My Timeline of Disordered Eating Patterns

I thought I’d share a timeline of my disordered eating patterns because for some years I thought I had healed my relationship with food, but actually I hadn’t at all. In fact I was just ‘covering’ it up with other forms of restriction.

The first (& worst) Phase. 2014.

Now admittedly, looking back, this was the worst phase by far. And for many different reasons. It was triggered by a bad end to, and break-up, of a relationship which resulted in a huge knock to my body confidence. This coupled with finding my-self in an environment and situation that I had no control over resulted in me massively controlling my food in-take. I ended up loosing so much weight that my periods stopped (and they didn’t come back for another 3 years).

What did my disordered eating look like?

  • I calorie counted everything. At worst point I think I must have been on about 1000-1200 calories a day.
  • I worked out 6 days of the week (fuelled with what, I do not know).
  • I wouldn’t eat a ‘carb’ unless it was considered ‘healthy’ (and even then it was rarely).
  • If I ate something I felt I ‘shouldn’t’ I would feel massively guilty and have to ‘work it off’ or have already ‘earned it’. Unfortunately this once led me to trying to make self sick.
  • I would pre-plan meals out with friends by checking the menu before going to make sure there was something I would feel comfortable eating (often a salad or soup of some sort).

Luckily I knew something was wrong. What I didn’t realise what that knowing I had a problem would automatically fix it and I didn’t realise how much longer I would experience with it.

The Vegan / Veggie Phase. 2015.

Whilst I was living in London I watched a few documentaries, and along with some other research, I decided to go vegan. Whilst at first this doesn’t seem that bad, it was just another form of food control. I said it was because of the environment, which was in part true, but it also meant I didn’t really eat any saturated fat. I suppose I still had calories in the back of my head but it did help me to start eating carbs again.

When did the veggie phase start? When I moved to Switzerland and the only veggie options were cheese 😂

The fasting phase. 2018.

I first tried intermittent fasting almost 3-4 years ago. At first I found it hard. I had to really try and almost train myself to do it. I started drinking black coffee to numb my hunger queues (note : this is not healthy and a certain sign of disordered eating). It also started to affect my daily routine – my routine became extremely rigid. I would pass up opportunities to eat with people and get annoyed if my lunch break didn’t fit with my eating time. What’s more, this time restriction to my diet meant that when I did eat, I went for it. I would often binge on chocolate, crisps, and so on…

And Now. the last year or two.

These days I can honestly say I have no food rules. I don’t workout to look good but to feel good and strong. Of course there are (rarely but still) times when I miiiiight feel something creeping back in (maybe a need to go to the gym or skip brekkie). Who knows if these old habits will ever disappear but what I have now is an awareness. So what I’ll do is bash any feeling on the head and do the complete opposite (not go to the gym for a week or eat pancakes for brekkie).

How did I get here? A mix of things, but I think it was mainly down to two things:

  • Studying health coaching & disordered eating : it wasn’t until I started studying to be a health coach that I realised disordered eating was a thing (as opposed to an eating disorder). The simple awareness of disordered eating, and what it constitutes, made me re-think my relationship with food.
  • Meditation : my journey with meditation has been amazing. It has enabled me to be present and recognise feelings which I may have previously covered up. Including feelings around food and my body. It has given me the mental strength to look internally rather than externally (which has hugely helped my relationship with food and my body).

Over the course of roughly six years I didn’t realise disordered eating was still affecting me so I hope by sharing this it might raise some awareness around disordered eating and perhaps help you realise if you are experiencing it yourself. If you find this blog triggering and would like someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out, I’m all ears with zero judgement.

Love Emma x

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *