This blog is another section that I edited out of Love Fat:
Living at home meant that the binges were getting more frequent and bigger—basically because there was more food available. My parent’s fridge was brimming with treats that the uncontrollable nighttime-fat-monster version of me lusted after. I’d sneak downstairs long after everybody else was asleep and eat. A lot.
A night binge inevitably meant that the following morning I would run harder and longer to try and create a deficit large enough for it to be negated; allowed if not accepted. Within a couple of months of moving back in with my parents I was running for hours each morning and taking a couple of the cycle classes at the gym per day on top of that. Exercise was my priority, and to add to the conflict the rest of my family showed very obvious objection to me doing it.
“Stop running, you are so thin.”
They didn’t want me to run: fine, I’d lie about it.
I snuck out of the house at 4am each day in order to get two hours run in before anyone else woke up at home. Then, I would sneak back upstairs and do sit-ups in my room until I could hear Mum putting the kettle on downstairs for Breakfast Tea. I lied when I came downstairs at 8am claiming what a lovely long sleep I’d had. I lied when I said I would take the dog for an amble around the block when as soon as we were out of sight I was running again, dragging the poor mutt behind me. I lied when I said “I’ve already had breakfast thanks.”
I was always on edge, because being a sneaky liar is tiring.
They demanded, they begged, they pleaded. They may as well have been telling me to let them hold my head underwater. Even if I had wanted to obey, my survival instinct would have kicked in. I would run regardless of their, or my own, wishes.
In the small town that was closest to our village there was only one gym, so I had no choice but to join that one. This made hiding harder, I was forever worried that I might run (literally) into someone that I knew in there, or worse one of my sisters. I missed the bigger city experience if only for the dilution that came with it. I longed for the anonymity of Edinburgh.
I bumped into my sister’s friend at the gym one afternoon when I was supposed to be at work. I spent the rest of the week fretting that she might mention it to Beth, and that Beth would tell Mum that I had been in the gym.
Being a sneaky liar is tiring, it is also devastatingly consuming.
I took this part out because I rewrote it and elaborated on the binge eating and what happened when I encountered one of my sister’s friends in the gym. I decided that I really needed to demonstrate just how much fear I had around being found out.
When I hear stories of drug addicts doing anything to get a hit, I know how that feels. Doesn’t that sound crazy? I have never done drugs harder than alcohol, but I know what it feels like to have to do anything to get a hit: my hit was running. I would lie if it meant that I could run, and the strangest part is that, at the time, doing so did not feel wrong.
Telling lies so that I could run felt right: justified and totally void of compunction.
I think that this is important to understand, because in my mind, I was not doing anything wrong. I was certainly not out to deceive, it was just that deception became necessary in order for me to survive. Or so that is what my brain told me.
What’s the point: Don’t take it personally when a person with an eating disorder lies to you. It’s not about you, and they are not trying to deceive you. The chances are, if they are anything like I was, they don’t even consider it because their brain is so absorbed with the disease.
Will the tendency to lie disappear with recovery? In my case it did. I’m am indomitable truth teller—and that’s not always popular either.