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Day 31 Body image, diet, and exercise

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Guseman, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Guseman

    Guseman Peer Supporter

    Today's prompt is to free-write about a current stress or anxiety. Something that is always in my mind, but had really been popping up a lot lately is body image/diet/exercise.

    I've been overweight for years. Not extremely overweight, but heavier than is healthy. I remember being self conscious about it since middle school. However, I've recently revisited old photos from that time, and the reality was that I was really not that heavy, even though I'd been telling myself the story that I'd always been a really chubby kid. I do remember a boy in 3rd grade making fun of me and comparing my last name to the word "weight" (it was "Waite"). And I had a number of very skinny friends. But I was never all that heavy until high school.

    Regardless, I've been off and on diets and exercise programs for years. My mom and I would often do diets together. She has also always struggled with her weight, as did my grandparents (her parents). So I learned that its in my genes. I also learned that IBS runs in the family, that I'm particularly sensitive to greasy foods. I had always been nice to have the support and have a family that understands these problems...but now that I've been reading so much of the TMS literature, I'm questioning how much of this is really true.

    A few years back, I started exercising with a friend in grad school, and we joined a fitness bootcamp and went 3-4 days a week for a couple of years. She also inspired me to start running long distance. During those years, I lost ~40 pounds and was feeling great and really proud of myself. It was also a great stress release and such a positive force to have in my life while going through the hell that is grad school.

    Lately, now that we've moved away, its been pretty hard to keep up with the exercise, and I've been on a huge sugar kick lately, and the weight slowly adds back on. Not only is it discouraging, I think it also contributes to my TMS symptoms. Something I've been thinking about lately is how much my eating habits cause me psychological pain. And I think I've found a connection. I've been paying closer attention now, and it seems that often when I have a moment of "I don't care, I'm going to eat whatever I want", I start to get pains. It also made me wonder how much of my IBS is due to the extreme disappointment and self judgement I get when I eat something I know is bad for me. Just this evening, I had a short mindless eating binge, and I'm thinking that the pains I have in my arms now might be connected.

    I really think I'm on to something here, but it doesn't change that fact that eating healthy and exercising are still extremely hard to keep up with. Because my natural inclination these past months is to curl up on the couch and watch a great TV show. I'm hoping this will be less with the weather improving, but its hard. But clearly it is an area I need to work on as far as self-judgement goes!
  2. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Guseman, you bring up a great subject, and I think there is a connection for me too. I have had issues with an exercise partner and that has caused me to have resentment towards exercise. That is weird because I love the exercise, but I think it isn't acceptable to my goodist personality that I have the problem with this woman. Also, I have a family member who had a weight problem in her 20's, she is in her 60's now. She gets called the food police by friends and family because she gets on people about treats unless she is eating them too. I find myself feeling resentment and saying no when she offers me something and stuffing my face when she says no, you can't have that. That is not a healthy place to be. I am working on this and other things about food, exercise and image too.
  3. Guseman

    Guseman Peer Supporter

    Lizzy, its amazing how connected weight and diet are to our emotions! Also, coincidentally I came across this article today in The Atlantic about the history of medical treatment of weight/obesity that was a really interesting read. It definitely highlighted the influence of society on our self-perceptions and whether or not we think we have weight problems. Thanks for your reply, and I hope you can enjoy exercise again soon!
    Here is the article: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/how-obesity-became-a-disease/388300/
  4. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Thanks for the link, very interesting article. We are learning many things in our lives have to do with perception. TMS education calls for quite the paradigm shift. I know this is helping me in ways I can't yet identify.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I feel healthier when I eat more fruits and veggies, but boy, do I like a few Hershey's kisses.
    Not even the dark chocolate which are supposed to be healthier. But just a few, mind you.

    I've found that one of the best stress/anxiety relievers is a cup of hot milk.
    I've been using low fat or no fat milk, but new reports are that whole milk is healthier,
    and provides more of what makes milk a calming drink. So from now on, whole milk.
    Google about it if you want.
  6. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    I read a book years ago that said to eat like you lived in the wilds hundreds of years ago. The author didn't have alot of science behind his theory, but he did have history on his side. Now science is catching up. Turns out that "healthy" man-made margarine wasn't healthier than nature-made butter etc.

    I like a bit of chocolate too! ;)

    Enjoy your warm whole milk Walt. When my 28 year old son was a teen he asked me to look in peoples grocery carts at what kind of milk people buy and how healthy they look. Sure enough I saw healthy thin (mostly men) with whole milk, and many overweight people with lower fat milk in their cart. He was happy because I started buying whole milk for him. He drank less each week and I asked him why. He said it was more satisfying.

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