Do you experience this? One day I think eating 500 cals a day is a normal thing and becomes a goal, the next day I think that that idea is totally insane and make 1100 my goal. One day I think slicing my daily intake in half seems natural, the next day I think its stupid pointless self torture. One day I freak out about the consequences of not eating enough, and the next I am sure none of that stuff will ever happen to me. One day hunger is positive sign, the next day my brain is begging me to eat because hunger means my body needs fuel. One day I look to fat, the next day I freak out at how skinny I look. One day my goal of 99lbs is reasonable, then next day I know I looked better at 115lbs. One day I look at a girl of about 12 and desire her narrow body frame and tell myself I can get there, the next day I realize I am 37 years old and Mother Nature does not intend for me to look like a child. I know that the more weight I lose the more loose skin will have nowhere to go but down, and yet I keep doing all I can to lose weight thinking I will somehow magically look better. When I got positive remarks about my weight loss it made me high. I became addicted to it. But now, they scan my body up and down and I avoid the same people because of their remarks about losing too much weight.
I am terrified of listening to the rational voice because the irrational one is certain that if I eat something I will magically gain every pound back overnight. I am terrified of gaining the weight back. I hated myself then. But I'm not proud of myself now either.
How about you guys? How do you get that rational voice to be louder than the irrational voice? I feel a little ridiculous being my age- 37- and a nurse, and having an eating disorder, but I can see that it was with long before now. I can pinpoint the body image problems to 10 years of age, just that up to adulthood I managed to stay petite until I was on some medication that caused weight gain, then BOOM! It made its entrance. I wander if there are more women my age that just don't talk about it?
Eating disorders don't care if you're 13 or 80, they do not discriminate based on education or knowledge or intelligence, and no one is immune. There actually are a growing number of women your age with eating disorders. I think it becomes even more difficult to discuss this after you're out of the teenage and early 20s years that people typically associate with disordered eating. But believe me, you're not alone.
For anyone to overcome an eating disorder, they have to define the root cause and heal their mind. Only once that healing has begun can the body heal too. I never in a million years did I believe I could escape that mind trap, but it can be done. Good luck to you.
The root cause. I can tell you that. Add one child born with social anxiety disorder, plus one father who made a joke about his preteen daughter's "bubble butt". And you have the seeds sown, just a matter of when the plant will sprout and will it have the nutrients it needs to flourish. Yes. For me, it does. But you can't remove the remarks from the past, and I can't seem to ditch the anxiety. What's left to treat and make it go away?
I can relate to how you feel. I have struggled with a similar thing. My thoughts are slightly different, but it does feel as if there are two people inside me. You aren't crazy or anything like that. It's just that there is the rational you, and then the eating disorder voice. You are right when you said in the previous post that you can't remove the marks from the past; however, that doesn't mean there aren't other ways of dealing with them. We all get comments that stick with us, but it's what we do with them that's important. My guess is that there is more to it than that, something deeper. Do you have a therapist or anything? It might be helpful to help you get better, if that's what you want?
You should definitely not feel ashamed because of your age. Like the other post said, eating disorders don't care what age a person is.
The way to get the rational voice to be louder is to challenge it. Use facts and logical thinking to fight back. It's not easy to do with the irrational voice is so strong. There's a skill called "CCC." That stands for Check it, Challenge it, Change it. For example, once you hear that you should eat 500 calories a day. The first thing to do is to recognize that that is an irrational, eating disordered thought. Then challenge it. Look at the facts and say something such as "My body can not function properly on only 500 calories a day, etc. etc. etc." You could almost make a whole list. Even if you don't actually "believe" it on the inside, just knowing it's true and stating it will stick somewhere in your mind, and eventually you will grow to believe it if you continue using this skill. The last step is to be proactive and change it. Recognize that you should have X number of calories per day and act on that. This takes practice, and isn't easy. Gradually, your rational voice will become stronger, because you are repeatedly saying the truth, and then acting on it. It's all a mental game, but it helps. Does that make sense? There's some other little things that are helpful that I could share if you'd like. Let me know what you think. I hope you are doing okay. Hang in there and know that you are not alone.
Yes, I have a therapist. In fact, we just discussed pretty much exactly what you were talking about. Make a list, put it in easy view, and look at it every day to challenge negative thoughts and have goals to work toward. She said, I may not believe it at the time, but the information is seeping into my brain. She said I may not believe those goals are attainable, but do work toward them every day regardless.
Interestingly, one goal I am working on is to improve my writing skills. I have been putting myself through an intense review of punctuation. Now, everything I read I am analyzing the punctuation on reflex. When I read your post, I got really excited because I notice your proper use of the semicolon. It's more than I can say. I can recognize it in other people's writing, but as far as applying it to my own...
When I type, I don't always use proper grammar and punctuation unless it's formal. I am a big grammar nerd though so I usually don't get as improper as some people do in forums, IM, etc. =) That's really cool that you are going through those same things that I mentioned with your therapist! What a coincidence! It must mean something, like perhaps it could really help you! How are you doing with it??
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