Psycho-Babble Eating Thread 853850

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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.

 

Gaining weight and self-image sam K

Posted by HyperFocus on October 4, 2008, at 2:52:56

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

sam k I've really put on the pounds because of medication and lots of comfort food (my aunt back home is an awesome cook and loves to cook for me) but this is how I look at it: the feelings I have about getting fat are not primarily related to what the scale says but are mostly a symptom of my negative self-image. If you have a healthy image of yourself as someone with many positive attributes then the weight gain that accompanies meds may not be such a huge deal as it can be. I'm not saying don't worry about the weight gain but if you feel you're giving way too much attention and have overly negative feelings aboout gaining weight (like I do) it might be the illness talking.

The hope is that my meds will get me to a place where I can do what needs to be done to take the pounds off, but I have to get to that place FIRST. If I'm not there then losing 10 or 100lbs is not going to affect my core self-image much.

Also it might be helpful to understand that we are way too harsh critics of ourselves - most people in the West would say they would love to lose weight. Contrary to the images the media parades in front of us everyday, how much different are we from what the average person looks like? It's also much preferable to be overweight than to live somewhere where you have to eke out a meal everyday. Basically even if you put on a lot of weight things could be way way worse in your life.
So it really doesn't make sense to tear yourself to bits over it.

That's how I feel about weight gain (at least what I _want_ to feel, it's not so easy sometimes.) Dunno if you might feel the same way but some food (ha ha) for thought.

> 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.

 

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.

 

Re: fear of becoming fat.. sam K

Posted by Poet on October 4, 2008, at 11:30:11

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

Hi SamK,

Being in control is tough. I've been bulimic for over 30 years and I can go months without a binge or purge and then wham, I'm back in the cycle. I think it's both physical (my body) and my brain (emotional mess.)

As Racer suggsts you might want to find a therapist who works with EDs or in my case tell my therapist about some really great books that Racer recommended to help her understand me more.

Let us know what's going on.

Poet


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