Our expert says:
Eating Disorders Expert
First, thanks so much for your reference to the forum. I am enjoying my role immensely and hope that I am guiding some people in the right direction. First, let me say that I am very relieved that you had the courage to leave an abusive marriage earlier in your life. Would it be safe for me to assume that your destructive preoccupation with food was symptomatic and reflective of your relationship distress? It is equally relieving to see that you are now married to a “wonderful” man, who appears to accept you unconditionally and wants you to be happy for who you are. My challenge to you is whether you can try and make that a partnership and join your husband in feeling towards yourself the way he feels towards you? Not an easy one, as we do tend to almost always be our own greatest critic. However, this does not excuse you from the challenge and personal responsibility in seeking an equally unconditionally loving relationship with yourself. Yes, I see that you have had many years of mistreating your body with destructive diets and dietary battles, although you seem to have finally learned the lesson that there are no miracle diets, quick fixes or short-cuts. I will not make reference to any single diet, but unless the dietary philosophy is one of eating a balanced and moderated intake, it’s not worth looking at (and certainly not worth buying the book). Oh goodness, no wonder the diet industry pulls in billions, despite the damage it leaves in its wake each year. When are we going to learn to not fall for the temptation of something that seems to good? You know what they say: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t”. I have listened to patients for almost two decades repeatedly falling for the false promises, like the lamppost advert that promises you losing 5 kilograms a week. Would you buy financial advice from someone advertising on a lamppost? As I responded to a previous forum question, why are there so many diet books in the bookstore? If just one of them was consistently successful, surely it would b be the definitive text and no one would buy anything else. Make sense? Having already learned the vital lesson that eating in a balanced and moderated way is your best (actually only) bet, you next challenge is to now make peace with your body and accept the body you are naturally predisposed to. If you don’t do that, you are essentially remaining at war with your body and both your body and soul will lose. If you can do so, I really would recommend you consult with a therapist and explore what might lie behind your struggle to accept your already very healthily-sized body. When your son was born, you seemed less preoccupied with food and (body) self-hatred, perhaps because you allowed yourself to just enjoy the wonderful pleasure of being a mum and becoming a family. Perhaps you need to continue along that route and seek more creative meaning in your life(style), and spend less time leaking energy to your self criticism. As much as you valued the affirmation you were receiving from colleagues about your weight loss, their silence now should not be assumed to be a non-spoken criticism. Just because you are being so self-critical, does not equate to others sharing in your sentiment. What is more important than others affirmation is your self acceptance and a loving family (as you appear to have). Do you see what I am getting at? Goodness, I hope this helps.
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