This picture was taken when I was about 17. When I look at the size of me here I find it hard to understand how I was already having issues with food and worrying about my size. I was bigger than a lot of my friends but I certainly wasn't obese.
Over the next few years as my formal education came to an end and I discovered boys I tried hard to simply enjoy life. I realise now that I started to slip unhelpful eating habits into my life. Adults always seemed to reward good behaviour with sweets. ‘You’ve eaten all your dinner so you deserve a dessert’. ‘You were good for your auntie so here’s a milky way and I guess at the time this seemed like a good thing to do and certainly a habit I introduced both in my own life, rewarding myself with food, and automatically introduced into my children’s lives………
Being a holiday town it was always exciting to go into town at weekends and meet new faces and like all teenagers as I got older I wanted the money to buy new clothes and to go out so I did various part time jobs. The reward mentality remained and my love of food grew. I remember one job where myself and a friend cleaned brass for a local hotelier. Each time we left his house we popped into the cake shop around the corner and treated ourselves to a cream cake. That in itself would have been ok, but we took the cream cakes down an alley and ate them as quick as we could so that no one would know. ‘Why would we do that’? answer because we had already come to the conclusion that it was wrong to be eating cream cakes, we were just being pigs. Who would want to be thought of as a pig?
Around that time I remember being with the same friend in her house, her parents were out so we decided to make some Angel Delight, we poured it into two bowls and took them up to her bedroom to eat in private. Half way through the bowls we heard footsteps coming up the stairs. We hid the Angel Delight under the bed. As her parents walked in the first thing they saw in the reflection of the mirror was two half eaten bowls of Angel Delight. Why did we hide them? Not only had I not realised that I was building up a habit of secret eating, I was also unaware of the effect that this secret between meals eating was starting to have on my weight.