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Food and PTSD

I just got back from my therapist's office and I had some realizations there. We were going through old notes from when I first started with her, which was four years ago, super interesting. It's to make sure I can put some stuff into my book that I may have forgotten, and so I went to go visit old stuff. Something that we realized was there was a connection for me between trauma and food, and why that made it difficult for me to overcome some food things.

I just wanted to tell you what my trauma was and see if maybe you have any trauma around food too. Is this something that you might be struggling with? And if so, maybe just thinking about it might make you go, "Oh, yeah."

So, the first traumatic thing I had around food was a member of my household suffered from an eating disorder, which meant that there was food scarcity. We were poor, and there was not that much food, and because of this person's eating disorder, there was legitimate food scarcity. Whenever food was brought into the house you had to be super quick to get your hands on it to make sure that you got your share, because if you didn't, then it would be gone really quickly.

This caused trauma for me because I believed that food was scarce and if you didn't get your hands on it quick, then you weren't going to get any.

The second source of food trauma that I discovered that I had was around an incident with Coco Pops. I don't know if you call it Coco Pops in Canada and the US, but it's like Rice Krispies covered in chocolate. Yummy!

We had Coco Pops which was so rare; we barely had Corn Flakes, nevermind Coco Pops! We had Coco Pops, and I wanted a second bowl and these were a really expensive special "treat", and so my Mum said, "You're not allowed another bowl of Coco Pops," and I was like, "Please, please, please, can I have another bowl of Coco Pops?".

And I guess my mom was super stressed or whatever it was, but her reaction was to slap me across the face and say, "You're so greedy," and left me alone in the kitchen with the door shut, me sat on the floor eating my second bowl of Coco Pops crying into my bowl. Poor young Victoria!

The third one was when I was 17. I was in an abusive relationship, and a part of the abuse that I suffered was my partner at the time put me on a diet, AKA starved me.

So, he decided what I was allowed to eat, and if I ate anything outside of this very strict regimen of hardly anything, then I would be in big trouble, and the types of things I was allowed to eat was a tiny amount of food. No nutritional value. So, like a slice of bread and a slice of processed cheese.

Whenever I could, I would sneak food, eat it secretly, a behavior which was really reinforced in this relationship, and if he ever found out, that I had eaten anything that I wasn't supposed to, then he would fly off the handle, call me all sorts of things, and I was physically in danger.

These experiences caused trauma and also reinforced messages that I had around food, that food was scarce, you better get it while it's there, because it's going to be gone in a second. By desiring food, I was greedy. I needed someone to control what I was eating because clearly, I didn't know how to do it.

These were very difficult things to overcome. I now realize that I am not greedy. I have all the food that I need in life and so I don't need to feverishly eat it when I have it in the house, because I always have a supply of food. I don't need anyone to tell me what to eat, because I'm an adult, and I'm a human with a body and my body tells me exactly what I need.

Have you ever experienced any trauma around food? Anything that you can remember in your past? What has it taught you about yourself? What lesson did you learn, and is that lesson correct? Can you flip it on its head? Can you reframe that lesson?

Have a little think, and see if you come up with anything. Kind of interesting, huh? So, if you would like more badassery all up in your brain, then check on my free extreme makeover e-course. The link is below. Check it out. Have me in your inbox every day for 10 days. Who wouldn't love that? 

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