With World Mental Health Day just gone I wanted to write up a post about one of the effects that being bullied has had on me which has affected me into my adult life which I instantly regret doing now and that is COMFORT EATING. It’s scary to think that now comfort eating is classed as a ‘psychiatric disorder’.
WHAT IS ‘COMFORT EATING’?
Comfort Eating isn’t the definition of having 0 willpower to stop, it’s described as consuming large amounts of food as a response to negative emotions and wellbeing in order to make yourself feel better. You may eat a couple of biscuits from the packet and be able to stop but comfort eating you’d continue to eat the packet until you feel better but in most cases you won’t feel any better and continue to eat any food that is in sight to try and make yourself feel a slightly bit better. You’d eat food even if you weren’t hungry, eat at random times of day – I found that I’d always eat food before I went to bed even if I wasn’t hungry, it would also lead me to have terrible cravings for bad food which were usually high in sugar or fat contents.
WHAT CAUSED ME TO COMFORT EAT?
Comfort Eating for me was typically caused by me being bullied all throughout my school life which made me dread going into school because I knew that there would be something that would ruin my day and make me wish I wasn’t there and I’d want to go home. I felt like I had 0 friends and that I didn’t belong anywhere because I was being bullied for my hobbies and my favourite things and I was made to feel like an outcast for liking them. I was being called an ’emo’ and ‘to go slit my wrists in the corner’ for liking rock bands and I was always being called a ‘nerd’ for wanting to do well in school and for always doing my homework and trying to contribute in class because back then it was considered “cool” to be the rebel and not pay attention in school. I was also called a lot worse during my time at school but I won’t go into that too much.
I would always come back from school at 3pm and watch my daily episodes of Neighbours on the couch and eat food until it was dinner time when I wasn’t even hungry. I would then eat after dinner before bed time until I went to sleep which was never good for me as it caused acid reflux quite a few times. I would then feel anxious about going to school because I just didn’t want to be there and go through those horrible emotions again and want to eat my lunch in the toilet where I felt like no one could get me hiding in a cubicle.
THE AFTER EFFECTS
The comfort eating wasn’t affecting me too much whilst I was at dance school and horse riding as I was burning off the calories I was eating but as soon as I quit dance school and stopping horse riding lessons I really noticed a difference when I was gaining more weight and still eating more than I should’ve been. It is now taking me a lot more effort to lose the weight by going to the gym and eating less calories. Joining the gym has been a very positive change to my lifestyle as its encouraging me to get moving again as I was very active and had a very good figure when I was younger, as I went to dance school 3 times a week, horse riding lessons every month, I played tennis during the summer and played for the school netball team. I have a very long way to go in terms of getting my ideal body back but I’m determined to achieve it! I could have turned to more worse ways of comfort than eating which would have either been drinking, drugs or self harming but comfort eating has still negatively impacted my self esteem and confidence. I am determined to turn it into a more positive thing and to live a happier and healthier life!
Please continue to support those who suffer from mental health issues no matter what it may be and to always help raise awareness, we don’t need just one day or one week to do this – we need to constantly help raise awareness and support because the public health services are neglecting those who suffer on a daily basis and those who need help need to be heard!
EDUCATE – SUPPORT – CARE
How has being bullied or suffering from a mental illness affected you?