Over the next few months, I’ll share information on my personal battle with food over an 18 year period. With diabetes along for the unfortunate ride.
After this introductory post, this series of posts will be super-short, super-snappy and share just a snippet of my journey each time. A lot of people seem to prefer less nowadays.
A Tough Topic
This topic is hard to write about, not least because of the dramatic impact it’s had on my life. But the real reason it’s so challenging to share is because of the care with which I must write each word.
Eating disorders can affect people of any size, with any background, any job, any medical condition, any IQ . . . at any time. They do not discriminate.
And once you’re in the midst of an eating disorder—you simply cannot see it. Which seems impossible when you finally remove the blinkers and look back on what was.
No matter how many people try to tell you what you’re doing to yourself. No matter how cleverly they phrase it or plan their talk with you. No matter—because you are not the one with the problem. They should save their words for someone they actually matter to. Someone with an eating disorder. And that’s not you.
So, the challenge is writing this with absolute honesty and openness, in the hope it may help someone in a similar situation. It’s cutting through the stigma, the shame and the social isolation eating disorders fuel. It’s providing my story with an emphasis on showing others with diabetes—it is possible to come out the other side and have a healthy relationship with yourself, your body and the food you eat.
Diabetes & Eating Disorders
Diabetes and eating disorders go hand-in-hand and there are statistics which seem to increase year on year, showing that if you have diabetes you are more likely to suffer an eating disorder. Afterall, we do have to count, weigh and calculate every morsel we consume from the moment we’re diagnosed. And even then, the resulting blood sugars—when anything shy of perfect—are often attributed directly to food.
Is it any wonder food receives such blame, hatred and obsession when the ‘perfect’ diabetes control we were always told to strive for is, in fact, not always achievable.
Flying Under the Radar
Eating disorders can and do go undiagnosed for years. Take me as an example. Never officially diagnosed with an eating disorder. My GP knows nothing of it. The Hospital may have suspected once or twice, but no one ever asked the question. It simply wasn't a box which needed to be ticked.
As far as my medical records are concerned, my eating disorder never happened. Yet it affected every waking minute of my life for close to 18 years.
My Eating Disorder Series of Posts
I’ll keep the specifics to a minimum, because I understand how triggering certain patterns, behaviours and numbers may be for those in recovery. I’ll pre-frame my posts with this:
Trigger Warning: I have kept specific numbers, weights and behaviours to a minimum in this article. However, some people may find the following post triggering.
One Final Request
I’d appreciate your comments on these posts. It’s great that on social media platforms people are so vocal and I receive comments and personal messages there. But it would be good to get the conversation started here too. Everyone’s opinion counts and it would be great to know how you feel about this subject, whether it has ever affected you or not.