Eating Disorder = We are Controlling. Or Does It?

Continuing what I began yesterday… I mentioned a very interesting book I read about anorexia and bulimia by Marya Hornbacher and said there were two quotes that I found to be very thought-provoking. Yesterday I prattled on about how the role of parents’ relationship with each other can impact their children.

The second quote that really gave me pause and made me think was “The convenience in having an eating disorder is that you believe, by definition, that your eating disorder cannot get out of control, because it is control. It is, you believe, your means of control, so how could it possibly control you?”

That sentence just kind of WOW’d me. All this time I have been thinking that my counting calories, weighing and measuring foods and weighing myself, were me controlling the food and my abstinence as a compulsive eater. But in fact, all along, this eating disorder has been controlling me.

What an eye opener! My therapist explained to me that (for compulsive eaters) whatever events that happened in our past to make us turn to food, our defenses started as a useful tool to protect ourselves. It became our armor to help us navigate our way through the world. But when the initial reasons we turned to food didn’t exist anymore, our pattern of turning to food was still deeply entrenched in us. This coat of armor that we work so hard to keep in place, this control we think we are harnessing, actually draws our energy and power from us. So in actuality, our eating disorder is controlling us, not the other way around. In essence, my weighing and measuring of both my food and myself, and counting calories, is controlling my life.

So my decision to stop weighing myself every morning is me taking a baby step in removing one of my controlling restraints. Removing a controlling restraint is actually freeing me. What a great feeling! Hopefully at some point I can let go of some of my other controls like weighing/measuring food and counting calories. Those will be huge leaps of faith that I don’t trust myself to do quite yet, so I’m taking one step at a time, starting with my not getting on the scale each day. And pssst… three days in a row without seeing my friend the scale and no anxiety. 🙂

Have you too thought that you’ve been in control all this time, when in fact it was the other way around?

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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3 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Yum Yucky
    15 January 2010, 3:09 pm

    You just reminded me of how I used to weigh myself like 3 times a day. At the time I didn’t think it was compulsive. But now?

    My family used to roll their eyes and complain about it. It got to the point where I was sneaking on the scale, hoping the digital noises wouldn’t beep too loudly or I’d get caught and hear them whine.

    Oh my gosh! I’m just remembering this all now! It was only last year! But the scale is dead and shall not be resurrected. Hallelujah!


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you were just checking in on your weight, nothing wrong with that, right!?!? not!
    it’s so great that you found the wherewithal to realize it was a compulsive behavior, put the scale to rest, and moved on. i’m hoping that i can be as successful as you at leaving my scale in the graveyard.


  2. […] author of “Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia”, which I wrote about HERE and HERE to write a guest blog for me. Marya has recovered after over 15 years of battling both anorexia and […]

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