Yes again with the eating but I’ll try to be less whiny and more to the point…
*Warning: I will mention calorie numbers in this post because I’m making a point about disordered thinking. If that will bother you or encourage you to restrict your own calories please skip this post. I don’t want anyone hurt.*
Like a dork, I made a weight goal for the end of the year. I hit it within decimal points several times this last week, only to sabotage myself each time.
Today I weighed in and was devastated. I was over 2lbs away from the goal. I made the decision that I wouldn’t eat at all today to try and force my body to lose the weight. I’ve done it before successfully so it wasn’t unheard of. My therapist likes to tell me that I can’t control my body with my mind and I like to prove her wrong as often as possible.
Well the decision not to eat did not stick and with each meal I felt more and more a failure. I snacked and hit over 700 calories for the day and freaked with a capital F.
The connection came during my frenzied workout to banish all the calories I had consumed.
I was working out hard…I was so tired and filled with self-loathing as I sweated and breathed hard. I hated my life and I actually thought that I wanted to die. Not in a symbolic way…for real. I wanted to die because then I could escape all of this pain and revulsion.
As I worked out I became filled with so much pain, I didn’t know what to do. I plowed through the routines but I was very conscious of being surprised by the level of self-hatred I was feeling as well as the wish for death.
When you’re exercising and you don’t care if your heart fails…there’s a deeper problem at work. Even I see that.
As I exercised I also examined the cause of the self-loathing. It was about control…my lack of control over my own body.
I don’t know if I can express with words the absolute contempt I felt for myself…my inability to make my body do what I wanted…to not eat. I don’t know if that makes sense.
But I also thought of something my therapist told me about flashbacks that I think applies here. She said that one way to identify if you were having a “feeling memory” type flashback is to examine if the reaction you’re having is out of proportion to what’s actually happening in the present. For instance the anxiety I feel around eating is actually about the anxiety I felt in the past.
Wanting to die…hating myself with a loathing that was too much to bear…? It was out of proportion to what was happening. I ate a little over 700 calories and I worked out until I burned over 1200 calories. My reaction to eating was too much…too strong…too emotional…too painful to be about the food or the act of eating.
Yes, I’ve said before that disordered eating or thinking isn’t about the food but I quickly lose the grasp of that almost as soon as I get it. So this was another moment when I “got it”.
My therapist says that when you feel emotions like that, think of it as information: this is how I felt back then. For me, since I don’t know if everything I see is true, she says that I can say, “I don’t know why I feel this way, but there’s a reason for it.” And I’m supposed to stay with the feeling.
Of course the disordered thinking distracts me from said feelings but today I held on enough to connect a dot…I think…
So I thought to myself: What is this really about? It’s about a lack of control over my body. Is this how I felt back then? That sounds reasonable no matter what is true because even when my uncle kissed me between the legs, I had no control over my body; how he treated it or my body’s natural reaction to stimuli.
I doubt that I will hold on to this connection but that’s why blogging is good. I can come back and remind myself when I need to.