Brisbane woman Chantelle Sisco shares binge-eating disorder battle

A Brisbane-based content creator has opened up about her battle with binge eating disorder, and how she managed to turn her life around.

After the birth of her son, Chantelle Sisco’s mental state “wasn’t really good”, she told SEEN TV. And so she “hid” those negative feelings with food.

Binge eating is a disorder characterised by the frequent consumption of unusually large amounts of food, and feelings of being unable to stop. According to Butterfly’s The reality of eating disorders in Australia 2022 report, 47 per cent of Australians who said they’d been affected by an eating disorder had experienced binge eating.

“If I felt stressed, I would cover that with food. Or if I felt not confident, I would go to the fridge. It was just an endless cycle that just kept repeating,” the 22-year-old said.

“Even if I wasn’t hungry, I would still go and try and find something to eat. It was really hard to stop – because people who do binge eat, as soon as you hit a [mental] low, food makes you feel better. So you think that’s the answer to everything.

“And then it makes putting on weight so easy, because you don’t care about your weight at that point – you’re kind of just eating to fill a void.”

For Ms Sisco, as her weight climbed to 180 kilograms, “it got to a point [when] I would just eat to make myself feel sick”.

“I was never hungry, I was always, always full and just feeling sick constantly.”

She began to shut herself off from friends, and would “never” leave the house.

“I always knew I was going to be the biggest person wherever I went. It really affected my social life,” Ms Sisco said.

“When it came to going clothes shopping, nothing fit me. My confidence just went down and down.”

Doctors became concerned with the young woman’s health – as she had “really high blood pressure, I couldn’t do everyday tasks”.

“I had asthma to the point where I couldn’t walk for more than five minutes, because I just couldn’t breathe.”

Ultimately, Ms Sisco came to the realisation that things “had to change”.

“My mum is a personal trainer, [so] I went to her and I said, ‘I want to be confident. Can you help me?’,” she recalled.

“And she pretty much helped me. We started with portion control, and switching [certain foods] for healthier alternatives. I didn’t do it excessively – I didn’t cut out everything in my diet.

“When the weight started dropping I became more confident. I then started going to the gym – and that’s where I found my new happy place, which is the gym and exercise.”

Ms Sisco has now lost 76 kilograms, and said that her relationship with food “has changed so, so much” – for the better.

“I don’t binge eat anymore, that’s for sure. I started looking at food as a fuel for your body, and not as something that you should be constantly [eating], trying to fill a void,” she said.

“I feel so proud knowing the fact that I was so disciplined, and I got through all the days that were so hard … I just can’t believe it.

“Today, I’m confident, I’m happy. I can run around and not get out of breath.

“I still have things on my body that I’m not happy with, but I’ve learned to love my body because of the amazing journey that I’ve been through … Seeing myself now, I couldn’t be prouder.”

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