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body image & eating disorders

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  • #382098
    Dee
    Participant

    Hello to all who may read this post, I hope you have been enjoying your day.

    I haven’t felt very good about my body image as of lately, and of course it’s the worst time of the year to feel that way.  I am at a constant up and down about the way I see myself and more often than not I just fake it til I make it. Recently I have been binge eating way too much for my liking. It would be nice to not binge ever again. I have a long, long complicated relationship with food seeing as I’ve struggled with body image since I was at least 5. I often will overeat knowing how it’s going to make me feel, but continue anyways because I know if I gain a few pounds I know what to do to set it back. This is a bad mindset to have for sure especially when my goal is to just lose weight. I want to continue this post but am going to cut it short and return later to finish my thoughts.

     

    Thanks for letting me vent here if anyone actually read so far

    #382100
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dee:

    I read so far and will read more after you return to finish your thoughts.

    anita

    #382107
    Dee
    Participant

    Cont.

    I have had a significant history with binging and purging through my middle school and high school days, a little bit into my adult life. I often feel the urge to purge when I eat a lot even now, however I ended up stopping completely as an adult since I realized how much of a toll it took on my teeth, along with the fact that it never made me thinner, just let me feel better physically and mentally about eating so much.

    I always figured after I turned 18 things would get better for me as far as meeting my fitness goals because I would no longer have to eat what my parents provided, or when they expected me to but I was wrong there. Not eating in general (to an extent ya know) became easier since I had more freedom but then I’d find myself returning to the binge life. It’s hasn’t been until this past year and a half that I felt more in control of my body and felt like I was on a path to a positive body image with an actual healthy lifestyle incorporated.

    For whatever reason I can’t help myself lately and have been feeling incredibly unmotivated, no desire to workout not even the slightest of exercises sound doable, especially during the summer and with this recent unusual heat here I’m struggling badly. Food and bed are calling my name, and an easy walk around the neighborhood is not. I want to convince myself that it’s okay not to meal prep every week and workout daily, but then by the end of the week I feel bad about myself and feel like the way I look and physically feel has drastically changed. But I step on a scale and nothing has changed, my clothes don’t necessarily fit different unless  I have just had something significant enough to eat to make me bloated, but I still feel this awful wave of disappointment in my body.

    As always, not sure what else I have to say about this at the moment but I will gladly read anyone’s advice or personal experiences with ED/negative body image.

    D

    #382108
    Dee
    Participant

    Anita,

    I’m glad you found my post, I look forward to hearing from you again.

    I hope you’ve been finding comfort and coolness throughout this severe heat we’re having in the PNW, hopefully after today we go back to our usual summer temps. It’s been manageable for me, but I run cold as I’m pretty anemic and am in love the sun!

    D

     

    #382110
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dee:

    I am profusely sweating as I am typing this at 9:15 pm, no air conditioning- it is indeed severe heat, especially  for this area. I will be back to you when it is cooler, tomorrow morning (heard it should be cooler, I hope so)!

    anita

    #382128
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Dee,

    I too suffered from an ED (binging and purging mostly) for quite a few years. I’ve come to believe (and experts claim it too) that it’s related to the lack of emotional nurturance that we’ve received from our mother. And so we use food to fill that emotional hole within… You said something interesting:

    I always figured after I turned 18 things would get better for me as far as meeting my fitness goals because I would no longer have to eat what my parents provided, or when they expected me to but I was wrong there.

    Seems like you had an issue with eating the food that you parents provided, and also to eat when they demanded you to. Could you expand on that a little bit?

     

    #382140
    Dee
    Participant

    Anita,

    It’s unfortunate to hear you have suffered from an ED yourself, I hope you had a good road to recovery and have a much healthier relationship with food.

    I’m not sure lack of nurturance would be the root of my problem, perhaps in a way? To answer you though, it would have benefited me to have healthier food options, less fried, processed, greasy, carb heavy, fatty, sugary foods available. Of course my parents did not feed me absolute garbage or anything they provided well. As far as eating when expected to, skipping dinner or any meal shared with the family wasn’t really an option, I couldn’t just say I wasn’t going to eat, and on few occasions through my life I experienced the typical “you can’t leave until you finish your food”. This wasn’t necessarily traumatizing or anything, it’s just choices I would make differently if I had been able to.

    I’m just about positive the reason for my poor relationship with food is because I was made to feel bad about the way my body looked from almost the beginning of my life at this point. As far back as my memories go there has always been someone to say something about me being overweight, telling me I probably shouldn’t eat something so I don’t gain more/ turn out like my grandmother who was a very obese woman. I don’t know, I think even  if that’s not what did it for me, it’s still pretty messed up to tell a small child there’s something wrong with them like that. This had definitely made me feel the need to sneak food. I have had almost a whole lifetime of feeling guilty for being hungry when hunger strikes. I eventually started convincing myself that hunger actually really felt good. But here I am indulging in everything that sounds good to me lately.

    D

    #382142
    TeaK
    Participant

    Hi Dee,

    it’s not anita, it’s TeaK 🙂

    It may very well be that being shamed about your body could have caused your ED. It seems that in a way, food was a forbidden pleasure for you, and you craved it. For me, food was almost the only allowed pleasure – my mother believed that I am not eating enough and should eat more, and once even force fed me because she was worried I was not getting enough nutrients. She cared a lot about feeding me properly (she would even get up early in the morning to cook a healthy meal for me before going to work), but didn’t care about feeding and nurturing me emotionally….

    How was your mother with supporting you emotionally, having compassion and understanding for you, not judging you? Was she among those who criticized you for your body weight?

    #382145
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dee:

    I am very relieved that today, until sometime after 11 am, it was so much cooler than the insufferable heat of the last three days (it is warming up now, after 12 pm). You must love the sun a whole lot to be happy in that heat wave (were you?)

    I too suffered from a couple of EDs for the longest time, and still dealing with some anxiety around food, eating and around body weight/ image.

    I think that EDs and Body image are closely linked and that these linked topics are complex. Much of it is caused and maintained by social messages that people repeat to us: family members when we were children, all the way to online commercials. I think that binge eating is about feeling better, sometimes after depriving ourselves from food (rebelling against the intentional deprivation), sometimes not, and the purging is about not wanting to gain weight, a symbolic undoing of overeating (symbolic because we don’t purge all that we overeat, and therefore, we gain weight).

    To make my response more personal to you, I read some of what you shared earlier that may be relevant to your binge eating (this is why I am posting to you later than I expected yesterday):

    Sept 2020: “I have a really hard time communicating and saying the things I want to say.. I have a really hard time with communication as a whole, speech isn’t something I’m very good at”- it is way easier to use our mouths to overeat (and the reward is immediate), than it is to learn to communicate more effectively.

    “I have a hard time setting boundaries with people”- same thing: overeating is easy and instantly rewarding; setting boundaries with people is difficult.

    “I resent my father because I just don’t know why he would do that considering my mother is an amazing woman”- it is very difficult to truly resolve a troubled relationship with a parent and eventually experience the reward in doing that. It is.. easy to resolve our desire to eat as much as we want to eat and experience an instant reward.

    “I would like to think I was just about the easiest kid ever to have”- to your parents you were the easiest kid ever, I imagine. But your life as a child was not easy.

    “I act as if nothing is wrong for me.. I don’t know how to act as if anything IS wrong”- again, it is difficult to acknowledge and address what is wrong within us, it is easy to overeat and the reward is instant.

    Nov 2020: “I don’t like to dwell on negative feelings so I just feel nothing”- but the difficult feelings are still there when we “just feel nothing”, and we overeat to feel better.

    Jan 2021:  “About a week ago I was met with some very intense abdominal pain… So I head over to the E.R… eventually have an ultrasound, and CT scan. They had given me some morphine for the pain.. in conclusion after all the hours I spent in that room they came up with nothing. All they had to tell me was that I am quite anemic, which I have of course already known for years… At 22, I already have about $7,000.00 in medical debt”- it may be those feelings underneath the “just feel nothing” that have led to the ER visits and the medical debt. Maybe.

    anita

    #382154
    Dee
    Participant

    TeaK! I’m sorry I wasn’t paying enough attention to who replied! My fault for doing this at work lol.

    You’re absolutely right about food being a forbidden pleasure.

    As far as my mother goes, she was probably the least critical adult family member in my life. While I have always had the most love & appreciation for her I never actually had a very close relationship with her, until the past couple of years. She was always there for me ya know, but I never really “needed” any emotional support so I don’t think I received it.  I don’t know, hard to explain I guess I would say I had a fear of everything for a long time, I was very not open about things that I felt or thought. This has carried into my adulthood but not as severe.

    There is one instance that occurred while I was in high school that did leave me feeling a little indifferent and not supported by my mother. I had an appointment with my primary doctor when I was 16, where I expressed to my doctor that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and would be interested in receiving any kind of help for that. My mother essentially brushed this off when my doctor relayed this information to her, and asked me if I really needed help.

     

    #382161
    TeaK
    Participant

    Hi Dee,

    There is one instance that occurred while I was in high school that did leave me feeling a little indifferent and not supported by my mother. I had an appointment with my primary doctor when I was 16, where I expressed to my doctor that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and would be interested in receiving any kind of help for that. My mother essentially brushed this off when my doctor relayed this information to her, and asked me if I really needed help.

    Yeah, this doesn’t sound supportive at all. She dismissed your feelings and asked you if you really need help. I can imagine that you were expected not to need help because “I never really “needed” any emotional support so I don’t think I received it.”

    All children need emotional support from their parents. There must be a reason why you thought you don’t need anything?

    I don’t know, hard to explain I guess I would say I had a fear of everything for a long time, I was very not open about things that I felt or thought. This has carried into my adulthood but not as severe.

    So you had fear and anxiety for a long time, and yet, you believed you don’t need emotional support from your parents. Perhaps you would have needed their help and support, but you thought you shouldn’t bother them because they had enough trouble with your brother? (I saw your discussion with anita on your other thread) If so, it’s not that you didn’t need it, but you suppressed that need. And then when you finally reached out to your doctor at the age of 16, sharing about your anxiety, your mother brushed it off as nothing. She wasn’t open to hearing about your problems, and it probably only confirmed your belief that you should suppress it, that you shouldn’t bother her with it. Do you think this is what might have happened?

    And then food could have easily served as comfort, as a distraction from painful feelings that you needed to suppress, and from fear and anxiety too…

     

     

    #382169
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    My friend..

     

    My name is Wind. I share some ideas with you. Only to invite your curiousity and quiet contemplation.

     

    What is the root purpose of food?

    Only for the body can function equal with the Law of the Body.

     

    What is the purpose of the life?

    To grow up your Soul and pay everything equal with the Law of your cause and effect.

     

    What are the obstructions that block you from growing up your Soul and life?

     

    Some examples..

     

    Attachments to the appearance of the life by emotion.

     

    Comparing yourself to imaginary standards.

     

    Getting caught in limited habits that keep you living like a mouse running on the wheel.

     

    My friend..

     

    Your habit with food is only the appearance of your difficult.

     

    But the cause of your behaviour comes from where and what?

     

    Emotions attached to habits create many behaviours.

    Emotions from holding onto past situations and difficulties create many behaviours.

    Emotions attached to the fear of letting go create many behaviours.

    Emotions attached to false ideas and thinking create many behaviours..

     

    Which all create.. equal effects.

     

    Change effects we must change the behaviour.

     

    Changes to behaviour need courage and a clear purpose.

     

    You eat to much, knowing that you will pay an effect is no different to someone who smokes or drinks or sex or shops or drugs or steals… They are all different in appearance but all follow the Law of passion. Desire.

     

    So I share.. Clearly and straight..

     

    The life does not destroy people.

    People volunteered to destroy themselves.

     

    The life does not save people.

    People save themselves.

     

    Meaning..

     

    Only YOU can either destroy or save YOU.

     

    Choice depends upon your level of courage and self determination to put down and escape your attachment to REPEAT.

     

    Without purpose in the life we can be like a raft just drifting about in the Ocean.

     

    Look for a purpose and courage to focus on the purpose with confidence and faith and the path of escape will begin to appear.

     

    You must choose my friend.

    Or coming and writing here will become your next habit. And all habits are a prison for the Soul.

     

    Keeping of emotions attached to past situations or the worry of the future from imagination are a common cause of suffering and delusions.

     

    When you have the courage to face to face with everything that is your life and begin clearing and cleaning all the dirt from inner mirror. You will begin to discover your bright original nature inside again.

     

    Emotions of any for of attachment are like dark clouds that block the light of the Sun. But.. Just because not seen. Did not mean it was lost.

     

    Discovering your purpose in the life is your Duty. That is the purpose of each Soul that comes to the life.

     

    Without the body the Soul has no occasion to practice grow up and pay everything.

     

    Soul and body must together like positive and negative spaces. Must together like friends. If you only see your body from a physical View. You will always be chasing some for of delusion and create confusion within your Soul.

     

    My friend..

     

    Try to see the purpose of the Body from the corner of awareness and Wisdom.

    The Soul must have the clean house to practice grow up. To overcome everything in the life. Must respect the house until the end my friend.

     

    Otherwise.. You do not mistake with anyone in the life.. Only with yourself.

     

    I tell you..

     

    You must courage to stand up inside you and begin take purposeful action.

    Saying that you know. That you understand. Has no value at all. How many people said they know?. They understand?

     

    But after they said.. What did they do?

     

    The value of understanding or knowing only appears in the practice. The action of doing.

     

    Otherwise we become lost in the spinning cycles of stuck in cliche words..

     

    My friend..

     

    Stop wasting time. Come back to your purpose for being born. You have difficulties you must overcome equal with the Law your Souls cause and effect.

     

    Meditation can help clear and clean everything inside when regularly practiced.

    That could be something you could look at discovering.

     

    When we lose sight of the original purpose of the life. We can fall into all sorts of dark habits.

     

    The only true success in the life is when you win yourself. Overcome yourself.

     

    Each person must become the brave warrior inside. You. You must choose my friend.

     

    You must courage to see yourself and accept everything that you are unconditionally and without judgement. Without discrimination against yourself.

     

    I have travelled through many dark forests of the life and visited many Hells..

     

    Purposeful Action is the path of escape.

     

    Courage in each step. Patience. Forgiveness. Purpose. And as you begin to move freshly with the life again.. True faith appears from your own sincere experience.

     

    I don’t share to try save you my friend.

     

    I only put for you some ideas. Like strange rocks on the path of your life.

     

    To curious, see, pick up, understand and practice.. Always depends on you.

     

    Keep going my friend. You must sincerely in each step. Sincere and self determination.

     

    Then I can tell you.. From the sincere behaviour.. With time..

     

    Like a fhe time everything will open.

     

    Courage. The life always takes place from within.

    Its ok.

    Thank you so much.

     

    Wind.

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