eating disorder

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tired

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eating disorder
« on: September 16, 2015, 05:08:05 PM »
This is ruining my life.  My life revolves around my eating rules and when I break them I'm a mess. The worst part is, lately my rules aren't even healthy.  I used to have good rules and I was fit and healthy. Now I have rules that include a lot of fat.  I haven't been exercising and my endurance is terrible.  My day is ruined today because I feel terrible about what I ate yesterday and today.  I'm getting fat and I have no energy. 

I think I hate myself.  I try to break out of that self talk and get to a deeper truth about maybe being angry at my mom or something but I'm blocked.  I could just fixate on the eating for now as a behavioral problem and deal with the causes later.  I feel like, though, I'm going to sabotage something. If I fix my eating I'll just ruin something else.

I dont't hear about eating disorders much here so I thought I'd ask. 

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Butterfly

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2015, 12:32:08 PM »
Yes I very strongly agree eating disorders is closely related to cPTSD. It's about control.

I don't know your situation but in most cases the trauma leading to cPTSD also left you feeling without control, your control was taken away, you were subjected to some kind of abuse without your choice as a child. We were children, we had no choice but to stay with our caregivers for the sake of survival and try to figure out how to cope with the abuse. We may have even stayed long past the legal age to leave by then having a host of reasons for staying.

Google eating disorder and cPTSD for more information. In my expertise if you don't address the underlying reason for the eating disorder, that of control, you will not completely conquer the disorder. Anything else will be a bandaid. It's not about the food, it's about control. What's so insidious is you're handing over control to your body and mind and still subjecting yourself to something you don't want to so you're still not in control.

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arpy1

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2015, 01:48:28 PM »
omg i really relate to this thing. i don't think i have an eating disorder, but i definitely comfort eat. and becos of my meds i am not more overweight than i have ever been. and still i eat.  even when i don't want it. don't need it, am not even hungry.  it's like a compulsion to have something in my mouth. and it makes me feel momentarily better. then absolute s....t.

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tired

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2015, 03:05:41 PM »
I will look this up.

I'm just mulling over this though. What is controlling me.  What do I confront.  It used to be my parents now it's some part of me.

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arpy1

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2015, 03:06:56 PM »
go for it, i am interested too.

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tired

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2015, 03:16:53 PM »
I think I feel guilty for taking control of my life. Lately I've been organizing my house and doing things my way and I've become very structured in my day to day living. I try to be healthy. But then I feel guilty and picture my mom laughing at me so I punish myself by eating say a bag of marshmallows. It's a compromise because it's fat free but also basically crap. So I tell my good self that I'm following the rules but I tell my guilty self that I'm also punishing myself.

Seems like every time I made a decision my mom would laugh the way you might laugh at a toddler trying on moms shoes or trying to sweep the floor. Or when we laugh at a dog that "thinks he's people".  I'm almost 50 now. This is stupid.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2015, 03:29:00 PM »
It's a compromise because it's fat free but also basically crap.
Sorry to barge in, but the crazy talk we have with ourselves no? I LOL'd.
I know this so well. I'm looking for the least harmful way to punish myself. But there HAS to be that element of punishment in it. If essentially there is nothing wrong with it, I'll invent something so at least it can be frowned upon from some angle.

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tired

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2015, 09:44:54 PM »
I feel like there is a little toddler inside me that keeps throwing these tantrums and the more I try to get better and take charge, the more the tantrums escalate.  And as they escalate they start to sound silly.  I guess the toddler is getting desperate. 

Sounds a lot like my mom actually; when she came over last, two years ago, she was at her most ridiculous.  I was all proud of myself and I couldn't wait for her to see my house for the first time since I got divorced.  I was super excited, telling her what my life was like, showing her around.  "Look, here is my own kitchen! Look, I have a couch!"  She just couldn't handle it-I was so different from who I was and she spent the entire week complaining about it in the most outrageous ways.  She accused me of things that were horrifiying but if I wrote it down it would make for some great comedy. It's a funny story I've told a bunch of times and I might give myself away if I gave details.

I went nc after that but I guess I took over her role.

Laughing at it sort of makes it better.  What's even funnier about the marshmallows is how mad I got at myself for eating them.  I mean big deal, so I ate crap.  All of America is getting fat and I'm beating myself up about losing control.  As if I'm somehow superhuman and have to be better than everyone else.  I hate talking about my eating problems because I imagine that I'm a weird eater and therefore special so I keep it a secret. But really it's not special.  It's typical.  I do what most people do-I try to be healthy but I don't always succeed because the grocery stores are stocked with junk food that looks fun.  So what.

It makes me feel like I have nothing to offer though.  And it makes me feel like I have nothing that is just mine. Something that's private and interesting, like a magical power.  My mom made me feel useless.  Once I tried to sell Mary Kay which really isn't such a big deal but she said I wasn't cut out to have my own business.  She said I should focus on making a man take care of me so I wouldn't have to do anything. 

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2015, 10:18:53 PM »
She said I should focus on making a man take care of me so I wouldn't have to do anything.
:thumbdown:  That is SO disempowering  :thumbdown:
And I can relate. Also with the story about your new house.  :thumbdown:

 :hug: , you're taking excellent care of yourself. F.e. setting up your own house after your divorce.  :thumbup:

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Jdog

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2015, 01:13:33 AM »
Tired-

I really love and appreciate the way in which you recognized that those of us who comfort-eat or indulge in junk (at least sometimes) are doing what many people do.  That's not the thing the makes us special.  Maybe the reasons we do the behaviors are special, and you are doing a fine job of processing your own past and deciphering what is yours to own and what belongs to others (such as your Mother).

Kudos!

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tired

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2015, 09:58:47 AM »
Jdog: thank you.  I tend to believe based on observations that we do a lot of similar things as humans. We have different reasons, although deep down I suppose the reasons have common threads since we're all kind of in the same boat.

DutchUncle:  My mom sees me as an extension of herself so if she feels like she has no power, she likes to think I'm the same.  She has no sense that I'm a different person in a different world.  She doesn't have hopes that I will be better than her and doesn't want me to be.  She doesn't want to see me as separate and even once said "we are the same person".  If I show that I'm clearly better, in some way, and she can't argue with it, she gets depressed and talks about herself instead of congratulating me. She'll talk about how she wants what I have.  That's not a mother. 

I remember times when she would make a meal for me and we would eat together, or we would go to a local coffee shop for a burger.  These were some of my good memories of her. She would talk about how delicious the meal was and if she made it herself she would congratulate herself. It was fun, watching someone enjoy food so much.  But looking back, I can see she was completely self absorbed. She would say things like, try this, it's fantastic and healthy, but she would never ask me what I wanted.  It was like watching an entertaining television show; very entertaining but completely one sided. Maybe that's why everyone else loves her, the way you would love a tv celebrity. 

I don't know if this is relevant but she also had most of her stomach removed because of ulcers and she could never eat a lot.  She would eat too much sometimes and feel bloated and uncomfortable. She couldn't eat sweets at all and mostly loved things like beef and vegetable stew that she was supposed to eat. She was very health conscious.  She considered healthy eating to be part of being educated and cultured.  She showed a low opinion of people who ate junk food like my older sister, who was heavy. My sister worked at a Dunkin Donuts when she was 14 because she was responsible and did well in school (she also took care of us while my mom went off on her vacations or whatever it is she did).  My mother was jealous of my sister's success in work and school and I think used her weight issues as a way to put her down to even the score.   Who knows how lean my mom would have been if she had a normal stomach.  Interestingly my sister ended up having bariatric surgery.

My mom valued appearances and the celebrities of her time, the elegant movie stars with tailored suits and heels and wealthy husbands.   Her family was wealthy but as the youngest of many children she didn't get the advantages of private schools like her older sisters and she wasn't as pretty. 



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Jdog

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2015, 10:20:11 AM »
Tired-

What an interesting connection- Mothers and food.  My Mother was perpetually on a diet when I was a kid, and as it was the 1960's there was heavy emphasis upon cottage cheese and grapefruit. She also treated me as somewhat of an extension of herself, the little overachiever that got better grades than she had, etc. and part of being her extension was eating just like her.  Later, I think I rebelled by eating things she didn't like (this is probably normal) and food has always been my escape.

Now that I am 56 and tackling both codependence and cptsd, the layers of the onion are peeling away and revealing me to myself.  I wish I didn't have food issues, and am a "lifetime" member of Weight Watchers as well as a very committed runner.  But I can out eat my running (anyone can) and have to commit myself daily to not only tracking my food intake but also being kind to myself when I overdo it.  It's exhausting, that's for sure.

Anyway, I appreciate the discussion here.  It touches me at my very core, and reading about others' food struggles and the pain behind them helps me understand that I am in good company here.

Take good care.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2015, 10:48:30 AM »
What a complicated situation with your mom and food during your upbringing, Tired.
And even most unnerving: nowadays as well.

I see my female parent reflected in a lot you have written.
I too have a complicated relationship with her with food as a go between. She's always bothered about my eating. And I must say, I have developed a complicated relationship with food over the years.
Interestingly enough, I cooked for my parents the last two years of secondary school. Now, which boy (age 17-19) would do that? I cooked two or three meals a week, for which I often had to go home to make diner while hanging out with friends after school.
I didn't mind. It had to do with my female parent working more ours outdoors at some point, and on the other hand that I thought: "I'll be moving out in a year or two, learning to cook will probably serve me well." So I offered myself to cook the days she would work late.

All fine and dandy one would think, but as soon as I moved out of the house, she became very worried, and most visits to my dorm (and later the squat) she would say "Oh boy, you look so skinny, do you eat well enough?". Well, of course I did, she knew I could cook, and in fact everybody at he dorm and squat did cook. We had an excellent system where everybody would cook at least once a week (we would sign in when we would cook, so everybody could fit it in reasonably well with study demands.) And really, if you only have to cook once a week, it's not a burden to cook something nice. So people tended to put quite some effort in their meals.

Questioning my nutrition has been par of the course ever since. And I have become nervous about it as a result, I dare say. I have to consciously tell me regularly: "This is healthy-enough stuff Uncle, despite what she says. You have a well balanced diet. And yeah, you can have a pizza once in a while, or a super-duper greasy gravy. Yummy"
It has taken the fun of cooking though, I should try to find the fun in it again.

edited to add:
I used to be a difficult eater. To the point where I, as a small boy (8?), had to get small rewards for finishing my plate.
This was probably due to the ever tense atmosphere at the diner table.
A few years ago my brother told me that when I was a toddler I was forced to keep at the table to eat my, by then stone cold, diner until it was all eaten, and I would cry my eyes out. "So sorry/pityful/painful it was to see that, I remember well", he said with a grief stricken face.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 10:57:30 AM by Dutch Uncle »

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tired

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2015, 11:09:00 AM »
I suppose it makes sense that we attempt to use eating as a means of regaining control.  We imagine that no one can actually control what goes down. 

I'm a fitness trainer and I wonder how I can  help people with emotional eating or if I should stay out of it altogether.  I'm asked to help with diet a lot.  I usually do more asking questions, like "how was your diet today, in your opinion". I also suggest people write down what they eat and either share with me or not; I figure just writing it is usually going to be enough. Occasionally people don't know what is healthy and what isn't but that's rare.  I've been depressed about clients dropping out lately and I wonder often if they get upset about their eating and avoid me.  I ran out of money already this month and I'm frustrated that no one wants my help for training and I feel fat and I feel like a failure. 

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: eating disorder
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2015, 11:26:35 AM »
I already posted this elsewhere, but I think for those who want to have a laugh regarding the sometimes hilarious claims on what's supposedly bad for you, in the first minute of this clip some guy rants over the issue whether or not milk and bread are actually good or bad for you:
David Mitchel's angry logic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6vLp07ZePY