Posts Tagged ‘Diet’

I’ve never been a big fan of New Years Resolutions. My resolutions have always been to lose weight, and why stop there? To do better in school/college/uni, to dress better, get a better job, be a nicer person but be more assertive, do more for charity, meet a guy, make some more friends, be better friends with the friends I’ve already got… the list goes on and I end up doing nothing.

And I don’t like that these resolutions normally don’t last past march. Starting a diet on the first of January of a new year has always meant I was setting myself up to fail. Making a radical change was never going to last the test of time because the first of January became the first day of the rest of my life…No pressure.

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I deemed 2012 the year of change. 2012 meant becoming healthier, going to therapy and sorting out my ED riddled brain. This time last year I’d been on antidepressants for 3 months, weighed more than I’d ever been, was unemployed and thought I’d hit rock bottom. I was bingeing regularly, causing my family concern, and I rarely saw any friends.

During 2012 I gained even more weight, but I’ve also lost some weight. My bingeing got worse, as did my depression because I was facing problems I’d never faced before. Therapy meant I was ‘sitting with it’ rather than bingeing it away, until it got to a point where even bingeing wasn’t stopping me from feeling.

But 2012 is also the year that I took part in a documentary. It’s also the year that I revealed my arms for the first time in years as Bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding. It’s also the year that I got a job and maintained a job, despite that I’ll be made redundant in  the not too distant future.

And most importantly, it’s the year that I found the root of my bingeing problem. I haven’t binged in months. I’ve overeaten, I’ve made bad choices, but they’ve been my choices. I now realise that I control more than I realised. If I binge now, it’s my choice. I still feel the burning, unwavering urgency to binge, because bingeing is the only think that will make it better, but there is a little voice that’s growing stronger each time I listen to it, pointing out that bingeing will in fact make the situation worse. And that actually, facing the shit things will mean that you can move on from the shit things, rather than letting them fester and gnaw at you until bingeing becomes a coping mechanism.


So 2012 has been the year of change. Some of it was negative and although that sucked, like, properly sucked, I’ve also had some positives. I can honestly say 2013 doesn’t need a title, because I don’t know what’ll happen in that year. I’m in control of my eating, I’m sure my progress won’t be continuous, because life tends to chuck in stuff to trip you up, redundancy being one of them. But I’ve had the year of change, and now it’ll be more change, and maintaining the changes I’ve already made.

Do you have any new year’s resolutions? How was 2012 for you?

Hayley Emma


Read Full Post »

In January 2010 I knew I had an Eating Disorder. I’d lost 3 stone on the second round of LighterLife, binged on several bowls of cereal and gone to the University counsellor, where I learned I might have a problem with binge-eating. I stopped doing LighterLife, hoping beyond hope I wouldn’t put weight on whilst I was sorting out therapy options. I went home for Christmas and binged for 2 weeks on anything and everything I could find. Despite this, I was still a lot slimmer, and the glimmer of hope LighterLife gave me – that I would lose weight – was still alight. I didn’t know how severe my bingeing was, or would get, but I thought I’d probably lose weight each week in therapy.


So in the January sales I purchased a size 12 (UK) pair of jeans. My size 14 jeans were getting looser, and on LighterLife you learn to buy clothes quickly because your body changes quickly. I’d never bought a pair of size 12 jeans before, nor had I ever been able to fit into them. My top half was already a size 8 – I told you my bum was big – as I lost my weight quickly from my waist, so size 12 jeans meant I my thighs were finally catching up and I was well on my way to the body I’d always wanted.

Life didn’t really go to plan, as it rarely does, and I gained weight after stopping LighterLife . I continued to gain weight during therapy, as I started to realise how skewed my view of food and weight really was. I was never going to be happy unless I was an all over size 8. It didn’t matter what my body wanted, it only mattered that I get there and stay there, because then everything would be fine.

I’ve still got the size 12 pair of jeans. They don’t mean so much to me anymore. I was devastated when I gained weight, the dream of being able to pull the jeans over my thighs and do up the buttons slowly ebbing away. I don’t want to let the pair of jeans go, size 12 is an achievable size for my thighs, but instead of believing that size 8 was the only size for me, I’m going to let my body choose what size it wants to be when I’ve sorted my mind out. It’ll be a long, long time before I can get into those jeans, but having opened the wardrobe and seen them sitting there, I can safely say my attitude to my body isn’t perfect, but has changed drastically.

Hayley Emma

Read Full Post »

I’m back!

This past break from blogging has been fantastic. I haven’t worried about writing good posts for my blog instead of fillers, and I’ve been able to concentrate on some pressing family matters, as well as …

Dun dun dun…


I can’t tell you much about filming for several reasons but will tell you more as soon as possible. What I can say is that I took part in a documentary and it was related to Eating Disorders.

It was a big decision to talk to people other than my family, friends and therapist about my Eating Disorder and how I feel about my body, but after seeking advice and considering it for a while I decided: I’m passionate about this. I want to raise awareness for binge-eating and the lesser known Eating Disorders and blogging is a way of doing that, but being in a documentary is another way. People shouldn’t have to suffer without knowing what they’re suffering from. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily make it easier, but knowing that you’re not alone really does help.

I wasted years trying to diet my way out of my disorder, when if Binge Eating Disorder and EDNOS would have been discussed on television or in magazines I would have been able to seek help sooner.

I’m sure I did the right thing, I feel confident (sort of) that I said what I wanted. I was clear on what I wouldn’t disclose, such as my weight, and the producer was very understanding.

I’m ready for negative backlash, there’s bound to be some people who try to convince me I’m fat and lazy and using my Eating Disorder as an excuse. I’ve reached a point now where, pardon my French – I don’t give a fuck.

I know there will be people who can relate to weight difficulties and yo-yo dieting, and since Binge Eating Disorder is the most common eating disorder, there’ll be people who can relate to that as well. And those are the people I want to reach, and if I can help raise awareness for binge-eating and compulsive overeating as well then that’s great.

What do you guys think? As someone who prefers not to leave the house because I’m embarrassed of my body, am I crazy to take part in a documentary?!

Hayley Emma

(Oh, and since I’m using my real name (Emma is my second name) I’m signing myself off from now on as Hayley Emma.)

Read Full Post »

(Image Source)

What I’ve already done is yo-yo dieting.

I was 13 when I first stopped bingeing and cut out all snacks. 3 meals a day, nothing else. I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t want anything else, and I did a very old and hilarious workout video, the mother of all workout videos… Jane Fonda. I can remember the songs, the frequent “woo”s and “yeah!”s, and the men who were very into skin-tight workout wear.

(Update – I’ve looked for this on YouTube for years since we lost the video, and I finally found it! Uploaded 2 months ago, this little gem. Me and my mum are going to do this tonight!)

That was a good time. I lost 1 ½ stone, people complimented me and it was the first time I noticed a difference in how people treat you when you’re bigger compared to when you’re smaller.

I remember getting home from school in the days before and after this period – because it didn’t last – and eat small 5,7,10 chocolate bars in one go, hurriedly stuffing them into my mouth and hiding the wrappers down the back of the sofa or in different bins in the house. Hardly a vomit-inducing binge but I felt a sense of compulsion, a loss of control. (People with Binge-eating Disorder will know that stages of not bingeing would be temporary. (Dr Fairburn explains this in Overcoming Binge Eating))

The feeling of being free from your Eating Disorder, although I didn’t know I was disordered at the time, is incredible. I knew I was controlling what I was eating, I was exercising and enjoying it rather than using it as a punishment, and saying no to food I’d usually binge on was empowering. I felt slightly superior. I was taking control of my life (As much as you can at 13).

This is how I felt during every diet that resulted in weight loss, especially LighterLife. But this feeling was short-lived. Something would click back into place.

After all, a disorder does not come and go, the symptoms can fade or evolve.

The periods of control would worsen the bingeing, and I’d gain the weight I’d lost as well as some more for good measure. If anything proves that restrictive dieting doesn’t work, it’s yo-yo dieting. If you have lost weight and you have every reason to be happier with your body, and then as soon as you finish the diet you put the weight back on? I’m pretty sure that’s a major hint that the method of weight loss didn’t work. It could be an emotional attachment to food or being overly restrictive and therefore the results are unsustainable.

Right now, I’m learning how to eat ‘normally’. Regular meals which minimise the risk of bingeing and healthier meals that don’t upset my blood sugar levels. Exercise is less punishing and more enjoyable, laughing when I make a mistake is an important part of realising that it’s my health and well-being I’m trying to improve, rather than aesthetics.

I know this is the right way forward, but the urge to diet and go back to my old ways are creeping back in. I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve done that before, it didn’t lead me to permanent weight loss, and it’s my attitude that needs to change, rather than the diet.

I’m gritting my teeth and sticking with baby steps to success. When I think of re-learning how to eat properly I think I should be moving faster, but since planning 3 meals a day is overwhelming, let alone incorporating regular healthy snacks, it’s necessary.

Are you doing things you aren’t comfortable with? Do you have the urge to go back to what you were doing before, in the hopes that it’ll turn out differently this time? Tell me I’m not the only one who’s fallen into this trap!


P.s. If anyone decides to do the Jane Fonda or Pump It Up workout please let me know which one if your favourite, both are on YouTube (the Pump It Up workout has a few more parts).

Read Full Post »

A while ago I was watching someone on television explain why leaving an abusive relationship is more complex than we might think.

I think it was an interview with someone on the news, and the interviewee explained that although there are so many concrete reasons to leave an abusive relationship, (mental health, physical health, etc) there is already an emotional attachment formed between the abused and the abuser. Therefore the logical reasons for leaving an abusive relationship like those above aren’t persuasive enough to leave, because the emotional reasons for staying outweigh the logical reasons.

As someone who’s shied away from relationships because of my issues, I’ve been able to watch other people’s behaviour in relationships. Often I’ve thought she treats him like shit, why doesn’t he just dump her and move on? And if she treats him so badly, why is she staying with him when he obviously pisses her off?!

It’s easy to say that as soon as a relationship becomes abusive, either physically or emotionally, we would leave. But if your reasoning is shrouded in emotion, then it wouldn’t be so straight forward.

After all, logically speaking, I am unhappy with my weight, I should stop bingeing and overeating and increase my activity levels to lose weight, right? I’ve heard the saying if you want something bad enough, you’ll do whatever you need to succeed. I’ve always gotten angry and frustrated with my need to binge and overeat, criticising my mind for not getting with the weight-loss programme. I mean, it’s straightforward. Something is making me unhappy, if I work hard to illuminate the cause of the unhappiness, then I become happy.

I’m so unhappy because of my weight, the logical answer is to lose the weight. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out. And there are so many ways of achieving this: Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, I could go for round 3 with Lighterlife, Rosemary Connelly, the GI diet, the Paleo diet, the caveman diet, the cabbage soup diet, the Cambridge diet. I could go vegetarian, vegan, I could substitute meals with soups, shakes. There’s slimfast, calorie counting, I could have an apple before every meal, go on the grapefruit diet, I could go on a juice fast. The list goes on and on… and on.

My reasons for bingeing and overeating aren’t so straightforward, though. It would be great if they were, but to most people who become obese, poor food choices aren’t the sole reason for such a substantial weight gain, and therefore when these poor food choices are irradiated, the emotional issues with food are still prevalent.

I have an emotional attachment with food. Eating a chocolate bar does not just mean eating a chocolate bar to me. Before eating the chocolate bar there are the inevitable cravings. I crave the chocolate bar, and then I try to hush up my cravings. I have a cup of tea, a glass of juice. I check to see if I’m physically hungry. I wait. I obsess about the chocolate bar. The chocolate bar then becomes a chocolate bar and a bag of M&Ms. I obsess some more.

I want that. I need it.

But if you have it you’re giving in to everything you hate about yourself.

But you have a disorder.

But you’re fighting it. Food does not rule your life.

Food does rule your life. Accept it.

Look at your bum, how big is your bum?! You want it to shrink, not grow it!

You do have a big bum, so what’s the point in trying to avoid bingeing? All you want is a chocolate bar, a bag of M&Ms and some popcorn. What’s the harm in that?

Umm, what’s the harm in a binge? Really, you want a list?! Ok, there’s weight gain-

Honey, you’ve gained all the weight back, plus some. You might as well give yourself the binge. It’s all you’re good at.


I then eat the chocolate bar, plus the M&Ms, popcorn, more chocolate, cereals, etc. And then the guilt sets in.

What THE FUCK did you just do?

Why THE FUCK did you do that?

What THE FUCK is wrong with you?

You want to lose weight, right?! You’re not working hard enough, you’re not trying hard enough, you’re a failure. You should starve yourself. Or continue to eat. Either one, it doesn’t matter. You’ve failed already.

The emotional reasons are stronger than logical reasons. That’s why I’m in therapy, so I can find out what was making me so unhappy to make me binge and overeat in the first place, so I can take steps to work on my unhappiness, to change my behaviours and lead a healthy lifestyle. Losing weight on a crash diet would work, but I know myself, and I know I’d be back to square one by Christmas. The way I’m working, taking baby steps to success, is my way of ensuring that by Christmas I feel different and I’m not going to lie, I am desperate to look different as well.

And it is not easy, trying to shut the voice out that screams at me to binge and overeat, but I’m becoming more aware as the days go by, and I’m working towards a healthy life. Because of this voice, because I’m trying, it doesn’t mean anything when people attempt to apply logical to an Eating Disorder.

I’ve said many times that Eating Disorders aren’t logical. Saying things like just lose weight or just eat a sandwich or don’t throw up after you eat don’t mean anything to us, because we’re not basing our reasons for destructive behaviours on common sense. It’s emotional, and often we’re trying not to feel emotional so we eat or starve or binge/purge to hide it all.

Just like it is so difficult for an abused wife to leave her husband, it’s very difficult for the disordered to leave their disorders.

Do you think I’m way off on this one? Do you think this can be applied to any addiction?


Read Full Post »

This is a re-blog from Dropping the F-Bomb (Fat, That Is) by Jennifer because it’s brilliant.

I can relate to this, especially making up an excuse to the cashier, until I became too paranoid and went to several shops to get all the binge food I needed.

Can you relate, or sympathise?


Coming out of the closet… Part 1.

Hi. My name is Jennifer, and (insert big, deep breath) I am a closet binge eater.

Here are some of the symptoms of closet eaters:
  • Feeling shame and embarrassment about eating in public
  • Binging on comfort foods, junk foods, and sweets when alone
  • Hoarding food and hiding empty food containers
  • Eating a large amount of food in one sitting
  • Feeling powerless to stop eating
  • Binging but not purging
Only recently recognized by health professionals as an actual eating disorder, this has been my primary coping mechanism and comfort for almost 30 years, with my first recollection bringing me back to about 8 years old.
For practically my whole life, when I had no sense of self worth or confidence, and absolutely no regard for my health, I used food to numb myself from the pain of, well……..everything... Exclusions from friends, ridicule from strangers, abuse from my mother, abandonment from my father, drama in social circles, stress at work. Every single rejection from a man.
No matter how big or small the pain of the situation, food was my comfort.
When I didn’t have the vocabulary or the strength to stand up for myself, food was there for me.
When I was swirling in the shitstorm of teenage drama, emotions and hormones, food was there for me.
When I was watching everyone around me attain their dreams, while I sat paralysed by fear, food was there for me.
When life, schedules, and time felt out of control and chaotic, food was there for me.
When I was lonely, angry, sad, feeling unworthy or unimportant, food was there for me.
When I felt misunderstood and ignored, food was there for me.
Food was what I had control over, when everything else felt out of control and out of reach.
It felt like that all. the. time.
I remember being 8, 10, 12… years old and eating the meal my mother prepared, and when my grandmother would ask “Have you eaten yet?” my response was usually “Nope.” so that I could get a second dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch.
When I was out with friends, I would often be pre-planning my trip to the convenience store on my way home. Not only what I would buy, but how would I sneak it past my mother and into my room when I got home.
When my mother left for work at night, despite having already eaten, I would scrounge together my babysitting money and order take out.
When I was older, I would secretively eat in my car before meeting friends for dinner.
Never wanting any of the store clerks, or food service people to think I was eating all this food alone, I would be sure to make some comment about picking up things for friends as well. Why else would one person buy a 20-pack of chicken nuggets, or 2 big bags of chips and 3 chocolate bars, or a large pizza after all?
It has only been in the last 3 years that I have begun digging deep into why I was using food as a crutch. Why was I caught up in a cycle of self loathing that would find me elbow deep in a bag of potato chips to soothe my soul? And then back into the potato chips, because I had only numbed the feelings around whatever was bothering me, and now I hated myself, too.
And so the cycle went… it sometimes still goes. Old habits die hard, as we all know.
Closet eating, not unlike so many other harmful vices – drugs, smoking, drinking, sex – can often be related back and tied to something bigger, something not yet addressed, some pain or fear we are still holding on to.
I know exactly when I started lying about food and using it as a crutch.
But that is a story for another day.
Have an awesome day!
Know that you are loved.

Read Full Post »

Georgia Davis is the Britain’s fattest teenager. She was the fattest teenager in 2008 when she weighed 33 stone and won a scholarship to the Wellspring Academy in America. She lost 15 stone at Wellsprings, a weight loss boarding school.

I watched the documentary about Georgia going to Wellspring and really felt for her. 33 stone is a lot to weigh at any age, let alone 15 years old. She looked so different, her face, her attitude. She discovered her issues started when her Dad passed away when she was just 4 years old. At wellspring the children are put on a 1,500 calories-a-day menu as well as incorporating exercise into their every day lives. What I like about Wellspring is that they use CBT to determine how the weight was gained in the first place and how to avoid falling into the same traps.

A couple of weeks ago I googled Georgia Davis because I hadn’t heard anymore from her in the media. Surely if she returned to wellspring and lost the rest of the weight she’d be in the newspaper?

That’s when I read this Daily Mail article about Georgia having put on all that she’d lost and more, becoming 40 stone at 17 years old.

There’s a lot of speculation of the lack of care from her mother – as Georgia is her mother’s carer. In this interview with This Morning she also said that her first meal home from Wellsprings was chips. (It’s not a great video, there’s some fast-forwarding going on and the first 2 minutes are pointless.)

A couple of weeks ago my Dad told me a girl had to be removed from her home in Wales as she was so obese she was immobile. The ambulance and firemen had to remove a wall in order to get her out because she was so big and couldn’t walk. I knew that it was Georgia and another google search confirmed my fears.

She’s reached 63 stone. My heart sank. She’s 19 years old and had to be removed from her home because she couldn’t walk out the front door.

It’s clear to me that she has some kind of Eating Disorder, some unsolved, abusive relationship with food. You don’t get to 63 stone by just eating the’ wrong kind of food’ or ‘overeating a bit’. And yet still I read some of the comments and was shocked by the utter ignorance and hatred towards her.

I have worked in the fitness industry for 6 years. I’m sorry to say that almost every morbidly obese person I have come across is that way because they are lazy, greedy and insist that it’s someone elses fault they are over weight. There have been few exceptions. Despite free/subsidised training and concentrated efforts from trainers to motivate them, all you hear is how they only eat salad and yet somehow are 10-15 stone over weight.

I’m sure this girl has got problems, but then, havent we all? Yes she deserves a chance, but hasn’t she already had that?!

Tough love is needed here. Fat discrimination IS okay. It should not be taught to youngsters that it’s okay to abuse ones body and to increase the risk of numerous diseases.’

So many things wrong with this I don’t know where to start.

Stop making excuses for her. She’s fat cos she over-eats. That’s it. It’s not rocket science. She brought it on herself. With regards to your comment about people don’t pick on the skinny – they do.

Once again, it’s a fool’s errand to care for either. Eat healthily, exercise, and manage your diet. It’s dead simple. However, if she really wants to be fat, and by overeating she confirms as much – then I don’t think the society should pay for her. Similarly we shouldn’t pay for anorexic’s vitamin treatments when they collapse from lifting  finger.

If she is fat because of some cancer or some hormonal imbalance then my apologies and she deserves all the care in the world. It’s not her own fault then.

Proof – check the posts on Victoria Beckham on this site (The Sun). You’ll find plenty of people having a go at her skeletal weight.’

It’s dead simple, guys. No need for complicated psychological reasoning… it’s just dead simple. Both of these comments are from The Sun.

But there were some comments that made me glad at least some people are clued up.

For some people, Food is an addiction in the same way drugs & alcohol are for some, it delivers the same ‘high’ in the brain as drugs & alcohol.

Trouble is, middle class alcoholics and drug addicts can keep their addictions private and out of sight, whereas obese people’s addictions are visible to all.

Anyone who thinks people get like this simply through laziness and greed are just plain ignorant.’

This comment is from The Guardian. Georgia has already mentioned that she feels addicted to food, takes responsibility for her actions and desperately needs help. Apparently, to knock her bedroom wall down, build a bridge to wheel her to the ambulance and have a specialist bed in the hospital it cost £100,000 of taxpayers money, and a lot of the bullies (Georgia had to shut down her facebook page because she was being cyberbullied) say that they aren’t being sizeist, they’re merely angry that their money is being spent on someone who got herself into this situation.

I can understand this, but then if someone developed lung cancer from smoking, as a non-smoker I still want that person to get medical care. I agree people do get themselves into these situation – I put the food into my own mouth, as did Georgia, but it’s not quite as simple as that.

Her father died, her stepfather has lung cancer, she is her mother’s carer… she hasn’t exactly led a privileged life. She has no choice but to accept help from the NHS, she hasn’t got the money to pay for private healthcare. Her addiction, her Eating Disorder is on show for everyone to see. And she’s 19.

A lot of different opinions are swimming around the net. I’d like to know yours, but even if you disagree entirely and think it is all Georgia’s fault, please be respectful.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: