For as long as I could remember I had been sneaking food. I never saw a need for it until I hit puberty and my growing female figure was being pointed out to me - not in complimentary ways, but in the suggestion that it was just too much. My breasts were too big to no longer wear a bra, my hips were too wide to keep eating whatever I wanted. I was now to monitor myself and my habits, and if I couldn't do that then someone else in my family would. Food was no longer a careless source of nutrition, but now a meticulous habit to be suppressed and avoided. The one thing that I had to do at least three times a day became a source of stress and anxiety with the thought that I was doing it wrong - or more accurately - that I looked wrong while doing it.
The girls that got their periods late seemed to have it easy; they could eat whatever they wanted without gaining a pound. Why couldn't I be like that? Why couldn't my body be unnoticeable and my desires not constantly observed and judged? I coped with this discomfort in my skin by eating whatever I wanted when no one was around, and as much of it as I could get because I knew that I would be scolded if caught. I began gaining weight gradually and the bigger I got the more need for me to hide my habits in fear that I would be made to stop.
I was now addicted to the rush of eating undercover than actually hungry for the food. I was addicted to the freedom of being myself when no one was around that I didn't recognize how evident it was on my face, my stomach, my thighs until it was too late and then it became the only thing I could think of. I was overweight and I didn't know how to not be. Everything I had been taught up until my senior year in high school was that food - all food - was a guilty pleasure. If you indulged in it you would be condemned as incapable of restraining your desires and intrigue - an Eve of the modern day.
Food was fun and it was also devastating.
It wasn't until mid university that it clicked in my mind that I had all the control over my body. It wasn't left in the hands of my parents or my peers - it was mine to do with whatever I wanted. I lost the necessary weight quickly because I didn't want to waste anymore time imprisoned in a cage not of my own doing. With every pound shed I reversed the time back to when I hit puberty and felt the wight of the world rest itself on my bosom, urging me to nurture myself into the person I wanted to be.
For more reading on the topics of food and body image:
Breasts and Battle Scars by Me
Body Image & Food | My Story by KatieEmmaBeauty
Ashley Graham: The SUPER-ROLE Model by SimplyUntamedNatonya