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I first learned what a calorie was before I started nursery school. Not a unit of energy, not something we need to keep us alive, but something to evade, something dangerous that hid in food and was to be avoided at all costs
To this day, my relationship with food is a complex one, but I am very much of the belief that next year will be better, and the year after that will be even better.
The first time my mum worried I might have an eating disorder, I was 12. I was a competitive athlete, and a knee injury prevented me from training. I was terrified of gaining weight – I’d been afraid of being ‘fat’ throughout my childhood.
When lockdown came into force – what seems like a whole lifetime ago – I struggled. Like many people who experience eating problems, I felt so threatened by the changes in routine, the limited availability of certain foods, the massive uncertainty of it all
I want to shed some light on diet culture and what it drove me to do to myself for eight years. I will never get those eight years back, but what I do know is that I will never put myself through all the self-inflicted pain it took in order to look a certain way.
In the present chaos of COVID-19, I write these words from my own personal story as a reminder to your precious self that there is light in the midst of the uncertainty, confusion and calamity.
These two posts, written two years apart, show how Mel managed to overcome a lot of the anxiety she felt around shopping for food.
I have suffered with anorexia for about 2 1/2 years now, and the descent into the disorder was very fast and absolutely devastating.
The right support and information helps family and loved ones understand, so they can provide the love and care needed for everyone.
You just have to remember to be there for them when they need you and gently nudge them in the right direction.
I feel very lucky to have found a support group – but it would have been wonderful if this had been available more locally.