My school days were filled with a sense of success for maintaining my commitment to fasting and of improved marks as I was dedicating my ‘eating’ time to school work and study. On a weekend however I turned into a monster.
For 48 hours per week my life turned upside down and inside out. Why? Because of binge-eating. My dad worked and my mum often kept herself busy doing mum-things. My sister was a university student at the time and was never home. You would think that not thinking about food would have become second nature to me after several weeks of weekday fasting, but on the contrary that was ALL I could think about. I don’t know whether it was because of boredom, or my body instinctively protecting itself knowing that it will starve for the next 5 days, but the need to eat was frightening. And once my parents left the house I had free range.
At first it wasn’t a conscious decision, no, it was more like having a meal, enjoying the meal and reasoning with myself that another helping is acceptable. Once I became at ease with a second helping I soon found myself having a third. I don’t recall my parents ever calling me out on why the food was slowly disappearing from the fridge and cupboards as I tried my best to hide any evidence. The secrecy of my disorder was prominent from the beginning. The times when my parents were around, for example at dinner time, I behaved. I would have a single helping of food, thank my mother for the meal and retreat to my bedroom. Once they went to bed and the house was covered in darkness and silence my scavenging began and it didn’t stop until my stomach ached so much I had no other option but to lie down and sleep. It soon became apparent that once I started eating I couldn’t stop. It is difficult to explain the loss of control – I was merely a pawn being controlled by an external player.
And then Monday rolls along and the fasting turns into punishment for my weekend binge-eating.
To be continued