For years I’ve lived in terror of being fat.
For the past 40 years I was tied up in knots of fear, resolutions to not eat, resolutions to exercise more, I wanted to be thin more than anything in the world.
For 35 of those years I starved by any means necessary. I smoked, I took diet pills and laxatives and diuretics and used speed in high school. I didn’t use drugs to get high, I used them to stop my appetite.
The only time I gave myself permission to eat was when I was pregnant. Somehow food was a non issue when I was really feeding another human being.
Being skinny was the code for happiness. I believed all my problems would vanish if I were skinny. I still feel that way, but there is beginning to be a shift towards something other than fear.
At first, when the shift started, I was angry. When I was 35 I got really angry at myself for all those years of starving. I was angry at my body for needing food. I was upset about being weak. I was closing control.
I started to eat compulsively. I was ok during meals, but after meals I started sneaking food, hiding what I ate from other people. And I felt compelled to eat fast, to cram large amounts of food in my mouth quickly so that no one would see me eating.
As I started to gain weight I became despondent. I felt defeated. Food won. It was more powerful than me.
I’ve had different kinds of therapy and I told each therapist that my main problem was with food. (Remember, I still believed that being skinny would solve every problem.)
All the different therapies helped in their own way. But I didn’t really find relief until tonight.
I’ve been “tapping” to deal with all sorts of complaints and tonight I noticed I was feeling anxious like I usually do when evening comes. So I went inside, as they say, to find out why I felt so much tension. I discovered right away that it was FEAR that was causing the problem, specifically the fear of being fat.
I rated it a 7 on a scale from 0 to 10, 10 being the most fear I’ve ever experienced. I started tapping as I talked about the fear of being fat. When the roots of the fear or the very beginnings of the problem came, they came in flashes or mental images of events that left their marks throughout my life.
I tapped until I felt a shift. Something inside shifted and I suddenly realized I don’t have to be afraid anymore.
Even if people judge me because I’m fat or thin, and people DO judge, I don’t have to live by anyone else’s guidelines. Not the guidelines of my ancestors, or the media, advertisements, music and films, even if all those people judge me, this is my body and I decide what to eat or not eat. It’s up to me.
When that realization happened I felt the imaginary belt around my middle get looser. I breathed deeply, a long yoga breath.
When I rated my level of fear after the exhale I was at a 4.
I can live with 4 for now. In the near future I would hope to ease the fears even more and I will do more tapping to facilitate that.
I know a lot of people suffer from eating disorders. I’m sharing my story as away to extend my compassion for the others who suffer from the Fear of Being Fat. I offer you compassion and comaraderie.
I’m finding relief through mind/body integration and cooperation. I find tapping and mindfulness meditation, kundalini yoga and music as a visceral experience to be useful tools;we probably all have our own set of tools and things will inevitably work or not work depending on our constitution.
(Look for information on EFT or therapeutic tapping of the end points of the energy channels in our bodies. Also search for the Tapping Solution, #Nick Ortner, Heart Centered Therapy. #John Diepold, # Why Do I Eat When I’m Not Hungry, #Roger Callahan and many other sources.)
I still have work to do, but with tapping and other mind/body practices, I know I can do it.
I am free. You can be too.