And Food Became a Challenge: Day 17.2

In junior high, I began putting all the previous lessons together. I ate to fuel competitive activity, and I ate for familial rivalry. I distinctly remember my parents talking about how much my older brother and cousin ate and took it as admiration. What a sick mind I have. My eating increased so that my parents took notice. Overhearing them, once again, speak of how fast my brother ate, I began to eat fast too. We cleared the table by eating the leftovers. At this point, I was still active and just as slender as always. We had to customize all my clothing to make them fit. But other people noticed how I ate and what I ate and made envious comments about it: “You can eat whatever you want and never gain weight.” People asked how I did it with admiration in their voices. I took this as a compliment and challenge and set out to prove them right. People asked me how I maintained my weight, and I couldn’t answer them. This embarrassed me. I judged my food more. I needed an answer. Though I didn’t start dieting until much later, I still had dieting rules and judged my food choices.

My parents wanted to ensure we understood nutrition and were nourished thus limiting and withholding foods. We were only allowed 2 snacks a day – after school and after dinner. These snacks were supposed to be small. If we wanted sweets they were limited. This doesn’t sound bad and is what people often try for, but I was always hungry. And when I could, I would binge on sweets including cereals. When I first moved out on my own, I forced these and my own rules on my eating. Then I would binge on something weeks down the line. Being broke limited my food choices more, so I would binge when I got my hands on something I hadn’t eaten in a while. It didn’t matter what it was, I would binge on anything I thought was good. This is where the binging started. As a mother, I enforced many of my food rules and standards on my children following them myself, until after they went to bed that is. When no children were around to judge my foods, I would pull the forbidden fair out of their hiding spots promising only to take one or two but eating until I couldn’t.

But I digress. In high school everything changed. And I picked up other eating habits to be discussed later.


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