So, mine is a bit of a long and complicated story, but I shall try to break it down into manageable chunks for everybody!

I have never had a healthy relationship with food, body image or exercise since the age of about 12 (very sad right?) I started "dieting" at a young age- I was always tall, 5'7 with size 8 feet by the time I was 11/12, and fitting into women's size 12 clothes. I always remember when a very skinny friend of mine at the time tried on one of my skirts and exclaimed "Wow, I could fit two of me in here!" She wasn't trying to be mean, it was just a thoughtless comment, but it started an unhealthy journey which was to last the next 15 years...

I went through phases over the next few years of cutting out food (to the point where I'd hide it in my bags or crumble it up so it looked like just crumbs in my plate when really it was half of what I'd had to eat). I also "had" to exercise for a certain number of minutes per day. I lost weight, to the point where my periods stopped on several occasions. But each time I'd end up going back to being a bit less strict (normally when my mum got really worried and whisked me off to the doctors!), then feel fat again and start the whole cycle over.

This carried on until I was about 18 or 19. That's when I met my first proper boyfriend. I moved in with him after a year and suddenly I had all this freedom with food. I don't know if it's because I'd restricted for so long or because I was just happy/comfortable in my relationship, but for the first time I developed a binge eating problem. Like two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and a whole bag of doughnuts a day. I (of course) gained a lot of weight quite quickly, going from a size 8 to a 12-14 in a matter of months. But I was happy, I didn't care, my partner loved me the way I was.

After a while though I started to feel "fat" again, and there started 5 years of trying (and failing) to lose weight. I'd go on stupidly low-calorie diets, try to work out every day, last a week and then go back to binging. I got down to a size 10-12 and sort of levelled out there for a while.

Then came the mega-obsessed calorie counting phase! At the end of 2013 I discovered a well-known calorie counting app, and decided to try this as my newest weight loss method. It worked well at first and I think I was probably eating the healthiest I had in years. But as I began to lose weight, I began to try and eat less and less calories. I got down to a size 8-10, but then started trying to eat only 1500-1600 calories a day, and work out twice a week as well. Along with an active job, the weight continued to fall off. I became fixated on my calorie goals- avoiding going out to dinner with friends, panicking if my partner suggested getting a takeaway, even counting sugar-free mints in my "allowance". I got down to a small size 8, by which time my periods had stopped again.

Then at the end of last year, my fiance left me. It knocked me for six. I lost even more weight, going down to about 8 stone 10, and my size 8s were literally falling off me. People I knew were constantly commenting on how skinny I was, and not in a "you look good" way, in a "please don't lose any more weight" kind of way. By this point I hadn't had a period in over a year.

Then in April, I suddenly began to feel happier again. I'd been in a really dark place for a good few months, but I got a new job (which I love) and started socialising again. Again, I don't know if my body had finally had enough of all the deprivation, but I suddenly found myself binge eating again. I've put on about a stone or so in the past few weeks, and I know that's a bit fast, plus I've done it in an unhealthy way.

So, where am I now? I'm weighing in at about 10 stone and a size 10. I don't necessarily want to lose a ton of weight, but I think I look and feel best at about 9.5 stone, and I want to develop healthy eating habits that mean I can maintain a healthy weight for me, without depriving myself or resorting to binging. These forums seem so supportive, and I think being accountable to other people for what I eat and how much I exercise may actually help me, as getting feedback on my habits could help me realise when I'm being daft and when I'm doing well!

If you've read all this, well done you, and I look forward to posting more here and supporting other people on their journeys as well.

Have a good day everyone