I remember when I was 17 (2012) I would search high and low around the house for money. I wouldn’t stop until I found at least $10-$15. I’d put my active wear on and bring a relatively large backpack and I’d tell my dad I was going down to the football oval to go for a run.
Little did he know I was walking to the nearest grocery store to stack up on chips and chocolate. I’d look for the cheapest potato chips with the most quantity – back then it was Doritos or Burger Rings. I’d then go to the confectionary isle and look at the family blocks of chocolate.
I’d pay for my junk food and quickly hide them inside of my backpack and walk home. Once I got home I’d run up to my bedroom and eat my junk food in bed. I’d be watching YouTube videos of makeup tutorials, daily vlogs and your average YouTube drama.
When I was 17 I weighed in at around 70kgs (I’m 173cm tall) so my BMI wasn’t really an issue, so I was told by my mother who’s a clinical nurse. I knew I had an unhealthy eating habit but I also factored in that I did boxing classes every weeknight. I also did the occasional gym workout with my mum when she got home from work.
I always had problems with my period. Not to go into too much detail but my periods were HEAVY! I remember sleepless nights hunched over on the floor of my shower rocking back and forth trying to suppress the cramping. I noticed on my period I’d have more of a craving for bad foods even for fast foods such as McDonald’s.
In 2013 I joined the Army and to be allowed into the Army I had to go through a range of health checks my BMI being one of them. Not to toot my own horn but I’ve always been very athletic so physical endurance wasn’t an issue for me. When I was at Kapooka (Recruit Training Battalion) I was very limited on what I was allowed to eat, junk food was not in our diet. However, we did have access to a large variety of carbs at the mess. I consumed as many carbs as I could in a very short period of time during my time at training. Reason being was I was emotionally and physically exhausted and I needed fuel!
3 months later and I graduated from Recruit Training and I thought to myself “yeah I’m fit! I’m a soldier now” That wasn’t the case. I was still the same weight as when I first joined except now my body wasn’t as “toned” from all the boxing classes from when I was a civilian.
My next stage of training was the most enjoyable journey of my Army career. I was sharing a room with my best friend and honestly I made friends I knew I’d be friends with for life!
But….. I gained a fair amount of weight.
I was partying on the weekends and drinking alcohol. Instead of walking to the mess across from my dormitory I would purchase goods from the vending machine we had downstairs and I’d eat in my bedroom. I blame my confidence and my anxiety of being judged for the reason I didn’t attend the mess. It was always quite dwelling walking in to the mess lining up to get food of your choice knowing there’s groups of soldiers staring at you (at least I always thought they were staring).
Let’s fast forward to Jan 2016. I found out I was 9 weeks pregnant! Joy!!! Weeks went by and my stomach grew bigger and my ability to exercise decreased. I will admit I used pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. I gained 20kgs. Before I was pregnant I weight around 80kgs, I was quite built (muscular) and I blamed my heavy scale reading on muscle mass. At 39 weeks I weighed 105kgs 😐 OMG! I almost had a heart attack!
1 week after the birth of my beautiful daughter Ava I decided it was time for me to really get back into shape. I precisely remember crying on the floor of my bedroom at my mum and dads house because my breasts were HUGE! I was petrified that I would never be able to wear a normal sports bra or that I’d never be able to run properly without having these huge bazookers getting in the way!
2 weeks of breastfeeding was all that I could manage. Now before I receive criticism or lectures on how breastfeeding is vital for growing healthy babies, I wasn’t physically able to breastfeed any longer. My nipples would bleed whilst my daughter was feeding and how I noticed was I saw blood in her throw up. That’s when I knew I needed her on formula immediately.
For the first 2 weeks I was living with my parents. My partner Steven was based in Sydney and whilst he was working he was also organising housing for us all. I was getting 1 hour of sleep a day and I felt invincible. My diet consisted of coffee and only coffee. I had lost a lot of weight and I was back to being around 85kgs! When I moved to Sydney to live with my partner I hit a wall. I wasn’t sleeping and I had very little energy. I also had prenatal depression. I’d find myself crying A LOT! One night our friends came over to meet our daughter and they brought pizza. I felt rude not eating and I certainly didn’t want to seem like I had an issue with food. Next thing you know I’m back to binge eating.
I’ve been binge eating for 6 months now. I’m just under 100kgs and boy I can tell you I have never been this unhappy. I’ve managed to join a basketball team every Tuesday night and have purchased second hand cardio equipment (stationary bike and cross trainer).
If you’ve made it this far into the blog I thank you for sticking with me! Although I am no experienced writer please bare with me!
TODAY is the start of a new beginning. I don’t need junk food to feel happy. I WILL workout everyday! I WILL be happy and healthy for the sake of my daughter and my well-being. Although this is day 1 and I haven’t experienced overcoming food cravings – I will persevere! I WILL be one of those Instagram mums with abs and wears bikinis to the beach! I WILL want to take photos with my family again and not feel like a giant whale in every photo!
A message to any binge eater out there: I know exactly what it’s like, I know what it’s like to start a new diet every week, to search for miracle pills and diets. To feel hopeless and powerless. To reminisce on the days you were healthier and thinner! To not want to go to clothing stores just because you know they won’t carry your size. To not want to exercise because you think it’s too late and you just want results within 2 days! To think it’s all too hard to enjoy healthy foods and breaking a sweat! Don’t give up! Don’t give up on me! Let’s help each other!
Just remember you are beautiful and you can do it!