1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Day 9 - TMS and my eating disorder (BFFs)

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by walllc643, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. walllc643

    walllc643 New Member

    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:
    1. If I admit it, then I have to actually do something about it.
    2. 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?
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    You got it, wallic. Don't bully yourself about anything, even eating too much. Eating is a very common way of dealing with stress.
    Barbra Streisand is so uptight about performing that she keeps her limo stocked like a delicatessen.

    The person you are on the inside is what counts, not the outside appearance. But do try not to eat too much candy tonight
    when you go Halloween trick or treating!
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

  4. MoCeSo

    MoCeSo New Member

    @walllc643 I can appreciate the TMS equivalent you're experiencing, greatly. My own experience taught me this has far less to do with food and exercise and nearly all to do with fear. Period. And I'm finding deep relief that's unfolding a tiny bit more each day.

    I had a real aha awhile back when journaling a side-by-side with a TMS symptom of back pain that people often deal with compared to my "pain" of eating disorder. My relationship with food & fitness created this deep belief that controlling my food and compulsive exercise was the only way my body would be able to be lean and fit. The truth is, this would essentially be my body with or without my daily/constant intervention. The fitness is for the mind. The food fuels the body. Beyond that, we tag on so many labels, rules and magical thinking that we become compliant (though deeply sad & angry) soldiers toward.

    But our bodies aren't nearly as obsessed with calories, micronutrients, and the number of minutes and number of reps we do. It wants moderation in all things and will try to pull us back to that point of homeostasis constantly. That's why when we find ourselves dwelling in fear or in deep pain, we've deviated too far from moderation, emotionally--from homeostasis.

    Rather, it's the BELIEF I've attached to my behaviors that have caused me to believe I'm somehow controlling my body. Our bodies are far more in control of its functions and set points than our beliefs in our "magical powers" over them!

    My hope is you find this helpful.

    You have permission to fall back into arms of homeostasis. And so do I.


    p.s. what are your values? Redirect your focus to those, walking towards them rather than "fighting" the fear. I heard it said, recently, that if you flip over your deepest fears and compulsions, you can often find what your values are. For me, health is a value. Eating disorder is the lopsided fear of that. Worries that something is going to happen to my friends/family--flip it over and I see my value for connections and deep relationships. Feelings that I'm going to never have enough money and have to save-save-save every dime, flip that fear over and my value for stability and financial peace is found. You get the point. Consider flipping over some of your fears and see what values (treasures) may be waiting to be found.


Share This Page