Teen Tells the Story of How She Conquered Emotional Eating
Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Seems easy enough, right? Well, in many cases lives start to evolve around eating. Emotional eating is most definitely a huge problem for many teenagers, and is an even bigger problem to break.
It all begins with that specific “event” or “situation” that takes place in someone’s life. For instance; a break up, parents divorcing, bullying, being ignored, and having friends with those magazine bodies are all factors that can easily lead to emotional eating. It may be hard for someone to imagine having an emotional eating problem, but not for me. For me it somehow took over my life.
Junior year of high school - this is the year where my life started to change. I always wanted the body that you saw advertised everywhere; the body all my friends were blessed with. Unfortunately the motivation wasn’t there. Diets, I tried. Workouts, they lasted about a week. The ability for me to change my lifestyle and to strive for that body I have always wanted quite frankly never seemed like an option for me. My family tried to confront me about my necessary need for change, but I just got offended. My body was changing and there was nothing I could do to stop it, at least that’s what went through my head.
Instead of realizing what needed to be done with my life, depression took ahold of me. I tried to be happy and to carry on a smile but that could only last so long. My family got it the worst from me. I no longer cared about what was happening in their lives, I intentionally shut them out. The feeling of not being good enough or pretty enough for my family became the number one thought on my mind. I never wanted to go out because there was no point, no one cared about me or was interested in me. Feeling important never happened, and with that, the depression stayed. The only thing that seemed to make me happy was eating. So I ate my emotions. This dark stage took over my life for quite some time. I’m not afraid to say I hated my life; it was just the plain truth.
Something needed to be done, and yet it seemed like it never was going to happen. Until one day, one random day, when I looked in the mirror and saw the complete opposite of what I wanted to see. And for the first time I realized that this is my problem, it’s my fault for becoming this way. I just stood there in total disgust, thinking about all the pain I have caused in my own life and also the lives of the people who care about me the most. I was done with wanting people to feel sorry for me, it was getting me nowhere. I knew, for the first time, that something needed to be done and this time I was not going to let myself fail.
I’ll never forget walking straight up to my Mom and telling her that today is the day my life will start to change. I wish I could say from then on out my life has been all fine and dandy but no, life all of a sudden got extremely hard, but in a way I have never experienced before. Instead of becoming healthy and working out on a normal basis, I decided to take it to the extreme. An obsession occurred, not with eating too much but actually the exact opposite. My days began to be all about running, gym, and eating 550 calories a day. I began to shed weight like crazy, and I loved it. Compliments were coming at me, and attention began to head my way. Months consisted of never going out to eat, counting every calorie, weighing my food, and working out consistently, but as long as my process of losing weight continued I was in heaven. Friends would tell me to stop and show their concern for me, but I was not interested in their opinion. I finally got down to the weight I had dreamed about, and had the body I wanted, sculpted to perfection. This diet I had put myself on became a lifestyle for me and the risks really weren’t a concern. After some time of being lectured and starting to feel weak I knew something was wrong and that I finally had to do something about it.
It is never easy getting through these obstacles in your life. I didn’t want to stop the diet I was on, I loved it, and it obviously loved me. But after some time you just have to realize that your health is so much more important, and that food is a good thing, and it’s not meant to be looked at as a negative thing. I’m not saying coming to this realization was a piece of cake for me, but it started to become more of a mandatory act that needed to be done. I thought I was living the life everyone wanted but I got that all wrong. I was living every day in the misery of starving myself just to get that compliment walking in the hallways at school, or at the grocery store. The truth was that eating wasn’t going to put me back in that “old life”, the life I was so scared to even encounter again.
Nothing could be truer than the saying “everything in moderation”. I began to look at life as something that needed to be enjoyed and needed to be lived with no regrets. I put away the scale, forced myself to not look at every nutrition label, and told myself that it would be okay if I don’t have the time to work out every day, to just enjoy the present while still being able to be healthy. Do I eat sweets or overeat now? No I can’t say I do, but I don’t think that is something I should be complaining about!