Robin Bailey: 'My power struggle with food'.

I am the person who has never really had a great relationship with food growing up.

Through periods of my life I’ve gotten really thin and been badly for it. I’ve ended up in hospital. Not with any sort of massive eating disorder, but I’ve pushed my body to the absolute limit. With a whole lot of other things going on, not being able to eat in that process has just made it worse.

The difference between someone like me and someone who is overweight or struggling on that end of the spectrum is that mine is more socially acceptable. But the issues are still exactly the same. But I get congratulated.

What I would say about my approach to food is a desperate need for control. When my life is out of control, which has happened a lot recently and hasn’t been great for me, the way I feel is that at least I have got a handle on something; how much food I allow myself to consume.

Somehow you feel like, if you’ve skipped a meal, that is a reward for an out-of-control day. I know how screwed up that is.

The cake is in front of me, I’d love that cake. But if I don’t, wow. I’ve actually achieved something.

When I’ve been at my worst, so much goes into trying not to sit down with people and eat. Don’t freak out and think I’m some sort of anorexic. I’m not. But in those times, where I’ve felt the most out of control, I do not want to go out to dinner with people. I don’t want to be in that space because I feel like I’m going to be judged.

For help and support for eating disorders, contact the Butterfly Foundation‘s National Support line and online service on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673) or email [email protected]. You can also visit their website, here.  

To hear how Robin Bailey is addressing her difficult relationship with food, listen to the full episode of The Well here: