Junk Food, Author formulatehealth, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/189590028@N07/50191150823/ (CC Attribution-2.0 Generic)
Food as Comfort
You endure a childhood of sexual abuse. Food is a comfort, solace for this inexplicable violation you have repeatedly experienced but cannot understand.
The Roots of an Eating Disorder
By your teens, you develop a weight problem, along with an eating disorder. Though you do not realize it, both these are related to the abuse. You deal with all the usual adolescent turmoil and the pain you carry around inside by bingeing.
Shame and Lack of Support
You have no emotional support, no one to guide you toward adulthood. And virtually no clothes, since there is little thought given by the adults around you to the needs of a growing child.
You try on your mother’s clothes – in part so that you will have something to wear, in part to see what it feels like to be a grown woman. But your mother is shorter in stature than you, and the clothes are too small.
You feel ashamed, unworthy to be a woman at all.
Food as the Enemy
Somehow you reach the other side of the crevasse. The abuse is now a thing of the past. You do not give it much thought, as you enter your twenties. But you continue to wrestle with weight issues. Food has become the enemy.
Clothes shopping is a painful experience. You need to look presentable, at least in the workplace. But you have difficulty finding anything that will fit.
This leads to intense embarrassment, particularly in social situations. That, in turn, leads to social anxiety. You feel as if you are bursting out of your clothes, naked, all your secrets exposed.
Yet you cannot stop eating to excess.
Food as an Anesthetic
Eating becomes a guilty pleasure. You eat little or nothing in public, but relish sitting alone in front of the television with a pint of ice cream and a bag of chips. You use food to numb the pain.
Once done eating, you experience shame and remorse.
Part 2 in this series will be posted next week.
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