Psycho-Babble Eating Thread 856171

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Scared of my body.

Posted by Cal on October 7, 2008, at 6:30:20

I've never ever posted in an ED forum before...but I've just finally realised that there must be something more going on within me then just the desire to appear slim ...am I fat? Oh gosh, I struggle to say yes and want to come out with all kinds of excuses for what I am but yes I am overweight..I'm 5ft 6 and weight about 14stone I guess or perhaps 13 :-(

When ever I got to buy clothes I hate it, detest it, to me its just a reminder of something I would rather forget and thats that sometimes things don't fit me...Man do I hate that moment, the moment when the item won't do up..my heart starts to go into panic mode...but why??? today is the first time I sat down adn tried to understand whats going on here..I mean i'm 45 now its about time I sorted this out...I went through a time about 6yrs ago when I lost 4stone, I was an active drug addict then but am not clean and on medication that increases my apptite, but thats by the by..this feeling of fear when something doesn't fit has always been with me...today I remembered when I was about 12 nothing seemed to fit me and I remember my mother saying that I was at "that age"..the inbetween stage where nothing fits..she didn't seem to have much infusism for buying me clothes and often would send me along with the money to get whatever it was I urgently needed and that was very fearful for me having to go to a shop and approach the counter and ask the stranger behind the counter for something and i never seemed to know what size I should be asking for..that seemed to something other people knew instantly but for me it was like something that no one ever talked about...the fear even thinking about trying something on and the moment just before the moment when the buttons don't reach is awful!!..oh my god, it just feels like its been comfirmed I am the most wierdest, fattist person in the world...that the item I try on suddenly becomes something incredibliy dangerous, suddenly I have no control, this thing has all the control and its laughing and mocking me...I'm afriad of it, I feel powerless...its like monster to me...and then I go up into my head and I donl't even know what a body is...surely this isn't connected to me in anyway...this sudden frightening thing of having tried something new and unknown on and only to find it wont do what I so need it to do...does anyone else experience this???

 

Re: Scared of my body. Cal

Posted by Poet on October 8, 2008, at 8:57:10

In reply to Scared of my body., posted by Cal on October 7, 2008, at 6:30:20

Hi Cal,

I haven't felt disconnected from my body, but I have cursed and cried in the fitting room when not one thing I try on fits. Pounding myself in the stomach saying fat, fat, fat, doesn't help other than to relieve some anger though technically it's taking anger out on myself.

I do feel that my body is in control and mocking me. This morning I looked down at my thighs and realized they look like lumpy baking potatoes.

Welcome to the ED board.

Poet

 

Just for the record Poet

Posted by Racer on October 8, 2008, at 17:11:29

In reply to Re: Scared of my body. Cal, posted by Poet on October 8, 2008, at 8:57:10

You have beautiful thighs.

Simply because they're yours.

I know -- you deny it. Too bad -- you know I'm always right...

 

Re: Scared of my body. Cal

Posted by Racer on October 8, 2008, at 17:17:26

In reply to Scared of my body., posted by Cal on October 7, 2008, at 6:30:20

Hello, and welcome to Babble! I'm glad you're here, and hope you'll stick around.

You raised some great questions in your post -- I hope we'll get some discussion of them.

The one that jumped out at me right away was, "What am I really afraid of?" It sounds as though your mother was a bit paralyzed during your early adolescence, and unable to offer you the support you needed. I'd bet you also had some anxiety about school chums, which probably prevented you from going shopping with someone who could offer you an outside perspective. (I lacked a lot of that, too, so I can certainly empathize.) And then, your mother also modeled a fear or resistance to shopping for clothes, so your own discomfort and fear were magnified. Not a great combination, it sounds like.

Does any of that resonate with you at all? Could that be a track to explore for you?

Also -- I'm another who hates shopping for clothes. I hate trying on clothes in the dressing room. (I most dread trying on bras, but that's another story...) I can walk into a store feeling pretty OK, then be ready to leap in front of a train within minutes of starting to try on clothes. AND I have no idea what looks good on me, which makes it even harder for me.

Ah, well. I don't have any answers, but I think it's a great topic for discussion, and I am glad you found your way here.

 

Re: Scared of my body.

Posted by Cal on October 9, 2008, at 9:11:42

In reply to Re: Scared of my body. Cal, posted by Racer on October 8, 2008, at 17:17:26

> Hello, and welcome to Babble! I'm glad you're here, and hope you'll stick around.
>
> You raised some great questions in your post -- I hope we'll get some discussion of them.
>
> The one that jumped out at me right away was, "What am I really afraid of?" It sounds as though your mother was a bit paralyzed during your early adolescence, and unable to offer you the support you needed. I'd bet you also had some anxiety about school chums, which probably prevented you from going shopping with someone who could offer you an outside perspective. (I lacked a lot of that, too, so I can certainly empathize.) And then, your mother also modeled a fear or resistance to shopping for clothes, so your own discomfort and fear were magnified. Not a great combination, it sounds like.
>
> Does any of that resonate with you at all? Could that be a track to explore for you?
>
> Also -- I'm another who hates shopping for clothes. I hate trying on clothes in the dressing room. (I most dread trying on bras, but that's another story...) I can walk into a store feeling pretty OK, then be ready to leap in front of a train within minutes of starting to try on clothes. AND I have no idea what looks good on me, which makes it even harder for me.
>
> Ah, well. I don't have any answers, but I think it's a great topic for discussion, and I am glad you found your way here.


Oh yes, it does resonate with me. *Gulp*, suddenly I have flashbacks of my mothers hatred of what middle age had "done" to her..I mean this was back in the late 60's early 70's when 40+ was more like 60+. I was alwasy told of what a wonderful figure and dress sense she had before she adopted me. I would look in her closet at her old clothes..by the time I was old enought to notice what she was wearing, she was in elasticated waisted trousers and was really quite big. Perhaps I am reliving her own self hatred? she didn't want me to have what she no longer had? oh lots to think on here. Im only just begining to understand how much of my adoptivem others emotions were picked up by me. I look at myself now and feel as awful as I heard my mother feel? I am afraid I will turn into her? its all in the feelings isn't it? The food is just a sympton.

 

And something jumps out at me here, too... Cal

Posted by Racer on October 9, 2008, at 14:26:39

In reply to Re: Scared of my body., posted by Cal on October 9, 2008, at 9:11:42

>
>
>I was alwasy told of what a wonderful figure and dress sense she had before she adopted me. ... Im only just begining to understand how much of my adoptivem others emotions were picked up by me.

It sounds as though the whole adoption issue is still a big conflict for you, too. Is that something you've worked on at all?

I'm curious about this, by the way, for my own reasons, so you can ignore the following questions if you're not comfortable discussing them. (I'm unable to have children, and always wanted them. Adoption is still an option, although not likely for a variety of reasons...)

How old were you when you were adopted? Did your mother remind you that you were adopted often, or is that your own sensitivity that's reflected in your words? (If she did remind you often that you were "not really hers," then I have some very bad words in mind about her. Not that I have any opinion on the subject ;-} I hope that she wasn't that cruel and insensitive.)


> its all in the feelings isn't it? The food is just a sympton.
>

And yeah -- the food/weight/body thing is usually a symptom of an altogether different problem. Here's what I know about weight and eating disorders, in the shortest, most concise form I'm capable of. (In other words, too long...)

First off, weight in general is largely genetic. Eating habits are learned, although they can be unlearned as well -- and sometimes there are weird family dynamics that lead some people to adopt very different dietary habits than their parents very early on. While some of what my mother prepared still strikes me as reasonable, for the most part my cooking is very, very different from what she made, and has been since I took over cooking at home around age 12 to 14. (Self-defense: Mom didn't like to cook, and often had dinner time disasters because she would become distracted and kinda wander off...) Because you're adopted, you may not know what your biological parents body types are, and as a result might not know quite what to expect from your own as you age. (Or, of course, you might know.)

Is it possible you're unconsciously recreating your mother's experience, to show that you "really are" her daughter, to show that you really do belong somewhere? That need for belonging is a very, very powerful force, and I wonder if the whole adoption issue might be a part of this for you. (Again -- speculation, and just something that came into my mind...)

Eating disorders -- whether Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, or any of the other options that fall under Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified -- also have a large genetic component. Twin studies have shown that at least 50% of the etiology of EDs is genetic in origin. Largely this is a matter of in-born temperamental vulnerabilities. If parents are not able to model and teach healthy expression of emotions, especially those pesky "negative" emotions, a lot of children experience all sorts of psychological disorders. For some, thanks to the genetic vulnerabilities, that can lead to the development of eating disorders. If you think your weight might be in part a result of emotional eating, it can be considered an eating disorder.

That said -- there are a lot of reasons beyond the simplistic "calories in/calories out" ideas that actually determine weight. Just to give you an idea of some of those factors:

1. Air conditioning/heating -- our bodies have evolved to regulate our body temperature over a large range of climates, and it takes energy (ie: calories) to do so. Modern conveniences like air conditioning reduce our need to put energy into thermoregulation, and so we burn fewer calories.

2. Genetics -- first of all, like tends to marry like, so if one parent tends to be heavy, it's likely the other has the same tendency as well. It's also easier for a woman who is slightly heavier to become pregnant than a leaner woman. (Again -- evolution, which says pregnancy requires some energy reserves.) So, combine the mating of like to like with the higher fertility rates, and you tend to get a population with a higher average BMI.

2.a. Certain ethnic groups also tend to be heavier. The classic example in the US involves certain Native American tribes who are what could be called "easy keepers" -- their bodies have evolved famine resistance, which is great if you experience regular famines. Not so great if you experience the modern over-abundance of food.

3. Sleep deprivation -- I think I'm safe saying that MOST of us these days experience trouble getting enough sleep. There's no one formula for how much sleep any given person requires, but it generally averages about 7 to 9 hours per day, with often much more necessary during adolescence. Inadequate sleep on a regular basis will slow your metabolic rate, and lead to weight gain.

4. Medications -- an awful lot of medications cause weight gain, even in the absence of increased caloric intake. Add in the increase of appetite which some of those same medications can cause -- and you can finish this paragraph for yourself...

5. The disconnection of caloric intake from hunger -- think about it. Many of us eat by a clock, and not from bodily sensations. What's more, non-caloric items like diet sodas also disconnect intake from hunger! The net result is that we're trained to ignore our body's signals, and rely on our eyes and our clocks to decide when and how much to eat.

Those are only a few factors that affect weight. You get the picture, though, right?

And if meds are part of the issue for you, there are also meds which help mitigate weight gain. Talk to your doctor about options.

I hope that helps. Also, are you seeing a therapist?

 

OT book recommendation for adoption issues

Posted by zenhussy on October 9, 2008, at 15:51:38

In reply to And something jumps out at me here, too... Cal, posted by Racer on October 9, 2008, at 14:26:39

Cal and Racer,

As a person of adoption and someone who has recently been along side a friend who had been through foreign adoption over the past few years there have been many books brought to our attention we'd never seen before.

This book was of such quality we sent copy to our mother in hopes of explaining much of what we experienced throughout childhood and continuing on into adulthood. She read it but unfortunately she passed before we were able to discuss the book extensively. We're grateful that she finally had something that could express and explain much of what we weren't able to articulate. It was very healing the few conversations we did have about this book before her passing.

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew -- Sherrie Eldridge
Delta Pub. 1999

Extraordinarily informative for both sides of the fence on the adoption issue. For the child of adoption and for the parents who choose to adopt.

hth both of you in your respective situations w/ regards to adoption.

 

Re: Just for the record Racer

Posted by Poet on October 9, 2008, at 16:44:52

In reply to Just for the record Poet, posted by Racer on October 8, 2008, at 17:11:29

Hi Racer,

If you ever have the misfortune to see my ugly thighs you will quickly change your mind as to their beauty.

Poet

 

Re: Just for the record

Posted by Cal on October 10, 2008, at 3:32:07

In reply to Re: Just for the record Racer, posted by Poet on October 9, 2008, at 16:44:52

Racer, Yes my adoptive mother reminded me on a daily basis I wasn't her's and yes i am in therapy. Perhaps its because I'm in therapy and have been for a while now, that now is the time for me to start looking at even more deeper issues. I've tended to pretend anything below my head did not exist, now suddenly I feel I've been burdened with this body. Perhaps thats how my adoptive mother felt about me? Now shes been burdend with this body/child?

 

Re: Just for the record Cal

Posted by Racer on October 10, 2008, at 14:45:15

In reply to Re: Just for the record, posted by Cal on October 10, 2008, at 3:32:07

I almost had to laugh about something in your post -- where you say that you've ignored anything from the neck down?

I was having dinner with a woman from group therapy -- eating disorder group -- and we were discussing childhood issues. I was telling a story about my childhood, and at the end she said, "Wow, that's amazing! You just told that incredible story about such traumatic events -- and you didn't feel a single bit of it, did you? You were entirely in your head!"

Yep -- sho'nuf. My head isn't always a good place to be, but it sure beats being in my body, in my life, inhabiting my entire self... And it is something my therapist is trying to work on with me. Sometimes I'm pretty resistant. (If she read that, she'd laugh -- sometimes I'm good at that sort of understatement!)

All these things are hard issues to deal with. From the sounds of it, you might find group therapy very helpful -- either around the adoption issues, or the body image issues. Groups have taught me a lot over the years -- so much of what I thought of as so shameful turned out to be far less painful once exposed to light, and to the sympathy of others. So much I thought was my own, private, personal shame turned out to be common amongst the other women in the groups -- including women I thought of as "perfect!" It's a very healing experience, and I could almost feel anxiety and pain just floating away into the ether.

I'm sorry your mother was such a -- no, no editorial opinions here. I'm sorry you experienced so much pain. I hope that you find it heals clean, and congratulate you on your work in therapy.

 

PS: another book recommendation Cal

Posted by Racer on October 10, 2008, at 15:05:33

In reply to Re: Just for the record, posted by Cal on October 10, 2008, at 3:32:07

My therapist has been pushing a book which you might find helpful with some of the body/trauma/healing/etc stuff:

"Waking the Tiger," by Peter A. Levine.

I'm reading it, I suspect it will be helpful -- other stuff in my life is making absolute fluff reading rather imperative right now, so I'm reading it between reading fluff. I'll go out on a limb and pass on the recommendation to you.

 

Re: PS: another book recommendation

Posted by Cal on October 11, 2008, at 3:01:44

In reply to PS: another book recommendation Cal, posted by Racer on October 10, 2008, at 15:05:33

Thank you for the book recommondations.


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