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Old 06-19-2009, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default Failure to Believe in ED

I am wondering this morning if I can fail to believe in my eating disorder (ED). I quit smoking smoking 3 years ago by failing to believe that I smoked, that I had no interest in smoking, and why would I even act like a person who wanted to smoke since basically I didn't do that. My ex-husband calls it my ability to take a behavior and turn it off on a switch. I did it with drug use in my 20's as well.

Well this last weekend I binged and purged again. It was completely an emotional response to the situation of spending time with my ex. My ex was someone who basically watched, ignored, sometimes encouraged, was horrified, and indulged my ED. I came home and it was basically put to me that I will chose this as long as I want, that I can make the choice to no longer have it work for me, to fail to believe is possible.

I have been thinking about this for the last 2 days and I worry about the responsibility. Could I?

The attitudes I would have to take!
I do not need to eat my stress.
I have eaten enough of that.
I don't need to fill my stomach because my heart hurts.
Why would I want to eat so much due to my emotions? I don't do that.
Overeating is not an option for me because I don't do that.
And so on.

Can you list more?
Could you fail to believe?
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Last edited by rochemist; 06-19-2009 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Had to work ;)
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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rochemist, interesting question! Controversy - many sources believe that EDs are a disease, but others think it's an addiction, and you're presenting the idea that it's a choice. I think - you've already beat what's considered a physical AND mental addiction with "flipping the switch", and that if YOU believe that the ED is merely another manifestation of the same thing - I see absolutely no reason why you couldn't succeed again. I totally respect the power of belief, affirmations, and creating alternate realities - you've done this already with your smoking, deciding to lose weight ... it seems to me from your posts that you are removing obstacles that are keeping you from the life you want. You go, girl!!!
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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I do this at times, when I am full/have just eaten a meal and I am presented with dessert or something. I will think to myself, "Why would you even consider eating right now? That's such a silly idea, since you are already full. Normal people don't do that," etc. I say go for it, and see if it works for a week or so.
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:21 AM   #4
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Interesting question. I suppose the only way to know the answer is to try it. It doesn't sound like a dangerous or unreasonable thing so it seems to be worth pursuing. Popular psychology says that we must understand WHY we do something in order to change it. That's not necessarily true. It doesn't always matter WHY we do what we do. We can't always change our 'whys' but we CAN change our behavior. Not easily, but it can be done. The power isn't in the thought- it's in the action.

Good luck to you on your continued journey.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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That`s a really interesting thought. I too have stopped smoking by "switching the button" by Allan Carr`s method. My husband has always said to me: "You could do it with the cigarettes, why can`t you not do the same with bingeing?"

I have often tried to jsut believe that I am cured, particularly after finishing therapy, but I always went back to it. It`s happening a lot less and no longer for no specific reason, but whenever something has upset me it`s food I`ll turn to.

Your post inspired me and made me wonder whether I should give it another try.

Which affirmations would work for me? I even tried convincing myself that an ed is a behaviural issue rather than an addictino or disease, and that I have grown out of it as I have matured. It also hits a spot when someone attaches words ilke "self-indulgent" and "childish" to it. However, I know from experience that it is not like this.

Food is my crutch. But I wonder whether I could change it and say: "Food used to be my crutch, but n ow it`s running. Every time I`m upset I immediately have to go on the treadmill!"

What do you think could cnovince you to drop the ed?
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:35 PM   #6
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Thank you for your kind words. I need to find the right words that I will believe to not make this choice. It might be like smoking and have to roll around the old brain pan some more. I do think ED is an addiction for me, its the thing I do when I want to hide and addiction has always been a nice comfy hiding place for me.There is just this silly optimist in me that keeps sticking her foot out (and her heart too) because I want to be part of the world not just in it.

And binder you said the words of Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try"

I need to go home I have 12 miles to bike tonight
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Old 06-20-2009, 07:08 AM   #7
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I don`t think it`s like smoking. Smoking was definitely a bad habit for me, but food is a crutch to deal with my emotional issues.

I`ve often tried to convince myself that the problem does not go away through me stuffing my face. (In fact, I`ll only create an additional problem.) but when I get the urge to binge all the sensible reasoning does not matter.

After CBT, it worked for a long time to tell myself that I am over it. But I then experienced difficulties at work and turned back to food. I still sometimes feel that I`m "entitled" to binge because xyz, so I suppose it does indeed feel like a choice at times.

What may work for me is:

Quote:
I used to binge eat, but I was having a lot of problems at the time.
Since these have been resolved I no longer binge, although it still flares up from time to time. It`s however becoming less and less. It`s not happened since the beginning of June.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:18 AM   #8
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Very interesting. Good post rochemist! (let me know if I have it wrong) My interpretation of this technique is that it is not about thinking 'I'm cured' or 'I used to do whatever', or continuously talking yourself out of something you already want to do. Instead I see it as the exact opposite. Changing your entire belief system, reprogramming your thought patterns before they get to that internal debate stage. 'I used to' or 'I won't' reinforces your belief that you are someone with that problem and aligns your thinking with the disorder - you still associate yourself with the behavior of the ED. Taking out that association, retraining yourself to believe you are NOT someone who does that - stands to reason that this tactic would be effective. No? We'll see.

Funny. I studied hypnosis for 2 years, albeit lighter fluffier comedy stage work, and I never thought to bring those techniques (very much like posted above) to my own more serious issues. :X
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:49 PM   #9
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You know what? I think you're on to something here, because I wonder if that's not*exactly* what happened in my case.

I just don't believe I have an ED anymore. It's an odd dynamic; while I don't believe I have one, I don't know if an ED can be "cured" any more than alcoholism can be "cured."

That switch was flipped when my mom got sick. I went from "I don't want to struggle with food/be unhealthy for the rest of my life" to "I will NOT stuggle with food/be unhealthy for the rest of my life." I don't even entertain the idea of getting caught up in the drama and self-indulgence and excuses that an ED provided for me. I wonder how I put up with it for so long, as a matter of fact!

This doesn't mean I'm not still aware of my triggers; it just means I listen harder to my gut. If I read something/see something/hear something that makes my insides quiver with those scary little whispers my ED was so famous for, I leave the situation - period. I don't care where it is or what I'm doing - I remove myself from the situation. I liken it to being an alcoholic at the party where everyone starts drinking your favorite poison.

So yeah - all this to say that, with the right mindset, I know you can just refuse to believe in your ED any more.

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Old 06-20-2009, 03:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisTimeIsMyTime View Post
'I used to' or 'I won't' reinforces your belief that you are someone with that problem and aligns your thinking with the disorder - you still associate yourself with the behavior of the ED.
Yes,there is probably a lot of truth in this. However, I cannot remove the fact that I used to do it. How do you deal with that one? You can`t delete your past?

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Old 06-21-2009, 08:06 PM   #11
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This is what has occurred to me tonight. "I make choices with my body and what I put in it. I don't why I would over eat because that's not a choice I would make. I am the boss of me, and I am in charge."

This I say after a very emotional 2 days, but no binge, no purge just a quiet tiredness. I had someone close to me try to demonize a Popsicle the other day as empty calories. I can't do that, food is not good or bad in my world. It just comes in proper portion sizes And in that case a Popsicle beats the **** out of me measuring ice cream so eff that

It's my body and we have had it with the shame cyle. I think I have found an affirmation.

Again I want to thank everyone for their comments, I love the positivity of the thread. And thank you Janelle for telling us about how you gave up your stinkin thinkin or better, how you gave up on ED's stinkin thinkin
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:37 AM   #12
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This is working for me. I only realised I had a problem with binge eating recently (last few months) and have been doing this since and it's worked so far. That's not to say I don't get the urges to binge - sometimes I have the biggest battles to stop myself binge eating. I've even been stood in the kitchen wanting to binge eat and using this technique to stop myself. Sometimes afterwards especially at first afterwards I still feel like i have had a binge and still have the guilt after fighting it (I was never aware of it when I was having a binge I just did it, so when I fight it I'm never sure if I binged or not until I check that no food has gone).

I don't know if it's a disease or addiction or both - I know I'm not cured, but this is helping me. There's no harm in trying any technique like this and seeing if it works for you.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:37 AM   #13
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Hmm. Well, I might be doing something similar to you. I have pretty much tricked my mind into believing I'm not on a diet.. but I am... if that makes sense.

I've barely cut calories. I still eat all kinds of bad foods. I lose like 1-2 lbs a month. But cumulatively, I've lost almost 20. In almost a year. Not an impressive feat but maybe this is: I haven't binged the entire time.

I CANNOT diet like a normal person, however. I can't do WW. I for sure cannot do low-carb/Atkins/South Beach. I can't even be a vegetarian anymore and I don't even like meat. Any restriction drives me to binge... because when I was a binger (for 4+ years), all I did with restrictive diet - binge - restrictive diet - binge. So say "I'm not going to eat *** anymore" makes me want to eat *** and a lot of it!

I'm certainly envious of people who have lost 50-60-100+ lbs in the year since I've joined and I'm trying hard to just make it to the 21-lbs mark... but when I think about ways to amp up my diet, I get the urge to binge... even this far binge-free. So in that sense, I guess I CAN'T just imagine myself ED-free... it'll probably be there for a long time, if not forever. But at this point, I am very aware of how to successfully control it so I guess I'm happy about that.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:49 AM   #14
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If you think it and truly believe it I think just about anything is possible.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joyra View Post
Hmm. Well, I might be doing something similar to you. I have pretty much tricked my mind into believing I'm not on a diet.. but I am... if that makes sense.

I've barely cut calories. I still eat all kinds of bad foods. I lose like 1-2 lbs a month. But cumulatively, I've lost almost 20. In almost a year. Not an impressive feat but maybe this is: I haven't binged the entire time.

I CANNOT diet like a normal person, however. I can't do WW. I for sure cannot do low-carb/Atkins/South Beach. I can't even be a vegetarian anymore and I don't even like meat. Any restriction drives me to binge... because when I was a binger (for 4+ years), all I did with restrictive diet - binge - restrictive diet - binge. So say "I'm not going to eat *** anymore" makes me want to eat *** and a lot of it!

I'm certainly envious of people who have lost 50-60-100+ lbs in the year since I've joined and I'm trying hard to just make it to the 21-lbs mark... but when I think about ways to amp up my diet, I get the urge to binge... even this far binge-free. So in that sense, I guess I CAN'T just imagine myself ED-free... it'll probably be there for a long time, if not forever. But at this point, I am very aware of how to successfully control it so I guess I'm happy about that.
This is true for me too!
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