Saturday, May 9, 2009

Self-Sabotage and a Weighty Mistake

Why am I eating so much, particularly when i'm not even hungry. i weight 131 pounds, five more than i was for a long time. i'm afraid i'll gain more.

lately, people have been telling me i look great. i've got a little tan, and i'm a lotta blonde. plus, i bought some adorable dresses that hide my (in my opinion) bulbous belly and highlight my long-ish legs.

soooooooooo, i tell myself, this must be a good weight. it's not the 118 that romps around my 5'6 body's brain. but it looks healthy and the compliments keep rolling in.

then i start eating. and eating. i'm not binging, by any means, but i'm eating way more than i'm hungry for. how many potato chips and how much pizza does a non-exercising 45 year old woman need?

my boyfriend's also gained weight, or so he tells me. his answer? avoid the scale. don't worry about it. he'll think about it from time to time (i'll notice he's not going for thirds, and he'll walk by the pie aisle. the man loves his pie), but i think that's about it.

my new and less improved eating really started last week. i went to a seminar called My Mother/Myself. the speaker was a therapist who wrote a book about our relationship with our mother and how that effects our eating, our body image and our self-esteem.

it was an interesting talk. during the Q & A, i raised my hand and shared that i'd had severe eating disorders my whole life. i've always wondered how to raise a daughter -- i'd always worried that my mindset was so ingrained that i wouldn't know what to do to make sure my daughter didn't have anything like the life i've had. did the therapist have any thoughts?

the speaker looked at me and said, "you? you have a perfect figure. it's so surprising that you ask that question."

yes, i was pretty startled that a professional, a woman with a Phd and YEARS of counseling women with eating disorders said something so ridiculously wrong. but i heard it -- i now have a perfect figure. a little voice in my head said (okay, a big voice), "so, how are you going to screw this up? let's screw this up? life can't be good. this won't last. this can't last."

after the lecture, women from the audience swarmed around me, wanting to know how i'd managed to look soooo good, what with all my disorders and all. (like i said -- i was wearing a great dress, i'm a little tan and a lotta blonde. it was a good day.)

so, why am i here, feeling like my eating and weight are out of control. what's this nasty sabotage. it doesn't feel good. no, not one bit.


  1. Wow, I can't believe the woman said that about your figure. Does ANYONE get that eating disorders aren't really about your figure?! I'm sure you ARE beautiful just as you are, right where you're at, in those pretty dresses, with the great legs and wonderful hair. I have no doubt. But eating disorder recovery is about believing in yourself, having confidence in your own beauty, inside and out... I struggle with that all the time, even though I'm told I'm pretty and all that. If only eds were as simple as vanity. Yeah right.

  2. wow, Im shocked as well. However take it with a grain of salt, but people are honest and I am sure she meant it. Enjoy the compliments!

  3. Um. Yeah. "You have a perfect figure" is so the wrong response to "I have an eating disorder" I don't even know what to say. Sigh. That completely negates any authority this supposed expert claims to have. And your question is so compelling and so important. Ugh! I am frustrated and angry for you!

  4. kim: great, great points. how often i forget the insides. wow, you really made me think. i can get lost in the exterior, completely lost. i've yet to figure out the balance. thank you for reminding me about what's important.

    1986chick: i guess it was a compliment, and i tried to take it in. i don't know why the whole thing made me nervous. i really don't know how to be "just right". i've spent my life desperately wanting and trying to lose weight. i need a new plan, you know? hope you're well!

    Danielle: Thank you. i'm glad you wrote. i've been thinking of you. you always make sense and put things in perspective.

    i do find the question compelling. i'd really like to figure out a way to make things healthier for the next generation. it's something i'd like to research and work on. first, i need to get myself a little "weller". that sounds like a good plan