Something happened in my life today that is disappointing but also beyond my control.
And this got me thinking about control within eating disorders.
I don’t go by psycho-mumbo jumbo that we develop an eating disorder because our lives felt out of control at the time & controlling food & our weight was the only way we had to feel in control again.
Sorry… for me that is bull s**t.
My life didn’t feel out of control when I developed this illness – there was no psycho mumbo jumbo reason for me developing this illness*.
BUT I do believe that a starved brain becomes rigid & less capable of flexible thinking…
so as we become controlling of our food, exercise & weight, we also become rigid & feel a need to control other aspects of life.
I also think that in time we adapt to use the eating disorder as a coping mechanism, so if life feels out of control, we can become even more rigid over the parts that we can still control – usually reflected in greater attempts to control our weight through our eating & ED behaviours.
I therefore can see why psycho-mumbo-jumboists come up with their conclusions that we develop an eating disorder as a way to feel in control of our life!
But… I digress.
Today, things happened in my life that directly impact me & my future but are out of my hands.
Reflecting on this, I realised that in recovery there is so much control we have to give up & trust that what will be will be.
I’m having to learn to eat with less rigid control & to give up the need to be controlling over movement, not relating it to my food intake.
And I’m learning to stop trying to control my weight to keep it artificially low & not try to control any rate of weight gain…
This feels chaotic & frustrating & I do want it to be more certain with guaranteed outcomes that I can influence.
But recovery is about not being able to have that control & it’s about allowing the brain to become better nourished so that I can think more flexibly again…
So today, with these life events beyond my control, I realised I can get anxious about it or just sit with it & allow fate to decide.
And in recovery too, I must sit through it, let go of the need to control my weight & let my body decide!
*There are now large bodies of research evidence proving that eating disorders are genetic and biological illnesses that are triggered when a person with the genetics goes into an energy deficit.