Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feel the magic!

I have a magic wand in my office.  If only it worked the way Harry Potter's does in books and movies!  If it had actual powers, I'd wave it over people and magically heal their relationships to themselves. I'd instantly create self-acceptance to replace self-criticism and help people process feelings instead of turning on themselves, using food/weight as a weapon.  

Alas, the magic wand doesn't work that way.  But here's the good news:  people have the power to change, to identify patterns and destructive attitudes and to react and act differently.  We have our own magic within us.  We can heal ourselves with a combination of insight, hope, tenacity, reflection, courage, and more.

Eating disorder behavior and thoughts often serve to distract from deeper fears and conflicts.  When you can work through these concerns, you may no longer need the eating disorder to cope with the uncomfortable/unbearable feelings that arise from them. Imagine if in a wave of a magic wand, all thoughts of food, weight, calories, fat grams, or anything connected to disordered eating are completely blocked.  If these concerns no longer occupied your mind, what would you think about? 

Fear of abandonment: concern that others will leave you and that you’ll be alone. Is this a familiar concern?  If so, what comes to mind?

Fear of rejection: concern that other people will judge you and won’t like you.  When is the first time you remember feeling this way?

Fear of punishment:  Fear that you’ll get in trouble or be punished in some way.  Do you feel this way a lot? 

Guilt:  Feelings of guilt or fear that you’re going to feel guilty in the future.  Often this guilt leads to anxiety, which is felt as one of the above fears.  For example, “If I do something wrong, then others are going to react by either abandoning, rejecting or punishing me."

Addressing the underlying fear and working through it, what it is and where it came from (easier said than done!!) can help you be less worried about these issues.  And when you're not as worried, you may not turn to or from food to cope.

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Legal Disclaimer:  The content on this site is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not intended as psychotherapy or as a substitute for psychotherapy advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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