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Living the Healthy Way » blogging

Healthy eating and fitness is the way to go.Sun, 07 Nov 2010 07:06:31 +0000enhourly1 eating and mental health, 10 Aug 2010 19:16:36 +0000Admin guest post By Love2EatinPA. If you too would like to contribute then contact us.

Since childhood, something has compelled me to compulsively overeat and binge.

It made me feel out of control, but yet I could never seem to stop myself. I would shovel food into my face, regardless of hunger. It didn’t even taste good after the first few bites. I could be totally stuffed and feeling ill, but there was this bizarre frenzy inside of me that made me feel like I just had to have more and more food.

I would tell myself each time when I finally finished and felt horribly, both physically and mentally, that THIS was going to be the last time I ever did it, sadly it rarely ever was.

In late 2007, I realized that my eating issues were in fact not just a “sweet tooth,” but instead, an eating disorder.

I immediately googled Overeaters Anonymous and started looking for a therapist. OA meetings helped me to realize that I was not alone. It was somehow reassuring and comforting to know that it wasn’t just me.

.I was determined to find out why I would go on these out-of-control binges. Going to therapy helped me tremendously. When talking about my childhood, we uncovered the reasons why I had this eating disorder.

There were at least two things going on. One was that my mother used to hide food from me because she knew I would eat more than my share and not leave enough for the rest of the family. I vividly remember, every Friday after she got home from work and food shopping, helping her unload the groceries. I would unpack something like double-stuff Oreos, Chips Ahoy or Mallomars. Later that night or the next day when I would go to have some, they weren’t in the snack drawer. I would turn the house upside down looking for them, but to no avail.

I remember being disappointed that I couldn’t find them, but really didn’t think anything of it as it was all I knew. However, I learned via therapy that unbeknownst to me, my mother was giving a message – I couldn’t be trusted with food. In addition, I grew up rather independently. My mother was not warm and fuzzy. There were no heart-to-heart talks. I learned things from books, not from her. She was not a nurturer.

In addition, I had a father who through my tween and teen years used to tease me about the size of my rear end. He thought he was funny. Little did either of us know the damage he was doing to my spirit, my self.

Neither of my parents was being malicious or trying to harm me, but they surely did. I turned to these forbidden foods as my comfort, for my nurturing, for love. Before I was even 10, I would go to the market when no one was home, and buy a pint of ice cream, big bag of candy, package of cookies or cake, come home and eat it all and then stuff the wrapping into the market bag and bury it deep down in the trash because I didn’t want anyone to see what I had bought and eaten.

Therapy saved me and put me on the road to recovery. I learned that as a happily married adult with children of my own, I was still compulsively overeating as my defense mechanism that began as a child and perpetuated into my adult life. I learned that as a child I had no power, so it was acceptable for me to turn to food for a sense of control and comfort. But as an adult, I had the power to recognize why the eating disorder began and to take control over it.

As you can imagine my weight yo-yo’d up and down over the years. Fortunately, I was athletic and was usually playing a sport or going to a gym, so I didn’t get as heavy as I easily could have. For years I counted calories (no matter how astronomically high the count was), got on the scale at least once a day, and when I was on the losing slope, would be weighing /measuring my food portions.

Back in March, I took the giant leap of faith and started eating intuitively. It has been so freeing and empowering to let go of all the controlling behaviors I had towards food/eating.

My mental well being, body and spirit are so much better now. Though it took me over 30 years to realize I had an eating disorder, and not just a sweet tooth, I embraced the disorder and was determined to learn how to best deal with it. I realized that compulsively overeating and bingeing now were not going to change anything that happened to me as a child.

I embraced what my parents had done, knew they were just doing the best they could and put that part of my life in its own little compartment, tucked away. I put it behind me and moved on. I was at peace. I opted not to tell my parents about my eating disorder or the role they played in it, as I do not want to hurt their feelings. Maybe at some point I will tell my mother, but I’m not sure there would be a point to it, except perhaps some closure for me. My father thinks he walks on water, so there would be no point in wasting my breath with him.

I haven’t binged in over 2-1/2 years. I’m in a much better place now. I now eat to live instead of living to eat.

If you want to read more of my story, struggles and triumphs, you can check out my blog at

BIO: I am a 42-yr old recovering compulsive overeater. I am happily married with two children under the age of 11. I feel like discovering that I was a compulsive overeater/binger was a giant stepping stone in my personal growth. I work out at the gym four days a week and love what it does for me both mentally and physically. I am a freelance writer and proofreader. While I have been a runner for almost 14 years, I am about to do my first triathlon in mid-August.

Emotional Overeating – More Steps to Recovery (

Signs of Compulsive Overeating (

Eating Healthily is a Serious Mental Disorder (

]]> Arts vs Pilates, 01 Jun 2010 08:10:18 +0000kirstenw below is article by Joanna if you are also interested in contributing you can contact us here: write for us

Martial Arts have been a part of my life for almost a decade.

I first became involved because my children wanted to be like Jackie Chan, so I took them along to a local class and, because it was parents and kids, we all did it together.

Two years later, they had both moved on to other hobbies whilst I found myself hooked.

As an anorexic, it was great for weight loss, with three full-on sweat sessions a week involving lots of co-ordinated arm, leg and core exercise but my body changed in a way that it never had as a result of aerobics classes.

The muscles became so much more pumped and defined. I grew a six-pack and my bottom was tight as a drum. I looked fabulous, but what I didn’t realise was the problems that I was setting up for the future.

Five years later, with a first degree black belt wrapped around my waist, I noticed sharp pains in the tops of my arms. After trying to train around the pain, I consulted a professional and was diagnosed with impingements in both shoulders.

It would seem that all those sit-ups had distorted my body shape and pulled my trunk forwards, altering the angle of my neck and shoulders and creating the beginnings of a dowager’s hump. Continually hitting things just compounded the problem.

That’s when I discovered yoga and Pilates. At first I wondered how I was going to be satisfied with such apparently gentle exercise, but then I started to understand. Yoga is an on-going study that will last for the rest of my life and Pilates is a skill that needs to be learned if you want to retain optimum movement into old age.

Both work the body just as aerobically as my previous sweat sessions but in a much more focused way. Slow movements into asana that are held for a period of time require just as much effort from specific muscle groups as their more energetic martial counterparts.

I think this was brought home to me most forcibly last week when two new young males came to my Pilates class. Both in their 20s, they seemed to struggle to do even the most basic level of core strength exercises and were most perturbed to notice that ladies who were old enough to be their grandmother were managing without difficulty. It was most revealing.

What I’ve learned from my studies and what I notice in my body is that repeating the yoga postures or Pilates exercises every day has changed my body once again.

The definition is still there, but it is softer, less pumped and, therefore, less damaging because each muscle works in conjunction with the rest of the body rather than being exercised individually. There is no knock-on effect from over-stimulating one set of muscle fibres to the detriment of another.

For the first time in years I am standing up straight and, if you take a look at any of the photographs on my site, you’ll know that my body is in fabulous shape.

Joanna Cake writes about love, sex, intimacy, parenting, health and everything else that life has to throw at her in her blog at Having My Cake and Eating It Too



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