Posted by Meredith Terpeluk
on January 06, 2011 / Posted in General Interest
I’ve been moved by this message this morning, “Trade your body armor for intimacy,” because it’s been coming up a lot in the last few days. Let me explain what I mean by this.
Body armor can come in many forms – excess weight, an eating disorder, isolation, feelings. What do I mean by that?
Woman #1 is overweight. Her weight has kept her from being intimate with SELF (the most important person in her life). She’s allowed her weight to be her protective body armor for most of her life. She’s allowed it to be her identity and protect her from all kinds of things. I can relate.I know when I was overeating as a kid, my weight was my body armor. Through my dieting years, if I gained weight back, It was like “Screw the world. It’s me and my weight. Only my weight will love and protect me.” Then as I began to lose it for the longterm, I would get scared of that physical vulnerability, people checking me out. It was terrifying and I know it is terrifying for many people who lose a lot of weight. And it can often be the reason they gain it back – fear of vulnerability. Comfort with what they think keeps them safe and ultimately does the opposite. I had to separate myself from my weight and stop letting it stop me.
Woman #2 is suffering from bulimia. Her eating disorder is keeping her from intimacy with a man and herself. The ED is trying to lay claim to her and keep her from being intimate with a guy. It’s trying to be that guy for her. What’s worse is it’s trying to tell her that it will protect her, take care of her. ALL LIES because everything it tells her pushes her further away from intimacy. When my eating habits developed into an eating disorder, it was my armor. It was my boyfriend because there was no one else getting between us. Problem was that it was keeping me from the world. I had to separate myself from ED and realize, “Wow. That is NOT me.”
Both excess weight and the eating disorder are what I consider forms of body armor. One is external. One is more secretive. We think they protect us, but they don’t. They convince is that we must defend them, but in order to live – we can’t. We MUST separate ourselves from the weight we carry or the eating disorder we keep a secret. We must call them out and say we ARE NOT that. We must separate ourselves. For if we don’t, we’ll continue to suffer. I know that because of my history with both of these and other things in my life, I could choose to push away intimacy where I need it most. But as a recovering person, I cannot. I know I must continue to walk through my fears with it and become more aware of who I am as a woman. I challenge you – to walk through the fear of losing your false protection and embrace your vulnerability. THAT Is where you will find your power.
Posted by Meredith Terpeluk
on April 20, 2010 / Posted in General Interest
We are conditioned to believe that the diet is the answer to all of our problems today.Repeat that to yourself. Seems pretty crazy right? That’s because it doesn’t solve all our problems. We lose the weight, get to our goal weight, gain it back, stay stagnant – and our problems are still there. Why? Because we’re focused on fixing the surface. Talk to anyone who doesn’t feel good about themselves today and they’ll bring up something about their weight. Instead of actually feeling what we’re going through in life – we’re focused on getting our weight where we want it. It’s like we’re driving along the road of life and a wall shows up and instead of facing the wall that will stop us dead in our track of growth, we act like it isn’t there. Okay, yeah – I’m just going to keep hitting my head against it pretending that it’s not there because that’s going to help me….Really?
“For the most part, diets are the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on a suffering group of people. Ninety-five percent of people who diet gain the weight back within five years. Diets underscore one of the most paradoxical aspects of toxic shame. In dieting and losing weight, one has the sense of control of fixing the problem…Control is one of the major cover ups for toxic shame. All the layers of cover up are attempts to control the outside so that the inside will not be exposed.” – Excerpt from “Healing the Shame That Binds You”, John Bradshaw
We believe we are really accomplishing something every time we go on one of these diets and lose the weight. But as soon as we falter, what do we feel? Shame? And then we are reminded by everything in society that we must be ashamed of our weight – magazines, the diet industry, the fashion industry, even the obesity epidemic.
So, if we’re conditioned to be ashamed of our weight, that we’re failures unless we lose it – are we set up for winning at life? No, we’re set up for constantly trying to fix our life. Weight Watchers is finally getting this concept in telling people not to think about the diet, even though that’s what they are – a diet (smart marketing). I do wish that our current drive for “fighting obesity” would focus less on the “epidemic”. I think it’s breeding more shame and polarizing those people who suffer more. But I’m not in the White House anymore. All I can do is help you see it…
So, if you want to get conditioned to believe you can WIN at life without focusing on your weight? Maybe start looking at how you’ve been conditioned to believe it IS about your weight, that you are defined by your weight. If you are on a diet – look at what it IS giving you – a sense of control in your life. That’s a good thing. We all need self-control and discipline. If you feel out of control, maybe it’s time to consider that your thoughts of shame about food or failing at diets may be driving you there. Maybe it’s time to try and think about what COULD help you feel more peaceful and in control…
Tomorrow I’ll talk about the scale…
Posted by Meredith Terpeluk
on January 10, 2010 / Posted in General Interest
Carnie Wilson has a new TV show airing Thursday. I saw the clip on Inside Edition last night. I just wanted to give her a hug. She apparently wants to lose the baby weight. She’s also got a bakery she’s trying to open. Ok, so let’s see – having a baby and owning a bakery shoppe when you have issues with food. There are definitely people that do both and are fine. Kudos. But for someone who hasn’t dealt with the emotional issues behind her food, I would say baby and bakery are like toxic explosion! I mean think about it! Could you have a better excuse to eat emotionally? How many pregnant hormonal emotional eating women do you know that don’t give themselves a license to eat a whole box of donuts if they want it?? And how many emotional eaters do you know who can walk into a bakery (let alone own it), and fill up their emotional tank with sugary goodness?!!????
I mean of course she has gained the weight back! That ain’t her fault! If Carnie had 1) dealt with her emotional issues before she got the surgery or in conjunction with it, 2) found out she was an addict, she would have probably not been doing this show. Many people who get gastric are addicts. The instances of alcohol abuse and weight-gain are rising. So far I’ve only heard of no sugar or alcohol as part of their new eating plan but that’s like telling someone who is going on a diet they can’t have a drink or chocolate. If they were educated about the link between their potential addiction to sugar/alcohol, there may be less instances of weight-gain and alcoholism in gastric patients. I’ve heard the emotional recovery has gotten more robust, so that may be good but I’m still researching how different places do it.
In case you are wondering, I’m not a researcher, nor have I had gastric. But I have a network of friends who have. I also have the same mind as someone whose had it because I’m an addict. How do I know it? Because I’m powerless over certain foods (substances), and (behaviors) like overeating if I’m at a buffet. So here is poor Carnie trying to lose the weight again, without this knowledge. It’s so hard to make peace with food. It’s not alcohol. We need it to function every day. But no one needs to suffer in an abusive relationship with it, or thoughts about it.
I’m going to watch Carnie’s show. I hope she’s got someone to help her get to the root of her eating issues so she can let them go.