I’ve always been extremely self-critical. One of my favorite things to obsess over and criticize myself for is my appearance. This criticism has many consequences - I work out obsessively, constantly keep track of how much I’ve eaten, panic and beat myself up when I eat “too much”. I think I criticize myself over my appearance because it’s actually something I have some control over. At least I can change the way I look through diet and exercise. All of this is difficult to admit for two reasons: If I admit it, then I have to actually do something about it. I'm a heterosexual male, and we aren't supposed to have eating disorders. My unconscious mind must resent this whole process a great deal. Imagine how infuriating it would be to have someone constantly looking over your shoulder, telling you that you can’t eat what/when/how much you want, that you aren't lean or muscular enough, and that you have to do a certain amount of exercise no matter what. And when you do break the rules, this person berates you for it and punishes you by forcing you to starve and engage in more physical exercise. Day after day, week after week, year after year you just have to deal with this slave driver forcing you to work and suffer and work and suffer and on and on and on. Even worse is that you’re too embarrassed to tell anyone about it BECAUSE YOU’RE A MAN AND MEN DON’T HAVE EATING DISORDERS. Furthermore, you look around at all those lucky people who don’t have to deal with this, which then causes you even more anger. The funny thing is that I get extremely angry at myself when I eat too much or don’t exercise hard enough, but I never get consciously angry at myself for putting myself through this whole protracted ordeal in the first place! But imagine how angry my subconscious must be - imagine what my inner child must think about all this. I have to believe that the physical pain I feel is at least partially due to the expression of my unconscious rage at having to live like a fucking Spartan so that I can meet certain physical standards that I myself have created. A crucial part of my TMS recovery will consist of me changing the way I view myself and not investing so much self worth on how I look. I would never base my opinion of someone else on the way they look, so why would I do that to myself?