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Saturday, 6 September 2008

A Dialogue with "Compulsive Eater" and friends

ME: Hello Compulsive Eater. How are you?

CE: Well, not very well, since you are asking. I am feeling ignored and neglected. I haven't been let out in a while so I am a bit irritated as well.

ME: Why would I want you around? You make me put all that rubbish into my system until I am sick and disgusted with myself. Why do you do this?

CE: Because if I wasn't here, you probably wouldn't eat at all. You would hurt yourself physically and emotionally.

ME: But I do eat. I am eating healthy food at least 5 times a day. Why isn't this enough to convince you that I am not going to starve?

CE: Because I'm hungry all the time. You eat fake sugar, fake protein, fake everything. It feels like you don't think I'm worth the real thing. I don't get quality, I get the substitutes.

ME: But if I ate the real stuff I would eat too many calories and put on weight/fat.

CE: But if I got the quality, nutritious stuff, I wouldn't be craving all the time. Besides, you are hungry because you don't give me enough energy with all that training you do.

ME: So are you really just my healthy appetite trying to get enough nutrients to run my body properly?

CE: Yes and you need to trust me. I won't hurt you. I didn't hurt you all those years ago when you gave up dieting even though you mostly ate crap back then. You are much better at eating now.

ME: I am frightened that if I am left to my own devices I will just eat crap all over again.

CE: How do you feel now when you eat crap? I bet you won't chose to feel like that every single day now that you know how healthy food makes you feel. You have come so far - you are too intelligent to throw away all you've learnt in the past three years. Give it a chance to become instinctive.

ME: I am still frightened. I don't want to lose control.

CE: You are always in control. Your new values and beliefs are aligned now with being healthy. You are not the person you were before. You are self aware and have taken this step to acknowledge me.

ME: How can I make peace with you? I don't want to be at war anymore. I can't like myself if I spend all my time not liking you.

CE: Give me a new name. Call me Healthy Hunger. Listen to me and don't spend your time pretending I don't exist. You don't have to ignore hunger to be lean. You weren't hungry last time were you?

ME: No, but I wasn't trying to be super lean then.

HH: Why is that so important now? You fell in love and married Mr Katie and had a great many years being happy without thinking about your size. That size was right for you then. We will settle on a size that is right for you now which will be as good as you imagine. I would never hurt you on purpose. I only wanted to get your attention, and now I have. There is actually someone else here who wants to talk to you.

ME: Oh no, not more voices in my head. Who else have I been ignoring?

BB: Hello, I'm your Beautiful Body and I am feeling quite hurt and rejected as well.

ME: Um ... I don't really know what to say. I just kept wishing you looked the way you did in May 2 weeks before comp.

BB: You did an amazing job to get me into that kind of shape, I admit, but you don't really want to spend your life hungry, tired, emotional and in the gym thrashing me 6 days a week in order to look like that all the time do you?

ME: No, I guess not.

BB: And there were still bits of me you hated even at your leanest, weren't there.

ME: Yes

BB: I am here to tell you that you have no idea how amazing I am right now. I have big strong muscles, I have the right amount of fat to keep your hormones working and I am fit enough to run without gasping for breath. I am still the smallest that you have ever been outside of the competition window. I need you to see how wonderful I am, and acknowledge that it was your hard work that made me so.

ME: Well, compared to other people, you are in good shape.

BB: I don't care about other people, I just care about you. You need to realise that you haven't failed in any way whatsoever when it comes to me. You have make huge positive changes to me that are worth celebrating.

ME: So what is it that you still need?

BB: I just want you to think of me as a friend and not your enemy. I need you to accept what you see in the mirror. I need you to rest when you are tired or sore without feeling guilty. I need you to look at me with love and not loathing. I need you to treat me like I'm special by using the best shampoo, having the most expensive haircut, getting your nails done, getting a tan, seeing the doctor once in a while, buying the highest quality food, and maybe not putting so many chemicals into me. What do you think?

ME: I do like having you around so I will try.

BB: That's all I ask.

ME: OK folks, I've got to go before my repressed childhood memories turn up and start discussing my abandonment issues. Bye!


  1. Anonymous1:25 pm

    Wow! That was truly beautiful and so very very true. My favourite bit was about the fake stuff not giving you enough energy! Well done, this is very helpful to me. thank you.

  2. Great post Katie. Glad you are thinking about eating more clean, natural food to fuel your training and recovery.