WHY did I want someone else to be fat? Where did a thought like that come from in the first place? And looking deeper into the answers to those questions was where the bigger secrets and hidden answers were found.
This post is continued from “Survival Methods and Eating Disorders ~ Part One and is part of a series of articles about eating disorders, weight and body issues here on Emerging from Broken.
As I started to think about those questions, I asked myself if I felt this way about everyone that I had not seen for awhile and I realized that I only felt this way about women who had hurt me, used me or discounted me. I thought about a few other women in my life, especially in the past, and the answer that I came up with for them was the same. Yes, I hoped that women who had hurt me had gotten fat. I thought about women in my past and present that had treated me fairly and with some equality and equal value and realized that I wished no such “fat fate” upon them. That got me really thinking. So why do I hope that these other women had gotten fat? And furthermore I realized that I have thought this way for a very very long time. It is important to note here that my magic survival system could have stayed right there and decided that I was a nasty woman with nasty thoughts and nasty wishes for bad things to happen to others. But I know better than to stay there.
I asked myself ~ what does fat “mean” to me? What do I think about it, how do I feel about it? As I pondered these questions, I realized that I somehow think (and believe) that “fat” and weight gain are a fitting punishment for these women. They “deserve to be fat” because they had devalued me so much.
(** Remember that I am in direct contact with my belief system and this is NOT about the truth at all. I KNOW it is not true that people “deserve” to be fat! And I know that happiness IS possible when I am overweight! I am overweight! It’s just what my belief system thinks. These are good examples of those lies I always talk about that need to be corrected.)
Then I processed why I believed that weight gain was a punishment and not just a punishment, but a “fitting punishment”. My mind didn’t hesitate to remind me that no one could ever be happy fat. In my minds eye I even saw my chin jut out like a defiant child might so when feeling justified about being mean, but deep down knowing that something was wrong with the whole picture; thinking this way was really not about them but about me. My mind jumped immediately to looking at how I feel about my own body.
If fat and weight gain is a punishment for them, then do I feel that way about my own body?
Do I believe that my own extra weight (about 40 pounds) is a deserved punishment? I know that I believe my extra weight is sometimes about protection. I know that 2 years ago when I slowly started to gain it, was during and after a period of time where I felt discounted, betrayed and a little rejected by some important people in my life and my weight gain has always followed a time of abuse. Prior to this tine I had only been overweight after very abusive situations such as when I was raped ~ but my eating disorders are not single faceted either. I have dealt with huge body issues over time that were related to many other belief systems, most of which have been sorted out. In some respects it has been very healthy for me to gain weight in that I lessened my obsession with control and learned acceptance of my body.
But thinking of someone deserving to be overweight and thinking of fat as a punishment and considering that I might deep down in my belief system think that I deserve that same punishment too……… I had not considered that idea in this way before now. This realization turns out to be one more piece in the puzzle of figuring out my belief system about food issues, compulsive overeating and body issues.
The answer is yes. Yes I do think that weight is a punishment, for others that have hurt me and that excess weight is a punishment for me. Deep down I was, and sometimes still am high on the list of people who I think have hurt me so that fits. Fat and excess weight is all those things that we talk about ~ fat is protection; fat is rejection; fat is punishment; only perfection is good enough but at the same time anything close to perfection is dangerous. Somewhere in all of this, the keys to freedom from weight and body issues are hiding.
And since I always say that the truth will set you free, it is important to add these reminders;
~I am not one of the people that hurt me. That is an old belief, like a leftover from the old days that I still have to remind myself is a lie. It is important to examine the roots of that lie in order to make progress with most of the issues we talk about in here in EFB.
~When it comes to my body, I no longer trust myself. There are two parts to this one:
a) I am very aware of trust issues with those people in my life that I know are not safe to trust. I have the feelings about myself mixed in with them which is what happens in childhood if we have been abused or devalued in any way.
b) I have let myself down in this particular area when I have promised myself that I will take better care of my physical health and then I don’t keep that promise. This is a huge area that I will address more in a future post.
~ Fat is not protection. Fat is not rejection. Food is NOT love.
~Looks do not equal acceptance nor in any way do they have anything to do with self acceptance. Remember that most of my life I have been a normal weight, but my self esteem was in the toilet anyway.
~ Fat is not a feeling and this whole thing is not about food OR perfection.
To be continued…….
Please share your thoughts about this subject. I know it is huge and that this is just one tiny picture in an ocean of snapshots.