So, today was D-Day with Beth my dietitian! I knew it was coming! I hit 4 weeks of following my meal plan (HOLLA!…. BAZINGA!…. BOO YA!! ….WHAT? WHAT?…. YOU KNOW!…. HELLZ YEAH!). Let’s throw a Par-tay!
I knew what was going to happen at this meeting — and she said it…. “So, what happens tomorrow?” … She was basically asking what my plans were (was I going to follow Ed, or was I going to stick to the meal plan?). [And, go figure, the whole time she was asking me information she was so super nice….. why can’t she just be mean!? SERIOUSLY!!! I am beginning to think it’s just not possible for her to be mean! wait… I wonder what happens when she takes a cupcake in the face??? 🙂 ]
Just kidding….. I’m not that bold! I want to throw sandwiches at walls…. but I highly doubt she could make me that mad, let alone I have the nerve to do that. Which is sad, because she plays a key role in making me
fat healthy. Her and her…. “I want you to nourish your body” BS….. Blasphemy! (rant over)
Now, I’ve decided I want rid of this disorder so I will not lie to any of the professionals with whom I work. I will always be honest. They may not like my choices, but I will always be open and honest. I told her I already had a plan. Truthfully, this was a deal that I had made with Ed so I could get through the 30 days. I promised him he could have control once it was up! I promised I would over-exercise, restricted and use over the counter items to help me drop weight (none of which are good). I told Beth that I had to do this because I am getting furloughed (laid off from teaching) and this is control that I need to take. After discussion about the role food plays, and body image (because I’m still mad at her for making me fat), she circled around to me needing to nourish my body because it’s responding positively to the consistent eating. She helped me understand that restricting will not change my stress or the furlough, and I really just need to nourish my body. So, this conversation carried over into therapy where I discussed control and what I can control (I’ll come back to this).
So, here I sit, faced with negative body image like so many of us!
I find myself searching the web for information about “thinness” information and articles to stay in the eating disorder. I see that I am subconsciously clicking on articles that have thin models or that are promoting something about “healthy weight” or something related to eating behaviors. I think I’m telling myself that I am just browsing, but I think I know deep down that I’m looking and judging myself based off what I see. As I am walking past mirrors I look to see how much change has happened, when I walk past windows in my school, or in stores, I glance to see if my stomach, thighs or butt looks larger…. I’m always on guard about body image. I have to remind myself to find ways to pull away from it and disengage.
How many times have you found yourself having a great day and then suddenly are overwhelmed with negative body image? In a moment you feel like a body part has quadrupled in size, but rationally, you know it’s not possible, and it’s not possible to have put on 10 lbs in 10 minutes!!! I have had probably a million moments like this, and I could bet there are many more to come. They are hard to break past, but they are necessary. Every time I’m frustrated and crying in Hershey, or with my therapist, they all always say, “body image is the last thing to go” in ED recovery. I won’t lie when I say — THAT SUCKS!!!
Given our Western culture, I don’t know if body image issues will ever be gone for women. The tie between success and being beautiful/thin is everywhere. I think I can safely say that many women without eating disorders have thought (at least one time) that they would be happier (even if momentarily) if they could lose __ pounds, or if they were a dress/pants size smaller. Rationally, we know this is not the case…. a change in our weight will not change the stress we have. (duh, Rachel… seriously take your own wisdom here!!!! Wow, I must be hard to work with! I should start apologizing to my professional treatment team for what I probably put them through!)
So, what I’m finding is that I do have control over some things like HOW I CHOOSE TO RESPOND. My therapist, has said this a billion times, and I think it might be sinking in. When negative thoughts and Ed creep into my head, I realize that I have a choice. I can choose to listen to it and really get into self-hatred, or I can choose to try hard to fight the thoughts, knowing that nothing good can come out of them. This might sound simple, but It’s a tough process — kind of long and exhausting, really…. My therapist and I talk a lot about how we have control over nothing except for how we react to situations…. so I have to choose how I react to my eating disorder thoughts. I remember writing this down somewhere (from where, I have no clue), but here are the steps that I have to go through when trying to think out some negative thoughts, rationally.
- I have to recognize that I am having negative eating disorder thoughts, or thoughts about my body.
- I have to ask myself why I might be having these thoughts, or why I hate the food in front of me. What is making me feel this way? What is really going on? My therapist has taught me to really step back and think, “this didn’t come out of nowhere, what is really going on behind this?”
- I HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION NOT TO ENGAGE in negative self-talk. Or more importantly, I make a decision to fight Ed and the negative self-talk that is happening. I also ask, do I want to engage in self-love or self-hatred right now??? This is the bottom line. It’s really about making the choice to fight the thoughts, or to fall to them. Do I want to fight the negative thoughts with thoughts about what I really am, or do I want to let the thoughts take over? It feels like we don’t have a choice, but I’m finding that we do. It’s very hard to choose to say good things about yourself when you’re so used to beating yourself up all the time. I have to say, it’s so hard to do this, and it takes a lot of practice.
Truthfully, right now, I am not good at this. I am only at the part where I can recognize that these are negative thoughts that I don’t have to believe them. I can sometimes recognize that they are not entirely true, but sometimes that is very hard. I find that this is going to take a TON of practice. I think I sometimes cheat and write Operation Beautiful post its (www.operationbeautiful.com) for other people to see, and to not have negative self-talk, and hope that it sinks in for me (it’s a start, right???!!!!). Here are some that I put out:
(These really do make you feel happier when you do this for someone else…. if you feel like you can’t do it for you!)
Let’s circle back to my appointment with my dietitian…. So I am finding that I need rules and deals. If I have rules to follow and deals that I can’t break, then I will keep walking forward. The good thing is, I think…. It gives me an external person to be
mad at accountable to (i.e. dietitian, therapist & medical provider). So, I have a new goal….. DRUM ROLL PLEASE…… 2 weeks on the meal plan with no mistakes and I have to add variety 5 times!!! Holy cow, people!!!! (by “variety” we agreed on changing my piece of fruit on 5 separate occasions — OMG!)…. Frankly, I think she got sick of seeing “turkey sandwich” meal plan logs that I emailed her….. now look….. she made Mr. Sandwich cry!
So, now that we have a sad Mr. Sandwich….. we also have a scared Mrs. Rachel!!! It’s like this torture will never end!
So, looking back at negative self-talk (body image or not), is this something you struggle with? Do you spend a lot of time doing that, or do you try to fight it. It’s hard to find out why we do it, but it’s not hard to realize it and change our thoughts. So, the next time you say something negative about yourself, I challenge you to say something positive! Or, if that won’t work — put a positive comment about yourself on a post it and stick it to your mirror! 🙂 Then, your day is sure to start off great!
Just think….. In this moment …. I have the ability to think positively or negatively about myself….
I probably shouldn’t be taking the time to type this as I have a lot on my plate (hahaha…. pun intended!)
I’ll end my rant with this…. It’s BOLD…. But, duh…. This is my blog; I do what I want!
I say, SCREW YOU, SOCIETY…. I’D RATHER LOOK LIKE HER THAN BARBIE! Healthy is the new skinny!