, visiting a nutritionist, Slimfast, the Total Weight Loss center, Arbonne's plan, HCG shots, Haylie Pomroy's plan, Paleo, Boresha, Omni Drops, Eat Right for Your Type, the personal trainer, Naturally Slim... I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting.
They all started with shelling out money - and ended with shame, an even more food-obsessed brain, and a growing certainty that I'd never shake free from this bondage.
I did seem to shake it... leading up to my divorce. Food became irrelevant. With my gut constantly churning, eating was a necessary task and nothing more.
But afterward, the obsession came back full-force.
I'd built a successful business, raised two wonderful kids, walked on fire... but THIS? This challenge was proving to be unbeatable.
Eight weeks ago, I hired Lydia (Wente) Knight as a coach. She specializes in helping people beat "food crazies" for good, using nothing but our brain. No tracking anything (thank goodness... I @*)$^%$ HATE tracking stuff). No white-knuckling it. No eating plan. Forget the mental gymnastics ("Hmmm, if I eat THIS, it's practically negative calories."). No shots. Or drops. No weigh-ins. Or measuring. No meetings.
In a nutshell, the 8-week program showed me how to "call out" the chatter in my brain (technically, in the amygdala) rather than just acting on it. We worked on body image. We worked on a bunch of other stuff... because the chatter doesn't just scream about food.
Tomorrow I turn 50. I am free. Can't even remember the last binge. The load of shame I'd carried for 41 years... the broken promises I made every day, the lack of self-control, the money wasted on diet plans and food, the never-ending chain of failures, the realization that 'success' only seemed to come when I was truly miserable... Gone.
Freedom, day by day by day. Sweeter than I ever dared to imagine.
If my story resonates with you, I just want to give you a hug and say, "There IS hope. You can be free, too."
If you want to learn more about Lydia's program to end an eating disorder, here's a link to her YouTube Channel... and she offers a free one-on-one coaching session, which you can apply for right here: www.LydiaWente.com/apply