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Re: fear of becoming fat.. sam K

Posted by Racer on October 4, 2008, at 10:13:13

In reply to fear of becoming fat.., posted by sam K on September 24, 2008, at 17:53:26

> Sometimes I just dont understand myself. If I control my eating I don't feel so great (but thats what my mind wants). But if I don't control is I also don't feel so great because I am not controlling. It's like a trap that I don't know how to get rid of.. probably I just have to keep eating rather than controlling. I just don't get how to get rid of this thought process? Is it my brain, or pshycological? Both maybe.

I had to laugh at the last sentences: it's very likely a little of both.

I like that cliched old analogy: your genes load the gun, your environment pulls the trigger. With eating disorders, as with so many other disorders, we're born with a vulnerability, and stresses in our environment -- especially in the absence of protective influences -- trigger the expression of the disorder. So, yes -- it's your brain, and it's also psychological.

Here's the question: are you getting therapy? From a therapist with training and experience working with eating disorders? That's the best thing you can do for yourself. In fact, I'd go farther -- a good eating disorders specialist, AND a good dietitian with training and experience treating eating disorders. My own experience is that my therapist never talked to me about specifics of what and how I was eating, but left that to my dietitian, who went over not only the specifics of my meal plan, but also a lot of the feelings that prevented me from eating, and techniques to cope with them.

Standard of care for most therapists includes referring eating disordered clients to specialists -- the eating disorders are just too complex for most generalists, and the wrong approach can actually make things worse. (For example, every time I've been faced with classic CBT, I've relapsed -- often badly. CBT just ain't the right modality for me. Psychodynamic, even with a heavy cognitive component, works far better for me, which is actually in line with most of the research out there.)

As for your specifics right now: if, when you say you "don't feel so great," you're talking about the weakness, the confusion, the general feeling of malaise, then you're probably right -- you do need to eat, rather than "control." When your body -- and brain -- are starving, you won't be functioning optimally, to say the least. I look back at my worst days, and realize I was at least within visual distance of psychosis -- which was a function of the starvation. The deficits involved are often reversible, but think about whether you want to risk that? At this point, I doubt I'd score as high on an IQ test as I used to, for example, which I admit bothers me.

I do hope that you're seeing a good therapist. If not, I strongly urge you to find one. I'm happy to help you locate a good one in your area, if you BabbleMail me -- I'll send you on to some good referral sites, and try to contact my counterpart in your area for local resources, too.

In the meantime, maybe start asking yourself what it is you're really saying? HyperFocus is absolutely right -- it's not about what the scale is telling you. It's not about weight, food, your body. It's about something else. Examining what that might be is a good starting place -- as long as you know two things: recovery isn't graded. You really can't get an A in recovery. It's a process, and it takes a long time, and it isn't nearly as nice, neat, linear, and concrete as we might like. And examining what you're really saying doesn't mean finding a single, definitive answer. It just means thinking about what it might be.

If you'd like to examine those fears here, I'm happy to join you. I know exactly what would happen if I gained five pounds: the earth would shift off its axis, fly off into space, and everyone on the planet would know that I caused it by being lazy, self-indulgent, etc. I also know that gaining five pounds would do exactly one thing: change the precise angle of the indicator when I stepped onto the scale in the morning. I can't necessarily reconcile the two -- but I'm happy to speculate with you, if you think that would help you.




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