(The dates will be a bit wonky until I’ve done the first 6 days, then should be consistent)

Day 2 is about symptoms.

The question reads: Symptoms: Read the section “Many symptoms, one solution” (pages 4-5 in the leaflet Where Do I Start: Everything a Newcomer Needs to Know). Write about the symptoms you have experienced, going back as far as you can. Discuss these with your 12 Day Sponsor.

I don’t have a Sponsor yet, unless you count the lovely lady who gave me my leaflet and questions.

As I haven’t asked her (or anyone else) yet, I’ll answer these questions here.

Where to begin?

I’ve had eating issues for a long, long time. But the first binge I ever remember was when I was a child. My mother had made an apricot slice that I loved, and I raised it, eating most of what was in the tin.

This was pretty much a one-off, but I’d go on to stuff myself insanely every so often all through my teens and adult life.

Once I got my twenties, the diets started. I tried Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers (twice in two different countries), then went vegetarian then vegan (under the pretext of caring for animals). The veganism was punctuated by binges through the drive through. I was a lousy vegan.

I tried keto, carnivore and exercising obsessively. At one point I was in the gym, two hours or more a day, 7 days a week.

Nothing worked. I’d lose a bit of weight with all of them, but change was always short term, and the weight would come back bringing its buddies with it.

Fast forward to 2021. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, and afraid to step on the scales. My clothes don’t fit any more and I’m ashamed of my body. I feel FAT. And unwell and unfit. I’m all three.

Plus I can’t control my eating. I’m powerless over food.

So that’s a summary. It’s not pretty. I know I’m going to have to step on the scales at some stage – preferably today – but I’m scared of doing so.

I don’t want to face the numbers. I’m not ready for that.