The eating disorder is ego-syntonic. It is in harmony with your sense of self. It arises from within you; it is part of you. It comes upon you in a surreptitious way. This is why we so often hear the criticism that the sufferer has no insight. Their ability to sway their nearest and dearest with clever argument is because they truly believe what they are saying.
The personal issues underlying anorexia, bulimia and those suffering with obesity as well as compulsive binge eating, orthorexia and bigorexia, are all in fact based on the same principles of self-criticism.
The inability to accept the self as human and therefore not the image of perfection required by those suffering with these complex disorders is a core issue for the sufferer.
Hence we are dealing with the side issues of shame, secrecy and guilt which are so often portrayed by others as the sufferer being “deceitful” without understanding any of the reasoning behind this behaviour.
We need to address the frustrations and expectations of working within one of the most misunderstood relationships, i.e. that of the disordered relationship with food and therefore ourselves.
This extends to society in general as I believe that this unspoken pain is existential in its all-pervading influence. What legacy are we leaving our children and grandchildren? How can we establish a more responsible stance?
How do we achieve all of this without adopting society’s judgemental approach that if we don’t achieve our weight goals it is because we are “weak-willed“and therefore “unworthy”? I see this kind of judgement being applied to the underweight and the overweight as well as those suffering with bulimia.
© Empatico 2009—2012