For years, Louise Gray lived with a secret. She was a respected food writer, but sheâ€™d also struggled with a serious eating disorder since her teens. Here she reveals how she coped
The annual Guild of Food Writers Awards is a bit like the Oscars for foodies. When my name was called, I leapt out of my seat and ran to the stage to receive two awards. I even gave a speech, though I managed to keep it short â€“ and not cry. In the audience of 300 food writers, journalists and chefs packed into a trendy warehouse venue in London, I could see many of my heroes applauding. Previous winners of the awards for food book and investigative food work included Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal. It should have been a moment of great triumph. But I felt like a fraud.
What the hell was I doing here? I had become a food writer entirely by accident. I looked around at all these modern-day gurus on how to cook and how to eat and knew I had a very different relationship with food. I had a terrible secret.
It was hard at first, there was blood. I knew there would be
I couldnâ€™t help thinking of that teenager kneeling by the toilet
In a child it can be difficult to recognise the difference between the hunger for food and the hunger to fit in
I began to see a therapist and talk about the feelings of fear, the â€œicy clawâ€� gripping my heart
Food is not something I need to be afraid of any more
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