Digging for the roots of suffering from an Eating Disorder  

Written by Julia
Survivor & Volunteer

Bulimia, like any other eating disorder has its origin in the psyche, in the way of thinking, in the way of perceiving reality and in the identification with our thoughts about ourselves. We all like or dislike certain parts of ourselves or our body, but where do these thoughts come from? Since we didn’t have these thoughts in early childhood, they must have come inside us along the way. The question 'who let these thoughts in' is more than obvious, but were we really aware of what these small, seemingly innocent first thoughts could possibly transform into? I surly wasn't! 

I was a chubby girl

As far as I can think back, I always remember myself being a chubby girl. In my childhood I didn’t think much of it, playing football and climbing trees was more of my liking than worrying about my weight. It all started very soon, my classmates at school, especially the 'cool guys', started bullying me. Calling me too fat to pick me for their volleyball team and too slow for sprinting games, which made me end up feeling very sad and rejected. I quenched my thirst for acceptance with food and a first seed was planted in my head. Not only the thought of me being to big came alive, but also the act of eating when feeling rejected came along with it.
My mom took me shopping and wanted to buy me some new clothes. The shopping ended every time in a nightmare, I wouldn’t fit in any of the jeans I liked. My mom, picking out clothes to cover up my belly, didn’t really help to make the situation better. I also wanted to wear the cool jeans and not the oversized ones, on which my mom still had to sew some bottoms or stickers on, to make them look at least a bit fashionable. Frustration and disappointment came up in me. I ate again and the seed started sprouting. Thoughts of me being to big came up more frequently and with the thoughts also the ritual of eating when feeling frustrated transformed slowly into a regular habit. By repetition of thoughts we form belief systems and habits, until we ultimately except them as belonging to us.

 Tearing out the roots is difficult but not impossible.

Tearing out the roots is difficult but not impossible.

Why does nobody like me?

Soon after the first guys came into our girls clique. I remember, at one point all my girlfriends had already their first or even second boyfriend, but I was still waiting for my first kiss. “Why does no boy like me? Am I really that bad?” I came to the conclusion: My body weight is the reason for me being single, feeling unnoticed and rejected by others. Whenever I felt frustrated or sad I compensated it with food. Food after all was still very tasty and gave me a feeling of comfort, which I was lacking. This conclusion made perfect sense to me, since I got bullied for the same reason years before. Without being conscious about it back than, I myself put these first thoughts inside of me. I came to this conclusion and the more I believed in it, the more I became exactly those thoughts.

Limiting Beliefs of the Eating Disorder

Every day, every moment we create belief by believing in our own thoughts, being them good or bad, doesn’t make a difference to the Principe behind it. Because we see ourselves through judgmental eyes, constantly naming and labeling what is good and what is bad, we allow emotions to follow certain thoughts. Emotions like anger, hate, jealousy or greed go along with our negative thoughts and emotions like joy, happiness and excitement go hand in hand with our positive thoughts.

Dieting and skipping meals started in my teenage years, constantly trying to loose some extra weight. Already back then, I kept this quiet sadness and loneliness to myself. In front of my friends and family members I always represented the happy- funny- version of myself. Even though that version also existed, it was just one part of the coin, the other part I was hiding in my pocket. I ate again and the sprouting seed started to grow. 

After my mothers death I moved into an other city. I thought things couldn’t get any worse, but I had no idea what was ahead of me. 6 years of skipping meals, starving, exercising, overeating, binging, purging and abuse of alcohol were ahead of me and two more years of a mental recovery and healing. Along with the eating disorder came a whole world of emotions filled with shame, guilt, disgust, hate, anger, fear and hopelessness. During this time I created many personalities and many faces, always adjusting to what I had in front of me, while hiding my dark side deep in my pocket, so nobody would find it. I had many faces, many roles, but none of them made me happy, because in the back of my mind I always hold on to the little chubby girl, who got bullied at school. I compared my body constantly to other girls and women. Back than I didn’t understand that in the single act of comparing lies already the answer to the question 'why do we compare us in the first place?'.

I want to be somebody else

The desire to be like somebody else goes hand in hand with suffering, because we don’t acknowledge our own goodness and uniqueness, but instead we give the power away to our own personal judgment between good and bad. But is personal judgment really something we can built upon? We are all unique and all different and instead of embracing our uniqueness we try to copy each other. At one point I had to let go of my beliefs and I had to let go of my identification with the little chubby girl. I had to come to the conclusion that the seed of suffering we plant ourselves. We make it sprout and we make it grow by believing in our thoughts and unhealthy self image. The good thing is if we can plant the seed we can also tear it out.

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