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Watch the Insight episode, Emotional Eating, here.

When I was a child, I dreamed of finding a genius who would give me a wish. I wouldn’t use it to wish I was rich or to have a skate ramp in my backyard or an endless supply of Pokémon cards. I wish I hadn’t been fat. Now that I have grown up, I think I would always choose the same.

There is no room for the big guys in our society. We are excluded from career paths, said to be non-datable, forced to buy clothes from special stores with condescending names, forced to buy two seats when we fly, or openly abused when we don’t. not. We are verbally assaulted, humiliated, excluded, altered and vilified. I don’t expect anyone to be surprised by this. Everyone knows it and agrees with it. My point is that being fat is not the easy path. It’s no easier than being thin.

I have spent most of my life trying not to be fat. I have lost over 20 kg in the space of a few months more times than I can count. I was ashamed to be “the fat one” when I was an elite rower in high school. Of course, I was fatter than other rowers, but when I look at old photos I can’t believe this is what I was feeling. I work out, I work out, I exercise, I am not lazy.

Sam ikin


I have a problem with the food. I have an eating disorder. I eat compulsively and often feel like I can’t control it. It has been a problem for as long as I can remember.

Experts say eating disorders are very effective in managing other mental health issues. They also say that eating disorders hardly ever happen on their own. They almost always occur with other illnesses like anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s true for me.

It makes sense that I use food to calm myself down when I’m feeling anxious or depressed – food and emotions have always been together for me. I grew up in a very health conscious household. The junk food was bad and we just didn’t have any in the house. But my brothers-in-law and other kids at school were allowed to do it, and I felt deprived. I would take every opportunity to make sure I didn’t miss anything. When I could get my hands on junk food, I made the most of it and felt happy.

When I was feeling anxious or depressed, I craved the same foods that made me happy as a child.

As I became more independent and could choose to eat whatever I wanted, I subconsciously managed my emotions with food. When I was feeling anxious or depressed, I craved the same foods that made me happy as a child. The transformation of this habit into an eating disorder in its own right is a story for another time.

We all deal with these emotions in different ways. Some people have developed healthy ways to deal with it. Others find it more difficult to manage. I am one of the others, but I am starting to learn that I am one of the many others.

I don’t expect our society to ever change the way it treats big guys. I’m sure I’ll continue to hear versions of “why don’t you stop” or usefully hear the principles of “calories in versus calories out”, as if this isn’t something all adults do. already know. If it were just about educating people to eat ‘right’ we would have solved the obesity epidemic in the 1970s. I think it should be treated as a mental health issue and more and more. evidence is surfacing that supports my belief.