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Just how far back does it go for you?

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Old 02-07-2011, 02:34 AM   #1
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Default Just how far back does it go for you?

So I was having a completely random conversation with my mother today and she was getting nostalgic for baby me (lol, don't ask... you know how mom's can be!) and she said something that caught my attention and really floored me. She said,

"You know, I remember you in your crib... so sweet and adorable... and how you would always cry at night unless you had a bottle with you, even if you weren't hungry. You just wanted it with you!"

To her, it was a soft, wonderful memory.... but to me.... someone who's suffered from obesity nearly her whole life and had (still sometimes has!!) an issue with getting up, literally, in the middle of the night and having to shove random things in her mouth for no apparent reason (I call it my midnight zombie walk)............. to me it was a horrifying realization: This has literally been going on my whole life.

Why??

Is it because they always gave into me and gave it to me when I wanted it? Did I starve to death in a past life? What the heck....??

Sorry... I just had to share this and get it off my chest.

How about you guys.... can you pinpoint the period in your lives, exactly, when it turned from normal eating and wanting to abnormal?
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:24 AM   #2
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Well, I wouldn't worry too much about the bottle thing - my daughter still nurses overnight, and I don't think at 12 months she has any food issues - and she always wants it with her (in this case, being me and my breasts, not a bottle, but anyways!).

I think I can pinpoint it around 7 or 8 years old...maybe a bit earlier...when food became part of my security moreso than normal (I think naturally food is comforting, and it's not unhealthy for it to be that way - just when it becomes the only comfort or else the most important comfort). But it became an escape for me, and the major part of my escape fantasies...I would imagine I was a runaway and squirrel away a lot of food and then eat it all in one sitting, hidden away from anyone who might be able to see me.

I was just looking through primary school photos and I could see the progression - grade 1 & 2, fairly normal looking, and then in grade 3, my face looked more pudgy....by grade 4, I was chunky. After that, it just got worse. I don't know exactly when it started, but I'm pretty sure I know why. I'm hoping that working through it in my head will be enough for me to be able to stop the cycle.

Just a question about your midnight zombie walk - are you actually sleepwalking or are you awake? I think I've heard of that before - have you talked to your doctor about it if you're sleepwalking?
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:46 AM   #3
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Babies have an oral phase. They are wired to have it to seek the breast. And sometimes that translates to bottles, fingers, pacifiers... whatever it is the parent allows the baby.

I remember my mother was horrified I "let" my kid suck her thumb and I told her to get over it. Her thumb was better than a pacifier because she could get it herself when needed. She sucked her thumb to sleep if she didn't nurse to sleep and as I expected... she outgrew it just like she outgrew the need to nurse.

I don't think you having a bottle thing as a baby is anything more than that -- the baby oral stage.

I do know when my eating may have changed. It was one day in 5th grade and I was eating toast and all of a sudden I felt weird. Shortly after I started to gain weight, bud breasts, was teased for being chubby but then my height kicked it and it kind of evened out. Then later in my 20th year I was making holiday cookies and I had this weird dejavu feeling. And bam I started to gain weight like crazy again... but I was already as tall as I was to be so there was no chance of "evening out" then.

Both those ages are hormonal surge ages -- adolescence and second adolescence. So I get the noticing of the "whoosh" thing. I imagine when I hit menopause I might notice it the same.

However, the second time, I was starting the path that eventually led to my PCOS dx, and my other endocrine issues. Those all contribute to my weight problem.

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Old 02-07-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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I remember being very young and always wanting to eat- I grew up in a pretty bad environment because my parents had problems since I was a baby- so I think I turned to food and being full for comfort. I can't pinpoint an exact time but it was definitely by the time I was 8 that food was more of a comfort than anything else.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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Yes! I remember exactly when my eating turned into binging and abnormal eating ~ what an interesting topic.

I was 20ish and I had just taken a break from college and moved back home because I was partying way too much. I moved in with a boyfriend who was heavy into drugs and I got caught up in the scene. We were always broke, and again partying way too much, and I started eating because I was really stressed and food became my legal drug. I remember binging on so much junk food and sneaking crap whenever I could. That was about 11 years ago, and I'm just now starting to really deal with the emotional eating that has stuck with me since then.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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from 4th grade on my pictures get bigger and bigger, when i was in 3rd my mom got pregnant with my sister and was pretty sick through the whole thing, and she worked night shift, and my dad worked afternoons, so i was alone from the time i got out of school until i went to bed most of the times, so i had to fed myself, resulted in a lot of prepackaged meals, and i remember eating a whole pack of those dolly madison brownies..what 3rd grader downs a pack of brownies...and then not being allowed to go out and play since i wasn't allowed out unless my mom knew where i was and i tried to let her sleep .. i really don't remember being fat before that, although i remember kids calling me fat, but i honestly don't think i was, i always just wore sweat outfits..hey it was the 80's and probably looked bigger in the baggy things..idk..
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
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My zombie walk isn't actual sleepwalking that I know of.... it's kinda like I wake up and have an insane urge to get something to eat! Like... I just HAVE to have something... usually something that's in the fridge at that time that I know of. It's just weird how its like instantly in my head when I wake up..... like I was dreaming about it and just had to have it. Or, I'll get up to go the bathroom and pass the kitchen (unfortunately I have to pass my kitchen to get to my bathroom!! ugh) and see something and by time I return to my dark bedroom that food item is blaring in my head until I eat it. I've gotten SOMEWHAT better about it... sometimes I'll just have a bite or two, not the entire thing and I'll be okay to go to sleep. But not always.

I know that food really became a problem for me around 7 or 8 as well, because (of course) problems at home. An alcoholic mother, a violent father, blah blah blah.... moving around between homes.... etc. But still.... what my mother said really just kind of shocked me into thinking "Just how long has this been going on?!?"

Thanks for responding guys.... I find it interesting that so many of us really started developing our real problems with food around that same age... 8 ish.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:55 PM   #8
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The difference between my kindergarten and first grade pictures make it clear. I had just a little chub in K, but the first grade photo shows I was actually getting fat and it was a fast downhill slope from there. I remember having to weigh in 3rd grade for a math project and I was 117. Then in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, I gained about 40 pounds each. I went into Junior high wearing size 24 jeans and high school in 26's.

I remember my dad once saying that anything he ate, I wanted as well, and just as much of it. I wish someone would have said no. Also, I had a hard home life and that's when emotional eating and binging came in to play at a very young age. I was doomed. Luckily, it's never too late to change.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:05 PM   #9
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About 1 year ago I went to my mother's house with my dogs. The dogs ran in and were all over my mother wanting some loving attention. And my mother immediately was like "All right! I have treats for you!" and immediately gave them treats. I remember thinking that they weren't asking for treats, they wanted attention. And immediately afterward it was like an epiphany. No wonder I'm fat, my mother has affection and food linked together in her mind! (BTW, she is an always has been normal sized).

Now at some point I have to stop blaming mommy for my choices my whole life, but I can definitely see where food and affection got linked in my mind...
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:32 PM   #10
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In my mothers womb really!
I've been overweight my whole life. I will turn 50 this year and I want to make the rest of my life a lighter healthier one
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:28 PM   #11
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My first sentence was "More ham." I can't remember a time when eating wasn't my favorite leisure activity.

I'm adopted and my parents were fairly normal eaters when I grew up. Maybe it's genetic?
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:58 PM   #12
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This is a great topic. Especially considering the other night while laying in bed I was all of a sudden remembering all these child hood memories that pertained to food.

I grew up in a very abusive, dysfunctional home. Food has and always was my best friend. I think the most profound memory I have is being about 5 or 6 years old laying on my grandmother's bed after a bath. She would rub cocoa butter on me and go "Ohhh no, you poor little thing with all those stretch marks. You should come to live with me" and I never understood what those marks were. I thought they were normal.

Being fat, unhealthy, and "not like everyone else" has always been my reality.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:34 AM   #13
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I was slightly light at birth, in an era when babies were supposed to be 'bonnie'.
I was the first born, so mother was terrified I'd dwindle and die, so she fed me up.
When my baby brother was born 18 months later, I'm told I was fine with him until they gave him a bottle, then I cried because I thought it was mine. That sense of being replaced by a better model has persisted for 53 years; also the sense of absence of food = loss of love.
We were all given food as a treat, as a consolation, as a celebration.
It was entirely kindly meant but hasn't half screwed me up! Working on it, though.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:27 AM   #14
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In 4th grade, to be exact. 4th grade was when I went on my first "diet" (Atkins had become popular, and I was a 118lb 4th grader so my parents were concerned. I did it with my mom). It lasted only two weeks, though, and then I got frustrated cause I couldn't eat carbs. I've always been taller than most girls, even when I was a kid, and I started getting pudgy in 3rd grade. Food didn't become a problem, however, until the next year when I got depressed (it runs in my family). Soon became this vicious cycle of getting teased for being fat, eating, gaining weight, and still being teased. I used food to cope with emotional/social problems when I was 9, and I've struggled with it since then. Before 3rd grade, I was "normal," if not kind of skinny. No one in my family is "big" and I ate pretty healthily growing up...it's when I started sneaking food at 9, and inevitably getting my car and a job when I was 16 that led to the weight gain.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:27 AM   #15
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I don't know exactly what happened... but I know it happened in 2nd grade.

Before then, I was a cute little kid, normal size (actually.. I was in beauty pageants event haha)... but over 2nd and 3rd grade, it was like I ate a balloon and it has been downhill since (until now).

Growing up in the south, I was constantly plied with vegetables....that had been soaked in butter. Or sweet tea. or rich deserts my grandmother would bake.

It reminds me of the lines to an Indigo Girls song, "Trouble came around here... Here in the South we fix something to eat." Everything in my family (a very traditional Southern family) revolves around food. Someone is born- you take them food. Someone dies- you take them food. Someone is having a tough time- take them food. Every celebration was with food.

Couple that with typical childhood and adolescent insecurities and I was growing bigger every day. I played volleyball year round in high school and trained incessantly. Even then I was overweight.

Now, at 27 and after a year of really working hard to lose weight, I'm the smallest I've been since early high school.

I can't remember NOT being overweight.
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