Updated: Nov 28
For the longest time, my eating disorder was a coping mechanism and a desperate attempt at having some form of control over my life.
At the time, my life felt very out of control (read: parents going through divorce, one parent was in jail, I moved to a new country on the other side of the world all by myself, etc.- you get the picture.)
Controlling my food gave me something to have control over - nothing says control like counting almonds, right? - that is until I would lose control and be face-first in a tub of ice cream.
Furthermore, I thought that if I could control my food and the way my body looked - I could in theory control other areas or outcomes of my life, too.
If I made sure I was thin, I would be safe from ridicule and not be teased by others.
If I made sure I was skinny, I could make all the guys like me and get a boyfriend.
If I were rail thin like a model, I would be taken more seriously at my job (I worked in fashion at the time) and be more likely to get promoted or be given a raise.
If I made sure my body and food were perfectly put together, no one would know that my life was a huge mess.
If I had an amazing body, people would respect me, accept me, be jealous of me, and I would finally be happy.
At the end of the day, it didn't matter what size I was. It wasn't stopping my parents from divorcing, it wasn't making men or women like me more, and no matter how perfect my food looked - my life was imperfect.
The thing is, no matter what size we are or what our food looks like, we have absolutely no control over some of the things that happen in our lives or how other people see us.
We can not make someone feel or perceive us a certain way, no matter what we do.
When I ask my clients why controlling their weight is so important, so much of the reason is because of trying to control the way other people perceive or judge them. And while our society does make assumptions based on weight and appearance, at the end of the day, we really have no control over other people's judgment, ever.
We can not control what we can not control. And our pursuit of controlling the uncontrollable typically leaves us empty and exhausted.
Inner peace does not come from controlling things outside of yourself - including how your body looks.
So what are you trying to control by trying to control your food and weight?
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