Compulsive eater?


I am currently 26 years old and weigh 55kgs. I joined a gym last August and went from 60kgs down to 50kgs. I looked great.

My husband complained, said I was too skinny so I gained 5kgs to make him happy. Now he says that he can see where I gained the 5kgs. I have been retrenced and I find that when I'm stressed I want to eat.

I want to eat sweets and cakes and everything I shouldn't, but then I feel guilty. I sometimes make myself throw up. What can I do to stop eating like this besides taking eating suppresants?
- Anon


Dear Anon

The process you have gone through and the behaviour you describe is textbook-like. The consequences of dieting: body obsession, food pre-occupation, loss of internal standards, emotional eating, guilt and shame.

To stop eating like this, you have to learn how to return to normal. Normal eating means eating for health and well being in accordance with one's own appetite, not eating in an attempt to alter body-shape.

There are a number of good resources available that can help you regain a healthy relationship with food and your body at

Please make the effort to escape diet prison – you have your life ahead of you, and don't want to spend any more time and energy on dieting than you already have!

All the best
– Maya Naumann

Can you relate to this reader's obsessive/compulsive behaviour? Share your advice in the box below.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.