As a child I remember feeling greedy and ashamed about how much I wanted food. When I felt sad or worried, I was especially drawn to eat, but I also wanted to eat at other times. I was very shy and desperately wanted others to like me. I had constant negative thoughts about myself running through my mind and I always wanted to be someone else – whoever it was that seemed to be the most popular, pretty or sporty at school.
As I got older, I realised I couldn’t eat what I had been accustomed to eating and maintain a slim figure. I began restricting what I ate and started going to the gym. I had bouts of bulimia. I hated being so thin as a child but now, being as thin as possible ruled my life. I also became obsessed with boys and whether or not they were attracted to me. I started drinking and loved that it gave me the freedom and confidence to be myself, and I took up smoking to curb the constant craving to eat. I became bitter, cynical and depressed and I blamed others for my problems. The self-help books I read told me that learning to love myself was the answer, but this felt unattainable to me. I continued searching for a way out of the misery but nothing seemed to work.
Through the desperation that came from more and more pain, I eventually found my way into a Twelve-Step fellowship for addictive eating. I went to a meeting and heard a woman there tell her story. It was a lot like mine but she had found a solution. I was instantly drawn to her. My ego had to be beaten down quite a bit, but in time I became willing to do what she was doing. Following the simple suggestions in the Addictive Eaters Anonymous Twelve-Step program of recovery had a powerful impact on my life. As a result, I’m now happily married, no longer obsess about my body or want more food and have inner peace and contentment. I’ve learned that true happiness comes from thinking of others and doing God’s will. For me this is the best way of life and it keeps getting better.