Weight Loss Support - Compliments and Triggers




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jennyplain
10-08-2012, 10:13 AM
Hi all,

I have been away from this forum for a while, dealing with life stuff. At the same time, I have still been seeing my therapist to deal with my binge eating disorder and food addiction. These are issues I've been working on with her for a couple of years, and we recently started delving deeper into them.

One of the things that I spoke about in my last session was how sometimes I have binges and/or periods of poor eating triggered by someone saying "wow, you look like you've lost weight!" She pressed me to figure out why I would mentally turn a positive like that into a negative. The only emotion I could concretely put my finger on was "disappointment" - IE I am afraid that if I don't continue to lose and do well, I am a disappointment to the person who complimented me (even if I hardly know them!) It's completely irrational, of course, since my weight loss is about me and for me, not for anybody else, but it's like a subconscious thought in my head that I've never been able to figure out before.

It sent me for a loop, because I had never thought about it that way. In losing weight, I am becoming more "visible" (for lack of a better word), and since I gained weight to hide away from the world a little bit, anybody noticing or commenting on my weight is liable to trigger that instinct to run and hide so I can't be seen, or be a disappointment to anyone.

After I figured that out, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I can't stop people from commenting on my weight, because that's not the world we live in. People notice weight loss, see it as a positive (which it is) and feel that they're being nice by saying something. So it's my job to work on ways to accept those compliments without letting them overwhelm and trigger me into a binge.

Anyway, I just thought I would post that in case anyone else was dealing with these particular issues - maybe my thoughts could help someone else! I'm glad to be back on these forums and actively losing again - I've maintained for nearly two years now, but I'm tired of the weight that's still left after my first big loss, so I'm jumping back in to get the rest of it off.


atmos
10-08-2012, 10:26 AM
I'm glad you had this realization, and thank you for being willing to share it. I do hope this will help as you continue your fight against your eating disorder.

The visibility issue is part of the reason I'm afraid to make changes to myself as well. I guess weight-wise I don't mind being noticed, but for example I'm afraid to start dressing nicer/more stylish than my typical jeans and t-shirt because people that know me will notice that I'm doing so and will wonder what is my deal.

DisappearingActs
10-08-2012, 02:00 PM
I'm glad you had this realization, and thank you for being willing to share it. I do hope this will help as you continue your fight against your eating disorder.

The visibility issue is part of the reason I'm afraid to make changes to myself as well. I guess weight-wise I don't mind being noticed, but for example I'm afraid to start dressing nicer/more stylish than my typical jeans and t-shirt because people that know me will notice that I'm doing so and will wonder what is my deal.

They'll only notice for a few months, after you've been dressing stylish for a while they'll adjust to your new image and forget that all you used to wear were t-shirts and jeans. It'll be a distant memory. Many people are really good at adjusting their opinion of you.


Dedicated2012
10-08-2012, 02:09 PM
Hi all,

I have been away from this forum for a while, dealing with life stuff. At the same time, I have still been seeing my therapist to deal with my binge eating disorder and food addiction. These are issues I've been working on with her for a couple of years, and we recently started delving deeper into them.

One of the things that I spoke about in my last session was how sometimes I have binges and/or periods of poor eating triggered by someone saying "wow, you look like you've lost weight!" She pressed me to figure out why I would mentally turn a positive like that into a negative. The only emotion I could concretely put my finger on was "disappointment" - IE I am afraid that if I don't continue to lose and do well, I am a disappointment to the person who complimented me (even if I hardly know them!) It's completely irrational, of course, since my weight loss is about me and for me, not for anybody else, but it's like a subconscious thought in my head that I've never been able to figure out before.

It sent me for a loop, because I had never thought about it that way. In losing weight, I am becoming more "visible" (for lack of a better word), and since I gained weight to hide away from the world a little bit, anybody noticing or commenting on my weight is liable to trigger that instinct to run and hide so I can't be seen, or be a disappointment to anyone.

After I figured that out, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I can't stop people from commenting on my weight, because that's not the world we live in. People notice weight loss, see it as a positive (which it is) and feel that they're being nice by saying something. So it's my job to work on ways to accept those compliments without letting them overwhelm and trigger me into a binge.

Anyway, I just thought I would post that in case anyone else was dealing with these particular issues - maybe my thoughts could help someone else! I'm glad to be back on these forums and actively losing again - I've maintained for nearly two years now, but I'm tired of the weight that's still left after my first big loss, so I'm jumping back in to get the rest of it off.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY!!!!! OMG it is like you read my mind...but I couldnt get it as clear as how you made it...thanks

angieand2girls
10-08-2012, 02:24 PM
I've noticed something similar about myself. When I lost a lot of weight several years ago, even though I LOOOVED how I looked in the mirror and I loved wearing cute clothes and shoes, I felt EXTREMELY awkward when I got attention (especially from men). I guess I hadn't realized how accustomed I had gotten to being invisible lol. It was really weird for me. I felt so uncomfortable in my skin when men would gawk and stare me down...or women would look. I realize that those were insecurities I had to work on.....this time around....I've been really working from the inside out. :)