Xmas and binge eating

I’ve struggled a lot with binge eating without purging and emotional eating and Christmas for me is a big trigger as its an excuse to binge eat/overeat and binge drink too and generally just do everything to excess.

Last year I used ‘oh its ok its December’ as an excuse to binge eat and I found it really hard to stop and put on about a stone which I’ve not been able to shift this year.

I’ve been super aware of that this year as we hurtled into December and I’ve had much more of an awareness how much I’m eating, because I eat to the point I feel sick and my stomach hurts for days because it gets so bloated and I feel so sluggish and gross.

I’m super proud that I’ve been able to really stop, think and look at these excuses and behaviours and catch myself before I eat when I’m not hungry and try and figure out what it is I actually need instead. It’s usually an emotion that’s been left unnoticed, like if I’m feeling sad, or I need to feel comforted etc, so instead of eating to temporarily fill those feelings, I try and do a bit of self care instead, redirect my concentration.

If I feel like I need comforting then I fully recline my sofa, cover it with blankets and pillows, get a drink and small snack and chill out on the sofa with a favourite film and maybe message friends, use my fidget toys and chewigem to redirect my concentration. And things like this have been really helpful to help me deal with the urges to just eat everything in sight, which never ends well, it makes me feel much worse then if I was just to take a moment to sit and ask myself what do I actually need right here in this moment.

I’ve really learnt this year to really look at my actions, feelings, emotions etc and instead of mindlessly just do things based on how I feel, I’ve been looking at what my brain is trying to tell me it needs. It is a bit like trying to decipher a code that I didn’t write lol and its hard work and frustrating but it has definitely been worth the work.

I’ve still had a few days where I have eaten a bit too much but it hasn’t been to the degree where I felt sick after, I’ve been able to control it much better.

Hopefully I can continue to keep on top of my binge eating and maybe even shift a few pounds too. But even if I have times where I don’t that’s ok too, I can always start over again.

Just to finish off with as this just popped into my head, but I’m not great at trying new food, even new drinks because it causes me a lot of stress and anxiety. But my mum bought me a Pukka tea advent calendar and at first I was really apprehensive and nervous about trying them, especially ones I’ve never tried before which is the majority of them.

So everyday when I get one I don’t think I’ll like, or I’m unsure about trying, I try and put those anxieties and thoughts aside and just sit and be in that moment and not judge it until I’ve had a few sips of tea before I decide I don’t like it and its really worked, there’s not been one yet that I haven’t liked or haven’t drunk. I mean there are one that I prefer over others but I think that’s pretty normal. I am pretty proud of myself for trying something new everyday, its a pretty big deal for me. I am definitely getting better at trying new food and drink but it does have to be under the right circumstances, like I can’t be super anxious or stressed or I won’t try it/won’t enjoy the experience. I have to be relaxed and opened to it.

Yeah man I am destroying these old fears/traumas! I am kicking butt!

Peace out

Zak

Counselling – You are worth it

Hey all, how’s lockdown treating you all? I am actually doing pretty well considering that I barely made it through the last lockdown. Even though it is difficult I feel much more capable, I feel like in the past few months I have just grown so much as a person and even I’m like who the f*ck is this person that’s talking! I barely recognise myself but in the absolute best way.

This change/breakthroughs are down to my counselling sessions I’ve been having and I am so glad I chose to go privately, as with the NHS the mental health services are sadly severely underfunded and they have been for many years and the things I need to delve into will not be solved in the 12 weeks often offered. I need something much more regular, more in tense and I feel like I have more control over and I feel like my sessions are led by myself rather then my counsellor, which is how counselling should be. I also view it as an investment in myself, all counselling and therapy is an investment in yourself, because your mental health is so important and I am definitely worth that investment because I want to be the best version of myself I can be, so I can attract better things too.

I am in no way ashamed to say that I have been in and out of counselling and therapy since I was about 15 years old, where I first saw a counsellor at school. I was actually doing my exams when I saw her but I didn’t care enough about them to care about missing class. I loved my sessions, as I’d never really had that 1:1 attention before and that time in my life was so chaotic for many reason and to have a 50 min session once a week with someone who was actually listening to me was such a relief and she helped get me through till the end of school.

I think my pervious experiences of counselling and therapy served simply as a kind of plaster, to help me go through those chaotic moments in time. Not saying that I didn’t get anything out of them at all, because I did I learned a lot and I learned how to manage that chaos and how to keep surviving. But what I was unable to do at that time because it wasn’t safe for me to do so, was to dig deeper into myself and look at my trauma. Also I was unaware of the trauma I had, but as I’ve grown and as life has calmed down and things aren’t as chaotic anymore, I’ve slowly been able to gain more awareness of myself and boy it’s been a journey and I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I can certainly say that I am finally on my way.

Lockdown took so much away from me and without all the noise of life and other people’s input and with the help of an amazing counsellor who has been beyond patient with me and has been incredibly helpful and has shown me different materials on different things that relate to mental health and trauma. I have been able to really focus on myself and I’ve taken the time to step back and really reflect on everything and I’ve been able to see things with eyes wide open. I’ve been able to dig into the trauma which has been difficult with a fuzzy memory of my life. I’ve been able to really analyse past friendships and relationships and see where I went wrong and also see that I let people treat me so poorly without saying a single word. I now feel like I have grown so much and I am now able to be a much better friend and potential partner to someone, but I also feel confident in the fact I can put boundaries in place, I can speak out when someone says or does something I don’t like.

I have always struggled with confidence and poor self esteem issues and a lot of that was down to how I let people treat me, I let people treat me like shit over long periods of time and that just wore me down so much, that I had no self esteem, no confidence and no self worth. I so wished I could just live my live but be invisible, because I just felt so unworthy of everything, of existing. Which is such an awful way to feel. But I feel so much stronger now, I still struggle with all those things but I know that I am worthy, even if I don’t feel like it. I am slowly learning to be confident in myself. I know I am a good person with a good heart, something which in the past I couldn’t say because I didn’t feel like a good person at all.

Anyone who is thinking about counselling/therapy, you are so worthy of it! There’s no shame in needed it. It is an investment in yourself and in your future! YOU ARE WORTHY.

Anyone already in counselling/therapy and feeling like your not really getting anywhere, you will eventually. It may not be right now, next year or even in 3 years. But when the time is right and when you are safe you will make some huge breakthroughs and it will be incredible! Just be patient, it will happen, stick with it.

Peace out

Zak

Binge eating – Getting back on track

So this subject is something I’ve been avoiding even really acknowledging as it is 100% on me and something I’ve always struggled with on and off. But its not seen as a mental health issue by mental health professionals, which is ridiculous.

I’ve written before about my struggles with binge eating without the purging before and its something that seems to be a reoccurring issues. Winter seems to be when it’s at its worst.

But I decided to write about it again now, as its something I need to recognise and sort out. I need to have more of an awareness of what I’m shoving in my mouth,

Just to jump back the reason its not recognised by mental health professionals is all about BMI, if you aren’t below your BMI, then you don’t have an eating disorder. Now I’m not saying I have a eating disorder but my eating habits aren’t “normal” if you like. I will eat even if I feel sick because I’m still full from eating. It is something I have brought up with the mental health team before and just got brushed aside and at the time there were other more important things going on. So its something I’ve always just dealt with, but the spectrum of eating disorders needs re looking at and re classifying as this area is so important and they are failing so many people.

Anyway, right now I’m feeling full, feeling bloated and generally cannot stand the fact I have let myself put on so much weight. I know I’ve put on over 14lbs, I haven’t weighed myself recently because I can feel in my body and just looking at myself that I am fatter then I would like to be.

It started back in December, when I think I was a bit low, struggling with anxiety and all I wanted to do was hibernate and eat and that’s exactly what I did. But now we aren’t that far away from March and I am still hibernating and the overeating has gotten out of control.

I am just eating for the sake of it, partly because I’m bored, partly out of habit now. I know I can control this behaviour, as I have done it many times before. I know I can loose weight if I need too, I know how to eat sensibly.

I think I’ve had an awareness over this binge eating since probably the start of the year. I knew it was getting out of hand and continued to let it happen.

But I think I’ve been having such huge emotional revelations during counselling, that my binge eating hasn’t been something I’ve actually spoken about as I know I can easily control it. But I’ve been quite emotionally overwhelmed that eating has just been a go to comfort, while I try and make sense of everything.

Now I’m starting to feel sick from being full and over eating, I know I need to get on top of it. I can’t carry on binge eating, I need to stop. It won’t be easy and will be a shock to my body but I need to find a balance again.

For the first few days I’m going to only eat breakfast and dinner and no snack in between and try and drink more and replace drinking water with eating. So every time I want to eat, I have a drink instead and make a more healthy habit. Also make portions smaller too, so I’m not putting so much in my body.

Also intermittent fasting has really helped me in the past as well. Helps get me in the right mind set about it. I never call it being on a diet, because diets never work.

I need to get out and walk a bit more too, in between storms and the rain. But I need to move more and get rid of this belly, cuz its making me feel so gross! It’s not helping with the gender dysphoria as well, just makes me feel shit that I’ve let myself go so much.

I shall post more in a few days and update everyone on how its going. Hopefully I can get in the right frame of mind and get my eating back to a more ordered way to get myself a bit healthier

Peace out

Zak