July 27th 2001Just reading the very last sentence and thinking about my behaviour and mood over the last week I can really see how food affects me. I have had the worst food week. I have lost about 2 kg’s and am happy about that fact, yet the emotions going on inside me are absolutely terrible. I snap at about anything and anyone. I know it’s to do with food and I could easily get back to my normal happy self if I desired, but I am being so selfish in the fact that I want to see if I can just lose a few more kg’s. I am going from eating toast, 100g of no fat yoghurt (has to be Danone Diet Lite as it has only 165kjs in it) and cups of tea and coffee for a few days, to then eating pizza, biscuits and chocolates and throwing it all up. Some nights I will take up to 8 laxatives because I feel so guilty for haven eaten that day. I wake up with the most excruciating gut pain and have to make a mad dash to the toilet. It feels dreadful and I end up with a head spin afterwards as I feel the colour drain from my face. I planned on going for walks every morning again but I prefer now to stay home because I am too afraid I will need to get to a toilet and won’t be able to find one.
My flat mate Amy caught me out a little while ago and asked what was going on. GUILTY!! I couldn’t answer her with any real answer except that I am just having a bad phase. I know it’s the food that’s causing my mood swings. I become so easily agitated and frustrated with things and people. The other day at work I really had a go at one of the other staff and she stressed all day wondering what on earth she had done wrong to me. I felt really bad at the end of the day when I realised how I treated her and I had no explanation for it. I apologised the next day and told her I was just in a bad mood and because I knew she was lying about the chocolates I was even more angry. What had happened was that a parent came in one afternoon when I had already left and dropped off a box of chocolates to say thankyou for looking after her son. Anna hid most of the chocolates to keep for the staff who actually cared for her son. I knew Des knew this and when she denied knowing where the chocolates were it made me even more angry because I knew I was being taken for a ride and I didn’t like that. I was acting like the child who didn’t get her own way and really I just wanted to have a chocolate. It almost reminded me of how I felt knowing mum had bought herself wine and beer and didn’t get us chocolate.
I try to avoid food situations when I can because sometimes I don’t know if I could resist eating. And I prefer if people won’t see me eat at the moment because they will think I am being gutsy. Two more kilos’ is all I want to lose and I don’t know what I will do after that. The dietician in Penrith tells me that being on a roller coaster like this isn’t beneficial and I will end up putting on more weight in the long run. This really worried me at first so I stuck to eating properly. Once I realised I could lose weight again I was gone. They also tell me that vomiting and laxatives don’t contribute anything to weight loss but I refuse to believe that. I have lost weight and I feel that that’s proof enough. I didn’t want to go there though and I feel seriously guilty for it. But at the same time I am absolutely desperate to keep the fat off. Yet I am aware of how it is affecting my behaviour, which has made me realise that the eating was a lot of the cause of our arguments at home a few years ago.
There was quite a bit of friction in the household at Mim‘s. A lot of it had to do with my attitude to food and how I reacted to people when food or eating was mentioned. I wanted to do it my way, eat what I wanted, eat when I wanted, and go for walks when I wanted. Mim and James tiptoed around me knowing how angry I would get if they even suggested I eat a meal with them. It was funny though how I never ate with them yet felt comfortable enough to eat at other people’s houses. Mim questioned me on it asking me what was so different to eating with them and eating with other people. I had no idea, and it never really occurred to me until she said it, but it was so true. The only logical reason I could think of was that eating out with other people was a one off event, and I wasn’t committed to doing so every night. I felt trapped in my
own set ways of doing things in regard to eating habits at our house that I could not break those rules I set for myself and had made obvious to others. To eat a meal as a one off with them one night would make me feel committed to eating with them at other times. I hungered for the food they were eating some nights because it looked so tasty compared to my pathetic jam toast or rice cakes.
There were times when I did eat alright, such as making and eating cakes with Mim, but I had to work it of by way of going for a walk. People thought I was crazy walking in the heat. It sometimes reached up to nearly 40 degrees, yet I insisted on going anyway. Sometimes I was sneaky, going for a walk after dinner so I could get to a public toilet and get rid of what I had eaten. I felt lower than low by doing this and so ashamed. But it made me feel better to have gotten rid of the food. Mim and James disliked the thought of me going for walks and set time limits for me to be back by. If I wasn’t back by the certain time I was in trouble. I made up excuses throughout the day then to get to the shops. It was only a 15 minute walk down the road, but I took many detours walking very quickly so as not to take that much longer than what I should. One of the roads I used had to have some sort of ascent because walking uphill burnt more kilojoules. I got home from my walks lying about how the line was rather long, or that I stopped to eat an ice block because it was too hot.
The lying and excuses not to eat started getting to all of us at one stage. It was more in the beginning of the holidays when I was so stubborn and determined. James and I had a rather big argument while driving home from somewhere. He stopped the car suddenly and told me to get out. I was in tears by now because the argument wasn’t even as a result of anything I had said or done, he was just letting his anger out on me because I was there. I got out of the car and wandered aimlessly around the streets until I found a phone booth where I rang the Smith’s from. They came to pick me up and took me to their place for a while.
After this argument things remained tense in the house. I had to look for excuses to get out and stay with other people during the days, and find other ways to keep busy. One day Joe, the minister at church, asked if I would accompany Sussi in playing some hymns as he gave short sermons at a nursing home. I was all for it and went into it very positively, trying not to let happen what happened at the nursing home we visited on prac. But it did. Joe’s wife Lee came and picked me up and we went for a drive discussing how I felt. It was comforting having someone to talk to for a change about how I felt. I actually felt loved and cared for.
As the holidays continued I started letting go of my rigid eating routine and started eating more. It was mainly in the last week that this happened because I knew that as soon as I got back I could diet again. I then began looking for excuses to eat mindful of the fact I would cut back soon.
One night towards the end of the holiday, Mim and James went for a drive and I stayed at home, ready to pick at the left overs of their dinner. I weighed myself to
the disappointment of discovering I had gained nearly 2 kg in the whole time I was at home. I weighed nearly 44kg. I was absolutely disgusted with myself. I wanted to just get a knife and cut out all the fat parts on my body. But by doing that I probably wouldn’t have any body left. I felt utterly fat and went immediately to put on a large t-shirt to hide myself. I didn’t know what else to do.