I have been lurking here for a little while and thought I should finally introduce myself.
I am 31 years old and have spent the past 12 months trying to repair my relationship with food and my body. I won't bore you with the long version of my 'story' but it is all familiar - girl is unhappy with her weight after University (150lbs at 5'4'), girl goes on very restrictive diet, slims down to 98lbs (eek!), maintains low weight (98 - 105lbs) for 2 years, thinks she looks great but everyone says she looks like shit (thought they were just jealous!), can't restrict forever but doesn't want to be fat, becomes overwhelmed by a need to eat, starts bingeing, freaks about bingeing so restricts to compensate, cycle continues for 2 years, gains weight,feels lost/upset/like a failure, hates body, discovers healthy living blogs, becomes inspired to treat body well by eating good food and doing regular exercise, learns to eat without guilt and love food again (ah, a nice happy 'ending'- kind of).
Out of everything I put my body through I can honestly say that the binging was the worst part. After a while restricting became easy, but bingeing was a nightmare - the shoveling of food, the out of control feeling and eating so much that I had serious fears about my stomach exploding was horrendous. I just couldn't stop myself from eating - the urge was unreal. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me to need so much food. I felt so ashamed of myself and hated my body with an absolute passion. I gained up to a weight of 120 - 126lbs (a quite significant gain of about 28lbs) and this is the weight range that I maintain right now. I would say that I generally eat what I want, but because I have spent quite a long time trying to eat a healthy diet I do have a taste and natural tendency towards healthy(ish) food. I am by no means a health freak but compared to the people in my office, and my family, I eat quite well. Some people think I am always on a diet just because I like to eat things like rice cakes and fruit, but I never go hungry and certainly don't deny myself anything at all. Some of my favourite foods are chocolate (any kind - cheap confectionery is as acceptable to me as high-end dark chocolate!), nut butters, cheese, candied ginger and ALL carbs. I eat all of these foods on a regular basis. I do not worry about calories, fat grams, protein, carbs, sugar or anything at all. I would say that I am well and truly on my way to becoming a happy eater.
However, I am not at all perfect and I do still have a tendency to overeat in certain situations. Food still occupies quite a large proportion of my thoughts. I do still worry about weight gain and what I look like. I still have fat days and I feel flabby. I still kind of want to lose weight and be lighter. I get jealous when other people lose weight, even if they weigh more than me after their weight loss - I think I am jealous that they have the 'discipline' to do it. So, I guess I am here to try and learn how to put these behaviors/thoughts behind me for good and get to a place where I really don't worry or think about food that much at all. Where I can make good choices most of the time and eat treats without really thinking or analysing it whilst effortlessly maintaining my weight.
So, that's me. Not a unique and special snowflake by any means. Just a woman who was stupid enough to once go on a diet!