Peggy (mom): In 2013 I checked myself into a 6-day rehab for overeaters. My life was completely out of control. I was bingeing all the time and the voices wouldn’t stop telling me how worthless I was. It was obvious that I was gaining weight but no one could see how it was happening since I ate like a normal person in front of them. That’s because I ate secretly and I was very good at it.
You don’t end up at “fat camp” by gaining a few pounds. You have to be MISERABLE before you spend the kind of money and time on rehab and I definitely fit the bill. I could eat without chewing in front of my family. I would wait until they went to bed and continue getting my “fix” on anything and everything that was in the refrigerator or pantry. What were my favorite foods? It didn’t matter…that’s how I knew that I had an eating disorder. It felt no different than a crack junky rolling up their sleeve ready to take a “hit”. I just wanted something to fill the gaping hole in my soul. I ate things I didn’t like just to stop the voices. I once was asked what made me stop each time I binged and I still don’t know what it is….I just seem to go on and on through 1000’s of calories and then stop. It has nothing to do with being “hungry” or “full”. It has EVERYTHING to do with emotions.
I had tried the standard weightloss clubs but they didn’t help. Oh, I’d some weight but I’d starve the day of “weigh-in” and go to Bikram yoga right before the meeting so I’d sweat off any of my cheat days. Then after the meeting, I’d reward myself with some really “good” food. I loathed facing the people that weighed me in…..I just knew what they were thinking…..”she’s never going to lose that weight” or “oh, she put on 0.4 lbs, what a heifer!” I remember sitting in one meeting for weightloss and they were showing us the difference between a small apple and a medium apple….for God’s sake, I didn’t put on 100 lbs by eating apples that were out of proportion…I can assure you! Another time they asked us to stand and hold hands…then we were supposed to sing, “oh I’m getting skinny, yes I’m getting skinny, oh I’m getting skinny every day!”. How I HATED those meetings! When the meetings ended, a franchised club would offer us TRIAL FOOD from the plan! I was there to learn how NOT to eat!!! Why are you giving me FREE FOOD??????? Even if I declined it, I felt pressured to take it with me “for later”. No, weightloss clubs were not a good fit for me.
They didn’t get it. They talked incessantly about food but I knew that MY issue didn’t have anything to do with food. It was all about my emotions but for the life of me I could not figure out what emotions were making me eat.
“Go for a walk” I’d tell myself as I stood in the pantry contemplating my next overdose. I knew it wouldn’t help…it wouldn’t make me feel the way that any food would make me feel. It just wasn’t the same. I was ashamed of my eating disorder but I couldn’t stop. I spent so many many hours thinking about my weight issues and the shame it brought me. I was honestly recommitting myself to healthy eating on a 30 minute interval basis but nothing helped…..until I made the decision to finally check into a 6-day rehab for overeaters….FINALLY, I found people who understood me and my disease….but more about that later……..