Do any of the statements below fit with your experience?
Have you ever lost weight only to put it all back on again with a bit more besides, making you heavier than you were than before you started your diet. Do you feel fear or panic when you reach your target weight or imagine yourself without your overweightness.
Have you lost the sensation of having had enough to eat and eat until you are uncomfortable and distended. Do you feel bad after eating ‘forbidden’ food. Do you find it hard to distinguish between eating because you are hungry and eating because you are bored, sad, hurt, stressed or lonely. Do you become excited about thinking about food and preparing food.
Do you find yourself eating in secret away from others in your bedroom or car. Do you have sayings in your head about food like, “I mustn’t leave food on my plate as there are people starving in the world”
Were you praised for eating up all your food as a child. Was food used as a reward, or withdrawn as a punishment. Did you always eat as a family as a child or did you eat wherever you wanted. Do you feel judged by thin people. Does your weight restrict you pursuing your desires. Do you feel different, less powerful, less capable and less valuable than others. Do you ever feel like you are not an equal person to another. Do you experience feeling invisible. Do you feel un-loveable and unimportant.
Are you maintaining your overweight size to make other people feel better about themselves. Do you ‘put on a jolly persona’ and not show how you are really feeling inside about yourself. Do you feel asexual and un-attractive. Are you afraid of unwelcome sexual attention if you become your slim self.
Do you experience being given dieting advice when you risk speaking about your real feelings. Do you believe you will lose your friends if you lose your weight. Do you have a sense of being deprived and do you eat to get rid of this. Are you a natural carer of others, willing to please, always available.
If several or many of these statements are familiar to you then you may be using your size defensively and the idea of losing weight may be too scary leaving you unprotected and vulnerable.
How I can Help you
Transactional analysis is an easily understood model of personality that can help you and I to explore your need to maintain a large body size, whether that is a long-term problem for you or whether you are experiencing a short-term weight gain issue.
As your therapist I am not concerned with diet and nutrition and that is not our goal in our work together. My aim is to treat the cause not the symptom.
My role is to help you to discover your rules about food that you have picked up from childhood, which you are automatically complying with.
I will also help you to explore the experiences you have had from others and their judgements of you with the consequent pain, sadness and loneliness that you may hold within.
Together we will understand the current choices you make regarding yourself, others and how these interplay with food and explore and play with other choices that can feed your self esteem and build your sense of self in positive and constructive ways and not hurtful and destructive ways that stop you living fully and getting what you want and need.
I will help you to reconnect with your body and the sensations that arise from your body that we all have. These sensations inform us if we are scared, sad, lonely, happy and so on and allow us to reach out to get what we want in relationship. So often the overweight person only associates these sensations with food and is compelled to eat rather than feeding self-esteem needs.