Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Unhealthy voices, anxiety and womanhood

Last Thursday's therapy session was so good.

I don't know what exactly it was, but I came out feeling that maybe this was going to work out okay.

We talked about heaps of stuff. Unhealthy voices, anxiety, womanhood.

We started off with my food diary and discussing a couple of things that had cropped up. One was how long I spend choosing food in the supermarket, wandering round and round as I weigh up what combinations will give me the correct calories, best mix carbs, protein and fat etc.

We talked about how there was the time when I worked hard to pick up a larger lunch, only to then automatically scale down my dinner to fit in under my desired calories. She mentioned it sounded like there were 2 voices in my head: one a "healthy" voice, and the other unhealthy.


She asked me what I thought the unhealthy voice's agenda was. It clearly wasn't for me to be healthy, or happy. And it was also there when I binge, so it can't want me to be skinny. I couldn't answer the agenda question, nor do I think she was expecting me to be able to. What shocked me most was the fact that I would never have classified that voice as unhealthy. To me it represents the bit of me that will get me to the weight I want to be, the bit that represents control. Although actually the voice is out of my control, and is instead controlling me.

We moved on to another aspect that had popped up in my food diary: anxiety. As I've mentioned I often wake up anxious, both in the morning and at numerous points during the night.


I know I'll either have had dreams about eating or work, but don't seem to really understand what's making me anxious and therefore I can't try and rationalise it. It's like there's a record stuck on repeat in my subconscious, but I don't know what the record is or how to stop it. I also have panic attacks occasionally. I know my anxiety is worse when I'm eating more, but I can't be sure whether the eating is causing the anxiety, or the anxiety is causing me to eat.

I've always been an anxious person. As a child I used to get scared about going into a supermarket close to closing time in case we got locked in. I also went through a stage where I would barely talk to my parents because I was worried I would say something that they wouldn't like (this is nothing to do with anything they ever did - my parents are amazing!). I don't like meeting up with people because I'm not sure what people will think of me. And as the therapist mentioned, a lot of my anxiety seemed to be linked to me not thinking I would be good enough, or that I'd upset someone else. It was a result of what I perceived other people's reactions to be.

Finally, we talked about what it means to be a woman. I'd mentioned how I'd once been jealous of someone's figure in the background of a picture. When I looked closer I realised that that person was about 14 years old. Not cool. I also talked about how for a long time after I'd regained my periods that I saw them as a failure. And also how sometimes I just don't feel like an adult - how did I end up having managed to get a job, self-fund myself, move myself all the way to London, hire removal vans, find flats, organise bills and insurance and all this adult malarky?


I don't know whether they're all related, or even if they're linked to my eating, but it's always worth looking in to. As my therapist said, I'm a woman, and I should want a woman's body. And shouldn't we all?! Shouldn't we want the curves and shapeliness that comes with being a female. Most female models are still teenagers - why should we want bodies that represent someone who's adolescent and still growing?

Our bodies are a product of evolution. As women we're designed for childbirth. We gain hips and breasts for this purpose. Every heard an old lady remark "oooh, she has excellent child-birthing hips"?! Well that's because they're meant to be a good thing! That's what we should be proud to have.

I love this quote from Marilyn Monroe!

 So this week I have to do mindfulness a couple of times a day to try and help with the anxiety, and I also have to keep a journal of all the times I think about what someone might be thinking about me, or what I'm thinking of myself. This way we can start to understand all the negative messages that I've receiving/sending to myself.

I've found both pretty tough.

Mindfulness is just a skill I need to practise - just putting 5 minutes of your morning and afternoon aside to do it seems a challenge!

So far I've not wanted to write about my feelings. They've just been too hard, particularly over the weekend when I ate so much. But I'm going to persevere, as if it's hard it probably means it's affecting me in much deeper ways :)

Do you embrace your womanly curves?

E x

No comments:

Post a Comment