Bea proposed the questions: what is standing in your way? What makes liking yourself, being happy with your body, leaving disordered eating behind a fairy tale? to me when I stated that her idea of how life could be, and even my “wish, what I really want” was just a fairy tale, unattainable, even though they sounded nice, good, like something I did want. What follows is the list that I gave her, and a copy of my “wish.” It could be triggering, if you have or have had an eating disorder. There are no numbers are sizes listed to try to keep triggers to a minium.
What I want, more than anything, is to be okay. I don’t want hurting myself to be my first response to being upset, or anxious, or having my feelings hurt, or to not knowing how to cope. I don’t want to be afraid to talk to my husband about our relationship. I don’t want my first reaction to be stress or anxiety, or frustration with myself, when I make a mistake. I want to look in the mirror and be able to name 3 things that I am comfortable with; I don’t even have to love those things, just to be able to have 3 things about the way I look, about my body that I am truly comfortable with would be amazing. I want to be recognize that my body is more than the way it looks– it is the body that can swim and climb and roll down hills. I want to be able name my emotions, to know what I am feeling, instead of labeling the feeling as bad and running from it, or good and trying to figure out what it might be. I want to have to ability to not be so controlling all the time, to relax once in a while. I don’t want to “live” in the room in my head forever. I want to be connected to my body. I don’t want to be nervous every time I hug my husband, or kiss him. I want to be able to talk about things that are “real” without stuttering and being so obviously awkward. I want to feel emotionally connected to the people I care about, in the way I have experienced recently in small amounts— I want that most of the time because it is amazing, and good. I want the fear of trusting to be less than the joy that trusting others brings. I want the rewards of showing my vulnerability to those that care about me to show me that it’s okay to be vulnerable, and that it can be a good thing. I want to remember that connecting with my daughter on an emotional level is a whole different kind of wow than I have experienced before, and it’s one I want to keep experiencing in my life. I don’t want to believe for the rest of my life that I am bad; I want to let go of the shame and guilt. I don’t want to hate myself for choices I have made, or for things that were done to me.
Why I can’t let go of the ED Behavior
1. It’s my little bit of control, absolute control, over what happens to my body. I don’t think I can let go of that.
2. I have this secret wish that if I am just good enough with my eating, then I will be back in my size X jeans, or if I am really extra good, my size X jeans.
3. My mother hates fat people, I can’t be really fat because she will never be able to accept me. (And somehow, what I believe her feelings are about me being fat, I have projected onto everyone else in my life. — this I have just realized while writing this post out)
4. I’m afraid that If I ever did try to eat normal, then I would really be fat. (Logic: I eat maybe one meal a day, throw up anything bad I eat, any food over one meal a day is usually thrown up. If I am fat doing those things, eating 3 meals a day and not throwing up will make me huge)
5. I still believe, deep down, that if the scale would say my “magic number” then I would like myself, and I would finally be happy.
I don’t know exactly what this all means, but I suspect it is big. Just the fact that I have made a list is big. I’ve never made a list about my eating behaviors before– and I am the queen of list making, let me tell you. I think our wedding planner wondered if I was going to put her out of a Job, and what exactly, her role was, with my binders and folders and lists and notecards and post-its. 🙂 So, this might be big. If I can keep stepping forwards.
6 thoughts on “What is standing in your way?”
I am very impressed with the paragraph of what you want. That’s half the battle, knowing what those things are, kinda like making an outline before writing the paper? You have something solid to start with.
Wow! If you already ‘know’ what you want then you must be achieving some of it in bits and pieces. You are a worker!
Thank you. I’m not sure I have achieved any of it….I think the battle right now is trying to believe that I deserve it. That’s a lot of what is standing in my way, and I only just was able to put that into word this morning, when I was reading one of the books Bea recommended.
You are one of the ones who gives me hope, though. I read the chapters of your book as you post them, and I read your other blog posts….to see the journey, how far you have traveled, it gives me hope that I can get there one day, too. 🙂
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Oh, and I am a “type A” perfectionist personality…..I think that is where the “worker” comes in, lol.
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Well that part of it serves you well…
I know you “know” that there really is no magical weight. I hit mine last year at this time and I just spiraled down that hole, kinda like Alice in Wonderland laying in that lake of her own tears when she shrank. It was a total lack of connectedness. A lonely sorts of hell.
But I have the fear thing going on as well. I’m not sure what it’s about but I’ve been writing about it. I’ve found an acceptable weight that low enough to not be “normal” but not thin enough for people to worry. If that even makes sense. But just to start yoga I’ve had to lose weight. The thought of seeing my mom has me losing. If I have a doctor appointment. The holidays…ha, any stresor or situation suppose. I get scared. I want a way out or maybe I want to punish myself. I don’t know. It’s so silly. I’m not sure it’s even conscious.
But I hope you get to the core of what drives your ED behaviors. I think it’s a large part of remaining connected.
Intellectually, I know there is no magic weight. It’s so hard to to really KNOW, though. The behaviors definitely help to curb my fears……