Updated: Apr 12, 2018
I owe a lot to hot cross buns.
In 2011 I ate one.
Well, I had planned to eat one.
But it didn’t end up that way. These so called ‘plans’ around food were kind of the problem for me back then.
So instead of sticking to the plan of having just a single bun, once again I found myself devouring the whole pack, with cream, and jam and in the space of about 5 minutes while everyone was out of the house.
This wasn’t really a new thing. In the past 18 months I’d been eating whole 2 litre tubs of ice cream with a bottle of ice magic. Whole family sized packets of doritos with a tub of pringles. A whole box of Special K with 2 litres of milk.
I was on a clean eating diet again, so I hadn’t eaten processed foods, or what I used to call ‘bad foods’ in 2 weeks, which had resulted in yet another binge and this time hot cross buns were the food of choice to inhale in record time.
Not to worry.
I would replace it all with new ones before Mum could notice someone ate all of them. I’d been binging like this for about a year and a half. When I went too far or I couldn’t go out to exercise immediately I would purge. And by now I was pretty stealth about it all.
I was getting too good at lying.
I was also really good at using my ‘athletic endevours’ as an excuse to train too much.
And I was incredible at covering the fact that everyday felt like I was at war with food and my body. Everyday I was moving further away from the health I was trying to acquire. And and I felt disconnected from myself and my life.
Except this particular time, I’d screwed it all up.
Mum came home before I could replace everything.
“Bub, have you seen the hot cross buns, I’m sure I bought some?”
A binge eaters worst nightmare is being found out. The secrecy is part of the whole thing. Because we think that eating certain foods are bad. We think that we are bad because we eat certain foods. And that other people will think this about us too. So we hide it. And I was particularly embarrassed because by this stage I was a personal trainer giving out health advice.
“Um no, I haven’t seen them, you sure you bought some?”
“Of course I did. You didn’t eat them all did you?” *she said laughing like who the hell could actually eat them all in the short amount of time she was out!
And that was it.
That harmless little chuckle about something she didn’t know I was struggling with was all I needed for all of my lies to unravel, for all of my secrets to be exposed and, as I soon found out, for the end of all the torture and the beginning of my recovery.
I burst into tears and said “Mum, there’s something I have to tell you.”
That afternoon 7 years ago I sat down with my Mum, someone who l respect and love very much and told her everything about what had been happening leading up to this point. This was the first time I had spoken about this to anyone. The first time I had let this emotional weight be lifted by the simple act of talking about it.
Was I better?
No, I had a long way to go yet.
But unlike that morning I was now actually on my way to reclaiming my love for food, training and myself.
More and more women (and men) are struggling with the simple task of eating. And if that is you, on any kind of level I’m writing this blog to urge you to just let someone know.
No matter how stupid you feel or how insignificant you think your struggles are find a friend, a partner, a doctor, just anyone and tell them what is going on.
Because it’s the burden of the secret that’s keeping you from moving forward. And as long as the secret exists, so will your battle with food. But once the secret is out, then and only then can you being healing.
I found such a beautiful life on the other side of this single conversation with my Mum. Of course it took time, but without this little moment of embarrassment and exposure it wouldn’t have ever been possible.
And I promise you that you will heal too, you just have to tell someone your secret.
I didn’t have a hot cross bun this Easter.
I just didn’t feel like one.
I can now happily miss out on a fruit flavoured bun for another year because they don’t hold importance in my life like they used to, no food does.
You think by not having a fruity bun, or a chocolate or an ice cream you are missing out, but when you let food, diets and what you look like rule your days you are missing out on so much more than the food – you are missing out on life.
And I refuse to miss out on all the things this remarkable life has to offer because of the way I think others think I should look.
I and hope you refuse to miss out too.
P.S - If you are struggling with food and you need to tell someone, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be my pleasure to be an ear for you to start your journey towards the most incredible life possible, free from food burden.