Eating Disorders

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Rather than Rehab

Rather than Rehab

Quit Bulimia & Upgrade Your Life
edition:Paperback
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Shell

Shell

One Woman's Final Year After a Lifelong Struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
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Transform

Transform

Reclaim Your Body & Life From the Inside Out
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Excerpt

When Rosemary walked into my fitness studio, she had about eighty pounds of unhealthy body weight. Her motivation (a common one, I might add) was to see those three-digit numbers on her bathroom scale plummet as quickly as possible. As I do with all new clients, I began by asking Rosemary to tell me her “story,” which revealed a wealth of valuable information as to why Rosemary was carrying the weight she had. Here is what Rosemary shared with me:

 

“I am a mother of three. I am married and I don’t work. My husband has a really good job and we do very well financially. My husband doesn’t notice I exist, and I pretty much do what he says to keep the peace. He often says mean things. I try to ignore them. I am 44 and soon I will 45. I used to have some friends and now I have none. Social interactions are difficult for me. I feel old and I’m tired all the time. Taking my kids for a walk in the evenings is exhausting. They want me to play with them more but lately I don’t feel much like playing. Nothing much interests me anymore. But I love my kids.

 

“As a family we normally go on vacation through my husband’s work two, sometimes three times a year. We always fly, which I really don’t like, as I’m claustrophobic and feel uncomfortable in the airplane seats. My body annoys and frustrates me. While I know I should be exercising more and probably eating differently, I don’t have the motivation to do so. My husband also buys my clothes. I hate wearing them. I think I look awful. My husband and I don’t have sex anymore. He’s probably having an affair, but I don’t care. I don’t care much about anything anymore actually, except, as I said, my kids.

 

“I’m originally from London, England. We moved to California several years ago because of my husband’s job. I have no family here, which isn’t a big deal, since I’m not close with my family anyway. I miss England sometimes, but mainly I try not to think about it. I’m here because I think if I don’t start doing something about my weight and my health I’ll probably get sick, and then there’ll be children who won’t have a mother. My husband’s a good father, I guess, but the kids aren’t close to him at all. They are much more comfortable with me.”

 

When I asked Rosemary about her childhood, she told me, “There’s not much to tell, really. I was the youngest of eight. Nobody noticed I existed. Everyone was always busy doing things. I mainly just hung out by myself. Had a few friends—nobody special. And that’s about it, I guess. I remain in contact with one of my sisters who now lives in Australia, but we’re not close. I was an awkward child. I’m still awkward, I guess. I take anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication, and sometimes I feel as I though I can’t cope with my life anymore, and if nothing changes I won’t be here next year. I’d like to come off the medication. And that’s about it…my story.”

 

I thanked Rosemary for sharing her story with me. And I then asked her if she could see any relationships between her story about herself and her challenges with her weight. I also asked if she could intuitively identify anything from her childhood that may have influenced what she is currently experiencing with her weight and health today. I like to ask my clients to share their intuitive thoughts. In many cases, clients doubt their own intuition, yet I have found them to almost always be correct.

 

I asked the question about Rosemary’s childhood because our present experiences are always a reflection of our past experiences and the stories about ourselves that we have come to identify with. We bring all our stories, whether positive or negative, into every moment of our lives without being consciously aware of it. If we cannot tell ourselves a different story, then we will be forever locked inside one type of experience of life, and we are never free to show up in our lives any differently. We fail to recognize that there is more to us than the stories we repeatedly tell ourselves, and then we continue to repeat the story as though it’s the only story we could ever experience. But just like a library, where you get to choose one book one week, read it, experience it, and then return it for another, you, too, can choose new stories in life if at any point you feel that the current story you are living and experiencing is losing its appeal and fulfillment. Not only is your story not you, but you are a writer of your story, not merely an actor following a script.

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Getting Waisted

Getting Waisted

A Survival Guide to Being Fat in a Society That Loves Thin
edition:Paperback
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