Freedom story from “M”

I started overeating as a child to comfort myself. I was an unhappy child. As a teenager, I realized that my body didn’t look right, so I started restricting food to shrink my body. I saw being thin as the key to everything I wanted - happiness, love, acceptance, admiration etc When I couldn’t control it any longer, I started bingeing/overeating. My weight went up and down a lot over the years. I never felt happy with my body. I saw myself as a food addict. I believed I was insatiable around food. I thought I had to choose between eating what I wanted and looking how I wanted. The two things I wanted most in life were incompatible. It set me up for a life of misery. Even when my eating improved, and became less extreme, I never felt free. I felt like bingeing and weight gain were just around the corner, the monster hiding in the shadows waiting to pounce. I felt trapped. My eating and body image problems spoiled holidays, social occasions, and everyday life. I bought so many books looking for a solution. I got bored with looking for a solution. I wanted to move on with my life, and think about other things, but I didn’t know how. I doubted whether freedom was possible. I worried about passing on my eating/body image problems to children, and that made me reluctant to have children. These problems often put me in a bad mood, and I felt guilty that my partner suffered such moods. My eating problems often meant I wasn’t fully able to enjoy the simple things in life - they were like a cloud hanging over everything.

I now feel free of eating problems. I don’t see myself as someone with eating problems. That’s truly amazing. As someone who self-identified as someone with eating problems for most of my life, that’s a huge change. I have finally moved on from the same boring thought patterns about eating. I’m no longer afraid of eating! Amazing! I think about eating less, and I enjoy it more! I don’t dread the future with regard to eating e.g. I don’t worry about overeating on holiday, and feel down about gaining weight. The program helped me to achieve food freedom. It surprised me how easy it was to change. It was also pretty quick for me. I was shocked to discover that I’m not a food/sugar addict. I was shocked to discover that when I eat what I want, I don’t want to eat everything all the time. I realized that my problems were not my fault - they were created by the culture I live in. Our diet culture makes people mentally ill, it creates obsession and eating disorders and misery. Experiencing huge, positive change so quickly and easily in this area of my life gives me hope that such change might be possible in other areas. So often in life we’re told that problems don’t go away, that they have to be managed/tolerated. It’s so refreshing to simply solve a problem and move on!