As you know, eating disorders is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have said before that the bodybuilding world is very close to or is in some way intertwined with eating disorders. And, I have often wondered where the line is with many of us who seem obsessed with our bodies, even if it doesn’t reach the definition of an eating disorder. The definition of anorexia nervosa actually includes the weight of the individual yet it is a psychological disorder. I am glad that the many definitions and categories of eating disorders are growing! I think EDs come in many shapes and sizes of individuals and many different forms of suffering.
I read many healthy living blogs and sometimes I will read a post and will think to myself and wonder if that person has crossed the line a little and is in a scary “head-space.” I’ve been there. I think it’s really easy to go there during a diet…..thinking of dieting, food and body image more than anything else in the day and not being able to separate body image from self image.
Yesterday was a fantastic episode of Oprah with Portia de Rossi and I think her book sounds great! She did a great job of explaining some of her feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Here is part of a transcript from the last couple of minutes of the show….PLEASE READ BELOW and tell me what you think….
[Oprah] You say you wrote it for everybody who’s ever been on a diet.
[Portia] Living with anorexia and bulimia is hell, but chronic dieting is also hell. Living your entire life, never feeling good enough about your body, always feeling like if you weighed a little less somehow you’d be happier…your life would be better…is a horrible way to live. And, it’s a very short step from a full blown eating disorder, but really the only way I recovered from my eating disorder and from chronic dieting was to never ever restrict any kind of food, not even portion size. And really it’s the only way that food loses it’s power over you. If you can have something every day as much as you want, you tend not to want it as much anymore. And after a period of time you actually eat what your body needs, you eat what makes you happy, and you don’t think about food ever again.
[Oprah] And that is how you healed yourself.
[Portia] And that is how I healed myself.
What she said really struck me. During contest prep I really started hating the diet and hating the obsession over my body. I wanted it to stop. I wanted to be normal again. And it took some time to get there. My body was CRAVING all kinds of foods and had been starved and when you’re starving you can’t control your diet! Food does control you. You. are. starving. You can’t have self control over food when you’re starving. It’s a losing battle. You’re starving. You “cheat” on your diet. You feel like such a failure. You start restricting again or just get back on your diet or whatever. Then, you hit a point where you are starving again and your body is craving something and you “break” and you “cheat” again….NOT because you are weak but because you are human and your body has needs that you are not fulfilling.
In these last few months after this competition, I have stabilized my hunger. I have stopped thinking about food all the time…what I can and cannot have. I eat normal portions. I make healthy choices for my health and my future children. I enjoy my food though. We eat whole and real foods but I add sour cream and butter and we have dessert. I do not beat myself up for my food choices. Sometimes I’ll feel full and say or think….probably ate too much…won’t do that again w/ that or there. So what? Move on? You can adjust your diet around it or you can work out more or you can obsess all day about it or you can just let it go and move on.
I’m now rambling and could ramble all day about this subject, but I had to share that GREAT quote from Portia de Rossi yesterday and some thoughts about this….now share yours?
Any thoughts on what I shared about myself or on that quote from Portia?
Is she downplaying how easy it is to “recover” or “heal” from an ED? Is her solution too simple?
OR is she exaggerating that dieters all have EDs? What do you think?