My Photo

My Photo

Search This Blog

Saturday, April 2, 2011

No Idea I had More Then 1500 Views Committment to Keep Writing!!!

Hello Everyone, I had no idea until today I've had over 1500 views and that readership has picked up over the last month when I decided to be brave and get my stuff out there again. To get my butt in the chair and to start writing about what I've been really struggling with. A few posts ago, I talked about the following book and how much of an effect it was having on me. The book is Gregory L. Jantz and Ann McMurray's Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders: A Whole-Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia and Disordered Eating.

The is the second most difficult book, emotionally I've ever read. The first is Hope Elderman's Motherless Daughters which I read in my early 30's. This is a must read for anyone who lost a mother at any stage of their live through any means whether it is death, emotional abandonment etc. I plan to write a review of Hope, Help and Healing for a soon to be future post. For now, what I really like is the authors are clearly experts on treating eating disorders and disordered eating. I read a number of books about the effect of early parental loss when I wrote my dissertation for which this was a major theme. If anyone wants the list let me know. I can also do a post on that at some point.

Back to the dysfunctional, self-destructive cycle. Essentially, it goes like this. We conduct a behavior. We overate, under-eat, drink to much, spend too much money. Whatever the behavior is. Then we feel bad. Those bad feelings lead to shame, self-doubt, self-hate and set us up to do the behavior all over again.

Because I used to suffer from disordered eating that ranged from under-eating to overeating I would complete this cycle over and over again. I first learned to feel shame about my body when I was five years old when I began to be criticized for being "chunky." How many times have so many of us heard that dreaded phrase. Both my mother and her mother were anorexics and they projected their fear of fat on to me well before I knew what they were doing or before I had the ability to think through what it meant.

Children begin to think cognitively-for concrete understanding around 8 years old. Some older some younger of course. This is usually when they realize Santa isn't real etc. Still, a child of this age or younger will blame themselves for their parents (or whoever hurt them) unhappiness and take it on. Thus begins the cycle of shame.

I've had two weight loss surgeries. Lap Band in July of 2007 which I will do a separate post on some time and I converted to gastric by pass on March 3rd 2010. All in all I've done well. I've lost 70 lbs. My diabetes is gone. I am the most fit I've ever been.

However, by far, the emotional journey as many of you know has been the hardest. Both times I slowed my progress down by drinking wine, extra calories I didn't need, but it did provide the escape I still craved.

After gastric by pass it took me some time, trial and error and a lot of pain to really accept that alcohol effects us differently. I finally stopped using it in ways that were self destructive and the scale is moving again and I feel great.

I wrongly told myself that I didn't want any food to have control over me, but that I would control it. This was an example of the disordered thinking that went with disordered eating. What I had to realize is especially after gastric bypass, the way alcohol goes straight into the system was sure to control me. Rather then my controlling it.

It wasn't until I read and understood this cycle of shame that I realized that what I was really doing was re-creating the cycle of shame with alcohol now that I couldn't do it with food.

It's interesting to me that what I just wrote I dreaded saying on Obesity Help or anywhere, even to my therapist until about three months ago.It is in fact, why I didn't write on this blog for so long! I felt like a failure because of my struggle. That struggle was essential to my current wellness and I regret nothing.

My therapist when I revealed this to her said. You will have to trust me with your shame. Once I began doing this all the pieces gradually fell into place and I stopped my self destructive behaviors. Interestingly both episodes after each WLS lasted about 9 months once the cycle started. Apparently, I get sick and tired of being sick and tired after 9 months. It is also interesting and perhaps a spiritual coincidence, but it takes 9 months to create a new life...Hmm something to think about.

I feel like I am living a new life. Now that I know people are reading I am making a commitment to keep writing, to keep learning, to learn more about blogging and to make this blog the best it can be.

Thanks for caring and reading. If anyone knows how to add a mail bag to a blog please let me know. I haven't found much advice online. I'd like folks to be able to send me questions and for me to post answers.

One more thing about the Hope and Help Book. It is published by a Christian Publisher. So for those that are believers, this is probably a non-issue and for those who don't the God talk at the end of every chapter can be off putting.

I am currently applying to do Masters Degree in Counseling Education Specializing in Eating Disorders at Plymouth State University and have read over 100 books on eating disorders and this one is technically very good in terms of the realities of how eating disorders and disordered eating starts, deepens and ultimately what needs to be done to recover. I promise to post my book list as well.



  1. Please tell me more about these books. My beloved mother has been terminally ill for several years. I really feel like a part of me has died, and she hasn't even lefft me yet. I cannot imagine how I will cope with the inevitable. And I certainly do not want to fall back into my eating disorder as a way of coping.

  2. Hi Hooper's Judge, here is the list of books I mentioned in the post. The first five I read as research for my dissertation. All are very accessible reads. The last two I've read over the past six years since defending my dissertation and graduating. The book by Polly Young Eisendrath is very good. I am finishing up four years of therapy with her right now, which has been life changing in helping me come to value and love myself, identify my issues and heal from them. I hope these help. Let me know. And, if you need someone to chat with who has been through this. I'll be here to listen.


    1.)Elderman, Hope. Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss. New York: Bantam Doubleday, 1994.

    2.)Harris, Maxine. The Loss That is Forever: The Lifelong Impact of the Early Death of a Mother or Father. New York: Penguin Books, 1995.

    3.)Stone, Miriam. At the End of Words: A Daughters Memoir. Cambridge, MA: Candelwick Press, 2003.

    4.)Yalom, Irvin. The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and their Patients. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.

    5.)Young Eisendrath, Polly. The Resilient Spirit: Transforming Suffering into Insight and Renewal. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 1996.

    6.) Abrams, Rebecca, When Parent's Die:Learning to Live With the Loss of A Parent

    7.) Schuurman, Donna, Never The Same: Coming to Terms With The Death of A Parent.