May 22, 2017

My Story: Binge Eating Disorder & Food Addiction | Part I

I think I started gaining weight when I was 18 after a traumatic incident. I began to have random moments of pure sadness, and as my sadness became more frequent, so did my food intake. Staying inside my dorm room and eating alone in lieu of eating with friends became the norm. It was strangely comforting. I felt like every time I had to see my friends, I had to make such a huge effort to pretend to be happy when I wasn't. I felt such a void that food was somehow able to fill. Little did I know that this would become an addiction and a viscous cycle of self-destruction.

At my high school prom

Freshman year of college. This is when I started relying on food for comfort

I can't really say how much I weighed exactly before my tumultuous relationship with food began. Growing up, I never had an issue with my weight or food - besides the normal Asian thing where we constantly think we're "fat" and that we need to diet. That's another topic though, and I'll probably talk about this in another post in the near future. 

As a teenager, I was usually a size 4. After my freshman year of college, I came back with the infamous "freshman fifteen" and weighing somewhere around 137 pounds. I remember being shocked at how close I was to 140 lbs, which was super scary. None of my clothes fit properly and I started to hate the way I looked. I had to start wearing a size medium and that was super embarrassing. I was also experiencing severe acne that left me feeling like a disgusting human being. Sounds dramatic, but that's how I honestly felt. On top of having awful skin, I was getting fat and the Korean people in my life never failed to remind me of this.

I started to noticeably gain weight

I kept gaining more weight. This is when I began really hating my body

I was sad all the time. I must admit, I was really good at hiding it from everyone for a long time, until it got increasingly harder to fake. My food intake was increasing and my binge eating spiraled out of control. A few years later, I was nearly 80 pounds heavier, anti-social, and miserable. Sometimes I wonder if I developed a food addiction because I was possibly depressed, or if I was depressed because of my food addiction. 

Some of you may think that food addiction is a joke, but it was far from a joke for me. Food was my drug. I was constantly obsessing over it, craving it, and planning my next binge. I ate in very large amounts and as fast I could. I couldn't control myself at all. If you've never experienced this, you won't understand. I just couldn't ever stop myself during a binge. It's honestly so hard to explain because I myself still don't understand it. I ate secretly: in my car, in a bathroom, or alone in my room. I used to go to PF Changs and/or Cheesecake Factory every single night and buy 5,000+ calories and eat everything. My binge usually consisted of an appetizer, two entrees, a dessert, a soda, two bags of chips, and two bags of chocolate/candy. After my binge, I would carefully clean up and secretly throw everything out so my family wouldn't find out. Then I would be sad all over again and hate myself for my lack of control. But then I would crave that "high" again and plan my next binge.

Over 200 lbs with my fake smile

210+ lbs 

I was only 5'2" and weighed over 210 pounds. I developed several health problems, for obvious reasons. I had trouble breathing and sleep apnea. I was always fatigue and lethargic. I had experienced blurry vision, and constant pain in my legs and feet. I couldn't stand for more than 20 seconds at a time and I was sweating profusely. I had acid reflux, dizzy spells, trouble swallowing, and hypertension. 

I gave up on a lot of things in my life. I gave up on myself, my friendships, relationships, my dreams, my goals, my future, my happiness... 

I avoided people and I stopped seeing all my friends. I was too ashamed and too embarrassed of who I've become. I missed celebrations, parties, get togethers, dinners, graduations, weddings, trips... everything

When anyone asked to hang out, I always said no

My heart broke every single day. I was sad. I was angry. I didn't want to be alive anymore. 

To Be Continued...

To learn more about BED (Binge Eating Disorder): Click here to learn more

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