I started making myself sick at the age of 15, I can’t even remember why or how it started it was just something I did, it became routine life very quickly. I would eat, go to the toilet and make myself sick without even giving it any thought, completely automatic behaviour – like all habits. I would even tell myself that it was a bug, food intolerances or some other reason but never for one second did I consider I had an eating disorder – people who had them didn’t eat…..and for the record I ate everything! It was only when it came up really casually in a counselling session that I can remember the look on the therapist’s face opposite me as she said she could no longer work with me because I required ‘specialist’ help. I was left confused as to what the fuss was about. This had been my life for so long that it was like I didn’t know any different. Anyhow, a long story short: numerous therapists later I will always remember the turning point for me. My therapist said to me that she would be surprised if one of my 3 daughters did not acquire an eating disorder in later life due to my behaviour around food. Of course I couldn’t just stop in an instant but this was the driving force that ensured I would.
My older daughters sadly are a reflection of my binge eating days. I raised them whilst I had no education nor awareness of my eating habits. All I knew was out of control binging, proud stashes of chocolate and sweets in every cupboard in every room, my chocolate box was famous! People would enter my house and instantly gravitate towards it. It was like a home made especially for Augustus Gloop, a ginger bread house made of cakes, chocolate and confectionary from the inside. Every cupboard in every room, high carb, high fat food was always just an arms length away. I was an obsessive eater and feeder and everything had to be available at all times: I developed an obsession with stocked cupboards, multiples of tens and twenties of the same item to ensure I could never run out!
Now I take great pride in being a ‘good mother’, worked hard at teaching right from wrong, taught them morals, how to be respectful, to communicate well and to love whilst being unconditional and non-judgemental. I fed them a balanced diet and made sure they drank plenty of water and milk steering clear of fizzy high sugared drinks – apart from milk shakes…..All those years ago I blindly gave my children milk shakes thinking that they were ‘healthy’, what I know now about the sugar content in those hideous drinks makes me shudder! Little did I comprehend that what was indeed happening in my family was the equivalent of strapping my children in their seatbelts, explaining that they have to wear theirs as they kept them safe and then getting in the car and not strapping myself in. What they learnt was: you don’t need to wear your seat belt! My behaviour and treatment of my self was far more powerful than anything else. They wanted to be just like mummy. I cannot reiterate how practising what we preach is paramount in parenting!
Now: they all binge, are obsessed with sweets and chocolate and against my advice will bulk buy crap food to eat. One daughter in particular secretly eats and honestly; that panics me, she’s very erratic with her eating habits, eating in her bedroom and all hours of the day – all learned behaviour, not from how I treated them, but from how I treated myself. I look back at my ‘good mothering’ and see where I failed, where I let them down because I never really understood how they viewed me.
Of course I now try educating them, guiding them, setting a good example but as with all parenting it is vital to get in there young with our messages, morals and values about the importance of food, a balanced diet and the effects on the human body. Not only are they now at an age when they are absolute pains in the backside, genetically predisposed to dislike every single thing I say and roll their eyes when I plead with them to not drink so much cola, have a proper meal instead of sweets or please stop eating copious amounts of fast food. It is all now in vain, too little too late as they are just adhering to the many subliminal messages I gave them as they were growing up. I find the hypnosis, skills and education I have since acquired surplus to requirements, due to the conflict of interest in the dynamics of our relationship. They simply will not allow me to hypnotise them – worried that I may make them choose to tidy their room!
I will keep educating them, I am now aware how my example is far more powerful than my words but every day I see what their diets have become I feel sad, sad and responsible for the part I played in their relationship with food today. I prey that they don’t become like so many people out there: binge eaters! Binge eating (overeating on a regular basis) which is now far more prevalent than any other eating disorder and is spreading like wild fire. Many individuals (undiagnosed) who are slaves to food, stuck in ruts of binging and starving, falling from one failing diet to the next, oblivious to what they are consuming and the detrimental affect on their body. I want my children to grow up free from food!
Our relationship with food is not just ‘ours’, it comes from the examples we witness, it is embedded and complexly entwined with our emotions and it is also being retold in the examples we lead the next generation with. A generation who are exposed to far more fats, sugars and convenience food than ever before! For some, food is an addiction that we cannot just abstain from: we need to not only learn to get the balance right but show our children how to do it.
I lead my next generation of mini humans by example, educated and empowered with ‘tricks of the trade’; even at just 3 years of age. I strive to make sure that they learn a far healthier way of eating, minimise emotional attachment and provide them with variety and balance.
If you are looking to achieve weight loss or break habits, then hypnosis can change every aspect of your life; physiological and emotional. Allowing you to develop a healthy relationship with food and assist you to not only reach your target of long term weight loss but enable you to lead your family by example.
For more information on eating disorders or immediate help, please visit: https://www.b-eat.co.uk
Change why you eat and you will change what you eat!
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