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I compassionately support women through the journey of birth and new motherhood. Please take what you need from this space. You need not be anything but your real, messy, raw self here.

I had an eating disorder for 8 years

I had an eating disorder for 8 years

I can just eat one square of chocolate, and leave the rest in the fridge, for weeks.

It’s not willpower.

I never (NEVER) feel any level of guilt around food. It just doesn’t register. Sometimes I overeat, but rarely these days, and it’s not from discipline. 

And if I do, I do, it’s seriously no big deal and I don’t even give it another thought. I don’t ‘burn it off’. I don’t eat less next meal. I don’t whatever. It’s not a thing.

Do you know how that feels guys? 

Good. It feels really fucking good.

The reason I am sharing this with you, is because I am a recoverer of bulimia. I had severe bulimia for 5 years that evolved into orthorexia (another form of eating disorder where you are afraid of anything but 'healthy' food) for another 3 years.

For 8 goddamn fucking years of my life, I was trapped. And that's an understatement.

For 5 I was throwing up anywhere from5-15 times in a day. Plus exercising. Plus restricting what I ate. Until I couldn’t any more, and then I would binge (this is not weakness, it’s biology - but I’ll talk more on this another day).

On the outside I looked fit, I looked slim, I looked healthy enough.

On the inside I was a ball of anxiety, low self esteem, self hate, confusion, fear, guilt, shame, depression and lies. I had major codependency behaviours I was unaware of. I had attachment issues. I was suffering from love addiction (yep, it’s a thing).

I did seek help eventually after I started getting some heart irregularities that scared me, I told my family and some friends what had been happening (most didn’t know how to react and told me I was being silly or overreacting - they had no idea - I had concealed it like a pro - for reals) and saw a hypnotherapist who taught me the concept of intuitive eating.

This concept was terrifying, radical - and my only hope.

This is, as many of you know, how I eat today.

Can I tell you that for many years, I thought it was hopeless. I thought I would live with food issues forever. I could not even begin to comprehend that I could ever feel any different.

I am now such a firm believer that ANYONE can develop a truly loving, healthy, easy and guilt free relationship with food - and I try my best to spread the message of Intuitive Eating, self love, real food and taking care of yourself as much as I can.

Today I want to share an excerpt from my journal then (below this post). This was written in 2006, about a year into my journey with bulimia. I share to give you some insight into my mind and reality then.

This feels like another life now.

The only time I feel any kind of triggers or pulls back to that time, are when I slip into food control, rather than intuitive eating. It’s usually during stressful times, but I have practices that catch it basically instantly, so I never go down that road.

I don’t usually do detoxes or cleanses, or if I do them, it's extremely loosely, I take some principles and adapt it to my intuition.

I do not believe in deprivation of any kind as I believe it triggers the body + mind into a restrict/binge cycle that is very dangerous.

If you have any kind of issues with food - step away from the detoxes, diets or labels. Yes, even the ‘healthy’ ones.

If you are struggling with food - whether it’s guilt, dieting, trouble losing weight, an eating disorder, overeating, underrating, obsessing over what you eat, or just anything in your relationship that doesn’t feel good, I want to say this - it is NOT about the food.

If you are willing to go on the journey, you can be free.

I’m not a trained expert, but I’m someone who has gone on the journey, and sometimes that is more valuable to those in it now.

To say, "hey, I know where you are, and you can get out, and I promise you can, because I've done it and here's how".

I know the depths and the darkness and have come out the other end in a place better than my wildest dreams could have imagined. 

So for that reason, I’m going to start sharing more, over time, on exactly how I did that, incase it can help you too.

To food freedom, no matter where you’re starting from.

Jess x

BINGING - 2006

I came home from the gym, had a shower and prepared a normal, balanced meal, of which I ate a slightly larger than acceptable size. This triggered me. The feelings of no control, unworthiness, ugliness, the inability to be loved. I was disgusted with myself because I’d eaten more than I told myself I would. How the fuck am I so weak? 

I binged on low fat grated cheese, literally grabbing the bag out of the fridge and scooping handfuls into my mouth. I went into a coma of sorts, unaware of my surroundings, my emotions, starting blankly into space, like a robot on autofeed. Next I ate peanut butter out of the jar. Cautious, I ate 1/4 of a new jar first. Still binge crazy I ended up eating the whole jar, the last traces of it scraped onto low fat cruskits mixed with honey and more grated cheese - and then cooked in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese. I sat down on the couch with a little place of my cruskit creations as if to savour the meal, telling myself that after these 4 cruskets I would be satisfied, I could stop, although my stomach was already so full and bloated it was distended and sore.

4 cruskets down and the urge to eat was still pulling strong. I take the ice cream out of the freezer and took to it with a large spoon. I don’t remember how much of the 4litre tub was left. The overwhelming feeling of guilt, pain, loss, fear, emptiness and being out of control overtakes me in a panic to somehow fix it.

The idea of leaving this food in my stomach doesn’t register as a serious option. I am alone, unloved, misunderstood, a failure, a fake and now is my time to revel in that. To the toilet.

I throw up lashings and lashing of food, emotions, self loathing. It feels so good as this is a good purge, and I can see most of it coming up. The more that comes up, the softer the guilt gets. It feels like comfort. I feel like I could stop if I really wanted to, but I don't think I want to. This has somehow become a new fucked up kind of normal.

Sometimes I wonder how I started this? I didn't know how addictive it would feel. How good it would feel. But also how scary, how out of control. Now I don't know how to go back. Do I even want to? I have always felt so lost.

To say I hate myself would be an understatement. I have moments of seeing myself as a whole person, but mostly I just see a collection of faults, stretch marks, acne, cellulite and countless other things that disgust me to the point of turning my own stomach. I feel sorry for myself, but I can’t and won’t accept myself as worth of mine or anyone else’s love, no how much I say I want self love.

I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to say I love myself and not feel like a fraud. How could anybody I ever meet accept and love me? I can’t accept or love myself.

10 ways to feel love

10 ways to feel love

Waiting for a door to open

Waiting for a door to open